Now’s the Time!

Friends, we’ve got lots to look forward to in the coming months! Autumn is finally here, and at the moment, there’s excellent fishing in higher-elevation, hatchery-supported waters and in the lovely creeks of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP)! Pull out your calendars and book a trip soon to join us on these adventures!

This past week, we fished elevations within the 2200- to 2500-foot range where the water was cold despite warm afternoon temperatures in the low-80s. In the GSMNP’s Bradley Fork, our trip yielded at least a dozen fish, all rainbows and browns, and we got just as many nibbles and nudges. The October Caddis (#16) and Prince Nymph (#18) were hot items on a journey that featured a pleasant balance of walking and wading.

In hatchery-supported waters, my buddy James and I reeled in enough fish for a meal and released just as many. That day, a Pink Squirmy Worm with a strike indicator provided all the action we could ask for as we targeted riffles, runs and the shady edges of rocks near the bank. When we arrived home, we debated about whether to fry or grill our catch and ultimately decided to use the smoker. Excellent choice!

On October 11, the Tuckasegee River (the Tuck) will be stocked with rainbow and brown trout in the Bryson City area while the Sylva section will receive bows, browns and northern-strain brookies. And don’t forget that bow season for deer reopens in Western North Carolina on October 15; squirrel season begins the following day, October 16.

Now, here’s that smoked-trout recipe:

James Lambert’s Smoky Mountain Trout

Of course frying them is quicker, but smokin’ em is well worth the wait!

Preparation Time:  3 hours


Freshly caught trout
Pepper Palace Blackened Seasoning
2 tablespoons of butter per fish
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice per fish
Apple wood pellets, chips or chunks


Place each fish on its own square of aluminum foil

Cover both sides of the skin with blackened seasoning

Add butter and lemon juice

Wrap each fish in individual foil packets

Smoke fish on the grill at 200 degrees for 2 hours over apple wood

Open foil and smoke for an additional 30 minutes

Bon Appétit!
Patrick Ambrose

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