Saturday, September 22, 2018

Southeastern Fly presents The Angler's Influence Podcast

I’ve been listening to podcasts for several years. When I decided to start a series I couldn’t think of a better person to interview than my friend Susan Thrasher. Susan is a fantastic guest and is a great conversationalist. 

If you are just relaxing, mowing the yard, on a flight, or on the way to the river hopefully you will take some time and listen to the people who influenced Susan’s fishing adventures.

On this episode of Southeastern Fly presents- The Angler's Influence Podcast: we talk with Susan Thrasher about the anglers who shaped her fly fishing adventures. She talks about fishing with her Dad at an early age, the things she learned from Jim Smith who was a real trout bum, and a legend in fly fishing Joan Wulff who took Susan under her care and taught her the finer points of the fly cast. Later Joan selected Susan as a staff instructor for the Wulff School of Fly Fishing.

This is Season 1 - Episode 1. and the episode can be heard from this link downloaded from iTunes. If you listen on iTunes please feel free to subscribe and if you like it a 4 or 5 star rating would help out as well. Thanks and I hope you enjoy Southeastern Fly presents The Angler’s Influence Podcast.


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Fall is on the Way to Tennessee

Even though the temperature today is 96 degrees and the grass in my yard is so dry it crunches, I promise Fall is just around the corner. The wildlife is starting to move around and get ready for the changes in the seasons and so are the fish.
It's been eight years since the last time Gary fished with me and we did a trout trip on that occasion. This time we spent a couple days on the private warmwater and Gary managed to catch his share of bass as well as some bluegill that would make any angler proud.
Day One- it was poppers all the way. As a matter of fact we fished a bunch of different colors and they all worked. But, as is the case with most fishing there was one color that worked batter than the others. Green. Lite green and dark green with spots worked all day. Sure there were periods of slow bites. But when fishing would slow we would simply begin to make a move and the fishing would get better. At the end of the day we were on a BIG green slider and had managed to bring some nice fish to the net on that bug as well. Yep, that bug is my favorite.
Day Two- The storms were coming. The weather was predicted to hit the area just before lunch and although the early morning of day two was quite pleasant, we had already cut back to a half day in preparation for what was to come. We started out on Gary's streamers and picked up some fish. Then we went back to the slider and picked up a few fish. As we picked up fish the wind picked up too. We were making our way around the banks and going through the color-wheel just in case. Gary, pulled out a dry and, well, he caught'em on that too. Basically everything we tried, Gary brought a fish to the net. 

The winds picked up more and more throughout the morning until it blew in some down-right nasty weather. We made a mad rush to the ramp and just as I was pulling the drifter onto the trailer the bottom fell completely out. The wind, rain, and lightening put an end to our fly fishing for the day. Gary headed off to East Tennessee for some smallie fishing and I headed back home to wash the boat and get things ready for the next trip.

We still have a few October dates open. This year is winding down and with the fish moving it's a good time to get in the casting braces of the F/V Southeastern Fly.
If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river e-mail or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water. For additional booking information see our Homepage and to see the latest fishing report click here

Friday, August 31, 2018

Summertime Fly Fishing

It's summertime here in Middle Tennessee and along with this time of year comes a chance to fish dries, hopper droppers, soft hackles, and other types of flies. Although the fishing has been slow on the Caney Fork we have been lucky to pick up a nice fish along with some stockers, on each trip. It hasn't been easy and requires work on both the guide and angler's part, but it can be worth it at the end of the day.
If you haven't been following Southeastern Fly on Facebook you probably missed the Live videos on most Tuesday evenings. 5 Tips and Experiences for More Productive Terrestrial Fishing was a video from earlier this week and some folks have even said it was a good reminder. Some angler's said the video also had some content they were able to use right away.
Not all of our better fish have come to the net by terrestrials, nope, we still fish the tried and true nymphs. Those nymphs are working as hard as ever for us. A small percentage of fish eat on top, which leaves most of the fish feeding, where else, but below the surface. Yep, this fishing can be pretty high-tech business.

With a large percentage of fishing eating below the surface the tried and true super-secret and not so super-secret nymphs have been working overtime. We have been floating them under the indicator as well as using them as an insurance policy below the floating terrestrials. 
This brings me to a final point for this report. If you read this report often you know that sometimes it can read like a puzzle. The reason? A little thinking helps us all grow and helps us come up with new ideas which we can claim as our own. If those ideas aren't brand new they can be at the very least new to us. 

Not all terrestrial flies are fished on top. See, there are some terrestrials that fall in the water and sink fast and some sink slow. Some terrestrials, like a beetle, may have a hard shell and they swim like they are wearing the knight's amour stolen from the knight who is supposed to protect the Kings Court. Here's a tip...go back and read that last sentence again and then start thinking out of the box. Don't be afraid to try something for a long period of time before it actually works. You never know when a nice rainbow is going to be your best fish of the day and make a very nice photo-op.
If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river e-mail or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water. For additional booking information see our Homepage and to see the latest fishing report click here

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Brooke and Greg on the Last Trip of the Summer

One of the good things I get to see while sitting in the rowers seat of the drift boat, is people coming back with their kids. As those kids grow their fishing skills grow with them. It's fun to watch and as I have been through this before, those kids eventually become young adults and go off to college.
The first time I met Greg and Brooke was back in 2015. We floated the Elk River that day and they caught their share of nice fish. This day would see some nice fish come to the net, but, it almost seemed as though Brooke was making a statement. 

Greg stuck a nice fish almost right away. The fish crashed the dry fly. Although he was fishing a long distance and the fog was thick, Greg set the hook and the fight was on. The fish wasn't coming but was looking for structure along the bank. Greg was cool under pressure and brought the fish to the net after several runs and a longer fight.

But, Brooke would have something to say about quality fishing a short time later. Brooke was fishing a dry-dropper rig and as we caught the ever-so-slow current, she got a good drift. That drift would drop the fly right into the bottom of the feeding lane. The fly must have plopped right in the face of that brookie and the fish ate. That's when Brooke came tight with the rod. We knew the fish would be good when it got to the net, but none of expected such a nice brook trout. We snapped some photos and revived the fish for the release. Brooke went back to the well and a very short time later she pulled her second nice brook trout from the river. We snapped some more photos and revived this fish for the release also. 

In the meantime Greg was keeping busy with the stockers. He was kind of in a routine of drift and set the hook on a stocker trout. Then as his nymph was bouncing along the bottom the dry fly just stopped. Greg did what any good angler would do...he set the hook. We all thought the fly was hung on a rock. Greg began to pull and the bottom seemed to let loose. I thought he had snagged a smaller rock and was having to drag it to the surface. Greg thought he had some grass, because it moved. Brooke was just watching. Then the nose of a big gar came to the surface. That was just about the time the gar decided it was time to stop sitting still and it began to fight. 

The big gar made a run toward the boat and then turned toward the bow. The fish came by me as it passed under the oar blade. I was thinking wow it's really hooked in the mouth, and crap I may have to take that thing off the hook. Greg was doing a real nice job trying to get it to the net and make me handle that nasty fish. But with that hard, nasty, mouth full of teeth it's hard to get a tiny nymph to stick. The first chance the fish had to make a move, it made that move. The big mouth on the gar made a turn to the right and then the left. The fly came out like a projectile and that was that. Greg missed a chance to make his was into the 20+ one more time. It would have been cool to see a good photo. That fish created a lot of excitement, but Brooke still wasn't done...
When something is working why change it? Knowing the fishing would slow as we moved down the river we kept going with dry-dropper rigs. Smooth casts and perfect drifts were what this trip was all about. Greg and Brooke brought their A-game and it was needed. Brooke was focused on the slow moving bug. The bug was floating high...right-up until it wasn't. Brooke set the hook on the brown trout and brought the fish right to the boat in business-like fashion. What started in August 2015 came a long way to August of 2018. As what had become almost a ritual of the day, we snapped some photos and revived the fish for the release. 

After a good early morning, the late morning was uneventful. We made it to the ramp and loaded the drifter. This trip was in the books and the rain made it a hasty exit. As with all the trips with Greg and Brooke this one was most enjoyable. Brooke, I know you will do just fine as you go off to school, but I still expect to see you on breaks and next summer aboard the drifter.
Greg and Brooke August 2015

If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river e-mail or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water. For additional booking information see our Homepage and to see the latest fishing report click here

Monday, July 30, 2018

Zack and John- Old Friends and New Rivers

What does an angler do when they want to get on the river with their angler friend? Find a new river and hit the water. That's exactly what Zack and John did when they stepped aboard the F/V Southeastern Fly. Two long time friends met at the appointed time (early) and we were throwing bugs right away. Both guys hooked up and netted a fish pretty quick, then we went hunting for big fish. 

Both guys were accurate with their casts and dropped the bugs where I asked. This, and they also were getting the appropriate drifts. The fishing was slow for the most part, but they kept their head in the game. Then we approached a productive stretch of water. We had a few hard bites in a short period of time, as the storms cranked-up for the day. I was working with John, when Zack dropped his bug in front of an excited fish and after the fly settled, the fish ate.  Zack came tight on the line at the right time, the rod bent and it was on. The fight lasted a short while and finally the brown slid into the net. We snapped a couple photos, revived the fish and soon it was ready to be released back into the depths of the pool. Then, as Garth sang back 1990, "the thunder rolled". We stayed with it as long as the lightening let us, then we made a run for the ramp. We quickly loaded the drifter and took a break.

After an hour or so the storm passed, well mostly, and we launched again among a heavy fog. We were able to hit foggy-falling water this time. We floated into what is usually productive water and John hooked up on his second cast. The guys began a catching clinic for the next little while. There wasn't a fish every cast, but several times there were doubles or a fish on consecutive casts.

Finally the fog lifted and we were among several kayaks and canoes. We kept catching for a while but before long the float was over and we loaded the drifter. The morning was a little slow, but we found a quality fish. The afternoon? Well, it was more about numbers. And, that's, what longtime friends do when they get on the river.
If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river e-mail or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water. For additional booking information see our Homepage and to see the latest fishing report click here

Monday, July 23, 2018

Bryson, Pops and BT on the Elk River

Last year Bill (a.ka. Pops) came to fish with me. Bill is a multi time 20+ Club angler and likes to catch the big ones. Last year Bill mentioned his Grandson Bryson really wanted to come aboard the drifter. Naturally, I said "heck bring him". This year Bill brought his Son-in-Law BT and Bryson. Our mission was to teach Bryson how to land fish...and he plenty of opportunities.
Bill is not only an excellent angler, but keeps a fishing report on his blog for others to enjoy. I could tell all about the day from my perspective, but it is always better to see the day through the angler's eyes. You can read about their day here on Bill's fishing report.
If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river e-mail or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water. For additional booking information see our Homepage and to see the latest fishing report click here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

A Semi-True Fourth of July Story



Monday, July 2nd- It’s 8:00 p.m. and the sun is going down. We hear the first boom. It’s not bad and comes from the house one street over. We will name the owner of that house one street over, Bob. Bob's grass is very often the highest in the neighborhood except 3-4 times per year when he mows...or should I say when he mows it onto the road. More booms follow that first boom. Bailey, one of our golden retrievers looks up from her spot by my chair. Ginger, the other golden continues to sleep. A few more fire crackers, then a mini-grand finale and the show appears to be over. We've been through this for several years. This reminds me that tomorrow, it is time for me to stop by the fireworks tent to buy the materials for my own celebration. This is America's Birthday.

Tuesday, July 3rd- It's 4:30 pm. and I am on my way home from the river, drift boat in tow. I swing into the fireworks tent just off the four-lane. The tent is overflowing with things that sparkle and go boom. I walk in and the guy sitting in front of the giant fan looks up from his book. He says "that's a funny looking boat". I ask him what can I get that makes exceptionally loud booms and let him know I'm not necessarily interested in a pretty light show. He nods toward the back corner of the tent. It's 1 million degrees in the back corner of that tent.

My senses are overwhelmed immediately by the sheer volume of yellow and red packages.There are fireworks on all the tables. They sell fireworks with names like; Gold Fountains, Silver Spinners, Red Rain Rockets, Blue Rain Rockets, Sky Rockets, High Voltage, Spitfire Tanks, and Whispering Palms 40 Shot. All this and more is for sale under that tent. I settle on a case of Thunderous Finale 60 Shot boxes. With the half price coupon my total is $378.42. The fireworks are always half price according to the banner that is blocking the airflow from the fan as I pay. I ask the guy how to ignite all of my purchases at the same time. He mumbles something about a G9 Super fuse and I get one of them too for my trouble. He keeps looking at my drifter parked by the road, so I tell him it's a fly fishing boat and before he can ask I tell him there are trout here in Tennessee. This seems to ease his mind and he tosses in a couple long sticks that he calls "igniters". He says they are supposed to be lit first, so I can then light the G9 fuse, which needs to be linked into all the Thunderous Finale 60 fuses. He says my friends are in for a "hell'uva finale". 

I can't wait for the Fourth of July. It's literally just around the corner.

Tuesday, July 3rd, it's 7:30 pm and Bob is at it early. First there are a few booms. I walk onto the porch and see there is a small fire in Bob's yard. The fire appears to be from the wrappers he left laying in the road the evening before. They must have blown to the edge of the road and caught fire with what I can only assume is a Spitfire Tank that he kicked with his foot while running after lighting it. Those Spitfire Tanks shoot a short flame out of the end of the barrel and this is probably what caught Bob's day-old wrappers and dead grass clippings on fire at the edge of the road. Bob and his neighbor Pat are watering the dead-burnt grass, just before starting their second largest fireworks show of the year. I can see them between the houses. They are drinking Red, White & Blue. It is almost the Fourth of July.

Tuesday, July 3rd at's 11:45 pm and it's dark. The guys are lighting fireworks at a fast pace. There are lots of lights and crackles and booms and well you get the picture. I can't hear the TV.  Bailey and Ginger have retreated to the bedroom and I am sure they are contemplating their next move. The numbers on the clock continue to pass as the time gets later and the noise seems to get even louder. I will be fishing in the morning. The booms continue to get louder and carry-on well into the night. I can't sleep and Bailey is now in the bathtub. It's really late as the show continues. I'm not happy and Ginger is shaking uncontrollably under the bed. Both dogs are on high alert as Bob and Pat entertain themselves and everyone else in the subdivision.

Wednesday Morning, July 4th, it's 3:45 am. I am up early to get to the river before the crowd. We should be on and off the river before most of the recreation folks are even filling their coolers with ice and beer. Bailey is still in the bathtub and Ginger is now wedged between the pedestal sink and the wall. I flip on the exhaust fan and shut the door. They are sleeping and with the fan running they can't hear a thing. The neighborhood is quiet when I step on the front porch with my Thunderous Finale 60's, my G9 Super Fuse and my igniters. The lighter is in my pocket. All this goes into the truck and I drive one street over. The street is dark except for Bob and Pat's neighbor's porch light. The light shows the fireworks wrappers in the road from a few hours before and the burnt grass in Bob's hay field...errr yard. I stop the truck and unload the fireworks. The air smells like gunpowder and burnt grass. Everything is set in the middle of the road. I double check all the fuses and light the igniter. The igniter is touched to the G9 Super Fuse, which provides exactly two minutes of time before the early morning show. The G9 Super Fuse is now sparkling, so I jump in the truck and back down the road.

Wednesday Morning, July 4th, it's 4:02 am. When I get back home, to my front porch, I can see the fuse glowing in the road between the houses. The fact that I can see the fuse from my front porch was sheer luck and I am taking great pride in the placement. Then the show starts. There are no bright lights, no sparkles, no pretty colors. Nope, there are just loud booms. I quickly lose count. In the distance, lights come on, up and down Bob and Pat's street. I hear voices. I hear Bob's voice and some arguing as the Thunderous Finale 60's continue to explode, one after the other. The arguing gets louder. The neighbors from both sides of Bob's house are yelling while Bob and now Pat, who has emerged from his house, try to defend themselves. The show lasts another 5 or 6 minutes but the yelling continues until I hear doors slam. The show is over and then I see the blue lights as they make their way up the street toward Bob's. Some people are still standing in the street. I can actually see the discarded fireworks papers and tubes in the roadway from the headlights on the police car. People are still talking loud as the officer tries to sort out the commotion. I load the drifter and the truck. Rods, reels, bags, flies, hats for the sun, all the stuff we need for a morning on the water. I grab a couple extra rolls of tippet off the shelf. Everything is hooked up and ready for a quick run to the river. 

The police car is stopped at the stop sign at the end of Bob's road when I pass by, drifter in tow. I wave in the dark. The officer turns the cruiser and goes the other direction and the taillights disappear. 

Wednesday Evening, July 4th, it's 7:45 p.m. Bailey is laying next my chair passing gas and Ginger is snoring by the TV.  It's a million degrees outside with a heat index of twice that. The neighborhood is quiet. Happy Fourth of July America! 

Some names, facts and information have been changed for the protection of some involved and some not involved.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Fly Fishing Nashville


It’s always fun to fish with Greg. We have a routine and it works, usually. This day we got an early start and we’re away from the ramp then on our way. Some other boats were pushing us, but we found what I thought was a good pace. Greg began picking up fish pretty quick and we settled into our rhythm as the other boats gained on our position. We had clean, traffic-less water all to ourselves for most of the morning and Greg was bringing the SNITs to the net with regularity. We entered the flat looking to the run along the bank. We set up early and drifter quietly moved across the grass. Greg dropped the cast into the feeding lane. Feeding lanes are important...

A friend of mine used to tell me “feeding lanes are important in our line of work”. He was right too. Not only are they a conveyor belt for food, they also can carry oxygen and if there’s cover around it is all the better. 
Greg dropped the fly in the feeding lane next to some downed trees that have been in the river as long as I can remember. He got a real nice float on the fly and...nothing. He picked up the extra line with a few strips and laid the fly on the downstream side of the structure. The fly settled into a good drift and Greg set the hook at exactly the right time. He brought the fish out of the slot and onto the flat. The net was there waiting and we boated a pretty good brown for our troubles. In reality we were drifting along on the river and left our troubles on the gravel bar when we launched. But, well, boating a Brown for our troubles sounded good, so I went with it. We grabbed a couple shots of this fish and let the cool water pass over the gills. The fish was ready and able to go but we held it in the net until the kick of the tail felt just right and then turned the net to let go. The brown went to the bottom and then slid out of view.
We grabbed a couple shots of this fish and let the cool water pass over the gills. The fish was ready and able to go but we held it until the kick of the tail felt just right and then turned the net to let go. The brown went to the bottom and then slid out of view.

It wasn’t long before the other boats made their way past us. We never let them know how we were really doing because they were moving along at a quick pace and there was no sense in slowing them down. The rest of the day brought some more nice fish to the net, but we would continue to reference that cast, the float, the hookset, and that brown that came from the slot just across the flat.

If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river e-mail or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water. For additional booking information see our Homepage and to see the latest fishing report click here.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Fly Fish Middle Tennessee

We started off the float with some banter and by tuning up some stockers. Those stockers helped to pass the time and to help the guys get into a groove of casting and mending, then the hookset and keeping the line tight to bring the fish to the net.

Tracy said early in the float that he would need to start from ground zero since he hasn’t been on the water since the last time he was on the boat, two years ago. How does that even happen?!

Marc on the other hand brought stories of floating and wading on several occasions as well as catching his share of fish on waters around the Southeast. That's more like it. I worked with Tracy while Marc quickly began dropping the flies with pinpoint accuracy. As we floated, both anglers remembered the program and we were soon catching our share.

We floated into a pool along a shelf. I adjusted Tracy’s fly for more depth. He was in the front brace and settled into a good presentation with a nice mend. This made me proud. As I was selecting a location for their next cast, Tracy came tight on a fish. Then for some reason he took the reel off and tossed it in the bottom of the boat....OK it didn’t happen exactly like that. In reality the reel came loose from the seat and hit the floor with a thud. Tracy was into the fight and the brown trout was making laps while trying to roll-off, all at the same time. Tracy did a great job getting the brown to the surface and then into the net. Score one or the guys in the green boat. Marc began immediately talking about trading the rear brace for the front. 
We grabbed some lunch in the shade. Did I mention it was hot? No? Well, I am mentioning it now. It was hot with the temps somewhere near 9,000 degrees. We ate, hydrated, and caught the breeze when possible. 
After lunch we floated on and the action slowed. With Marc now in the front and Tracy in the rear brace, we moved to a spot that had been producing real nice fish. Marc hit the brush pile perfectly. His drift was awesome with only a few minor adjustments. Tracy tossed his fly into the mix and flipped-in a mend. The fly settled and began to drift. Marc was tuned into his fly and got a great presentation for a real nice float. Tracy looked away for extremely long periods of time. Then the indicator took a slow dive. I said “Tracy”. No response. Then “Tracy". No response. TRAcy, TRACY, TRACY!!!” Eventually, and after great consideration, Tracy set the hook. The fish immdeiately went behind the boat on the first run. With a trip or two back and forth to both oar blades, Tracy began gaining control. The reel stayed on the seat this time and after a couple misses with the net, not my best effort on this one, Tracy got the head of the fish up. The net was moved under the fish and we had our second nice brown. After we took the hero shots and made sure this one was ready, we released the fish back into the area from which it came.

Tracy asked Marc “So, you want the back of the boat?” The banter never ends and that is one reason fishing with these two is so much fun.
If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river e-mail or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water. For additional booking information see our Homepage and to see the latest fishing report click here.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Nashville Fly Fishing

The Elk River- We are finally getting good flows on this river. The 240 CFS is moving the flies at a respectable pace and the fish looking for moving nymphs. The water is clear, cool and nice for trout.
The trips on this river have been laid back with good results. We have full day floats with good lunches and plenty of action. Bring your own gear or just use ours for a seriously fun day. 
The Caney Fork- These floats are on this river have been producing some nice fish. Anglers in the casting braces on the F/V Southeastern Fly have been catching fish on streamers using 6wts with sinking lines and those same 6wts with nymphs and floating lines. Although this is a popular river, we have designed some floats to keep our anglers away from traffic and still catch fish. If you want to get on this popular watershed we can get you on the water at the right times and under the right conditions.
Southeastern Fly Live- Every week we broadcast live on Facebook. Generally the broadcast lasts about 15 minutes and is broken into three segments. The information is some of the most up to date on the world wide web. It's a lot like standing in the parking lot at the ramp after the float and getting some of the most fresh info available. If you are following Southeastern Fly on Facebook look for us on most Tuesdays or Thursdays and if you aren't following Southeastern Fly on Facebook give it a chance, you won't be disappointed.
If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river e-mail or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water. For additional booking information see our Homepage and to see the latest fishing report click here.