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.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Caney Fork River Report

Before we start with the reports from the river, it seems the weather is the real story. As this report is written we just finished receiving over 2" of rain. The temperature this morning was 30-something degrees and the sky was spitting snow. With all the rain and the big releases we could use some more cool weather to give us some cold water. That cold water will be extremely useful toward the end of the summer. My guess is that this will all work out in the long run...
The Caney Fork River- We were able to sneak some trips to the river before and after the last big rain event. The water has been high for the most part and a little stained too. At this time, Great Falls is dumping 25,000+ CFS into Center Hill, so, I would expect some high flows for the foreseeable future.

The water has been high and off-color, but the fish have cooperative. We haven't floated a nymph on this river since I can't remember when. Streamers on sinking lines, launched from the casting braces have been the most productive. 
One of the best parts of winter fishing, for me anyway, is a chance to catch skipjack. They aren't the classic game fish or anything like that, but they are good old-fashion fun. Also, they are a good warm-up for everything else.
The Elk River- We have been on the Elk and this river continues to produce good numbers of fish as well as the occasional nice brown. The water is clear unless the rain comes just before a trip. If the water is stained and low the conditions for catching can be tough. If everything is just right can be a really nice day. 

If you have never done any technical nymphing, and yes there is such a thing, this is the place to learn. There are many different water types and several different techniques to learn on these floats. This is a technical but relaxing river.

We are booking trips into May on each of the Middle Tennessee rivers with a few April dates left. There are many ways to follow the action from the river. If you aren't following us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, all are worth a "like or follow". 

Also, every Tuesday evening there is Southeastern Fly on Facebook Live. This program gives even more up to date info on local waters as well as other fishing reports from around the southeast. There are also some other things such as polls to vote for your favorite flies, fishing partners, and various other things. It seems there are several things going on to help keep everyone in the loop.
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, April 2, 2018

Joe & Scott Beat The Rain

Last year Joe and I fished together and had a good time on a half-day trip. So when Joe called this year, I knew we would be in for another good day. This year Joe brought along Scott, who is a friend of the family. Scott brought his G-Loomis 4 wt to the party and with a break in the rain and generation (not kidding they hit both perfectly) we were all-aboard for a brisk day of fishing
We pushed away from the gravel bar and began fishing right away. The fish were tight-lipped for the first stretch. But when we settled into a groove the fish came to the flies and then to the net. We were fishing a couple different nymphs and having decent luck on both. Joe and Scott were matching each other's catch-rate, pretty much fish for fish. The fish were in pods for the most part and if we found one we would find another one in the same area. 

We kept looking for a nicer fish and kept bringing the stockers to the net. After lunch the fishing became spotty, but Joe and Scott kept after-it. Scott had the front brace and was fishing just off a rock ledge. As I was picking the next fishy looking spot, I felt Scott set the hook. When I saw the bend in the rod, it was obvious this was a little better fish. Scott did a good job keeping the fish in the right place throughout the quick fight. All the stocker action we had throughout the day helped Scott bring this brown to the net both quickly and efficiently. We took a quick picture and released the fish from the net. This was a decent brown and fun to see Scott bringing it to the net. It couldn't have happened to a nicer young man.

We made our way toward the ramp and caught a few more fish along the way. We drained the excess water from the drifter and tied everything down. This was another good day aboard the F/V Southeastern Fly. Joe and Scott I am looking forward to the next float!

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, March 23, 2018

Is It Too Early For Middle TN Smallies?

 ...the answer to that question is, nope. They are starting to emerge from the deeper holes, and deep runs and, wherever else they stay throughout the winter months. They are out but not in full-force, not yet anyway. 
With the tailwaters still flowing heavy, we have been on the warmwater streams looking for musky and finding some. And we've been hunting for smallmouth when we get board with the toothy critters. Just about the time angler's think nothing is going to happen, the action will start.
What are they eating? Well that's the question we ask ourselves each and every day. Rest assured the fish are eating everything but dry flies. The smallies are certainly going for slowly fished streamers and large-drifted nymphs. They have been hanging in the best looking trout water these Middle TN. warmwater streams can give us. If it looks like a place a trout would be holding, we have been pulling out smallies, because there aren't any trout in these rivers. It's strangely familiar fishing that will yield some surprising results for some anglers.

Open dates are filling up quickly. So if you are ready to book a trip, then now is a good time to get your name on the calendar. If you haven't been out because of all the water and just need a little info, we don't mind helping with that either. 
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.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Brent is Back in the 20 + Club

This was supposed to be a somewhat lazy float. The generation was supposed to push us along and the oars would provide course corrections and only when needed. It was cold when we started. The first grip of the oars and two pulls later sent me digging for some gloves. It was cold. The anchor rope? Frozen to lowest portion of the floor. Not just stuck to the ice, the ice encased the rope by a good inch. It was cold and lazy wasn't going to keep me warm.
The eagle at the ramp looked overweight. It was "all puffed-up". Apparently eagles do this when the weather is cold. There were a few more boats launching at the ramp and we brought some fish to the net.  We would like to think we were giving the other anglers hope and inspiration as they pushed their boats off the trailer. But, the fish we were catching weren't big and probably didn't inspire anyone except us.

This was supposed to be lazy, but unlike the birds I couldn't puff up my feathers, working the oars would be the next best thing. This day was supposed to warm-up quickly. Warm-up is a relative term and "warm-up" can be cold in the winter. 

Brent was tossing streamers. We settled on a size and color. Both were the same size and color that were on the rods on the last float. No sense changing what has been working. The water was pushing and the speed of the drifter was critical. Not too fast so as to pass by every fish before it could make a decision. But, not too slow that the anglers have to overwork the fly. 

Brent's streamer was landing in all the best places and we had missed a just few fish. But, the next cast, we always hope the big one will come on the next cast.This time it was the next cast and the streamer was inhaled by a big fish. With the current passing by, I back-rowed to keep the fish downstream. Brent kept the fish in front of him and brought it to the net pretty quick. We guessed at the measurement and then put against the tape. It was just over 20" and once again Brent was in the 20+ Club. 
We continued the float and were ready to anchor on a likely shoal. Just as the anchor came to rest on the bottom, Brent began working the fly and hooked up again. This fish was close to the same size as the last brown. So I pulled the anchor rope, which was now thawing in the sun. The anchor came up to the anchor arm and hit with a thud. This fish needed to come to the net quickly, so we didn't pass the rest of this shoal. The drifter was headed for the bank and into slack water, inch by inch, while Brent kept the fish under control. The fish came to the net but not without a good fight in the swift current. This fish was another nice brown, but a little shorter than the last. We took some photos and put the fish back in the Brodin. The fish revived quickly and was soon back in the clear water. We watched as it ghost'd to the bottom and then completely out of sight.  The next several miles brought more fish, but nothing like the last two. Each fish brought a smile though and they all interrupted our lazy float.
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, February 4, 2018

Ben Comes Back With a New Goal

Last year Ben made time in his schedule to fish aboard the F/V Southeastern Fly. The fishing was good last year and Ben caught his largest brown trout. When we headed off to launch the drifter, Ben announced he wanted to catch an even larger brown this trip. That puts pressure on the man sitting in the rower's bench but at least we had a goal and knew the target.
The day prior I was also on the river and couldn't buy a nice brown trout, certainly not a brown trout bigger than the brown Ben brought to the net last year. I promptly told Ben the same. Ben did not make a quick reply and right then I knew he was serious. 

We launched the boat. Ben was fishing pretty good on this day. I was ask him to "put it right there" and he would. OK that's part of the fishing game and we scored early. Then we started scoring often and we were onto something. That something was brightening our day and bringing smiles to our faces.

"Toss it right there" would be heard throughout the day. "There's one" followed many times. Then, it happened. "Toss it right there" and then "it's a big one". Soon we were bringing the fish into deeper water without structure. Ben would be able to fight this fish without interference. Keeping the rod tip up with a good bend in the mid-section was the plan and Ben was doing a fine job. Soon Ben got the head up and the net was slid under the brown.

Ben said "This one should get me in the 20+ Club". So we measured it. The fish was close to 20", but try as we might this one was 1/4" short. I explained it was 1/4" short and Ben understood. We revived the fish. It didn't take long before the fish was kicking around inside the net. The hoop was lowered and the fish left us with some big smiles. This fish was close but not quite 20", but it was Ben's largest brown... so far.
 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.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Brooke and Greg Back in the Casting Braces

Fly fishing has been bringing Greg, Brooke and me together for several years. Brooke was on the first trip with Greg and the father-daughter duo have caught many-a-fish from the casting braces of the F/V Southeastern Fly. This trip would be a little different.

This trip would be different because we would be tossing streamers vs. the normal nymph rigs. This trip would provide Brooke with a chance to catch her first brook trout. We backed away from the ramp and with a few quick minutes of instruction, Brooke wound-up the streamer rod with sinking line and tossed the streamer. She strip a few times and the rod shook, then showed a nice bend. Brooke brought her first brook trout to the net. One cast - one fish. The next three casts brought two more fish. It was her first chance to fly fish with heavy sinking lines....and streamers, she is a natural. Greg was catching from the rear of the boat, but I think he was more pleased with Brooke's results than his own.
We passed several other boats and most were having a good day. It wasn't long before we settled into a groove, actually Brooke was in a groove. We stopped at several of the usual hot-spots with good results. We spoke with a few of the other anglers on the river and then stopped in a place that I like. 

Brooke made a cast. One strip of the line. Two strips of the line. A few more and the fly rod bent. It was a big fish and it didn't show itself right away. A short time later the fish rolled toward the top and instantly we were all in motion. Brooke was doing what she could to keep the fish on the line. The fish was keeping pressure and the rod tip was going to the water. Brooke was taking instruction as best she could and there were a lot of things happening at once. The fish was doing everything it could to shake free. The alligator rolls just under the surface of the water were almost frightening. Brooke gave line and took line. The fish was taking line and giving it too. Brooke was going toe to toe. Finally we worked our way to the bank. Brooke was trying to lift but the fish was frankly just too heavy and the 6 weight just didn't have quite enough lifting power to assist her in getting the fish to the top. Once out of the boat the net was waiting. Brooke turned the head of the fish and then it came to the net. Boom, that just happened. She had the shakes pretty-good when it was time for the pictures. I was out of breath and Greg had a permanent smile. We took the necessary photos and the fish went back into the net and the net went in the water for an old fashioned revival. Measurements were taken for a possible fiberglass mount. We released the fish back into the the hole it was "fished out of" and just like that Brooke's day was made! 

Brooke is the first 20+ Club entry in 2018. Also, she completed the first father -daughter duo in the 20+ Club. Brooke also "checked the box" as the youngest member of the 20+ Club. Nice work girl!
We spent the remainder of the day recounting the events of Brooke's fish, catching some more fish, mostly smaller, and generally enjoying another day on the river. Greg hooked up with several fish from the rear casting brace. We tossed streamers most of the day and most of the day those streamers were productive. 

When the day was done and the drifter was loaded on the trailer, we left the river gravel bar with smiling faces. It was another good day aboard the F/V Southeastern Fly. Brooke and Greg are a true pleasure to have on the boat. I don't want to say the fishing was a bonus, because in reality the fishing is what brings us together. 

 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.