Sunday, February 19, 2017

Nashville Fly Fishing

We returned from Louisiana and the red fish only to find the trout around the Middle Tennessee area having been waiting. The trips to river since the return have been good. The trout have decided they like our streamers and bugs. The trout have the anglers and the guide both very happy.
The flows from Center Hill have been high during the week days. One and two generators throughout the day have been feeding the river with plenty of flow. These have been streamer days with some unorthodox methods that have been bringing fish to the net. These trips are not easy, but can be rewarding.
When angler's get themselves in the front brace the old "bang the banks" type of fishing is the go-to. But, throughout the winter I've been working on some techniques that everyone is not using. Those techniques have been helping angler's get their "hero shots' and shots for this report. Frankly the right speed of retrieve is pretty much, well, everything.
If throwing a streamer all day on the Caney isn't your cup of tea then the lower flows of the weekend days may be for you. These trips have been fun with a little bit of streamers and a little bit of nymphing. The trips have been productive and angler's have been experiencing some good catch rates. The browns are as colorful as I can remember and the pink/red stripe on the rainbows is vivid.

The Elk River has been flowing 80 CFS on the weekends. That flow is favorable to fishing for both wading and floating anglers. Streamers have been bringing a few fish to the net but the nymph still is producing the most fish and most times the nicest fish.
We are hoping the institution of the 20" limit will help with growing some bigger browns on the Elk. The signage is not in the parking lot under Highway 50 it can be found in the upper parking lot. This will hopefully be a step in the right direction.
Another nice Middle Tennessee Brown Trout
Vivid Lines and Good Color

Late Evening Floats on the River
Overall the trips to the river have been good. Angler's who have been in the casting braces have been pretty happy and that makes the guy on the oars pretty happy as well. It's been good to talk with anglers and be able to help some with their adventures on the rivers around Middle Tennessee. If you have questions and just need some direction or want to book a trip and get a date on the calendar, as always feel free to email, text or call. 
More Good Color

Eye Don't Know, I Don't Know

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 9, 2017

Louisiana Red Fishing in February

I think the photo above and Mark's smile say it all, at least it explains how good the fishing portion was on this trip. If you have been following Southeastern Fly on Facebook and/or Instagram you already know we spent the best part of the last several days in Louisiana. The food, the accommodations and the fishing were all very good. The adventure, well it was outstanding.
The night we arrived a phone call came from our host guide Cleve and he said we were going to make the trip to the Chandeleur Islands. The boat ride (race) would be about an hour on open water in a 20'ish foot skiff. Once there, we would hope the fishing would be good. Everyone who knows me understands that if there is a chance for adventure, let's just say I'm all for it. 

The Chandeleur Islands have long been on my bucket list. Every since my grandfather and uncle went out there on a mother ship and reported how enjoyable it was to be there, I have wanted to go. They fished for several days, while eating good food and taking-in the small strip of sand which is only slightly wider than an interstate in some places.. The stories of fishing for sharks, redfish and trout as well as the rest of their adventure have haunted me since. So Cleve was getting it right and we had not even left the dock.
When our two skiffs, two guides and four anglers left the dock we motored out past the no wake zone and got on plane, then we spotted a coyote that for some reason decided it needed to cross the canal. The wildlife was out and on the move. After a couple quick photos we were back on plane for an all out run to that small strip of sand. After a break at the halfway mark we were underway again. The dolphins and ducks, so many ducks were on the move too. Then the small strip of sand came into view and a short time later we had arrived. 
We began with some instruction of do's, dont's, including the finer points of a successful day. It wasn't long before we were in the front brace with a redfish on the end of the fly rod. There were a lot of firsts on this trip and everyone got their first bull red.
The rest of our day was spent chasing big reds with fly rods, eating huge sandwiches and messing about in boats. It was long day of fishing and catching. Then we were making the trip back across open water and into the marsh, then finally back at the dock. Before long we were in the car and on the ferry for our last leg of the day. We wrapped up the day with a buffet at the lodge, while sharing our views of this most enjoyable day.
Early to rise and a nice breakfast at the lodge. Lunch was ready and we were off to enjoy day two. The weather on this day two was even better than the first day as a front was approaching. The fish would have their own plan but we would make the most of it. We pulled onto the ferry and our adventure continued. Finally to the dock where the skiffs waited. Once again we were motoring slowly out of the no wake zone.
On this day we would explore the marsh for reds. We stopped at the first pond and it wasn't log before Cleve was spotting fish. A fish moved and after two casts we were bringing our first red to the boat. Then it was a long hunt for more fish. We would go for a lengthy dry-spell with several blown shots and nothing to show. The sun was falling and the shadows were getting long. There was one last place, the last stop on the tour and the hope of at least one last fish...
We raced along the canals, through larger ponds and into openings. The skiff stayed on plane for quite a while. Then we pulled up to a bank that looked just like every other bank. Cleve had an idea that the fish might be here on this higher tide.  So with Cleve on the poling platform and an occupied casting brace we went to work.  A few strips in this position and a red bumped the fly. On the next strip the fish ate. A quick strip-set and the fight was on. The fish made several runs and then came to the boat. We would pulled three fish out of this small hole that was no bigger than the skiff from which we fished. And this hole looked just like any number of other holes along the marsh. This spot was special and we fished it until the light was just too low for effective fishing. 

 The most photographed intersection in red fishing
The mosquitoes were absolutely the worst I have ever seen. Worse than the backwaters of the Mississippi River, worse than the backwaters of Apalachicola Bay, worse than, well you get the picture. In this marsh they would cover every surface and could eat their way through four layers of clothing if provoked. The low light and high mosquito count finished our day. We reeled up the line and soon we were on plane again for that long ride back to the dock.
We raced through the canals and finally the skiff decelerated into the no wake zone. Our sister skiff and its occupants waited at the dock. The boats were trailered and we all said our goodbyes. Soon we were on the road back to the lodge. The distance was 45 miles and included an hour of driving as well as a ferry ride. We arrived for the final dinner on this trip. We would be the last group to dinner, but when we walked in there were some freshly shucked oysters waiting. Then the five courses began coming to the table. We ended the evening with a review of each angler's day. Then it was time to get back to the rooms and prepare for the ride home.
The ride back to Tennessee provided plenty of time to plan the next adventure. It looks like there will be another trip back to the redfish grounds. This trip was an excellent way to see what might work for a larger party with more anglers, more skiffs and of course more food. Stay tuned as future trip details are worked out.
Until those details are worked-out, the tailwater schedules are looking better here in Tennessee. So it is time to get back in the rower's seat and back to the oars. If you are on the "will call" list and haven't been contacted, please shoot me a text, email or phone call. The fish are eating good on local tailwaters and there are some open dates. So, for now it is time to tie some flies and get ready for some upcoming trips to the river. If you want to get out please contact me and let's get a date on the calendar. And finally thanks for stopping by the 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.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Keeping Up To Date

Thanks for stopping by to read the fishing report. Right now the report is still all about high water. With that said I am joining a group of friends and anglers for a few nights at Woodland for some R&R. And a trip wouldn't be complete without doing our best to get a fish on the end of line.

For the most up to date reports on this trip and tailwater trips there are a few different ways to keep up with the action. If you have Facebook you can follow us at Southeastern Fly., on Twitter @southeasternfly and on Instagram @southeasternfly.  Instagram is quickly becoming my favorite and probably gets the most updates. 

Tailwater streamer trips are getting on the calendar and the "Will Call" is still working for getting anglers on the water at good times. If you have a question about conditions on the the Middle Tennessee tailwaters or want to book a trip just give us a call, text or email. Now off to the next adventure.

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, January 29, 2017

Greg Comes to Fish High Water

Sometimes it seems like a short time has passed and sometimes it seems like many years have passed since Greg first stepped foot on the drifter. That first day we tossed nymphs to feeding fish and the fishing was good. We've talked several times about fishing big water streamers for winter fish and with short notice we set out for adventure.
The weather was cloudy to start and as the clouds moved out the sky became brighter throughout the day. The water was high on this day and we would spend a good amount of time getting the speed of the streamers just right. So what is "just the right speed?" It's hard to describe over the internet, but let's say you know it when you feel it. Once you feel it and the fish eat, it gets easier to replicate. Then it's time to set the hook. Trying to teach someone to continue to strip when a fish eats and not to set the hook by lifting the rod tip is a tough sell. But  Greg was dialed-in within no time. Remember, when a fish eats, keep strippin' and the fish will come tight. After it comes tight, then raise the rod tip. Easier said than done, but Greg is a fast learner and he did very well.
The fishing has been better, but we made the most of the day with several nice fish and the Slam. Streamer fishing is as much a mental exercise as anything. Finding the right presentation, keeping your head in the game when the strikes don't come as fast as nymphing and being completely ready when opportunity presents itself. Being completely ready and not losing focus is key.
The fish can be anywhere and it was time to rig another rod to get to a different level. So the anchor was lowered and the rope came tight as the spikes dug into the gravel. The boat came to a rest high on the water and then swayed in the current. Greg was tossing his streamer against the fast moving current and just as I finished the first knot on the spare rod, Greg stripped and then brought the rod tip up. The fish was on and the bouncing rod tip proved it. Greg was fighting the fish well in the current, so in order to provide some relief we raised the anchor and began to float with the current. Greg made quick work of the brown and soon the fish was sliding into the net. 

The right speed would be found several times throughout the day and each time Greg did everything right to get the fish to the net. Before long we were loading the boat on the trailer and putting the rods in the truck. A day of fishing big water streamers was complete and even though the notice was short, the adventure was pretty darn big.
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, January 16, 2017

Winter Fly Fishing Middle TN

The Caney Fork River-  The water levels have been high. We've fished the river on two generators, one generator and falling water from two generators reducing to one generator. We've caught fish on all three types of releases and some nice fish have come to the net. 

If you guessed that streamers have been the hot fly, well, then you'd be right. There are many different ways to fish'em and we have some good ones. It's in the retrieve and naturally a little luck will go a long way.
There are hundreds of streamer patterns and seemingly no "magic bullet". There are patterns that are the correct shape and size, as well as the correct color. Fly shop bins are full of those patterns. If you were at Cumberland Transit last Thursday night you may have tied a couple of them during the class. The right pattern is nice, but the most important thing to consider, just like fishing dries and nymphs, is the presentation. Speed of retrieval is something that needs to be correct and if there isn't someone there to help you through the correct speed then the only way to get the correct retrieve is trial and error.  Naturally we can help speed up the trial and error on a float and if you have specific questions please just let me know and I would be happy to help.
The Elk River- This river continues to fish good in most sections. The fish are eating some streamers, but those eats are more miss than hit. The nymph continues to bring fish to the net and with promising numbers. The water clarity is better than anytime over the past 6 months and the traffic, for the most part, is low. 
So where are the fish holding? Well for the most part they are holding on structure. Structure doesn't always mean they are holding on the next log down the river, although with the right current they probably are holding there. Structure also can mean a hole. On this river, holes are important. In Observations From the Tailwaters Part II, there is a segment that provides information about fishing through holes.  Knowing all the holes on the Elk would be impossible, but if you fish a particular section of the river, over time the holes will become more identifiable. Knowing the different levels of the river bottom will increase your catch rate for sure. 

After taking a break over the past few weeks, the open dates are slowly beginning to fill. Also the "Will Call" list is filling as well. Look for more frequent reports as the drifter is on the water more over the next several weeks. 
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.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Caney Fork River Fishing Report

The Caney Fork- The past few weeks of weather have been crazy. Now we are settling into a winter time weather pattern. There has been little rain and minimal generation and the Army Corps continues to open the sluice gate to add oxygen while generating. The water has been a little more clear during this time. After the generation stops and several hours pass, the water settles out and then the flows pretty much stop. The fishing is tough once the flow stops.

During long periods of no generation, mostly the weekends, the sluice is releasing 250 cubic feet per second (CFS) into the river. The river is cloudy when this pattern is followed. Although the water is green and murky, the fish are still responding.
So what is working? Well, as usual nymphs have been producing fish. With little flow the presentation is tough. So some dry droppers have been productive as well. Clean presentations are a must, because the fish have a lifetime to see how the bug was tied before they eat it. Do everything to get clean presentations. 

We still need some periods of rain. Additional rain and winter weather patterns should flip the generation schedule. Once the periods of generation happen at the right time of day and the nights turn colder we will be running shad kill trips. This type of fishing can be very exciting and although cold, it keeps anglers busy. Most of the time the cold doesn't bother anglers on a shad kill trip. 

Will Call- We have a "will call" list of anglers who want to get aboard the F/V Southeastern Fly for the shad kill. When the bite really cranks up I will send an email to all those on the list and supply the open dates. Then angler's set their dates and we go in-search of big fish on top water. These trips are a lot of fun. It seems we are about a month behind the conditions for last year. Want to see how last year went? Click here for a look back. If you want to get on the "will call" list just contact me via text, phone or email. 
The Elk River- This river had a low flow throughout the summer months. The low flow and discharge from the watercress fields allowed the grasses and algae to grow at record rates. The fish, however, are still there and still eating.

The water clarity continues to be tough. Sight fishing is nearly impossible with the greenish color. But, this river has been producing fish consistently with nymphs in-spite of these variables. Streamers that push a little water will get the attention of some good fish too. Fish your favorite streamer in your favorite color and keep moving  from spot to spot, new water will  bring in some nicer fish as well. As always check the generation schedule and don't get caught on the wrong side of this river.

If you want to experience something totally different we have some half day musky dates as well. These trips aren't for the weak at heart and require throwing 10 wt fly rods and medium to large flies. It's a lot of fun and hard work, a lot like hunting. It is different and can be extremely rewarding.

There you have a quick report from Middle Tennessee.  From our family to your and your family, Merry Christmas!

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, November 28, 2016

Learn to Fly Fish Middle Tennessee

Stephanie, Jessica and Morgan were ready to go fly fishing on a cold clear morning. So the drifter was pushed off the trailer and we climbed aboard. We set up just a few feet off the gravel bar and began casting lessons. Jessica and Morgan were first and in no time at all I was feeling good. Stephanie, who put this trip together, was next and when she got her cast dialed-in we were underway.
We floated a while and even backed up for another shot at a the first section of water. We had no takers. But, we got into the next section and all three of our new anglers put a fish in the net. We moved down the river again. A short while later we moved into some water that has been productive over the last few months. The fishing was technical but the fish were responding, then Jessica hooked into her nicest rainbow of the trip. We brought the fish to the net and Morgan got into the shot when it was time to take a photo. After the fish was released, Morgan took over the front casting brace. This young lady then started getting into a groove. 

We drifted downstream a little farther and Morgan set the hook on a large fish. The fish was nice and began to go just a little crazy. Morgan kept up with the fish for a short time, but as it raced through the pool and shook its head the fly finally came loose, then it was over. Morgan took the loss better than I did... It was time to bring out the chocolate. Morgan and I got back some of our energy and went back to work.  
Stephanie had been viewing the events of the day from the rear casting brace and was throwing some good casts of her own. She had experience with the fly rod but it seemed she was having just as much fun watching her daughter and granddaughter trade the fly rod in the front brace. Then she made the mistake of offering decision to give up the rear casting brace to Morgan. 

As we do on the F/V Southeastern Fly, there is no "helping" the younger anglers with casting or retrieving. If they want to fly fish they are going to fly fish and once they learn the basics they are going to fly fish on their own. Morgan began fly fishing just a few hours earlier and what happened next was pretty amazing.

Morgan wasted no time using her new found talents to put on a casting and catching clinic. I was surprised at how well she was casting, but her hook set is where Morgan really came to life. She didn't miss many as she began to increase the numbers for herself and the boat in general. 

With Jessica in the front brace, Morgan in the rear brace and Stephanie keeping an extra eye on both, we finished out the morning strong. It wasn't long before the drifter crossed the last gravel bar and skidded onto the ramp. 

This was a productive trip. The morning started with cold temperatures and clear skies. The fishing began with new anglers. The angler's who started with casting lessons, ended with a mini fly fishing clinic. Morgan really has the beginnings of being a superstar in the fly fishing community. Hopefully she continues to get opportunities to continue what she began on this day.  It sure was a lot of fun spending the day with Stephanie, Jess and Morgan.
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, November 14, 2016

Sometimes It's Just Your Day

Our late fall/summer-like weather is coming to an end. It is ending slowly but ending none the less. John and his son Alex came to fish and the day started off cold. Well let's say the day started off cold for late Fall. But if the temperature was like this in the Spring we would all be in shorts. It is November so we were wearing waders and layers. Later we would remove some of those layers in the name of comfort. 

The sky was clear and the water just a little stained, but the fish began to respond early. Good presentation, as always, meant more than most anything else. Alex and John had been on the F/V Southeastern Fly before and took their spots in the braces, both know the drill. John had offered the front but Alex had fished from the rear brace before and apparently was comfortable...time would tell if this was entirely the right decision. Fishing from the front of the boat was at a premium and John got on the board first. We boated his smallish rainbow and it wasn't long before Alex came back with his own smallish brown trout out of the same big pool.
The fish score was even and then the overall fish count escalated. Alex began to get better presentations. John wasn't far off and then we moved into some of the slowest flow on the river. Alex began to pick up some of the better fish.
We would hit every likely spot we could find and the guys would pull their fair share of fish to the net throughout the day. But after a while it was apparent that Alex would be the one who had the hot stick on this day
That slow flow had produced good fish over the Summer but now the grass has grown to the point that angler's need to pick just the right areas to drop their fly. Clean and short drifts through grassy waters were key. Alex found a path through the grass and produced a decent bow. After we released the fish Alex "went back to the well".
John put down his rod to watch his son fish the slot just off the wall. The Cast was a good one and the presentation was near perfect. I can't speak for John. But I thought, if anything a fish pulled from that spot would be smaller than the last. My thought was the bigger fish gets the best position and therefore gets the food first...sometimes. Sometimes that happens and sometimes not. This time Alex's presentation was still moving full speed slowly at best and when the fish ate, Alex was there to set the hook. Keeping the fish out of the heavy grass was a miracle in itself. The fish made more than a couple good runs but Alex kept the fish in the upper part of the water column. Finally we slipped the Brodin under the fish. Alex did a very good job with the cast, presentation and fight to get the fish to the net. All of us were smiling after this one and the fish certainly wasn't smaller than the last.

We pulled anchor rope and the anchor hit the stop on the arm. The float continued. The guys caught their share of fish at other stops along the way and finished with strong numbers before the drifter came to a stop on the gravel bar at the takeout.  The float came to an end but didn't end their fishing for the day. After a few more casts we were cranking the winch and the drifter was settling on the front trailer bunk.

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.