Sunday, August 17, 2014

Caney Fork River Fishing Report

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Most of my time has been spent on the Caney Fork over the past couple weeks. With that being said this report will be dedicated to the different floats on the Caney. Let's start with the upper float.
The upper float is full of fish and watercraft. The canoe companies are releasing a lot of canoes and kayaks. So what's the best way to catch fish on this float?  Go early (haven't said that before right?) and stay late. For the best fishing anglers just need to adjust their schedule. Hang in there the traffic will be clearing soon.
The rest of the river has less traffic but there are still a lot of folks are enjoying the different floats. The water is clear most of the way down the river so the fish are getting a good look at what's being offered. A good presentation is a must right now.
Terrestrials are working and some fish are eating on top. If you find a fish eating hard on top grab a rod with a meaty terrestrial and drop it in the area. Let it sit and don't forget the twitch. Anywhere the water is moving next to the bank can be a good spot to drop one for a hearty take.
OK, if you have read down this far then it is only fair to say, if you find fish eating gently on top this is a good time to drop a small dry just upstream. We have been parking the boat just outside the feeding lanes and then letting them get used to us sitting there. Several minutes need to pass, but after that they go back to chowing down and then it can be game-on. Don't try and get too exotic with the patterns and use something that catches fish not something that catches your eye in the fly bin at the shop. Small parachute patterns are working as are small terrestrials. If the fish refuse the fly just keep going down in size. If the fish aren't eating after 10 minutes or so tie a small midge dropper on and that will usually get them.
This has been a good month with nice numbers and some better fish here and there. The sluice gate is on full-open when the generators are running, so it's best to stay out of the dam pool when the generator is on. Every year a boat gets in trouble and sometimes one gets lost to the sluice gate. Alright there is the Caney report for this week. Thanks for stopping by.
To see the latest fishing report click here and for more booking information see our rates page.  If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river just email or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Howard and Dry Flies on the River

Our plan was to pick up where we left off in June. On that trip we tried to catch fish on dries and had a little luck, but for the most part the fish weren't looking up. As everyone knows it is tough to get a fish to eat a dry if they aren't looking up. After some recon I had a good feeling the fish were eating on top and was pretty sure we had the right arsenal of flies. On this trip we would spend a little time dredging fish with nymphs and then switch to the dry at sight of the first fish that was eating hard on top. We would take what the river gave and have a good day even if the plan went to crap.
We were minutes into the float when Howard hooked up with a stocker on the nymph and the skunk came off early. We settled into a well-known routine and the next fish was a lot nicer. We made a stop at some structure where he pulled out a few more as we tuned-up for the day ahead.
We pushed down the river and found the first fish on top. It was eating hard and in water about a foot deep. There was a dry fly on the Super Fine Glass rod so it made sense to put it in Howard's hand. He peeled some line off the reel and laid a cast right at the top of the rise ring. The fish ate hard again and Howard drew tight on the fish, then came the fight. Howard kept control with the little glass rod and soon the fish was in the net. Then there was another fish and another. We felt like we got the best of that shoal and moved on.
The float continued. We found some more fish rising off a small grassy point, slipped into position unnoticed and dropped the anchor. We fished that point for a good 30 minutes. For most of that time Howard was getting good drifts and I was netting fish.  He let me take a try and I even got my fix. The bite continued but then bite stopped and we moved on. We fished nymphs through some runs and over drop-offs into pools. The fishing was good and the catching was constant.
The next spots yielded the same results on dries and we felt like we knew what we were doing. Feeling like you know what you are doing or feeling like you are so far in the weeds you can't even see the river your floating on, comes and goes. Believe me either feeling can come or go as quick as a topwater take. So when things are going your way, enjoy it because the next trip to the river could be the toughest day of fishing ever. We chose to enjoy the day and enjoy the fish that were responding to what we were offering.
This week we have battled scattered showers every day. This day was no different and it would have been a miracle if we didn't get a soaker. The soaker came and it rained as hard as I ever seen...well at least as hard as I can remember. The hard rain knocked down most of the bugs that were flying or trying to fly, but the fish continued to respond to nymphs. When the sun came back the fish stayed down and Howard dredged them up with nymphs. We drifted down toward the takeout and Howard suggested I should take a shot. So I picked up the glass rod and dropped a dry to a likely spot. We ended the day after that fish ate and was brought to the waiting net.
On the way home the rains picked up all over Middle TN and the feeder creek gauges went up as far as 4 feet in some cases. We got this trip in the books just in time. We took what the river gave us and enjoyed our day fishing nymphs and dries. We will remember this day for a while, especially when things aren't going our way and the fish aren't doing what we want. Howard thanks for coming out again and good luck on your trip out West.

To see the latest fishing report click here and for more booking information see our rates page.  If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river just email or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Ray and Bonita on the River

The river has been pretty busy lately but the fish are still active. Ray and Bonita met me at the ramp and we launched the boat from a rough gravel bar. It seems the big rain event that happens every Summer, and washes gravel along with an old tire or two from the creeks that feed the river, happen. This year the event happened a little over a week ago and it really messed up the launch ramp. But we squeezed the drifter in between several other vehicles and watercraft and slid it off the trailer.
We started down the river on falling water and a rising sun. Even on one generator the morning flow was subtle. The falling water for this float was on the stained side. Considering the rain event last week that made sense. With the stain in the water color we could go with a little heavier tippet throughout the day. This would help to turn over flies throughout the day.
Ray had fly fished quite a bit, but Bonita hadn't been able to get out on the river as much. It didn't take her long to get back up to speed and she brought the first fish to the net. We discussed the eagle that had been frequenting the river and we had hope the big bird might make another appearance on this cloudless day. 
Ray was next to get a hook-up and the fish to the net. He remarked even though he had fished extensively in Arkansas he had never caught a brown trout. He caught a brown within his first few fish and before the day was over he punched his brown trout fun ticket several times.

A short time later the eagle made its first appearance of the day. This bird is people shy and as we moved downstream it would keep the same distance for almost the entire second half of the float.  After the eagle settled into a long distance routine, Ray became more intentional in his casting and presentation. The changes he made began to pay off and caught several fish in a row, but he didn't stop there.
We dropped the anchor on a nice little pool with a log along the edge. This pool has produced some nice fish in the past and I can't drift by without stopping. While Ray and I sight-fished with nymphs Bonita watched from the front chair. That's when she caught another rainbow that come up to take her nymph which was just hanging in the current. That was our cue to pull up the anchor and head for the takeout. Bonita and Ray had a good day on the water. Both caught good number of fish and even though the river was busy we had that eagle sighting that leaves us in awe. 
To see the latest fishing report  and for more booking information click here.  If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river just email or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Elk River Fishing Report

This week we were on both the Caney Fork and the Elk. Both rivers continue to fish well and we are booking trips for the month of August. Several September dates have been taken, but there are also several good dates still available.
The Elk River:  The lower part of the river is fishing better than the upper and middle sections. When the fog is laying on the water the fish in the Elk have been responding to a midge under a midge/dry dropper.  Fish the shoals and more shallow water for the best results with the midges.
The fish continue to respond to nymphs for the most part. The 240 CFS flow pushes those nymphs along at a good pace. The flow is still slow enough that an almost perfect drift is a must. The evening brings out the dries, but I can't really say any one pattern works best. The best thing to do is bring a handful of small dries and keep changing when the fish refuses the pattern a time or two.

TWRA has a presence on the river or should I say in the river. They were set up in a perfect place and stepped from the bank and into the water as we approached their position. They had checked a large number of boats and wading anglers and must have been  in that position for a while. We were sure glad to see them, feel free to tell a friend...
The Caney Fork: The morning fly selection mirrors the Elk. "When the fog is laying on the water the fish in the Caney have also been responding to a midge under a midge/dry.  Fish the shoals and more shallow water for the best results." We have been turning to terrestrials at mid-day with a nymph as a dropper.
It seems there are pods of fish feeding on top in the usual places. I placed an order for some very small dries this week and when they come in my hope is the fish will not be able to resist them. The usual size #18 - 20 isn't consistently the ticket. We will see if I chose right or not. Oh and there are several new hopper patterns in the arsenal as well.

To see the latest fishing report  and for more booking information click here.  If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river just email or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Al and Jake on the River

It is always a good sign when I am supposed to meet someone at the ramp at 6:00 a.m. and they call at 5:45 a.m. to confirm they are sitting at the right ramp.  That was the conversation with Al and me at 5:45 in the morning. I was 5 minutes away and when I arrived they were almost ready to load their stuff in the boat. 
Al and his son Jake were floating with me and we shoved the drifter from the bank at 6:00 a.m. on falling water. Al had fly fished before and was a good caster as well as a good angler. Jake had fished before and was a good angler, but Jake was more into fishing gear than the long rod. My job was to give Jake some pointers on fly fishing and get his fly fishing skills up to speed so he could fish on his own when needed. 
It was obvious Jake had been in the outdoors and had a fly rod in his hand before we moved the drifter in a position to tune up his cast. So after a few small pointers on the cast we moved on to the mend. Jake was getting good casts and mends and Al was putting casts in likely positions too. We moved the drifter downstream and Jake laid a cast into a good feeding lane.
It wasn't long before Jake hooked up and landed his first trout on the fly. Al was understandably proud and soon they were both bringing fish to the net fish. It was early in the morning but there were still several folks fishing on the river. Most of the anglers were wading and we saw some mutual friends along this casual float.
After fishing a terrestrial for a while we went to dries. We slid the drifter alongside a seam of feeding fish.   Jake learned the art of dialing in a dry fly presentation while searching for just the right fly. We found the biggest fish in the pod and began calculate how the seams would dictate the mends. Jake dialed in the mends and casts and I worked on the flies. Finally we hit the right combo and Jake picked up his first fish on the dry fly too.

There were a lot of folks floating the river by the time the afternoon came along so we moved on to some deeper pools. After fishing the dry to feeding fish Jake seemed to really get dialed in on nymphing. He went on a catching-spree that would make a seasoned angler proud. I could tell his Dad was the proudest guy in the boat. After several more fish we decided we wanted to get off the water before the sun got the best of us. So with the traffic picking up we slid into the gravel bar with a high fish count and some nice ones along the way.
It wasn't all about Jake on the float and Al caught his share of fish too.  OK, this trip was mostly about Jake getting comfortable and catching the amount of fish he caught was an added bonus. As I've said many time times Father-Son trips are a real pleasure and when someone learns to fly fish it makes the day that much better.  Al thanks for coming out to fish and Jake the next time we are on the river, well let's see if we can turn it up a notch.
To see the latest fishing report  and for more booking information click here.  If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river just email or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Curtis and Jonas On The River

Lately there have been several father-son trips. Folks who read this report have read in previous posts I enjoy these trips, because fly fishing is something that can be shared for many years to come. Curtis has fished with us several times and brought along family on most days. This time he would bring his son Jonas who had not caught a trout on the fly. 
With rain coming down for about 8 hours prior to the float, and sometimes a hard rain, we knew the day would be challenging. We decided to get on the water behind the generation in search of clearer water. That plan worked well, sort of, for the first 30 minutes and then the water began to get more stained by the minute. Jonas was on one of my favorite nymph patterns while Curtis had his favorite and trusted light streamer pattern.

Jonas is an athlete and was following coaching well. With very little instruction he was soon laying out some good casts.  His mends got better and better so we moved on to hooksets. After we missed a couple fish, Jonas set the hook on and caught his first trout "on the fly". From then on Jonas was ready for the next fish and Curtis was soon on my favorite bug as well. The further downstream we went the muddier the river became. So a little more than halfway through the day, I got on the oars and rowed out so we could go higher in the river in search of cleaner water.
We unloaded drifter for the second time and found some water that was in a little better shape. We saw our first consistently rising fish and the guys made a bet, with a side bet, then we were off. Jonas struck early in Float 2.0 and Curtis came right back. Jonas increased his numbers as the time passed quickly. We were running a clock and with just minutes to go Jonas put the game away with a final fish before we had to get off the water to the beat generation.
It was a tough day on the river with all the rain and muddy water. But some days we take the good with the bad. This day I got to see a young man catch his first trout on the fly and hopefully learn enough to lay out good casts with his dad for many years. 

To see the latest fishing report  and for more booking information click here.  If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river just email or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Caney Fork Fly Fishing Report

The Elk River- Some fish are looking up but most of the residents of this river are munching subsurface. Some of the recent stocker browns are eating on top and a small dry will get their attention. Even a little drag on the dry is OK when they can't make up their mind.
The release  from Toms Ford Dam, as this is written, is the normal summertime schedule of 240 CFS. This release is real nice for wading or floating. Due to the recent releases of 2000ish CFS the bottom is relatively clean so anglers can see what they are stepping on. 
The water temps on the Elk are running in the low to mid 50's depending on where the temp is taken. So there is plenty of cold water as we roll through July. Those temps are helping the fish to active on their hunt for food. The good flow and cool temps make a trip on the Elk a good place to spend the day.

The Caney Fork: The best releases have been on the weekends. Fishing terrestrials on high water can be fun although that action isn't as good as terrestrials on the lower flows. Lower water means other watercraft. For those who don't like crowds there are ways to get around the number of canoes and yaks that are in the upper part of the river. 
Most of the parking lots are full by 9:00 am and stay pretty much full until around 6:00 pm. We have been going early and fishing late to get around the crowds. We have been able to get on less crowded waters on most days. There are a couple other ways to get around the crowds too. 
It seems there has been more bug activity this year. There are more mayflies and certainly more caddis, along with more birds for those bugs that get off the water without being consumed by a trout.  The terrestrials, as usual, don't show themselves too much, but they sure must taste good because the fish eat hard when they decide to take one down. 
Finding a fish eating subsurface (i.e down in the water column)  is a lot of fun. Fish eating along the bottom seem to be oblivious to a drift boat, well sometimes anyway. Anglers who have been able to get the fly in the right spot do not have to depend on the indicator. Nope, when the fish are eating like this and we can get the boat in the right spot it is all tight-line nymphing. When we find a fish eating this way it gets the guy in the rowers seat pretty dang excited. 
To see the latest fishing report  and for more booking information click here.  If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river just email or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water.