Sunday, October 15, 2017

Josh and Holland on a Father-Daughter Float

On a warm afternoon I met up with Josh and Holland for a float down the river. We were trying to help Holland with her fly fishing techniques and perhaps catch a few fish. One generator was running and the sluice was adding oxygen under clear fall-like skies. After admiring the water, we got right down to business.
The fish were cooperating and soon Holland had a brown trout in hand. The water was moving at 5000+ CFS and we were just floating right along. I have to tell you, these afternoon floats on falling water are a pleasant way to pass your time.    
As the water began to fall those fish began to eat more and eventually harder. Holland was eager and brought this beauty of a brown trout to the net. After the appropriate hero shots we released this one back into the water to be caught again. This shot makes the guy on the oars real happy. 
Josh is already a member of the 20+ Club. He is a very good angler, who, like all of us likes to fish for big fish. Throughout the trip Josh caught and released a good number of fish. This brown trout ate on the edge of a slow back-eddy. I just knew Josh was going to get in that club one more time with this fish. But, when we measured the brown we found it was just short. That left Josh and Holland with one more good reason to come back and fish falling water under clear fall-like skies again. Thanks Josh, I really appreciate it. 
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, September 17, 2017

Charles, Mike and Another 20+ Club Member

Charles came up from Alabama to fish and brought Mike in from Nashville. Both have been fishing for a while and both like to fish the fly rod. Charles has fished on the F/V Southeastern Fly before and knows our routine. This would be Mike's first time, but he fell in the groove quickly. Both could cast well and both had the ability to put the fly where I asked and to make the necessary adjustments when needed.
They also possess the thing needed when fishing exclusively for larger fish. Focus. It isn't easy to keep your head in the game on trips like this. Part of that is the guide's job to coach, entertain and even get a little personal about technique when needed. These guys didn't need much of anything on this trip. But, there was something Charles and Mike would need. The one thing that is needed but can't be bought and the one thing that cannot be learned. The one thing that can only be given. Opportunity. 
Opportunity for Charles came early and just off a mud line. Then opportunity came for Mike when we floated into a grassy shoal. Charles followed up with a good cast by a blowdown. After a short drift and hookset later, he would enter the 20+ Club for the first time. 

It wasn't too long after that Mike was fishing the middle of the river and Charles was fishing some structure just off the current seam. Both had quality drifts and then both had their first double of the day. The river was flowing good, the traffic was slow for the moment, and the fish were turning on.

The sun was high as the afternoon was wearing-on. There were only light clouds and the fog had long-burned off. The current ran close to the rocks and angler's had been in this position many times before. Charles dropped his fly in the fast current. The fly settled down and then Charles detected a strike. The fight was on as the big rainbow used its tail to power away. The Orvis Recon was bent into the cork with Charles trying to anticipate each and every move. He kept his wits and was winning this battle. The rainbow did what most rainbows do, taking that one last run before. That one last run was short as Charles was able to turn the big rainbow one more time. The fished rolled toward the surface and was within range of the net. Charles gave a big pull and the fish slipped across the wooden hoop and into the soft netting. Fist bumps and high fives followed. It was strange how many rainbows vs. browns we brought to the net on this day. I say strange but that is meant in a good way for sure and we will take this strangeness all day long. 
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, September 5, 2017

Greg Makes His Debut in the 20+ Club

If you have been following Southeastern Fly on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you probably already know about Greg and his entry into the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club. But there is more to the story than just a photo of a nice brown trout. The day started out pretty good and Greg was quickly on the board with a few decent brown trout.

We were watching the more productive areas as we approached and watched for the different signs of life. Those signs dictated our decisions on where, when and what to toss in those areas. Greg was dialed in with a precise cast and solid hookset. We float quietly along the river and watched the activity. The fish and wildlife activity directed Greg's cast, both when and where for most of this day. 
Fish to Rising Fish- A rise, obviously, is a give away to a fish's position in the river. But can you determine which way a fish is moving? Not always, at least unless you are watching for longer periods of time. If a fish rises in a feeding lane there is a good chance that fish, or another, will be in that same general area on the next rise. But, if the fish is in a pool and cruising, it could pop-up just about anywhere. 

We floated into the pool of still water and saw a rise in a feeding lane. The cast would have to be long and on target. Greg loaded the rod and with one false cast he dropped the bug in the lane. The fly settled and a short time later Greg set the hook. Knotted at the end of the tippet was the fly and attached to that fly was a nice rainbow. The fish was big enough to shake the rod and make several moves. Rainbows can be crafty and this one was no different. Remember, Greg was already tuned-up with several fish and he brought this rainbow to the net in good time. Score another one for the good guys...
A lot of things went right for us on this day but no everything was perfect. We were floating along and mostly minding our own business when a fish ate right in front of the boat. There was not a chance for a wind-up and Greg had no choice but to just drop the fly off the tip of the rod and just a few feet off the boat. The only problem? Greg had about twenty feet of line out and laying on the deck. But, when I said "hit that one" Greg wasn't left with a choice and made the awkward cast, it was a good shot too. All the line came off the deck and shot through the guides. The tip of the rod was down and pointed right at the fish that was eating at the same pace. What happened to all that line that was on the deck and that shot through the guides? Yep every bit of it went right into the feeding lane. It was the perfect "unintentional" pile cast. But, then the fly settled, the fish ate. The only thing Greg could do was to just try and set the hook, with a whole lot of slack. He managed to raise the rod tip just high enough to get the fly to stick. This fish was the largest rainbow I had seen in the river, possibly ever. The size of the fish was a blessing because when the line came tight it took off. That move helped to tighten the line and also helped Greg get to the reel quicker. 

With all that going on I must mention the tree. The tree had been sitting just off the bank during low water, right up until about a month ago. I had noted several times that it was gone and frankly had been looking in the corners lower in the river, thinking it may have floated into the next corner and maybe it was lodged deep in the river.

As we backed out from a big rock, the big rainbow made a few trips around the boat. Greg had the fish under control at times. The fish put the Recon 6 wt through "a live test" like no other. That's when I faintly heard Greg mention the tree. Those words didn't really register at first. I mean hey there was a lot going on. The fish made a blistering run and peeled off line. Then the rod lost all tension. The bad thing was Greg lost the largest rainbow of the year. The good thing? We know where the tree is now.
Snakes Are Bad...Usually. We were 43 minutes into a 45 minute dry spell. We floating just off the bank when we saw a small snake crossing the river. Greg, like pretty much everyone else, knows I am not fond of snakes. I could only assume that's why he was casting at the snake. I explained that if he hooked the snake, he would have to take it off the hook and no he couldn't use the net to bring it intt the boat! He said he was just "trying to get the fly next to the bank". As the snake worked its way to the bank and slithered up into the gravel, Greg, who must have been watching, set the hook! It was a good hookset and the fish made a huge run. This fish was on the reel before I knew it and Greg had the line locked down. The fish began pulling the boat and for good measure it would run into the line to get a little slack. Between the two of us we were able to keep the fish at a good distance as Greg kept himself in the fight. It was a good thing he was experienced because I had to watch out for the snake (and the snake's parents).

We finally got the brown into the big Brodin net and then prepped for some photos. After checking several more times for the snake we released the brown back into the water from which it came. We had a good discussion about the fish, the snake and the fight in general. We also wondered, was that fish watching the snake? And when the bug hit the water then settled, did that fish choose the bug over the snake? We may never know, but when asked I would bet yes would be our answer.
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, August 29, 2017

Bill Back in the 20+ Club

Bill has been fishing aboard the ole F/V Southeastern Fly for several years and we have been fortunate to catch some real nice fish. Bill and Ron came aboard this time and the day was good. Bill, however, had a really good day and made the right cast at the right time. An event we would remember for years to come.

Although the boat was a little out of position, Bill reached out and sent a cast sailing. The fly dropped and settled, then Bill was setting the hook. The fight was on and the fish went straight to the grass. Bill did everything he could to keep the fish from getting too deep into the nasty mess, but the fish was pulling deeper and deeper. Then the fish came out of the grass and the line was snagged. But, Bill gave just the right amount of slack and the fish hit the open water as fast as it could swim. The grass broke free from its roots and Bill worked to get the head up. It wasn't too much longer before Bill was bringing the brown to the net. A quick photo and measurement put Bill firmly in the 20+ Club one more time.

If you want to get Bill's perspective on the day just take a look at the fishing report on his blog. 

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, August 23, 2017

More Quality Fly Fishing From Middle TN

We have been on the rivers of Middle TN quite a lot lately. The results have been speaking for themselves, with anglers bringing some really nice fish to the big Brodin net. It's tough to complain about the quality for sure. The numbers have been good as well, with anglers getting plenty of activity throughout the floats. 
Bent fly rods in both casting braces have been the norm for the F/V Southeastern Fly. There are several additional reports that need to be posted, but for this report we will talk about Gary's day.

We left the ramp early and under a thick layer of fog. The drifter slid across the river with only the sound of the tips of the oar blades dipping and then pushing through the water. We talked about the latest happenings on the rivers and in life, then Gary went to work.

Getting the right drift was important. The low water meant stealth was also important. I swear sometimes when people are talking the fish can hear the entire conversation. That may not be true but on a slow flow, the less discussion the better the results. It's not science. However, it is reality. It wasn't long before the discussion ended, Gary began to focus and then the fish responded. The fishing improved throughout the morning.
Some trips have produced better numbers than others. The water clarity on this trip was about 3'. So the water was off-color and we could tell in the deeper areas. In the shallows the water was clear, but the fish were holding deeper.  Gary managed to pull some nice fish from the depths. This was another good day on the F/V Southeastern Fly.
The "Happy Hour Floats" have been doing quite well. Late afternoon on falling water gives another perspective for fishing. These floats are shorter and the cost is more affordable. Anglers just need a fishing license and trout stamp, we supply all the gear needed to make this float an enjoyable way to see darkness fall upon the river....while catching fish. 
 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, August 16, 2017

Brent Gets Back Into the 20+ Club After a Long Absence

It's been awhile since Brent has been able to get some time to fish aboard the F/V Southeastern Fly. But, when he finally gets time, Brent makes the most of that time in the front casting brace. This trip wasn't all about the fish. Let me me rephrase that previous statement. This trip didn't start off all about the fish, it quickly turned that way. We were floating along discussing the life events in both of our lives. The fog was thick and the wildlife was out. When we approached a group of deer, which were standing in the water, we realized they were eating vegetation from the bottom of the river. As we slipped closer, they slowly made their way up the bank and then into the woods. They were aware of our presence but did not seem worried as we drifted slowly downstream and through the layer of fog. With the wildlife out, but no rises to speak of, we went to work.
Brent stepped up to the front brace and began to hit the feeding lanes. It wasn't long before we had the first fish in the net. Brent's casting was spot-on. He laid the flies where I asked with accuracy and brought a couple tricks of his own. Other anglers were catching fish as well and a day of big fish quickly became the feeling. 

Every guide has certain banks, runs, riffles and flats they like to fish. Most all of those favorite haunts would produce fish on this trip. The first likely bank brought two good fish to the fly, but only one to the net. 

It wasn't too long before we slipped up to the edge of the Hog Trough. After a nice rainbow came to hand, Brent laid another cast into a likely spot. A big fish swirled and ate. The fight was on. Brent was doing a great job keeping the fish out of the weeds and the sticks. As I made my way to the front of the boat, net in hand, there was a lot going on. That's when I saw a submarine pass by the 20+ fish Brent was sparring with from the front brace. The other fish caught my eye as it spooked and I will be back for that one. Brent had his hands full as he fought his fish in tight-quarters. Keeping the fish out of trouble was a miracle and series of correct moves. The big brown came to the net and Brent was once again in the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club. But the day wasn't over...not by a long shot.
There were some other fish eating and some nice fish too. Brent continued to be dialed-in and didn't lose focus. For most, fly fishing is about getting outdoors, enjoying the river, enjoying the fish and hopefully the company. There are many other things that come into play that may not be listed here, but of those things the fish are what seem to draw the anglers to a river. Sometimes when the river is fishing good, angler's can lose focus. It's easy to let your guard down once a milestone has been accomplished. Like I said, Brent didn't lose focus as he raised the rod tip and brought more fish to the net. The numbers were good and we were adding quality fish to that count.
We rode the slow drift into the Meat Locker, a good piece of liquid real estate that has provided us with quality fish in the past. I will spare the details of the hook-set and we will start the story where the fish takes enough line to get on the reel without Brent's help. This fish was on a long run and didn't want to stop.  Keeping the rod tip high and with the correct angle Brent got the head turned...finally. The fish was pulling and accelerating by using its big tail. Brent kept working the Orvis Recon and the fish responded by making shorter runs each time, then it started coming our way. The big Brodin net waited. 

We talk a lot about fish making one last run. This fish was no different and made its last run to the right. Brent used the butt of the rod to gain enough pressure to stop the run. When the head of the fish came to surface Brent lifted the rod even higher and the fish slid safely into the Brodin. Brent was once again in the 20+ Club. 

We wrapped up the day by seeing some familiar faces and getting a few laughs at the craziness that is a Middle Tennessee boat ramp. Yes, I am going to write a book, with pictures, some day. For now there are fish that need to be caught and released and anglers who need to get out on the water. It was good to spend the day on the boat with Brent again. With all the action we had, this is one trip that will be difficult to top. Congratulations on your two entries in the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club.

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, August 10, 2017

Grumpy Enters the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club

Digging through the CDs in my truck, yes my truck still plays CDs, I found an old homemade CD with some Jimmy Buffet tunes. Those tunes passed the time with the miles and reminded me of some other times. Before I knew it I was at the exit and a bit early too. Ronnie was on time and after a couple quick stops we were headed down the ramp. The drifter was bobbing in the current when I returned from parking the truck. We got on the water at the time our plan dictated. Ronnie was in the front casting brace as we slid into the feeding lane, then did our best to trick a fish into a bad decision. It was slow at first. We discussed the current fishing situation with everyone and no one in particular. Then we caught the first fish. 
Ronnie had his plans for fishing and I had mine. After a short time, he came around to my way of thinking and we were moving downstream at a good pace. A short time later we had another fish and then another. We were onto something and bringing fish to the net with some consistency.  

A quick fly change and I cinched down the knot, or what I thought might have been some resemblance of a knot. Ronnie grabbed the Orvis Recon, wound up a cast, the line went right where he pointed the tip of the rod. The line, leader and tippet extended about 40' to his target...however, the fly came down about 2' in front of the boat. After a good laugh I retied the mid section, tippet, and a new fly just to be safe. All that was done with slight embarrassment. The laugh was on me and we sure had a good one. Retying the mid section, tippet and fly knots would come in handy later in the float.
We were dialed-in and catching a fair number of fish. We lost two large fish, but we soldiered-on. Then we came upon a bank where several good fish have been caught this year. There was one spot in particular I wanted Ronnie to hit. After seeing him make some really nice casts throughout the morning, this cast to this target seemed routine. The fly hit the water and settled. It was just a second or two when Ronnie came tight to the fish. He doesn't get too excited about too many fish, but his voice was a little higher when he said "this is a nice fish." Then it surfaced and my voice went a little higher too! The Orvis recon was in full bend down into the cork as I backed the drifter, Ronnie, and the fish into the middle of the river for some structure free water. This battle was going to fun to watch,

The fish kept pulling and digging and Ronnie kept just the right amount of pressure on the rod. All I could think about was the knot I tied earlier, while having the hope it was a good knot this time. The fish tested the rod, the fly line, the leader, the mid-section, the tippet and every knot in between throughout the fight. Ronnie did an excellent job keeping just the right amount of pressure. 

We were having good communication throughout the battle. Just as we discussed the possibility of one last run, the fish took off upstream.  The fish had its tail up and head down as Ronnie let little drag run a few feet of line off the reel. Then he turned the fish and after one trip around the front of the boat, the fish came to the net with one last acceleration.

Ronnie fought the fish like a pro, the knot held until the fish got into the net and then the fish spit the fly as soon as the net came over the gunnel. But, the fish was safely in the net and we had some fist bumps and handshakes to take care of. 

The bigger fish can be a little hard to handle. We were able to get a couple nice shots before we put the fish back in the net to revive. With some shaky hands we released the big brown back to the bottom of the river. It was a heckuva a fish and another great day on the F/V Southeastern Fly. Let's welcome Ronnie to the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club.

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, August 7, 2017

Keven Takes His Place in the 20 + Club

When we started this float it was overcast and sunny depending on where we looked. There was an 80% chance of  storms predicted for Middle Tennessee and before the float was over we would run the gamut of the Weather Guessers broad "forecast". 

With the falling water I really thought we had a chance at a big fish. Keven was of the same opinion and with both us thinking positive, we headed down river and into the approaching weather. Keven was fishing well and with a little bit of coaching he was soon using the techniques I had brushed-up on while in the West a few weeks back.

Keven was banging the banks and took a shot at a likely hold. Nothing. Although he came up empty he decided the spot looked too good for the fly to come back with a blank. It was the right decision. The next cast was right on the target and after a few short strips the fish hit. The brown didn't seem big but did begin to head-shake. Keven was able to make quick work of this fish and soon the fish was coming to the waiting net. We took some pictures, released the fish to catch again and completed a fist bump to seal the deal. 

The shadows were growing longer and the fog was getting thicker. Before we could make it to the ramp darkness had set in and we both had places to be the next morning. A few cranks of the winch and the boat was on the trailer. 

We were lucky to get on the tail-end of a good weather pattern and I think that helped. Picking the right spot and going back to give the fish a second look was really key to this entry in the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club. Nice work Keven.

Want your chance at some nice fish? Check out the full and half day floats. Another option is a Happy Hour Float. (no alcohol will be served, but these floats really give anglers a chance at quality fish). For those interested just call, text or email (see the info below).

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, July 29, 2017

Fly Fish Nashville

Wow July has passed by quickly. As we head into August, it looks to be shaping up to be a good month. Reflecting back on August of 2015 and August 2016 there are reminders of how many anglers caught good fish on the F/V Southeastern Fly in the month of August over the past few years.
There have been many days helping folks catch their first trout, while it has been great to help other anglers catch their largest trout. After a trip to Colorado and reading back through fishing reports from previous years, it is time to bring some summertime techniques back to the river. So far those techniques have been productive.
More bugs are hatching with the warmer weather and we are catching fish as those bugs move quickly into their different stages. Compared to other seasons of the year, it seems the next 45 days should be epic. 
Fish aren't the only ones eating on trips. Guide trip foods consist of round bars (donuts) for breakfast. The shore lunches are best served while sitting in a riffle or under the shade of a tree, riverside. The nutrient of the afternoon continues to be chocolate and the anglers as well as the guy in the rower's seat are both appreciative. Early morning and late afternoon half-day floats are created with snacks for anglers in mind and snacks for the fish too.
The Elk River and the Caney Fork are both fishing well for us right now. So if you are thinking about getting on the F/V Southeastern Fly, in my humble opinion the month of August will be a great time. Anglers could possibly catch their first fish or the fish of a lifetime. 
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, July 13, 2017

Howard is Back in the 20+ Club

Howard has been fishing with me for several years, probably many more than either of us would like to admit. There was an evening several years ago that we had a disagreement about a fish that should be in the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club. That fish was actually just about a 1/2" short or so. He caught it on a dry fly which is supposed to add length. But, well, it wasn't quite 20" so that fish didn't make it on the tape, so that fish didn't make it into the club. 

Fast forward to several more trips down Middle Tennessee rivers and more hours on the water, we returned to a stingy river. On this day there were some tight-lipped fish, at least for a while.

We got on the water early and began sight fishing. With super-clear water we were looking for our stealth but the fish were on to us more times than not. We tossed a lot of stuff and could not find our consistency.

We spent the morning staying just ahead of the traffic and playing defense with other watercraft when we came to the better holes, runs and shoals. We were seeing some friends along the way which was making for a nice day. We were on nymphs and fishing deep in a slow pool. With a blowdown coming on the outside of a slight bend, Howard was in a perfect position to get a clean presentation. He flipped the right mend and the fly settled into a slow drift. Then the fish ate and Howard came tight. The fish made a nice bend in the rod and the fight began. Watercraft began to stack up behind us as he stayed with the fish and I tried to keep the boat in the best position. There was a nice audience as Howard brought the nice bow to the net. It was good to see such a nice fish, especially with people watching.

We snapped a couple photos and taped the rainbow before reviving it, then released the fish to catch another day. This fish would make the club, but I still caught grief about that other fish, so many trips ago. After a slow day Howard put the icing on what little cake we were able to find. Good work Howard and I am looking forward to the next time we can get our schedules to line up!
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.