Sunday, May 24, 2015

Tennessee Trout Fishing

Fishing has been good for several weeks. Fish are looking up a little more and parachute patterns have been the ticket if you find fish feeding. Nymphs are still bringing the numbers and size to the net. We have been getting  Alain came aboard the drifter the other day and we fished the entire float on nymphs without a pattern change. He had a big number day.
As soon as we found a break in traffic the fish started eating his fly. Alain dialed-in on a low flow with a slow drift and the fish couldn't stay away. Cast, mend, set, bring'em to the net. The fish were happy and at times the catch rate was very nice at times. Alain has been on the F/V Southeastern Fly several times so he knows the routine.
The trough truss bridge for the railroad was built in 1907. The railroad still runs trains over the bridge and along the river, although probably not as often as in the early 1900's. There are a couple holes around the pylon that sometimes will hold a fish, but the better holes are away from the pylon on most days.

Never know what you are going to see along the river
The low water presents its own challenges. With more anglers on the river right now getting a god spot can be difficult. Getting on the floats at the right time require a little flexibility. Slowing down and speeding up to be in the right position at the right time is a premium. Being ready to cast at the right time, line management and the right mend brings the catch rates up. 
We are booking into June now with a few dates on the schedule for July. Both rivers are producing and we are starting early on most dates and going late when the generation dictates. We will be moving into some better hatches in the next month or so.
To see the latest fishing report click here and for more booking information see our Homepage.  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.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Bill and B.T. Make It Back to the River

 A day on the river starts with getting those last minute details together, grab some breakfast, and don't forget to feed the dogs. The dogs do their part by laying right in the way while giving their best "don't forget to feed me look". But, after a while everything seems to fall in place and the rig is on the way to the river.
On this day Bill and B.T. joined me. They were on the boat last Fall and had a nice day fishing nymphs and terrestrials. This trip we were on all nymphs. There were a few dry fly opportunities early in the float, but to be honest once we shoved off the action started and didn't slow long enough to warrant a change. 
Bill struck the first fish and began moving the fish count. B.T. came on and got himself on the quality catches. It was all smiles on the F/V Southeastern Fly with good fishing and good conversation. We moved toward water where the fish are a little bigger and getting them to the net takes a bit longer. B.T. kept his quality streak alive with the best brown of the day.
It wouldn't be too long before the rains came and we would have to stow the cameras and other valuables. The catching continued as the showers cranked up and then slacked off. We came to another high-value area. The water flows across a long shoal, then drops off into a nice pool. We set Bill up to place his nymph onto the drop-off where the fish were supposed to be feeding. Bill put the fly in the zone and as the drop-off began to slope, Bill's nymph began its lonely fall. The fish took the fly as the fly bottomed out on the tippet and Bill set the hook. After a couple hard but short runs the fish turned and made a charge toward Bill. Bill thought for a moment the fish was off, but after some convincing he kept the fight and moved the fish toward better water. The fish didn't give up until the very end and Bill slid the fish into the net.
B.T. wasn't about to be outdone. We were on what was to be the last leg of the trip and the storms were just over the hill. B.T. dropped his fly into a particular fishy-looking part of the river. The fish took his nymph and made several blistering runs. He stayed in front of the fish as the fish made laps around the boat. B.T. used the skills he had been working on throughout the day and got the fish coming his way. One last run, then another. B.T. brought the head up and we moved the fish into the net.

It wasn't long after that we were fishing "the Unknown Shoal" where faster water moves across the gravel and small pockets. We kept banging the nymphs across that shoal and eventually into slightly deeper water. The fish were there waiting to ambush food coming off the shoal and B.T.'s nymph blended in with the other food. The situation, the fight and the techniques were a mirror image of the last rainbow B.T. caught. After several laps around and then under the boat, the rainbow was ready to come to the net. 
The final hard rain of the float came and with a good number of fish brought to the net we eventually called the day. Bill and B.T. did a very nice job on the river. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves including the guy on the sticks. We loaded up and said our goodbyes, then headed back home. When I got home and began unloading the boat the dogs were doing their part by laying right in the way while giving their best "don't forget to feed me look".  This one was counted as another good day. Bill I am looking forward to seeing you in August.
To see the latest fishing report click here and for more booking information see our Homepage.  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.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fly Fish Middle Tennessee

Spring is in full swing right now here in Middle Tennessee and fishing has been very good for us. I just sent for a few dozen dries to help us through the upcoming months. Tippet is stocked and the rods have been strung. We are ready for both rivers and some others yet to be named.
We were on the water for our open date last week and found the fish to be very friendly. Other than having a sore lip after we passed by they were fat and happy. Nymphs once again were the hot fly. Any amount of drag in the clear water and they would watch the bug pass by without a second glance.  But, get that drag-free drift and angler's could call almost every shot in the high-value water.
Dry/dropper rigs were also working. The shallow water with a slightly quicker flow is a good place to toss this rig and believe it or not the rig would also work in zero flow water. With fish holding in the likely places the choice of rig is a little easier. The fish haven't keyed in totally on the dry but they are beginning to look upward.
Some anglers want to learn to tie their own knots while on a trip and we make that part of our program when it is requested. Knots are not that tough to tie if anglers practice tying and take their time when they are on the river. Remember every knot has potential to break or slip. So all knots should be checked and even then some still may have a problem. Over the next few weeks I will try to include some resources to help anglers learn to tie knots from the comfort of their own living room. All you need is some fishing line (a cheap roll of 10 lb will do jut fine), some patience, and a few websites. 

Surgeon's Knot- With that brand new leader attached to the fly line it's time to add a couple feet of tippet. Those rolls of tippet aren't cheap so a faulty knot can be more than just an aggravation. Here is an animation that will make tying this knot easy even in low light. Just tie it about 50 - 75 times while watching TV, a good fly fishing show is preferred, and you will be a master when the time comes to add a couple feet of tippet on the river.
To see the latest fishing report click here and for more booking information see our Homepage.  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.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Music City Fly Fishing

Normally radios, iPods, iPads, phones and other distractions are tucked away in the rowers seat when we are fishing. They are a distraction and don't help mending, casting or even setting the hook. The other day Brent and I were the only boat fishing a particular stretch of water and he brought out his phone and turned it to WSM. That's an old country station in Music City that has been playing "real country" for as long as I can remember.
The Caney Fork- For anglers on the right water level and the right stretch of the river, the fishing is Hotter Than a Two Dollar Pistol. We are getting a little action on dries, but the nymph continues to beat dries, midges, and streamers. For those fishing wet flies the fish are picking them up in the faster water while those wet flies are Just a Swingin.  
The rainbows are out and about. For some reason we have been picking up just a few browns, but that action is expected to pick up soon.  I swear the carp and buffalo are taking over. They are everywhere especially in the slower sections of the river. Those things are alerting every other species in the river with their skittishness. Just the wrong move with a mend, cast or even the wrong dip of the oar and they are gone like White Lightning along with the chances of bringing another fish to the net in that area..
If you get on the water at the wrong time the watercraft will make you feel like you are joining a Convoy. The recreational traffic will be picking up after Memorial Day and we will start earlier or later to miss All My Rowdy Friends
Like I said before the nymphs are working and not just from 9 to 5 either, it's pretty much all day. The main thing to remember is to adjust the depth as you move from section to section. Nymphs are the ticket but don't go fishing for a day thinking any ole nymph will do and the fish will be sitting at any ole depth. A little work will be in order to learn where the fish are eating. If you want to learn the water quicker just let us know. Dates are filling fast and if you are waiting for the right time, well the time is good. For those thinking they will wait, well there's a chance, Your Gonna Miss This...
To see the latest fishing report click here and for more booking information see our Homepage.  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.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

An Open Date Available

The rivers are fishing very good right now. If you have been waiting for the right time to book your trip, that time would be now. We have an open date on Saturday for anyone wanting to get on the water. Just give me a call, text or send an email.
To see the latest fishing report click here and for more booking information see our Homepage.  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, May 4, 2015

Middle TN Casting For Recovery

"The mission of Casting for Recovery is to enhance the quality of life of women with breast cancer through a unique program that combines breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing. The retreats offer opportunities for women to find inspiration, discover renewed energy for life and experience healing connections with other women and nature. Casting for Recovery’s retreats are open to breast cancer survivors of all ages, in all stages of treatment and recovery, and are free to participants."  - From the Casting For Recovery website.
The ladies of from the Music City Fly Girls put on another outstanding Casting For Recovery event this year. This year they even let me guide for the event. My fishing partner for the day was Dakota, who said her goal was to catch "just one fish". Well I think we all know how that one goes. We started off swinging a small streamer. After a couple short strikes we decided to nymph-up that "one fish". 
We worked on the cast over the next several minutes. Then as everyone knows mending is where the rubber meets the road when nymphing. I have always said kids mend better than anyone. Well, that was until Sunday. I told Dakota one time "flip the line upstream" and she executed the perfect mend. Naturally I thought it was beginner's luck. Then over the next several hours she completed the perfect mend over and over. I couldn't have been more proud, even though I really didn't have much to do with her newly perfected mend. 
After several good drifts Dakota hooked-up with her first rainbow. After a decisive fight Dakota brought her first rainbow to hand. The Fly Girls took the appropriate photos and we released that rainbow.  Dakota immediately said the words we all like to hear..."Let's catch another one". She took the fly rod again and she began her ritual of cast, mend, float...point the rod tip at the water and follow the fly. 

We caught other fish, but one sticks out in my mind. It was the one fish that I was totally looking for a hawk that had been flying overhead for several minutes. Fortunately Dakota was paying attention and she did everything perfectly. Setting the hook, fighting the fish and bringing it to hand, Dakota did it all. Before the day was over Dakota had exceed one goal after another and when we were called for lunch we both left the river satisfied.   
If you have read down this far you've seen several other participants and guides. The participants stayed several nights at the retreat and built a sisterhood. There are many different fly fishing related activities, but there are also support activities. These events are about more than just catching fish that's for sure.
The guides are there because they want to be a part of something. The fact it is such an outstanding event makes it just a little easier to get going on the morning of the event. The guides I get a chance to work with for the event are some of the best folks in fly fishing. It is always a pleasure to work with the different guides who volunteer and this year we actually had more guides volunteer than we had participants. Middle Tennessee is home to a great group of fly fishing people who want to help out when needed. Thanks to all the guides who volunteered and let's do it again next year. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Trout Fishing Tennessee

The Elk River- For those who found a window to fish over the past week or so, it was a good idea to get on the river. The Elk is now flowing 2700 + CFS and fishing is tough. We are hoping for a break in the flow over the weekend days, but not really counting on it. None-the-less we have scheduled trips and hope most, if not all, will go ahead as planned.
The South Holston River: This week loaded the drifter and headed to Upper East TN. The SoHo was tough fishing for all boats on the river. We had a pretty good day and in spite of the long faces in other boats, we were lucky and fared pretty well. Day two was much tougher with our early start. Fish are hitting nymphs while TVA is running one generator. Try the regular nymphs and look hard for the different holes, because all the fish we caught were holding in pockets.
The Caney Fork River- There have been a few open hours on the weekend days. The water is an off-green color and the fish have to look hard for anything dead-drifted. Swinging soft hackles and stripping streamers can be productive. Look for fish holding in the usual places, but the usual tactics may not produce in the usual ways. With the break in the weather we are hoping the next month should give us more windows as the springtime floats get underway.
The Watauga River- We floated the Watauga on 2700 CFS the other day too. Now TVA has dialed back the release and it is at a perfect level for floating. The Caddis hatch is starting and the fish are starting to look up. Fish nymphs until they start hitting on top. then fish your favorite Caddis and Sulphur patterns. Streamers will get some action as long as they are dark in color.  Email us if you are looking for a guide and we can get you in touch with someone who can provide a nice day on the river.
To see the latest fishing report click here and for more booking information see our Homepage.  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.