Sunday, April 24, 2016

Ryan, Adam and Skane Get on the River.

Ryan and Adam came to Tennessee to attend an early Ford Bronco show. After spending a couple days at the show the next move on their swing through Tennessee was to stop along the way and get aboard the drift boat. 
 They traveled from Michigan, where they experience some good fishing, but we would put some nice fish in the boat on higher water. Some of our high water experiences from early in the year would pay-off on this trip. So with the guys in their places and Skane patrolling the boat we shoved off and began to get the right stuff on the right rods. We were two minutes into the float and Adam had the first fish in the net. It wouldn't be long before Ryan got his first fish from the back of the boat...then another and another and another, and the bite was on.
The browns were out and playing early. The normal stocker browns were out but so were some nicer fish that put up a healthy fight for their size. The fins are looking good and some of the fish are getting a little more broad across their shoulders. With the off-color water we are hoping some will holdover and not fall prey to the stringers. 
Fishing wasn't all rainbows and unicorns on this day but the guys kept digging and the fish would come to the boat in all the usual places. Ryan was taking his shots from the back of the boat and after bringing up his catch-rate early in the float he set the hook on something that pulled right back. He fought the fish like a pro. The fish took us around the river a couple different times. But, the brown couldn't pull out a trick that Ryan didn't know. Finally the fish came to the net and we had "one happy boat". We took the appropriate shots and turned this one loose for someone (hopefully us) to catch again.
Adam was keeping himself busy in the front of the boat. The rainbows seemed to like Adam and his presentation. His reel began to scream shortly after Ryan's brown. Skane was there at every turn as Adam kept the fish in the upper part of the water column and away from the downed timber. The rainbow tried the usual rainbow tricks.  But with Skane standing by, just in case, Adam brought the rainbow quietly to the net. One nice rainbow and nice brown for the good guys! We missed some too but let's move along...
Spring appears to be here in Middle, Tennessee.The trees and flowers as well as the shrubs are blooming. The fishing continues to pick up and we are lucky enough to put anglers on some good fishing. Ryan and Adam it was a good day on the water and I have to say the day flew by. See you next time you come through Middle, Tennessee... and save some fish in Michigan for my next trip to the Great Lakes state.
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, April 17, 2016

Greg and Anthony Get Some Time on the Drifter

It's shaping up to be a good spring here on the tailwaters. The fish have been responding to the various flies and anglers have been bringing some pretty good fish to the net on most floats. Greg called and we set a date for himself and son Anthony to spend some time in the casting braces of the drift boat. The fish sure didn't disappoint... 
We started the day nymphing under indicators along with a dry-dropper combo. Both of the rigs caught fish and the nymphs won the day....again. The guys put in their time in the upper reaches of the river with good casts and technical presentations. The water is slow moving right now, so an almost perfect presentation is the best way to get some takers.
Anthony was fishing close to structure, within a few feet anyway, and threw a good mend in the line. When the fly settled and began a solid drift the fish apparently could not resist. The dry took dive and Anthony came tight on the fish. Anthony's hook set was nothing short of least to us anyway. The fish probably didn't have the same opinion, but when the hook found its mark that's when true fight began. Anthony played the fish well, getting in front of it most of the time. Finally the fish came to the top and Anthony slipped the fish into the waiting net. Anthony scored the best fish of the day on that cast and I'm not sure if Greg could have been happier.
Greg had watched his son catch that nice rainbow and wanted one of his own. Some time passed as we continued offering the flies of choice. Changing depth when the river dictated was important. The lower flows made that chore a little easier, but none the less critical at times. The drifter floated into a productive stretch. Over the past few floats we have been able pick up some better fish on this particular stretch. Greg set the hook from the back of the boat and the fish began dig. It wasn't a huge fish, but it had some staying power. Greg is a seasoned angler and he stayed with the rainbow. It wasn't long before he too had the head up and was slipping his rainbow into the net.
The guys were into double digits quickly on this float and continued to bank good numbers of fish in each stretch. The fishing was productive on nymphs and again being ready to adjust depth was just the second piece of the puzzle. So that's the fishing part... Another reason we were on the water is because being on the river with family is a good way to get quality time. This float was about father - son time. A little friendly family competition set the stage for turned into a really nice day on the river. Spring in the casting braces is a good way to forget about the problems of everyday life and just focus on the family and, naturally, the fishing.
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, April 7, 2016

Mary and Laura- Their Mom's Day Off

Two friends who met in grade school are moving through life on parallel tracks. This was their first day off after becoming first time moms...translation...they left the kids at home, which is not that easy They left the husbands at home, which is probably a lot easier than leaving the kids at home and they went on an adventure. What would they do on their day off? Well, fly fish of course. So thanks to clear skies and modern technology we met up, then began the float.
We started with some casting practice, a few mending tips that would come into play later in our float and for all our troubles there were a couple early fish in the net. Mary began by setting the hook on the first few fish. Laura was getting some serious distance with her casts and clean drifts, but her numbers would have to wait. 
The river was as off color as it has been all year, so the fly had to be placed right in the feeding they have needed to be placed all year. Laura and Mary were in a casting groove and when they dialed-in their presentation the fish responded. The fish were mostly in the usual places, but we were still having hot and cold spells in the results column. 
Laura was placing that dry-dropper in all the right places and the fish finally began to fire with moire consistency when everything was just right. Those first several fish were just a warm-up for what was to come. With Mary in the front brace and Laura in the rear brace we were beginning to show some better and better results. 

The drifter slipped into some likely water, where we've had some good fish over the past several floats.  Most of the better water in the section was occupied, by some bank-maggots of the likely suspects, so we held back and kept working the leftovers. Laura threw a good loop and the flies settled. The water rings grew and then disappeared. After couple mends and a long float, the top fly slipped quietly under the surface film. Laura set the hook and the fight was underway...
The rainbow made a couple trips up and down the length of the boat. Then the fish added some more of its rainbow tricks. We had seen most of those tricks before so Laura was ahead of the fish for most of the fight. A couple more short runs along with a few hard charges toward structure and finally the rainbow was wearing down. Some heckling from the front casting brace and rower's bench seemed to help too. Bringing the line to the last eye on the fly rod and then raising the rod tip, to slide the fish into the net, Laura landed that really nice rainbow. It was an epic fight at times and all that early work paid off in a big way. The usual suspects looked on in dismay...
A couple hero shots later and the oar blades were dipping just below the surface to began pushing water to the next stop. That next stop was jam-packed with slow and painful drifts. After dismal somewhat poor results the announcement came that it was time to move on to another likely spot. Mary had just thrown one of her best casts of the day and was getting all the presentation out of that cast that she could possibly get. In other words she wasn't giving up on that drift quite yet. Then it happened. Mary set the hook and felt a good pull back. This was a different type of fight and she realized it right away. The fish took us for a short ride around the middle of the river. Mary played the fish just right and with words of sarcasm encouragement from the rower's bench as well as the rear casting brace, Mary took the fish through its paces. Then just like that, Mary's first brown of the float was in her hands. 

Not too long after Mary brought that brown to the net, Laura would have a very similar experience,including "words of encouragement", with her best brown of the day. This day was getting "pic heavy". Now, I have to say the day wasn't all rainbows and unicorns but we sure were seeing a fair number of good fish coming to the big Brodin net. It seemed like there should be at least one more really nice fish coming our way. 
We spotted a feeding fish and everyone began to refocus. Mary was in the front brace and dropped her fly just a few feet above the feeding rainbow. The fish ate, Mary set the hook and the fight picked up speed immediately. Everything began to happen at warp speed with this fish. Mary temporarily lost her composure but gained it right back, she stood up straight and began to give the rainbow a few lessons in proper fish-fighting. This rainbow was similar to the other rainbow that took us for a ride. This fish was in skinny water so it wasn't hard to get to the bottom of the river and start going for the rocks. That's exactly what the fish did. Mary did an outstanding job with the fish and toward the end she had it on the reel for the final game of give-n-take. After that last bit of tricks from the fish we had the it in the net. Then it was time for a good pic and a recap of those most recent events.
So after they started the day with casting then mending, followed by hook sets and proper fish fighting, the ladies moved onto chocolate and good stories Those stories were of past, present and future. We were ahead of most boats and all of us headed to the final gravel bar. So how does a good day end? They had a short discussion and decided a double would be a good end to the day. Then they stepped up to the casting braces and in the final yards they checked the box on a double. That double would be their last cast of the day.

We stowed the rods and the oars began to dip just under the surface for one more series of strokes and those strokes would push us to the take out. The drifter carried us to the gravel bar just ahead of the rest of the fleet. Soon everyone at the gravel bar was comparing notes. There was no doubt these two friends who met in grade school are moving through life on parallel tracks and they shared an outstanding day on the river..
If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river e-mail or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water. For additional booking information see our Homepage and to see the latest fishing report click here.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Martha and Howard- Salvage a Good Day on the Water

Some big  storms were rolling through Middle Tennessee the evening before our float. Those same storms continued into the night and into the early morning hours. Just under 4" of rain fell and when the trip to the river was slowed for downed trees and muddy highways it was obvious, even to the most optimistic angler, we would need a new plan. Howard and his granddaughter Martha arrived short time after I arrived at the ramp and we made our game plan for the day.

With a visible mud line moving into the upper reaches of the river we decided to travel in search of clear water. A short time later we were driving...while Martha one of us slept. And thus the adventure began.
It wasn't long before the shuttle was arranged and the rigs were changed for different water. Martha took a few warm-up casts and immediately proved Howard had worked with her, as he has with each grandchild he has brought on the boat. His pre-float work made an easier day for the guy in the rowers seat. They picked their casting braces and then we slipped away from the gravel to begin the float. 
We put the flies in the feeding lanes and the fish began to respond. The water clarity was about 2' so we were having moments of greatness and moments of just floating. Martha made herself comfortable and was still picking up fish. Howard was standing in the back brace but Martha's presentation seemed to be the way to least early in the float.
We fished dry-dropper rigs and at lunch time we found some feeding fish. Howard stepped up to the brace, stripped off some line, put the fly right at the edge of a drop-off and bang the fish ate. We both really enjoy seeing fish come up for the latest and greatest fly, this part of the day those fish didn't disappoint. Score one for the good guys.
The day went along with Martha picking up fish and Howard batting clean up from the rear brace. Traffic on the river was light and we were able to pick some good spots most of the day. With the late release of water we eventually we were chasing daylight to the ramp.
The day was coming to a close and we had a few more stops along the way with some more tricks up our sleeve. Howard was on the long rod and Martha at the net, we were finding fish and making some memories. 
After an early rise, driving through muddy roads, dodging downed trees and flooded areas we put some nice fish on the end of the line. The new game plan paid off this time. Usually a change of plans is just the beginning of a good adventure. It was a long day but good day and I am pretty sure "one of us" had a good nap on the drive back home
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, March 30, 2016

Caney Fork River Fishing Report

Well it has been busy the last few weeks. We have been on the Caney Fork and the Elk River so let's just talk about both in this report. The weather here in Middle Tennessee has been nice and the foliage is coming to life again. The seasons are changing and the fish are eating. What does that mean for us? Bent fly rods, screaming drags and happy anglers. We are booking well into April right now so people are starting to stir.
The Caney Fork River: The other day I was looking out across Center Hill Lake and level was low with a green tint to the water. My assumption is the rain has the lake off-color. The Caney Fork is about the same color as lake. The clarity is not so good but the fish are eating. 
The fish are eating but it isn't like catching 'em in a barrel.  The anglers who are fishing nymphs have to put that bug right in the feeding lanes, then hope the fish makes the right decision. Water depth is also something to consider. Drag the bottom and take a chance of spooking the fish when the hook is set on a stone, don't get the fly down deep enough and the fish may never see the bug and you never had a chance. Long story short, and repeating for the added affect...put the bug on their nose and hope they make the right decision.

The fish have been eating shad most of the Winter. On the high water the shad were coming through the dam at a good rate. A 20 degree dip in temperature would send another batch through the generators to the waiting fish and birds. That's a long way around the barn to say "fish white - white streamers". The fish continue to look for the most common color in nature.
The Elk River: After the reading the review of the Caney, a description of Tims Ford Lake and the report on color of Elk River could say about the same thing. The water clarity in the Elk is not great, but the fish seem to go a little father for a meal there right now. 
Dry- dropper is a good way to fish the Elk right now.  Just make sure that bottom bug is in the face of the fish. Someone asked the other day "are the fish still eating a #18 Zebra Midge?" I am not sure they ever turn off of that bug. Don't be afraid of digging around in the fly box and picking something different and larger. 

On the Elk it is best to pick a streamer more like the color of the water. The more off-color the water the more important to move to the darker side of the color wheel. Find a pattern and stick to it. Fish it. Change the color not the pattern, as long as you believe in the pattern.
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, March 26, 2016

Marc & Lawson Fish Through Spring Break

Fly fishing is about more than just waving a stick in the air and then catching a fish. Yes there is more to it than just that. Some of the additional things this pastime brings us are; lifelong friendships, relaxation, time to think, time to enjoy the outdoors and those are just a few.  So when Marc contacted me about floating and teaching his son Lawson how to catch fish on the fly rod, I knew this was going to be a good day on the water. It was going to be a good day on the water because Marc wanted his son to begin to understand a pastime that brings anglers so much enjoyment.
It wasn't hard to tell that Lawson was comfortable in a boat. After a short discussion I learned he has been bass fishing on the lake, with Marc, for some time. The good thing for Lawson was he already understood fishing. So we worked on casting and presentation for a while. Lawson began to get the cast, then the presentation of the nymph came. Soon the fish began to eat his fly. Then we worked on the hook set. After a miss here and there Lawson finally had his first fish on the fly. It was a nice fat rainbow. We were quick to take the appropriate shots of that "first" and then it was released to be hooked again.

A couple years ago Marc spent a nice Fall day on the drifter. On that day the drift had to be almost perfect each time the fly hit the water. We worked on presentation and Marc was rewarded with some nice fish. He kept those skills and was ready from his first cast. 

He brought a couple fish to the net early in this float and then settled in with a focus on the drift, which was super-slow on low water.  With the presentation where it should be, we focused on structure. Marc laid out a nice cast and began the slow drift past some rocks. Marc set the hook and this fish went to the bottom. 

Marc was well into the fight when I caught a quick glimpse of the big brown. He still wasn't convinced the fish was as big as I was thinking, but it wasn't long before he saw the size...and began to get the shakes. The fish did the usual tricks and Marc was prepared for each. To keep pressure on the hook, he kept good bend in the rod. When the fish made a run to the rocks, he kept a steady pull and turned the head back toward the boat. It was a long fight and with each passing minute we discussed things like side pressure, knot strength, and hooks wearing holes in the upper lip. Hooks wearing holes in the upper lip are a major reason angler's lose fish in the last 10% of the the fight.  But Marc kept his head in the game and soon had the head coming up. We scooped it into the net and it was his fish. 

This fish was a healthy one. We took two quick shots and then it was over. The only things left were chances to recall the story and an angler with still shaky hands. That cast, presentation, the nymph, those knots and skills in the fight earned Marc a spot in the 20+ Club. Nice work Marc! Looking forward to seeing you and Lawson again in the Summer.
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, March 17, 2016

Chris the Newest Member of the 20 + Club

Last year Chris came up to fish from the drifter and we had what most anglers would consider a pretty tough day. We finished the day in the dark with one last fish just before the ramp. We still had a good time while Chris was in the front casting brace. This day would end in a very similar way. One way to warm up is on schooling fish. We found a school of Skip Jack and Chris was bringing them in on a real regular basis. The trout weren't far from the skippies (yes, I am a big fan of the Skip Jack as well as the trout) and then we were trading one for another depending on the cast.
When we were prepping for drifter, for the float, the bugs were out in force. On this day during low water the fish were into subsurface bugs.  Hatches were starting to wake the fish up, although they weren't off the top they were hungry. A bent fly rod normally keeps an angler happy and with the early float action Chris was one happy angler.
So we ran through the arsenal of flies and at times the fish would just down. There were other times that we made the right decision on the bug, Chris would make a nice cast, put the right presentation with that cast and things would come together. 

Chris made a cast at the end of the day and as the bug came across the gravel bar he had a hit...actually it was a major hit. I knew it was something different because Chris stopped talking mid-sentence. He was fighting the fish and it began execute a series of jumps. Chris was cool but focused. I tried some of my best jokes just to see how he would respond, but the focus was there and he wasn't having any of the stand up routine while such a nice fish was on the line. 

After several minutes Chris got the head of the fish up and it came quietly to the waiting net. That fish put Chris in the 20+ Club and also the first angler in the 20+ Club for 2016. We had our ups and downs through out the day and this was the "up" we needed. After the quick photos the fish was placed in the net and revived, then let out to be caught on another day. A couple kicks of the tail and it disappeared into the off-colored water.
So the rainbows and browns responded to Chris and his presentations. The different species of fish, including a few bluegill, kept us busy at times while they were elusive at others. The weather was good, the flows were high and low, but overall good. It was nice to be out and it was nice to see Chris have a good time while standing in that front casting brace.
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.