Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fly Fish Nashville

It's summertime in Middle Tennessee and the heat is on. Some days it seems we need a potholder to open the car door. When the heat index is 105 degrees we head to the river...we head to the river other days too but the cool water sure feels nice on the hot days. Floating in the drift boat is possibly the best way to enjoy all the sights the rivers of Middle TN have to offer.
Watching the wildlife along the river bank is a good way to pass the time between takes, but don't look away for too long or the fish of a lifetime could be the one that got away. The Summer season brings out the wildlife along with the flying bugs and terrestrials. We've been spending our share of time on the river helping anglers catch fish, while also catching a few on the off days. If nothing crazy happens, the next couple months look to be some of the best fishing for the year. Anyone who is waiting to book a trip should think about making time over the next 60 days or so.
The fish are eating nymph patterns. fish your favorite pattern but they are a little on the picky side, especially it seems, if an angler isn't in a hi-value area around the 3:00 p.m. sun. Drifting across shoals in the late afternoon will give you some positive results and setting up the nymph at the right depth is critical. 
The trout of Middle Tennessee are looking upward. We've been getting nice fish on terrestrial patterns and the fish are eating bugs close to the bank. This has been the norm over the years so we've spent a lot of time throwing hoppers within a couple feet off the bank.  We aren't afraid to throw other terrestrial patterns either. Remember just because the a pattern is bushy and big doesn't always mean that's all the bigger fish are eating. Smaller terrestrials will also bring better fish to the top.
While the fish are taking terrestrials they also don't mind sipping down a dry fly. The takes are not quite as intense on the dry but it sure is fun to come tight on a fish that just got fooled by some hackle, feathers and dubbing. The best patterns seem to be parachute patterns of various sizes. I have my favorites as most folks do, so take your favorite pattern and drop it at the top of a rise-ring.
 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, August 23, 2014

Bill and Jason on the River

Bill and I have been trying to get a trip on the books for a while, but bad weather and high generation had made scheduling a trip tough. Finally the conditions were right and Bill traveled in from Alabama. On this trip Bill brought his son Jason who flew in from Northern California. We loaded up the drifter and began this float on cold clear water.
The weather was cloudy and storms were supposed to arrive on the river just as we were scheduled to finish the trip. With the looming weather in the area the fog came and went throughout the morning. The fog provided a little cover and Jason used it to his advantage. Jason was on fire and within just a few minutes he had a fish in the net.
A few casts later Jason brought a rainbow to the net and then on his next cast he brought his first brown boat-side. Jason's slam came very early in this trip and then he continued to put fish in the net with regularity. Jason was the numbers guy on this trip.
Bill quickly got up to speed on our type of mending. We discussed slow waters at length, since the water releases have been down, this was good time to learn the right mends.  It can be tough to stay with a slow drift for a long period of time, but the results can be outstanding. We were fishing waters that had been super-productive just 2 days before, but on this day there didn't seem to be a fish anywhere within casting distance. Slow water and slim-pickins was our story for about 30 minutes. With the heavy fog I couldn't see any rises in the long pool. Then a wind came and blew out the fog. At the end of the pool we could see some rise-rings.
Bill dropped the nymph in the top of a rise-ring and the fly settled. A fish ate. Bill was on the hookset quickly and when the fish felt the pressure it turned on the its to began a slow run. The fish had some real power but didn't make a blistering run. Instead the fish took power runs and rubbed the fly on the bottom at every chance. Bill kept the rod tip up and played the fish perfectly. During the fight the fog rolled back into the pool.
After several minutes we began the end of the fight and Bill got the head of the fish coming to the top of the water. Then he slipped the fish into the net and Bill had the largest trout for his personal record book. We took the hero shots while keeping the fish revived and released the fish back into the river to catch on another float. 
Storms began to build as the wind began blowing pockets of cold air onto the river. We brought out the foul weather gear as we entered the last section on the float. Jason was still catching fish and Bill was coming back around after catching that beast of a brown. Finally the wall of rain came and thunder struck over the ridge. The weather that had been looming all morning finally caught up with us. We reeled up the lines and stowed the rods. Then we began the run to the takeout ramp. After all the scheduling conflicts Bill and his son Jason got on the water together. Bill and Jason I am looking forward to April when hopefully we can get on the water and have another good day. And Bill, welcome to the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club.

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 17, 2014

Caney Fork River Fishing Report

Are you following Southeastern Fly on Twitter? If not there is usually something going on there that isn't seen here or on the Southeastern Fly Facebook page

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.