Sunday, September 14, 2014

Elton and David on the River

Elton has fished with us several times and on this trip he brought his son David, who definitely brought along the right hat. David also brought along a cool custom rod that was about a 3 weight and each fish he caught put a good bend in the rod while providing just the right amount of fight. Elton is a member of the 20+ Club and was looking to score his second appearance on that board.

Elton was into fish right away and got the skunk off the boat within the first few minutes of the trip. He added several fish to his count before David got dialed-in. But, David came back strong and before long the fish count began to swing toward his favor. We picked apart the upper part of the river catching fish in most of the usual places. We had two slams going early in the float as things settled in.
The late Summer changes are beginning. The browns and brookies are starting to get their color, with some of the fish changing at what appears to be a fast rate. Time will tell if that's the case...
There were several doubles on the day. The fish were cooperative and the guys settled in to the process of nymph fishing on the FV Southeastern Fly. The guys began "fishing", which means they began to look ahead at the next drift and plan their next moves. I watched them begin to think through their casts as well as how they would set up the next drift while working on their presentation. 
The late Summer colors of fish weren't the only colors we were seeing. The water has been stained this week but thankfully not chocolate milk. Some of this stain is coming out of the lake and some is coming from the feeder creeks in the upper stretches of the river. 

We caught fish on hoppers but they did not produce the same results as nymphs. The fog was on the water which has helped accelerate the top water strikes in the past however this day that wasn't the case.  We gave the the terrestrial a fair shot, then we all agreed the nymphs were doing what we wanted and the guys were quickly back on nymphs. As soon as the nymphs hit the water the rods were bent once again.  There were smiles all around on the drifter throughout the day.
The day began to wind down and soon we were sliding into the takeout. This was another trip and a nice day spent on the river with another father and son. The fish were hungry for our flies and that was icing on the cake. The guys did a nice job picking apart the river and before the day was over both had brought about the same number of fish to the net. As we move toward Fall the rivers in Middle Tennessee are providing a great venue for anglers to enjoy the outdoors and to spend time with friends and family.
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.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

James and John on the River

As they were trying to decide who would get the front casting brace in the drifter, John said to James "you take the front seat because you are getting ready for that tournament." That got my attention because there is one tournament that happens every year about this time and it is the Jackson Hole One Fly . That's when James confirmed my thoughts and said he wanted to work on some different techniques. We quickly came up with a list of options and then went to work. The regular readers of this report already know that one technique was the mend. We worked on a few other things as well.
John was hooked up first and brought the first brookie to the boat and then into the net. James wasn't far behind and picked up a nice rainbow. The skunk was off before we were 20' from the ramp. But we had a long way to go and only 3/4 of a day to get there. So with that we moved downstream. The guys casts were both good in slightly windy conditions. 
James was prepared for the day. He brought a close friend, a couple good rods, some flies and didn't forget premium cigars. When he offered us one I said I would smoke one if he brought a fish over 18" to the net. We were floating a particularly good stretch of river when a brown slammed James' fly. After a short fight James brought the brown to the net. John took a couple photos, we lit a fine cigar, the end...

OK, it wasn't the end. It wasn't the end at all. They had both caught good numbers on nymphs including a slam each. We moved both anglers to some top water offerings and decided to take our chances with bigger fish. We worked hard on top water action and soon found there were a fair number of fish looking up. John got dialed in on the new presentation real quick and caught some nice browns as well as a brightly colored rainbow. Both anglers were quick on the strike and had their slam on top too.

After John brought the nice rainbow to the net, while still enjoying his cigar, we fished a bit longer and then "made a move" to what has been some very productive water. John was quick to bring another fish to the net with a nice cast and an even better hook set.  Then we moved a bit further toward the ramp and into a piece of water that holds some of the biggest fish in the river... 
James tossed the fly in a small slot and it was only a few seconds before a fish came seemingly off the bank to kill the fly. James set the hook and began talking about how the fish didn't feel all that big. John and I both began to give him a "different perspective" on the size of this fish and fish in general. James played the fish perfectly on his Winston rod and the fish began the usual runs and twists while trying to rub the fly on the bottom. James got the head of the fish up and then into the net. 
Darkness began to set in and that darkness moved us toward the ramp. The oars dipped into the water as they pushed the drifter along. It was a little quiet as we all began to reflect on what was an outstanding day. There were a lot of things accomplished on this trip. One angler had his last "tune-up" before getting on a plane to head West and the other enjoyed a casual day learning more about fly fishing, even though he knows a lot more than he was letting on.  I was lucky enough to spend the day on the river with a couple cool anglers.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Music City Fly Fishing

It seems waking up hours before sunrise has been a way of life this Summer. We have been trying to adjust trips around generation schedules and other watercraft, while trying to get on the best fishing. We have been on every trout float, worth mentioning, in Middle Tennessee and as we move through terrestrial season the rivers are fishing good. I have seen a lot of fish caught and met some of the coolest people. For that I am a thankful and lucky guy.
This week we have worked with anglers at many different skill levels. One was getting dialed-in for a casual day on the river, while another angler is getting prepared to compete in the Jackson Hole One Fly Competition next week. It is has been a good week for all and the fish have been friendly to everyone. Their have been a lot smiling faces and bent fly rods on the "F/V Southeastern Fly". 
There are a fair number of hatchery brats at the usual stocking locations. We have also caught some really nice fish in those areas especially just before dark as we get to the different takeouts. Also, some anglers have caught fish as we are rowing off the ramp and trying to get to the first stop. That being said, sometimes a short walk to the water can also be a productive walk. Usually we have been starting with nymphs and this lets folks get used to our style of fishing.
 
Here is a tip. We all know a drag-free drift is critical when fishing most dries and nymphs. I have noticed there are a rash of floating lines that sink at the tip when they get dirty as the line spends more time being fished through the day. I must say there are a lot of good lines out there. However, none have been super-impressive over time.  Every angler has a different line and it seems all of them have the same problem. 
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So, it is a good idea to clean them before hitting the river. My friends are laughing out loud right now because I used to hate cleaning the lines. Because I hated cleaning them I hardly ever did. But my mind has been changed.  I went to Cumberland Transit and picked up a line cleaning kit, which is used with regularity to get the normal river scum of fishing off. Next time you're in the fly shop pick up some floatant. Just pick up your favorite floatant and as the day goes on apply the floatant to the last few feet of line to keep the line floating on top of the water. 
The Elk River- The Elk has been fishing well over the last few weeks. TVA released some water over the last week and flushed a bit of the excess growth from the river. The weekend is the best time to get on low water as TVA continues to sluice or spill 1,250 CFS on the weekdays. This flow isn't safe to wade and is down right scary on a float.  On low water though, the right nymphs will bring fish to the net. The fish are picky when they rise to a dry or even a big terrestrial. If you see a fish rising be careful with your setup, be careful with your fly choice and be extra careful with your cast. No really, be extremely careful with the cast and don't drop a bunch of line on the rise ring or the chance of catching that fish will diminish greatly or in most cases disappear. 
The Caney Fork- This river is getting plenty of use by other watercraft, but the fish still have to eat even if it is between "Flotillas".  There are a lot folks trying to squeeze in some time on the water before temperatures begin to fall. After the temps fall anglers will take to the river again and things will calm down a bit. Until then we will be up early to start early before the other watercraft launch and starting late to get off the river behind the other watercraft.. 

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, 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.