Friday, March 23, 2018

Is It Too Early For Middle TN Smallies?

 ...the answer to that question is, nope. They are starting to emerge from the deeper holes, and deep runs and, wherever else they stay throughout the winter months. They are out but not in full-force, not yet anyway. 
With the tailwaters still flowing heavy, we have been on the warmwater streams looking for musky and finding some. And we've been hunting for smallmouth when we get board with the toothy critters. Just about the time angler's think nothing is going to happen, the action will start.
What are they eating? Well that's the question we ask ourselves each and every day. Rest assured the fish are eating everything but dry flies. The smallies are certainly going for slowly fished streamers and large-drifted nymphs. They have been hanging in the best looking trout water these Middle TN. warmwater streams can give us. If it looks like a place a trout would be holding, we have been pulling out smallies, because there aren't any trout in these rivers. It's strangely familiar fishing that will yield some surprising results for some anglers.

Open dates are filling up quickly. So if you are ready to book a trip, then now is a good time to get your name on the calendar. If you haven't been out because of all the water and just need a little info, we don't mind helping with that either. 
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, February 8, 2018

Brent is Back in the 20 + Club

This was supposed to be a somewhat lazy float. The generation was supposed to push us along and the oars would provide course corrections and only when needed. It was cold when we started. The first grip of the oars and two pulls later sent me digging for some gloves. It was cold. The anchor rope? Frozen to lowest portion of the floor. Not just stuck to the ice, the ice encased the rope by a good inch. It was cold and lazy wasn't going to keep me warm.
The eagle at the ramp looked overweight. It was "all puffed-up". Apparently eagles do this when the weather is cold. There were a few more boats launching at the ramp and we brought some fish to the net.  We would like to think we were giving the other anglers hope and inspiration as they pushed their boats off the trailer. But, the fish we were catching weren't big and probably didn't inspire anyone except us.

This was supposed to be lazy, but unlike the birds I couldn't puff up my feathers, working the oars would be the next best thing. This day was supposed to warm-up quickly. Warm-up is a relative term and "warm-up" can be cold in the winter. 

Brent was tossing streamers. We settled on a size and color. Both were the same size and color that were on the rods on the last float. No sense changing what has been working. The water was pushing and the speed of the drifter was critical. Not too fast so as to pass by every fish before it could make a decision. But, not too slow that the anglers have to overwork the fly. 

Brent's streamer was landing in all the best places and we had missed a just few fish. But, the next cast, we always hope the big one will come on the next cast.This time it was the next cast and the streamer was inhaled by a big fish. With the current passing by, I back-rowed to keep the fish downstream. Brent kept the fish in front of him and brought it to the net pretty quick. We guessed at the measurement and then put against the tape. It was just over 20" and once again Brent was in the 20+ Club. 
We continued the float and were ready to anchor on a likely shoal. Just as the anchor came to rest on the bottom, Brent began working the fly and hooked up again. This fish was close to the same size as the last brown. So I pulled the anchor rope, which was now thawing in the sun. The anchor came up to the anchor arm and hit with a thud. This fish needed to come to the net quickly, so we didn't pass the rest of this shoal. The drifter was headed for the bank and into slack water, inch by inch, while Brent kept the fish under control. The fish came to the net but not without a good fight in the swift current. This fish was another nice brown, but a little shorter than the last. We took some photos and put the fish back in the Brodin. The fish revived quickly and was soon back in the clear water. We watched as it ghost'd to the bottom and then completely out of sight.  The next several miles brought more fish, but nothing like the last two. Each fish brought a smile though and they all interrupted our lazy float.
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, February 4, 2018

Ben Comes Back With a New Goal

Last year Ben made time in his schedule to fish aboard the F/V Southeastern Fly. The fishing was good last year and Ben caught his largest brown trout. When we headed off to launch the drifter, Ben announced he wanted to catch an even larger brown this trip. That puts pressure on the man sitting in the rower's bench but at least we had a goal and knew the target.
The day prior I was also on the river and couldn't buy a nice brown trout, certainly not a brown trout bigger than the brown Ben brought to the net last year. I promptly told Ben the same. Ben did not make a quick reply and right then I knew he was serious. 

We launched the boat. Ben was fishing pretty good on this day. I was ask him to "put it right there" and he would. OK that's part of the fishing game and we scored early. Then we started scoring often and we were onto something. That something was brightening our day and bringing smiles to our faces.

"Toss it right there" would be heard throughout the day. "There's one" followed many times. Then, it happened. "Toss it right there" and then "it's a big one". Soon we were bringing the fish into deeper water without structure. Ben would be able to fight this fish without interference. Keeping the rod tip up with a good bend in the mid-section was the plan and Ben was doing a fine job. Soon Ben got the head up and the net was slid under the brown.

Ben said "This one should get me in the 20+ Club". So we measured it. The fish was close to 20", but try as we might this one was 1/4" short. I explained it was 1/4" short and Ben understood. We revived the fish. It didn't take long before the fish was kicking around inside the net. The hoop was lowered and the fish left us with some big smiles. This fish was close but not quite 20", but it was Ben's largest brown... so far.
 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, January 23, 2018

Brooke and Greg Back in the Casting Braces

Fly fishing has been bringing Greg, Brooke and me together for several years. Brooke was on the first trip with Greg and the father-daughter duo have caught many-a-fish from the casting braces of the F/V Southeastern Fly. This trip would be a little different.

This trip would be different because we would be tossing streamers vs. the normal nymph rigs. This trip would provide Brooke with a chance to catch her first brook trout. We backed away from the ramp and with a few quick minutes of instruction, Brooke wound-up the streamer rod with sinking line and tossed the streamer. She strip a few times and the rod shook, then showed a nice bend. Brooke brought her first brook trout to the net. One cast - one fish. The next three casts brought two more fish. It was her first chance to fly fish with heavy sinking lines....and streamers, she is a natural. Greg was catching from the rear of the boat, but I think he was more pleased with Brooke's results than his own.
We passed several other boats and most were having a good day. It wasn't long before we settled into a groove, actually Brooke was in a groove. We stopped at several of the usual hot-spots with good results. We spoke with a few of the other anglers on the river and then stopped in a place that I like. 

Brooke made a cast. One strip of the line. Two strips of the line. A few more and the fly rod bent. It was a big fish and it didn't show itself right away. A short time later the fish rolled toward the top and instantly we were all in motion. Brooke was doing what she could to keep the fish on the line. The fish was keeping pressure and the rod tip was going to the water. Brooke was taking instruction as best she could and there were a lot of things happening at once. The fish was doing everything it could to shake free. The alligator rolls just under the surface of the water were almost frightening. Brooke gave line and took line. The fish was taking line and giving it too. Brooke was going toe to toe. Finally we worked our way to the bank. Brooke was trying to lift but the fish was frankly just too heavy and the 6 weight just didn't have quite enough lifting power to assist her in getting the fish to the top. Once out of the boat the net was waiting. Brooke turned the head of the fish and then it came to the net. Boom, that just happened. She had the shakes pretty-good when it was time for the pictures. I was out of breath and Greg had a permanent smile. We took the necessary photos and the fish went back into the net and the net went in the water for an old fashioned revival. Measurements were taken for a possible fiberglass mount. We released the fish back into the the hole it was "fished out of" and just like that Brooke's day was made! 

Brooke is the first 20+ Club entry in 2018. Also, she completed the first father -daughter duo in the 20+ Club. Brooke also "checked the box" as the youngest member of the 20+ Club. Nice work girl!
We spent the remainder of the day recounting the events of Brooke's fish, catching some more fish, mostly smaller, and generally enjoying another day on the river. Greg hooked up with several fish from the rear casting brace. We tossed streamers most of the day and most of the day those streamers were productive. 

When the day was done and the drifter was loaded on the trailer, we left the river gravel bar with smiling faces. It was another good day aboard the F/V Southeastern Fly. Brooke and Greg are a true pleasure to have on the boat. I don't want to say the fishing was a bonus, because in reality the fishing is what brings us together. 

 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, December 17, 2017

Steven and Austin and Another 20+ Club Entry

This trip seemed to take place a long time back, but it is difficult to forget such a good day. After we found a date that would work, Steven and Austin were at the satellite office of Southeastern Fly (the boat ramp parking lot) at the appointed time. We were on the water early and the guys were working their bugs in the likely spots. Steven, who was getting ready to move North, was enjoying one of his last days in Middle TN under blue skies and heat. Heat was an understatement. As I am just writing this report, I can only imagine Steven is cold up north, but hopefully looking back on this day with warm memories.
Throughout most of the morning Steven was picking up the fish. The numbers weren't coming to him with ease but they were coming more in his direction. Austin was sitting in the back of the boat with a few hits and some fish missed. But, he kept his focus and continued to let us know he was really just waiting on just the right fish. It was getting late in the float. 
The sun broke into full blaze and the F/V Southeastern Fly continued down the river. Steven brought a brookie to the net and then Austin made his way to the front brace. We were getting into some traffic and our solitude was soon overtaken by others. Austin stepped up to the front brace and we began drifting through likely water.

Then after a few moments of silence Austin wound up the came tight on the rod and the Orvis Recon showed us a good bend. The fight was classic brown trout. Always pulling. Always digging. Austin kept the rod tip at the perfect angle and worked the fish off the bottom. Finally the fish entered the final stages of the fight. With a lift on the butt-section  of the rod the head of the fish broke the surface and it came into the net. With that fish Austin entered the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club

So, Steven caught the most fish of the day. Let's just say he sure didn't miss many and did a real nice job bringing them to the net. Austin, true to his word, really did appear to be waiting on just the right 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.

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.