Friday, April 17, 2015

Howard with His Grandson...From Nymphs to Dries

Howard has been aboard the drifter many times and has brought along other folks on occasion. Today he brought along his grandson and namesake Howard for some quality time. The younger Howard had fished with a fly rod before this trip, but still had a bit of a learning curve. We used some of the usual teaching methods and some bantering to get him into a groove. Although he was relatively new one the fly rod he made progress throughout the day.  Within the first 10 minutes he had missed a couple and brought fish to the net. This young man was getting some line out and getting a good mend. The fish were responding and we were making our way down the river. He was well past the rookie stage in quick manner.
Both anglers were hooking up and we had several doubles throughout the day. We hit some particularly productive waters and at one point the guys gave us the first triple of the year.   

The skies were clear and had been clear throughout the night before. The water was still stained from a previous rain, which made the fishing tough at times, but we would hit pockets of fish and could bring good numbers to the boat in short periods of time.

I had been talking to Howard about the new midges and how well they had been working. I should have just kept my lips sealed because we tried them for a short time and they produced a goose egg. That's the way it goes sometimes... It didn't take long for us to get back to the nymphs and back into fish.
We made a couple stops along the way and the guys fished a pretty good run on foot. The run gave them some good tugs and bent rods, while it tested their dead drift skills. The guys tested some flies with sharp hook sets and the fish tested their fighting abilities with fat lips.

The hours kept passing as did the miles. Soon we were starting to see a bug here and there. Big caddis, about size #12, were starting to show themselves, but I don't think any of us were ready for what we were about to see. 
We were about to float into one of the best caddis hatches of the year. This hatch rivals some of the best hatches either Howard or I have seen. The bugs were coming up the river in good numbers and were hanging around every branch that extended over the river. So we knotted up an Elk Hair Caddis,  which just happened to match in size and color. Howard made a couple casts then dropped the fly in front of a rising fish. The fly floated a short distance into the previous rise ring and then the fish rose to the fly. Howard set the hook... That hook set started the quest to catch more fish on the dry. We moved from rising fish to rising fish offering the dry while our junior Howard was bringing it home with the nymph. 

Our former rookie drifted his nymph through the last leg of the trip bringing in good numbers to too-off  the day and this pleased us all. So on this float a new angler was introduced to the river and another angler was able to get fish on his dry fly. Spending time with family on the water is quality time, definitely quality time.
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, April 11, 2015

John and Alex on the Drift Boat

We have been able to catch falling water as of late and the fishing has been pretty good. The numbers of fish has been nice and anglers have been busy for the most part. Nymphs are the best way to give the fish a fat lip, right now, but there are more and more bugs popping. With more bugs starting to show themselves we may have a chance for a little dry fly action in the near future, mostly in the evenings. 
So on falling water we slid the drifter out in the current with Alex in the front casting brace and John in the rear brace. We moved downstream with the current and soon the guys were working structure along the seams. Right on time the fish began to respond. Alex had the hot hand early and left John to fend for himself. Both the guys were sticking fish on a fairly regular basis.
It's early Spring and the wildlife is really out and about right now. We have seen the owls over the past several years but they have been far away. The picture above was taken on this trip and although it was a bit out of range for the lens, it did hang around until we passed. The fish seem to be enjoying the weather as well and jump to enjoy it every chance they get.

Alex kept sticking most every fish that swam by and John wasn't too far behind. But just before lunch John got on a roll and brought his count up enough to call it even. Father and son were having a good day with some lighthearted bantering thrown about to keep things interesting. 

During lunch the rods were loaded with new leader and tippet where needed. Since the river was fishing as good as it was the Tutto was also brought out of the box. We packed the drifter up and the guys got back in the braces. Alex, who remember was in the front, took the front again. His theory was if it ain't broke don't fix it worked for him. With the front brace taken John was again left to fend for himself. That's what Dad's do though...
The afternoon was a repeat of the morning portion of the float. Cast, mend, set the hook and bring the fish to the net. The Tutto brought some good fish to the net with "everything" on the Tutto tricking the fish, Alex was getting his share of takes. John, who remember was batting clean-up in the rear seat, wasn't letting the leftovers slip past. 
The fish are fat and happy right now. The guys didn't bring the absolute pig to the net, but they did slip some nice fish in there from time to time. The clouds came at the end of the day and we drifted into the gravel bar at the takeout under cloudy skies. Their day was finished. One last photo was snapped and the guys fun ticket was punched. This was a good day for all of us and next time maybe, just maybe John will get his shots from the front casting brace...
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, April 5, 2015

Fly Fishing Lynchburg Tennessee

It is Spring and things outside are beginning to come back to life. The fishing is making the transition from Winter to Spring easier and as the weeks roll along it is getting better, on most days anyway. The fish are beginning to look up which is making life in the rowers seat even more enjoyable. Not sure if the fish are biting? You don't know if you don't go.
The Elk River- The river has been fishing good as of late. The bottom of the river has that early Spring look. Most of the excess vegetation on the riverbed has been cleaned off but there is still enough to cover the right places. Look for the white rock on the riverbed. Float the nymph at the transition from the white rock to the gravel. The fish are laying along the gravel and they watch for food coming across the edges of the rock.
There has been some bug activity throughout the past week. The midges are there as usual throughout the day. The fish don't key into the midge activity on the top. They key in on the midges as they ascend to the top and eat them throughout the water column. We pick up fish eating the midges with nymphs fished deep. A soft hackle can get'em fished just under the surface in moving water while angler's wade. But, the nymph will usually get them more often than not.

The caddis hatch is where we have been having some action on top. The hatch has to be caught at just the right time, but like all good hatches a fish can be caught on the dry once they figure out what exactly is happening.  All the trout apparently do not recognize the hatch because with as many fish as there are in the river, there aren't a huge number of fish eating during even the biggest of hatches. That's OK we still get more activity even on nymphs during the hatches. 

To book a trip on the Elk just contact us using the information below. These floats are all day long so there are plenty of shots at fish. It is an excellent river to work on fly fishing techniques and this river has helped a good number of anglers get themselves ready for the Summer to come.
The Caney Fork River- It has been a difficult to get a good float the past few months. The generation has been non-stop with only short windows when the Corps had to make generator adjustments or to do some of the work inside the dam. The rest of the time it's been water, water and more water. But they are finally giving us a few hours of low water on the weekend days and we are taking advantage. 
The wildlife is out here and the beavers have been making their presence known. Remember these things are not tame so don't stumble into their presence without knowing where they are located. But this is a fishing report so here we go. There are still small minnow size shad coming through the generators and the gulls will let you know when the shad hatch is on. The water has been a little on the green side especially after the rains. Hopefully this stain will leave over the next few weeks. 
Both streamers and nymphs have brought us some action on the Caney. White streamers are the hot ticket and actually some olive will work as well while the water is stained. Nymphs fished along structure also will bring some fish to the net. We are fishing nymphs real close to structure and that's producing some action. Sight fishing isn't really happening right now with off-color water. But, we are fishing to the rise ring with every opportunity. Anglers have to place the fly just right, but this has been productive for us. There is a bit of luck involved but we have found a way to make it work when others have been leaving the river with long faces. Search for those rise rings and fish to them. 

Now we hope for less rain and certainly no big rain events in the coming weeks. The river will come around as the water clears and the fish can see our offerings a little more clearly. Persistence is the hot ticket right now. 

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, March 31, 2015

Brent and Matt Moving Nymphs

When Brent set up the trip for him and Matt, he said Matt had fly fished when he was younger. We agreed whatever assistance Matt needed on the trip we would be there to assist. The boat floated off the gravel bar on falling water the guys made their way into casting braces. Brent had been working on his double haul and it showed. Matt, who said he fly fished earlier in life, had mislead Brent and me. You see from the very first cast Matt was getting distance, had good mechanics and had obviously fly fished a lot more than he let on.
We floated a short time working the banks and while casting is a big part of fly fishing, the proper mend while nymphing catches the most fish. The guys quickly got it together and both were bringing fish from the banks to the net. We fell into a groove early in the float. Good conversation happens on most every trip and this one was no exception. Two friends catching up on the latest events of life is counted as a good day. Two friends catching up on the latest events of life and adding some fishing into the equation is an exceptional day. Catching up on the latest events of life while fishing and knowing the rest of your friends are working on that day is a huge bonus! 
The morning snacks included donuts and coffee. That helped the anglers and the guy in the middle seat through early hours of the float. At lunch the clouds were rolling in at a steady pace so we opted for a quick meal. While the guys ate their lunch I scouted out some water we would float through shortly. There were certainly some fish yet to come...
Soon we were floating and the fishing picked up. Depth was critical and falling water was dictating where the fish were sitting as the river fell through its different levels. We hit the right depths and fished the river according to the contour of the different shelves, shoals as well as other types of structure. The fish are always looking upstream for the next meal and if an angler can get that fly to move with all the other stuff floating under surface, the catch rate goes way up. The Brent and Matt were moving their flies at the right speed and we were getting some better fish here and there. 
The weather on this day was very similar to the weather from the last report. We started under sunny skies then the clouds rolled in, light rain began and then the closer we got to the ramp the harder the rains came. The guys kept fishing and didn't let the wet weather stop them from moving those flies through the different structures. The rain continued and when the front came through the fishing slowed. 
Even though the front was moving through and the numbers slowed a little, the quality was better. The fish that continued to eat were fat and happy, well they were fat anyway. Some looked like they had never missed a meal and some didn't miss their finned friends meals either. We ended the day on one last rainbow and although we didn't get a photo it was quite a nice one. The guys had their day of fishing in the books. They caught up on the latest events of life while they were fishing. They did it while knowing the rest of their friends were working on that day and that was a huge bonus! 
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, March 28, 2015

Gary and Ellis Warm-up for the West

Family fishing trips are some of the best trips. Gary brought his grandson Ellis on this trip to help him with his casting and naturally the catch-rate. I used to have to travel for hours to my grandparents and then we would add even more miles to get to Reelfoot Lake or Midway Arkansas, where we would spend days fishing. Ellis is lucky to have his grandparents real close, so a float for a day doesn't require a bus ride or time in the airport just to get there. Like I said he's a lucky guy. 

So, Gary's plan was to get Ellis into a casting, mending and hookset routine so their trips out West can be more productive on the fishing side. Ellis could cast pretty good before he got on the drifter, but we still found some things to work on. He's a polite young man and a good listener, so I didn't mind helping where I could and he didn't mind listening and learning.
While we waited for just the right time to push away from the gravel bar, Ellis began refining his cast. Gary and I stood outside the boat as Ellis began his work. At first he had the sidearm cast going, which when casting to the starboard side was going to cause some problems for the old guys in the middle and back seat of the drift boat. We worked to raise the cast more over the boat, so we didn't get hooked throughout the day. We talked our way through that exercise and tried several different techniques to stop the forearm from dropping. Finally we landed on the right words and Ellis began bringing the cast over the boat.
We shoved off on higher and stained water, but soon both Ellis and Gary were hooking fish on less than perfect conditions. We spent the day hooking fish and bringing them to the net. There were very few rises on the trip. This day gave me a chance to try a couple new midge patterns across a few of the better shoals. People who fly fish and tie their own flies are always tinkering with different patterns. The other day I heard about a type of Zebra midge that is tied with flash vs. wire. So I clamped some hooks in the vise and tied a few, then finished them off with some Clear Cure. The pattern worked well which means we will be fishing it under various floating things throughout the Spring. 
The guys brought their share and some other angler's share of fish to the net throughout the first part of the day. Ellis began picking his water. On one particularly good stretch of water Ellis spotted an old blowdown. He dropped the nymph just upstream and the fly tumbled past the structure. The indicator dipped, Ellis set the hook and played a pretty nice rainbow to the net. At that moment I think Gary and I both realized that Ellis "got it". 

As the afternoon changed to evening they continued casting, mending and then setting the hook. Only the weather changed. The weather went from cloudy to a light rain and then as we began our final push toward the ramp the light rain turned to an outright downpour. We stowed the rods and made our way to the gravel bar at the ramp. The drifter was drained of the rainwater and loaded on the trailer. And, now I think Ellis is all warmed-up for that trip out West while Gary has yet another reason to go to 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.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Tim on the River

This week has been a week of birthdays. Angler's have been coming to fish with me on their birthdays and it has been a lot of fun. The water release wasn't the best but Tim and I hit the river for a half day float.
We warmed up Tim's casting arm and made our way upstream. Tim worked on pushing the rod with the thumb and he really turned his casting around with that and a few other techniques. Naturally we worked on the mend after he gained some distance.
Well, all Tim's work must have paid off because the fish began to respond. When Tim would get a good cast and throw in a good mend he would get a nice tug. The fish weren't just falling for anything, but they were eating our flies. Other boats were struggling to boat fish and Tim was catching on a regular basis.
Tim was casting well, mending well and setting the hook became more easy with each fish. You know it has been a good day when there are no flies lost, but several used up beyond recognition.  After a good run for the afternoon we said "one more fish" and a short time later we were netting the fish and heading to the ramp. Tim it was another good day on the river. Thanks again.
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, March 11, 2015

Fly Fishing Middle Tennessee Tailwaters

Snow or should we say ice has limited our trips to the river. Ramps were iced over throughout the week and high generation limited our choices for rivers.  The latest round of ice and snow is the way Winter has said "no spring for you" (think the Soup Nazi episode). Yep other areas of the country are enjoying their nice weather and we were marred in ice and snow. Speaking of snow, the snow was just a bonus and as is common around here it has been melting since the day after it fell. The forecast is calling for even more rain so there will be no more snow at least that's what the weather guessers have said anyway.
We would like to say the stain in the water is "run-off", but really it rained like crazy just before the cold front hit and it is probably just stain from the rain. Before anyone out West gets all worked up about having more runoff and we don't know what runoff is, well you're right and we want to keep it that way.  The fish are still in the rivers and although they are probably a little chilly they are still eating. The full moon probably allowed them to eat around the clock this week. It appears the extra night light made fish a little more picky.
Things Can Change: Tim's Ford was predicting 0 generators today. According to the Observed data there were two releases of big water. It could have been released down the spillway or through the generator. Either way be careful while fishing below dams especially right now. There is a lot of water being held back and a lot being released at times and the schedule doesn't always tell the entire story.
The Caney Fork River: There has been a whole lot of water around the Caney and more is expected. Two generators around the clock is the story here for several days and then the Army Corps opened a couple sluice gates with all the generators. Even we are staying away. The overhanging trees are now in the way of a boat floating too close to the bank. In my humble opinion stay off the Caney until the releases are more back to a normal state. 
The Elk River: It is fishing pretty good for us right now. We've brought some good fish to the net and the numbers have been good especially considering the time of year. The holdovers seem to be doing well and are eating the usual offerings. The stocking points aren't really the place to fish at the moment. Anglers don't necessarily have to walk far to start picking up fish. If you aren't sure if the fish are biting, well you don't know if you don't go.
Middle TN bugs: The bugs are hatching on sunny days. As usual there are some midges hatching here and there. Floating along we've seen several sporadic midge hatches on every trip. There have been a few caddis coming off here and there as well. The midge hatches have produced some rises. Actually the fish are taking the midges just before they break through the surface film. The caddis are not consistent enough to get and keep the attention of the fish, but we have seen a slight increase in catch rates when the bugs are popping.

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.