Monday, June 1, 2009

Fly Fishing the Caney Fork after the Big Spill

One of the Brown Trout We Caught
FW: Here is the fishing report

Anthony and I hit the water last week for a float on the Caney. The Army Corps was more favorable with the generation schedule after a long spill. The Army Corps was able to bring the water level of the lake down from the rains last month. The weather guessers also gave favorable predictions and brought their guessing percentage up with an accurate forecast. It was very warm with highs in the mid- to upper eighties.

Center Hill Dam Release Schedule

Date Time (Central) Generators

5/30/2009 midnight - 3am 0

3am - 6am 1

6am - 9am 0

9am - noon 1

noon - 3pm 0

3pm - 6pm 1

6pm - 9pm 0

9pm - midnight 1

The last time Anthony and I had been in the drifter was back in February with our schedules and all. But, we fell into a routine very early in the trip and went right to work boating browns and rainbows. The water was a little high to drift a nymph and midge, so we both pulled out the six weight rods, with sinking line, and went to work on the banks. We tried our usual color combos and as has been the norm lately we settled on purple and yellow streamers. White streamers for the most part did not produce as well for us, although traditional thinking seems to be leaning toward white after a long spill. We threw some other colors including orange, but we seemed to gravitate toward yellow more than any other color. We had a few fish on and some fish got off.

We Caught Several of These

The lost fish of the day came when we were anchored in a run. We had a couple small fish on and a few boated. The TWRA officers were on the shoal checking licenses and life jackets of the groups fishing around us. We hooked up a nice fish that demanded raising the anchor and chasing him down the run. We followed the fish for a short time before the fish used the current to its advantage and threw the hook. Fortunately for us there were several more fish waiting for us downstream and helped us shake the blues of missing a nice photo-op.

We Caught One of These

As usually is the case after a long period of high water there were several additional species in the river. To supplement our catch of browns and rainbows (the brookies were not out in force for us, but there is rumor on the river of a nice brookie caught on a nymph) the stripe bass were abundant. They proved to be holding in the slack water that more often than not had shade for added protection. Many times we could call the stripe before the cast when we came to slow water under a shady spot in the river.

We Caught a Bunch of These

Our stripe routine was good and a welcomed change between faster moving water where the brown and rainbows seemed to be hanging out. The browns were out in force and hot for protein. We picked up browns on most shoals and in the faster moving water. They were also hanging on the sides of the gravel bars and waiting to grab a meal that passed within their range. The rainbows were primarily on the shoals, as they usually seem to be, darting around and finding their food crossing over the shoals.

Caught Many of These

We hit the river hard for the morning portion of the float. Anthony did a good job working the oars. He paid particular attention to keeping the boat parallel with the bank when we were fishing the streamers. He kept us at the right distance to hit the bank, while we both concentrated on the gravel bars, shoals and holes as we picked our way down the river.

You Never Know What A River Will Produce After A Spill

Speaking of changes to the river… The bars are still in the same location for the most part. Some shoals extend a little farther and some of them start a little farther downstream (from a foot to maybe few feet downstream). The changes to the bottom do not appear to be that significant, but we will really know more about the bottom as we get into summer generation and longer periods of lower water. The early scouting report is promising.

So we rounded out the trip with a nice rainbow on a #12 BHPT and a largemouth bass that was holding off to the side at the end of a run. It was a mixed bag of fish, but a productive trip. Another plus was getting out on the river with a good friend after a long lay-off.

Anthony Works on his Hybrid Techniques

I have a standing invitation to fish with my father for crappie somewhere around Chattanooga. He has spent the last few years searching the out crappie and is finding success. I am looking forward to finding the time to get on his boat and have him guide me for some nice crappie.

The next two months may be the best two months of fly fishing yet on the Caney Fork and the Elk rivers. The nymph and midge fishing should be extremely good and the streamers is proving to work on the larger fish searching for protein. I am looking forward to a very productive summer of fly fishing in Middle Tennessee.

1 comment:

  1. wow wish i could have been there of course i would have out fished you ha and im a woman my own fly patterns have done well on the fork