This weekend I had the pleasure of floating with Diane & Ron M of Canton GA. Diane is a very good fisher person and does environmental stream restoration in Georgia. Ron is the President of the Cohutta Chapter of TU and a very good fisherman himself. Diane and Ron were celebrating their 38th wedding anniversary on the Elk River.
While we did the shuttle Diane caught several fish from the gravel bar. We launched the drifter from below the Highway 50 bridge just after 8:00 a.m. and were soon into fish as we passed the wading fishermen. Diane and Ron got their first double before we made it to the Bend Pool. Then another, and another and another. The fish were keyed into nymphs early and before the day was out Diane and Ron had at least ten (10) doubles in the net.
We fished mostly nymphs and caught mostly rainbows, however the browns were out as well. We caught average sized browns most of the day, with the biggest coming just past the 2 mile mark. Later in the morning we were caught by a heavy downpour that hung over us long enough to put an inch of water in the boat while we scrambled for the rain jackets. I am not sure if I have had more than three trips on the Elk that we did not see some rain.
We stopped at the usual lunch spot for chops, baked potato and salad, then were were back in the boat and looking for those larger fish. After a brief stop for someone shooting a 22 rifle we headed downriver toward the second set of watercress fields.
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Before the trip Ron, Diane and I discussed how the upper portion of the river had been fishing well, but the middle and lower sections have been slow. This float was no exception, however it was a little better than previous trips. There appear to be two reasons these sections are fishing this way: 1) run-off from the watercress muddied the river somewhat and 2) catch and release is not practiced on this river, for the most part. There are still good fish in these sections as we had a nice fish-on toward the end of the float, but the river could use a good winter to give the larger fish time to beef up.
We pulled into the ramp at Farris Creek with over 50 fish in the boat. The crowds were for the most part non-existent once we rounded the corner at the Bend Pool. This trip was about Solitude, something we don't often experience on Middle TN's tailwaters.
Diane and Ron congratulations on your 38th wedding anniversary! It was a pleasure to spend the day with you both. Diane I am looking forward to the float on the Caney Fork in September!
Caught & Released
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