Sunday afternoon I could not help myself and slipped off to the Elk. I waded, yep, I really did wade. I know that's hard for some to believe, but a good wading adventure never hurts and besides I can't remember the last time I waded in Middle TN. Anyway, I need to get back to the story. So, I decided to go through Shelbyville (pronounced- Shevil) and to the young girl, with the ponytail, who stops her car in the middle of the intersection, to talk on the cell phone, because she is obviously lost, in many ways....me and the other 10 vehicles that were also trying to get through the intersection, really hope you find where you were going...
Anyway, I made it through Shevil and onto Lynchburg without further incident. Then on Highway 50 I saw a deer run in front of a new white pick-up. I am not sure if the pick-up hit the deer or the deer hit the pick-up, but I am sure it was the deer's fault.
Then I got to the parking area at the Highway 50 bridge with a slight drizzle. On with the waders and rigged up the 5 weight. I picked the Orvis, Clearwater Flex Tip because it has a soft tip for throwing soft hackles, like the Bust-A-Brown and has a good enough backbone to handle a Wooley Bugger/bait (that should stir some people's emotions) or a couple nymphs. But, mainly I wanted to strip a Bust-A-Brown. I bought this rod after speaking with Leo at Cumberland Transit about a good back-up rod. After I bought it and let people use it I figured out the flex is just right for stripping soft hackles and as a bonus it helps to slow some folks cast.
When I walked down to the river, the river bottom reminded me of UT, because it was orange. It is that time of year on the Elk when the bottom turns this color. The good news? The smell that usually accompanies the orange bottom was not there. That was a win. The river water was stained from the creek that flows beside the parking lot, but I had driven for an hour so I was going to fish.
The first fly I tried was a BHPT, but after a few drifts without a strike the San Juan Worm/bait came out of the fly box. This fly/bait picked up several fish and then I moved downstream. About halfway down to the Bend Pool I stopped and fished the small pool below the first riffle. I picked up a couple there before I took my turn at the Bend Pool.
Fish were rising everywhere. Usually on a day like this, with overcast skies and lots of rising fish in the Bend Pool, it can be tough to hook up. The beginning was no different. The first thing I noticed was the pool had again moved downstream from where I remembered it last. The shoal is even longer than before. The SJW/bait worked well as did the Bust-A-Brown and Elk Hair Caddis.
I even went back to my Smoky Mountian roots and tied on a Haystack. This fly produced the most fish, although I have never fished the Haystack on the Elk. I fished until dark or should I say almost dark before I realized it was a pretty good walk back to the truck.
On the way back I snapped a couple different photos and met Ken, who was up from Alabama. It was a good evening on the Elk and I had the entire Bend Pool to myself, which is a rarity. Ken it was nice to meet you and hope to see you down there again.