Sunday, May 2, 2010

Caney Fork Fly Fishing

Loading the Boat for the Trip

The morning started out with the usual routine of loading the boat, prepping lunch and large amounts of coffee. The moon was still up when I pushed the boat out of the garage and headed up to Silver Point to pick up Tom, who is an accomplished angler and Arthur, who has never fly fished. Tom came down from Massachusetts and Arthur came up from Mexico City, both were in for a family reunion. I knew the trip was going to be a good one when Tom went back to the cabin for a full box of cigars.

Blue Bird Skies & Clear Water

The weather was as good as it gets at the end of April and first of May. Temperatures in the low eighties with light breezes. The water temps were perfect for the many different species we were chasing. The plan was to use nymphs in the morning, while going for the trout and to sling streamers throughout the afternoon and go for the larger browns, white bass and hybrids.

Arthur With One of His First Trout & a Big Cigar

Arthur had never fished the fly rod, but by the time I returned from the shuttle he had gotten pretty good. We threw out the nymphs and went immediately to work catching rainbows and we also saw the return of a few brook trout. The brookies appeared to be recently stocked, however they were a welcomed edition to our species list for the day. Arthur was the first to pick up the brook trout with Tom following suit a little later in the day.

Arthur With a Bend in the Long Rod

A Return of the Brook Trout in the Caney Fork
Tom with a Walleye
During the short drive to the river Tom asked about walleye. I know a few places on the river where walleye hold from time to time, but these fish can be particularly tough on the fly. However later in the day Tom proved they are not impossible.

Some Days the Fish Just Swim Into the Net
Tom Shows Off One of the Many Rainbows of the Day
Shore Lunch, Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon & Baked Potatoes
Shore Lunch and Lunch Naps
While the shore lunch was cooking, I rigged the rods and the guys took a short nap to rest their arms and backs. The afternoon would consist of streamers on sinking lines. The sinking lines are deceiving easy to cast . They also give the angler more control when retrieving the fly, which is critical when fishing structure. Tom proved his casting ability when I asked him to hit a small rock, about the size of a grapefruit, that was on the edge of the water. He tossed the streamer toward the rock. We watched as the deer hair and marabou flew through the air and then bounced off the rock and into the water. Tom just grinned.
Those who Have Fished This Rod Know This is a Large Fish

The guys got into the white bass often. At one point in the day we all would get excited until we figured out the fish on the line was another bass of the same size as the bass before. Then we would get the fish as quickly as possible and released. After that we would move a few more boat lengths down the river and try again. Then, the Echo rod stopped and bent double. At first we thought we may have the largest brown of the year, when we looked deep into the pool and saw the fish make a huge turn, then sprint back to the bottom. Finally we got a good look at a very big buffalo. Tom fought the fish for 15 minutes and that fish put the rod through it's paces. Several times this fish would come to the boat and then go under the boat and back to the bottom putting even more stress on the rod, the angler and the guide. The fish was too large for the net, so we beached the boat and took the fight to the bank. Finally we were able to get the fish off the fly.

The Drifter Taking a Break
The Tail Appears to Show Evidence of Spawn

One of the Many Rainbows of the Day

Smiles All Around
So, the day began to wind down. The fish were happy and the anglers were happy. Arthur had many good stories of his country and the fishing he has done while visiting the states. Tom, who apparently fishes more than even I do, especially during the summer, added stories of striper in Boston Harbor before going into work in the mornings. The talk of fishing passed the time and the fish added to the excitement level. It was a pleasure to see an angler catch his first fish on the fly rod and to see a veteran angler smile on every fish. Tom and Arthur I am already looking forward to next years trip.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you had a good time on the river. Looks like it will be the last time fishing low flows for awhile unfortunately...