Monday, October 3, 2011

Caney Fork Sluice

Disclaimer- This report is purely opinion and observation with some sarcasm. There is no scientific data or research attached to this and no I didn't stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night. If you disagree, please don't send me complaining emails, they wouldn't be read anyway. Take the next few minutes of reading for what is worth and work on mending, cause the fish are pretty dang picky right now.

A Close-Up View of the Sluice
For a few years now I have been watching the sluice and the effects of the sluice as it relates to the trout fishing on the Caney Fork River.  The river doesn't seem to fish as well during the periods the sluice + generation as it does with straight generation, after they have been turned off and the water is falling. However, it is my understanding the sluice is supposed to put dissolved oxygen (the kind of oxygen the fish breath) in the water at this time of the year. If the fish have plenty of oxygen, then why are the fish tight-lipped? 
I was on the river this week (report to follow) and I decided to do some research on the subject. So I went to the other side of the dam (actually I drove the truck because it seemed like a long swim). Yep all the way to the other side of the river, just to take a look around. Really, I did and the view of the water was a bit surprising. 
The Line Between Sluice Water and Generation Release Water
As can be seen in this photo there is a line between the sluice water and the generation release. The photo does not due justice to difference in water clarity. The water from the generation is clear, even with the release the clarity is several feet. The sluice release water is a milky-green, with a hint of dirt color. The water from the sluice is pulled from the bottom of the lake (or there about) and the generator is higher in the lake, thus making the generation release a completely different release from the sluice.  We could talk about the possible reasons for the difference in water clarity all day long, but, we won't because this is just food for thought and all that stuff. Besides there are flies to be tied and fish to be caught. So what's the bottom line?
The Line is Clearly Visible

The bottom line is the fish have always liked water that is clear better than they like greenish-dirty water.  But the fish still have to eat and they still will eat. Maybe we need to get the trout some fish goggles so they can see our flies. Another bit of info is the water temps an hour after generation is still 62 degrees. These temps are a bit on the warm side and reflect the late Summer/early Fall temperatures we usually witness.
Reports from up and down the river this week have been of slow fishing and tight lips. We have experienced the same. We have tried some different fly patterns, retrieves and twitches that have produced fish. We catch fish on every trip and have caught some nice fish on trips as well. The sluice will be over soon and life will return to normal (whatever that is).  Some anglers have called it a year and packed their fishing stuff until Spring. And, some, will keep waving the stick and trying different approaches to the age old puzzle of fly fishing.  I could say something cheesy right now and try to sound like some fly fishing writer or talk in a soft voice like those fly fishing shows on TV, but I won't. I'll just finish this report and go tie some more flies, because remember the fish are pretty pick right now.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this short ramble. The sluce line pics are eye opening. Yes, soon things will be back to normal. Winter is always best on the Caney.