After a trip to the mountains we were back on the home waters this week. We floated the lower part of the Caney Fork, trying to beat the traffic on the upper floats. The fish were there but not always where we thought they should be. With the current generation it is easy to spend most of a day low on the river and with low water too. The hatchery brats are at most of the access points and are still in their pods.
If you find one fish close to an stocking point there will be several more in the same area. We started on nymphs and as the day wore on we moved onto dries with droppers and eventually just dries. There were a few caddis coming off later in the day, but the majority of the bug action was a size 14 yellow may fly. On practically every shoal there was a hatch of bugs and a hatch of birds. It is a lot fun to watch a bug come off the water and begin its flight only to see two or three birds race from different directions and one of them grab the bug like a trained fighter pilot zeros in on a bogey. It is nature at its purest.
The brookies are easy to spot on the river right now. The white tips of the fins almost glow and stick out in the clear water. They are not easy targets, but they are a sucker for a dry fly. Comparaduns worked pretty well and as has been the case over the past few floats an Adams also brings fish to the top. Be prepared for some refusals. At one point we were fishing to feeding fish and changed flies about every 5-10 casts. We went from medium to small, then to large and it seemed like every size in between. The fish in one pod would all seemingly rise at the same time and if the fly was drag free at least two or three would check it out and occasionally one would take. Sometimes we would get one to the net and sometimes the point of the hook would moss the target and we change the fly again. It is a game that is fun to play.
So that was one side of the story. The other side of the story is the fish that is oblivious to a boat or a wading angler. Just plop the fly down while it is feeding and it takes the fly. Just like that, no hesitation, no thinking, no competition from other fish driving the eat. Just rise to the fly and eat. Yes it happened that way too. Not sure why but it did and we like it when that happens.
The air is hot right now and the bugs are hatching. Nymphs are working as are dries. Streamers will get the fish going a bit crazy too. The afternoon floats are a good time to get out and catch the evening hatches. We are doing half day trips for the afternoon hatch. If you want to catch some fish on top now is a good time to get on the drifter. Just give me a call or send a text or email and we can get a day on the books.