Well it has been busy the last few weeks. We have been on the Caney Fork and the Elk River so let's just talk about both in this report. The weather here in Middle Tennessee has been nice and the foliage is coming to life again. The seasons are changing and the fish are eating. What does that mean for us? Bent fly rods, screaming drags and happy anglers. We are booking well into April right now so people are starting to stir.
The Caney Fork River: The other day I was looking out across Center Hill Lake and level was low with a green tint to the water. My assumption is the rain has the lake off-color. The Caney Fork is about the same color as lake. The clarity is not so good but the fish are eating.
The fish are eating but it isn't like catching 'em in a barrel. The anglers who are fishing nymphs have to put that bug right in the feeding lanes, then hope the fish makes the right decision. Water depth is also something to consider. Drag the bottom and take a chance of spooking the fish when the hook is set on a stone, don't get the fly down deep enough and the fish may never see the bug and you never had a chance. Long story short, and repeating for the added affect...put the bug on their nose and hope they make the right decision.
The fish have been eating shad most of the Winter. On the high water the shad were coming through the dam at a good rate. A 20 degree dip in temperature would send another batch through the generators to the waiting fish and birds. That's a long way around the barn to say "fish white - white streamers". The fish continue to look for the most common color in nature.
The Elk River: After the reading the review of the Caney, a description of Tims Ford Lake and the report on color of Elk River could say about the same thing. The water clarity in the Elk is not great, but the fish seem to go a little father for a meal there right now.
Dry- dropper is a good way to fish the Elk right now. Just make sure that bottom bug is in the face of the fish. Someone asked the other day "are the fish still eating a #18 Zebra Midge?" I am not sure they ever turn off of that bug. Don't be afraid of digging around in the fly box and picking something different and larger.
On the Elk it is best to pick a streamer more like the color of the water. The more off-color the water the more important to move to the darker side of the color wheel. Find a pattern and stick to it. Fish it. Change the color not the pattern, as long as you believe in the pattern.
If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river e-mail or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water. For additional booking information see our Homepage and to see the latest fishing report click here.