Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Brent Gets Back Into the 20+ Club After a Long Absence

It's been awhile since Brent has been able to get some time to fish aboard the F/V Southeastern Fly. But, when he finally gets time, Brent makes the most of that time in the front casting brace. This trip wasn't all about the fish. Let me me rephrase that previous statement. This trip didn't start off all about the fish, it quickly turned that way. We were floating along discussing the life events in both of our lives. The fog was thick and the wildlife was out. When we approached a group of deer, which were standing in the water, we realized they were eating vegetation from the bottom of the river. As we slipped closer, they slowly made their way up the bank and then into the woods. They were aware of our presence but did not seem worried as we drifted slowly downstream and through the layer of fog. With the wildlife out, but no rises to speak of, we went to work.
Brent stepped up to the front brace and began to hit the feeding lanes. It wasn't long before we had the first fish in the net. Brent's casting was spot-on. He laid the flies where I asked with accuracy and brought a couple tricks of his own. Other anglers were catching fish as well and a day of big fish quickly became the feeling. 

Every guide has certain banks, runs, riffles and flats they like to fish. Most all of those favorite haunts would produce fish on this trip. The first likely bank brought two good fish to the fly, but only one to the net. 

It wasn't too long before we slipped up to the edge of the Hog Trough. After a nice rainbow came to hand, Brent laid another cast into a likely spot. A big fish swirled and ate. The fight was on. Brent was doing a great job keeping the fish out of the weeds and the sticks. As I made my way to the front of the boat, net in hand, there was a lot going on. That's when I saw a submarine pass by the 20+ fish Brent was sparring with from the front brace. The other fish caught my eye as it spooked and I will be back for that one. Brent had his hands full as he fought his fish in tight-quarters. Keeping the fish out of trouble was a miracle and series of correct moves. The big brown came to the net and Brent was once again in the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club. But the day wasn't over...not by a long shot.
There were some other fish eating and some nice fish too. Brent continued to be dialed-in and didn't lose focus. For most, fly fishing is about getting outdoors, enjoying the river, enjoying the fish and hopefully the company. There are many other things that come into play that may not be listed here, but of those things the fish are what seem to draw the anglers to a river. Sometimes when the river is fishing good, angler's can lose focus. It's easy to let your guard down once a milestone has been accomplished. Like I said, Brent didn't lose focus as he raised the rod tip and brought more fish to the net. The numbers were good and we were adding quality fish to that count.
We rode the slow drift into the Meat Locker, a good piece of liquid real estate that has provided us with quality fish in the past. I will spare the details of the hook-set and we will start the story where the fish takes enough line to get on the reel without Brent's help. This fish was on a long run and didn't want to stop.  Keeping the rod tip high and with the correct angle Brent got the head turned...finally. The fish was pulling and accelerating by using its big tail. Brent kept working the Orvis Recon and the fish responded by making shorter runs each time, then it started coming our way. The big Brodin net waited. 

We talk a lot about fish making one last run. This fish was no different and made its last run to the right. Brent used the butt of the rod to gain enough pressure to stop the run. When the head of the fish came to surface Brent lifted the rod even higher and the fish slid safely into the Brodin. Brent was once again in the 20+ Club. 

We wrapped up the day by seeing some familiar faces and getting a few laughs at the craziness that is a Middle Tennessee boat ramp. Yes, I am going to write a book, with pictures, some day. For now there are fish that need to be caught and released and anglers who need to get out on the water. It was good to spend the day on the boat with Brent again. With all the action we had, this is one trip that will be difficult to top. Congratulations on your two entries in the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club.

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.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Grumpy Enters the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club

Digging through the CDs in my truck, yes my truck still plays CDs, I found an old homemade CD with some Jimmy Buffet tunes. Those tunes passed the time with the miles and reminded me of some other times. Before I knew it I was at the exit and a bit early too. Ronnie was on time and after a couple quick stops we were headed down the ramp. The drifter was bobbing in the current when I returned from parking the truck. We got on the water at the time our plan dictated. Ronnie was in the front casting brace as we slid into the feeding lane, then did our best to trick a fish into a bad decision. It was slow at first. We discussed the current fishing situation with everyone and no one in particular. Then we caught the first fish. 
Ronnie had his plans for fishing and I had mine. After a short time, he came around to my way of thinking and we were moving downstream at a good pace. A short time later we had another fish and then another. We were onto something and bringing fish to the net with some consistency.  

A quick fly change and I cinched down the knot, or what I thought might have been some resemblance of a knot. Ronnie grabbed the Orvis Recon, wound up a cast, the line went right where he pointed the tip of the rod. The line, leader and tippet extended about 40' to his target...however, the fly came down about 2' in front of the boat. After a good laugh I retied the mid section, tippet, and a new fly just to be safe. All that was done with slight embarrassment. The laugh was on me and we sure had a good one. Retying the mid section, tippet and fly knots would come in handy later in the float.
We were dialed-in and catching a fair number of fish. We lost two large fish, but we soldiered-on. Then we came upon a bank where several good fish have been caught this year. There was one spot in particular I wanted Ronnie to hit. After seeing him make some really nice casts throughout the morning, this cast to this target seemed routine. The fly hit the water and settled. It was just a second or two when Ronnie came tight to the fish. He doesn't get too excited about too many fish, but his voice was a little higher when he said "this is a nice fish." Then it surfaced and my voice went a little higher too! The Orvis recon was in full bend down into the cork as I backed the drifter, Ronnie, and the fish into the middle of the river for some structure free water. This battle was going to fun to watch,

The fish kept pulling and digging and Ronnie kept just the right amount of pressure on the rod. All I could think about was the knot I tied earlier, while having the hope it was a good knot this time. The fish tested the rod, the fly line, the leader, the mid-section, the tippet and every knot in between throughout the fight. Ronnie did an excellent job keeping just the right amount of pressure. 

We were having good communication throughout the battle. Just as we discussed the possibility of one last run, the fish took off upstream.  The fish had its tail up and head down as Ronnie let little drag run a few feet of line off the reel. Then he turned the fish and after one trip around the front of the boat, the fish came to the net with one last acceleration.

Ronnie fought the fish like a pro, the knot held until the fish got into the net and then the fish spit the fly as soon as the net came over the gunnel. But, the fish was safely in the net and we had some fist bumps and handshakes to take care of. 

The bigger fish can be a little hard to handle. We were able to get a couple nice shots before we put the fish back in the net to revive. With some shaky hands we released the big brown back to the bottom of the river. It was a heckuva a fish and another great day on the F/V Southeastern Fly. Let's welcome Ronnie to the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club.

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.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Keven Takes His Place in the 20 + Club

When we started this float it was overcast and sunny depending on where we looked. There was an 80% chance of  storms predicted for Middle Tennessee and before the float was over we would run the gamut of the Weather Guessers broad "forecast". 

With the falling water I really thought we had a chance at a big fish. Keven was of the same opinion and with both us thinking positive, we headed down river and into the approaching weather. Keven was fishing well and with a little bit of coaching he was soon using the techniques I had brushed-up on while in the West a few weeks back.


Keven was banging the banks and took a shot at a likely hold. Nothing. Although he came up empty he decided the spot looked too good for the fly to come back with a blank. It was the right decision. The next cast was right on the target and after a few short strips the fish hit. The brown didn't seem big but did begin to head-shake. Keven was able to make quick work of this fish and soon the fish was coming to the waiting net. We took some pictures, released the fish to catch again and completed a fist bump to seal the deal. 

The shadows were growing longer and the fog was getting thicker. Before we could make it to the ramp darkness had set in and we both had places to be the next morning. A few cranks of the winch and the boat was on the trailer. 

We were lucky to get on the tail-end of a good weather pattern and I think that helped. Picking the right spot and going back to give the fish a second look was really key to this entry in the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club. Nice work Keven.

Want your chance at some nice fish? Check out the full and half day floats. Another option is a Happy Hour Float. (no alcohol will be served, but these floats really give anglers a chance at quality fish). For those interested just call, text or email (see the info below).

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.