Friday, October 4, 2019

People of the River Podcast

A couple weeks ago I got together with Dan Sharley to have a beer and to talk about "people of the river". We both have some interesting outdoor moments and recounted our own stories of people who manage to do a lot of things on the river. Some things are hard to believe.
Stories include; The Bushwacker, Gravel Bar Meemaw, Whiskey River, Over-Under 40 guy, and there are others that will amuse you while making you ponder the people, you may have seen while fly fishing your favorite waters in the Southeast and abroad.
So, sit down and have a beverage, mow the yard, or perhaps travel on a plane and listen while hurling through the air in a hollow metal tube. It's a good way to kill some time, heck tie some flies and enjoy the fun if that is more your style. It doesn't matter where you listen but it does matter that you do listen and enjoy your time with David and Dan. Listen HERE or at any of the links below.
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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Free Southeastern Fly News

We are creating a newsletter to keep anglers informed. Sign up for Southeastern Fly News and find out about the latest fly fishing news and fishing reports from Middle TN as well as the Nashville area. You will receive helpful hints and tips for catching more fish on the fly. 

Also, get news and inside information related to the latest episode of Southeastern Fly - The Angler's Influence Podcast. There is always additional information that comes from the podcast and we want anglers who are connected to Southeastern Fly to get the inside scoop from the latest podcast.

What's the catch? There's no catch when it comes to signing up. We are leaving the catch to the anglers who fish with us. Just click this link to start receiving the free newsletter. Thanks and see you on the river.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Fall Fishing in Middle Tennessee

Throughout the southeast August was made of humidity, the local county fair, and people seeking A/C. For us, August was made of mornings where the fog fended-off the sun, dew on spider webs in the branches of overhanging trees and lunch that was a time to gather in the shadiest places along the river banks. Along with all that, the anglers caught rainbows, brookies and brown trout.
We fished nymphs a lot and we caught good numbers of fish on each trip. As we floated down the river the anglers in the boat were treated to some nice fish too. 

We fished some foam along the way with nice fish coming to the top and eating just the right pattern. But that's been the exception and not the rule. The foam has produced in the right types of water. Water that is just the right depth to get just the right clarity for bugs that seemingly drop from the sky.
Southeastern Fly- The Angler's Influence Podcast was released in August and Mark Brown of Chota is the guest on that episode. Mark gives us a different way to look at water. Mark comes from a white water kayak paddling background and he sees water differently. Mark also provides a couple resources that can help all of us with getting just the right drift. 

The podcast has been a fun way to pass the time when I am not sitting behind the oars. The folk we have interviewed always bring something that not only tells their story but also offers the listener a technique they can take to the river. You can listen to the episode here or anywhere you listen to podcasts. If you listen it would be great if you could give us a 5 star rating and any positive comments are always welcomed.

Our redfish trip to the marsh was planned in August. This trip gives the group going with us something to look forward to in December. 

But that was August and we are now into September. Already we've boated good numbers of fish and some quality fish as well.

We are still fishing a little foam and results on top have been just OK. Hopper-droppers will probably move back to just nymphs under indicators as this month moves along.  Anglers will be encouraged to get their nymph-drifts just right throughout the floats.

The streamer rods will find their way back into the boat and there will be some streamers tossed as Fall kicks into full gear. 

SEC football will keep some of the weekend crowds on the couch as long as their team is doing well. Let's go SEC teams! The early starts may not have to be as early as the recreational folks find football and other interests to fill their time. Waders and fleece are just around the corner.

Thank you to all the anglers who filled our casting braces in August. As for September, we have some open dates on the calendar for those of you who are still looking for that opportunity to get on the river. Lunches will move back onto the sunny gravel bars and I expect anglers to continue catching rainbows, brookies and brown trout.

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.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Tennessee Bass On Poppers

This day promised to be long, very long. It will start with trout and before the end of the day I will be geared-up and ready for some rest and then some bass! Up at 4:45 a.m. and load the boat cooler with lunch. Lunch. It’s now almost 5:00 a.m. tell me who wants to think about lunch? Grab the cup and pour the coffee. Coffee is the early morning lifeblood, the world's very first and always loyal energy drink...and a drink that requires the coffee pot to be preset the night before. Crap. Push start and go outside to hook the boat to the truck, load the rods, rain gear and other coolers. Done. Back upstairs to the office. Step over the dogs, turn on the light and grab flies from the drawer. Grab the one in the vise too. Downstairs, pour the coffee and remember the tippet. The tippet. Yep the tippet in the desk drawer. Upstairs again and turn on the light. Back to the drawer. 3x, 5x and 6x. Which did I need yesterday and did not have? Can’t remember so bringing them all. Grab the poppers too. Stop and pet the dogs for a few minutes then grab the coffee, the flies and keys. Out the door.

The Weather-Guessers are talking about the 40% chance of rain and storms throughout the day. Rain gear, check. Lightening gear, hmmm. The parking lot is empty except for the me and some empty beer cans from a baot ramp parking lot party the night before. Grab the cans and put them in the trash bag, transfer everything from the truck to the boat and that’s when clients wheel into the parking lot. They have been on the F/B Southeastern Fly before and have trout on their mind. Both are good guys and I’m off, off to meet the shuttle and soon to return. The first sign of clouds shows across the horizon as we top the hill. Down the hill and onto the river bank. The guys get in the casting braces as I quiz them on the number of fish brought to hand. They are good anglers so I multiply their number by 30% and subtract. Even after the math they still had good numbers and the boat hasn't even left the ramp. 
They fishing is hard in the early morning. Bringing fish to the net can be exhausting and make a guy hungry. We all need something that would go with coffee? Donuts. We have those and luckily there is a hole in the middle which makes them a bit less fattening and makes it "ok" to eat one more than you think you should. Donuts all around...donuts for anglers and the guy on the oars. 

Cast, mend to adjust presentation, and wait. We continue the day with a good rhythm of cast, mend for a correct presentation and set! Fish to the net and release. Then cast again...

We end the day with multiple doubles, a couple of slams.  Load the boat on the trailer and stow the rods. We didn’t really need the rain gear or the lightning gear, thank the Lord. Back to the Boro and saw goodbye to the guys. 

Home again. Pet the dogs, unload trout rods and load the bass rods. It's 7:30 p.m. and I have a 2 hour drive. Put the cover on the boat for the long drive and threatening rain. Upstairs to grab more poppers that probably will not be used. Load coolers and text the guys. They need more paper towels and Pringles. Out the door and stop by the grocery for more snacks including an arm load of Pringles. The cashier gives me a look like she wants to ask about the Pringles but she doesn't and I am not offering anything but a smile. Driving to the condo it's late, past my bedtime and I am tired. It was a good day on the river but my mind is shifting to bass on the two private lakes. It's my favorite get away with my family and with friends.
I'm on four lanes, then two lanes, then one lane and then gravel. Cicadas are singing and I can hear them over Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band sing about a small town in West Tennessee and how they "try to keep the city clean". For those of you who are not fortunate enough and don't know that line, check Google and it should lead you to a great song. The live album has many other good Seger songs on it too. Anyway, the gravel leads to the gate. Punch in the code and the gate swings open. The headlamps hit two sets of bright eyes and I recognize them as deer. Soon I am pulling up to the condo. The guys are there and quickly come down. They grab the coolers and my luggage and I grab the Pringles as well as the paper towels.

We are on the water the next day by 8:30 a.m. There's no need to get out too early as the bass are plentiful and willing to eat our poppers on top water. Yep, top water bass that are ready and willing to eat poppers on top water. 
Casting to structure is key all weekend. We cast, let the popper sit, like a frog. See, we've watched frogs and when they decide they need to swim to the other side of the lake they jump in and make a short stroke. They stop momentarily and begin swimming to the other side. So we cast and as the fly adjusts, turns over and gets settled then we take a strip. The strip has to be just the right speed and then BAM! (insert Batman emoji for BAM!). Hopefully you've seen the Batman emoji for BAM! 
We spend a couple days throwing these poppers. About halfway through the first day someone notices the dragon flies are swarming. Bass are jumping to get a dragon fly and the dragon flies are active along the banks. So we row to the dragon flies and plop a big ole popper into the action. BAM! Again we found another way to catch some bass. It's the dragon fly hatch but we don't even have to match the hatch, just find it and we are getting good results. There are some bluegill that get into the action too. We take advantage of both bluegill and bass as well as the Pringles throughout the next couple days.
As always it was a good getaway for all of us. The fish were friendly to our offerings and we were friendly because we turned everyone of them loose to be caught again. If you are looking for a good getaway that is relaxing and frankly a place where no one can reach you unless you want them to reach you, this is a fantastic trip. We can make a bass weekend or even a day of bass on poppers well worth your time.
It's a relaxing drive home, but the next morning is very much the same as other mornings...up at 4:45 a.m. and load the boat cooler with lunch. Lunch. It’s now almost 5:00 a.m. tell me who wants to think about lunch? Grab the cup and pour the coffee. Coffee is the early morning lifeblood, the world's very first and always loyal energy drink...

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, July 22, 2019

The Hog Trough

I had some friends who I would eat lunch once a month or so. There were plenty of places to eat from which we could choose. Generally, someone would ask the group where we should eat. The group would casually start running down the list of choices and eventually someone would get tired of listening to no one making a decision, then that someone would say those words we all really wanted to hear, “let’s go to The Hog Trough”.

As all good restaurants go, The Hog Trough wasn’t the real name for this fine southern dining establishment. It was local joint named Wanda’s or Julie’s or something like that and it had a giant buffet. We called that place The Hog Trough because everyone would move down the buffet line with their plate and pile it high with a variety of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, breads, greens and mashed potatoes and the list of delicious Southern cooking went on and on. 

Naturally this was a while back and during my younger years, when I could eat whatever I wanted, without weight gain and I still had hair that was dark and there was still a lot of it. So it’s been a while.
I went by The Hog Trough several months ago and the building was still there, but the name had changed to something else I can’t remember. I imagined the buffet was still there and the food on that buffet would still be great southern cooking. You know southern like food all lined up, piled high and just waiting to be tested by some very hungry patrons.

Fast forward to last Thursday. Vince and Alex were on the boat and taking advantage of a father - son day on the river. We were floating across a long flat where there were plenty of rising fish. Just past the midway point of this flat a trough starts. 
The trough begins as just slope that’s about 2’ wide and it drops less than a foot. It’s against the bank and there are a few trees hanging over it. Great cover. That foot-deep portion runs about two boat lengths (we measure just about everything in boat lengths and sometimes boat widths if we really want to be precise). This gives way to deeper and deeper water and eventually it’s about a boat width wide...precisely a boat-width. 
The trees along that bank continue to hang over the trough and there are some downed trees that are sunk here and there. Even more cover.

After Alex tossed that nymph in the feeding lane of the trough, he threw a mend in and we watched as the indicator slowed, then it began to drift along with the bubbles in the water. The perfect speed. The perfect dead drift.

This particular piece of water is similar to the buffet at The Hog Trough. The trout’s food (although it’s not fried chicken) is funneled down the line. The fish will line up and pick through everything that’s presented correctly. If it looks like a bug, they will take a bite.

Anyway, Alex had a nice presentation with a good mend. Remember the perfect dead drift. The fly was floating at a good speed and then the indicator stopped. Alex lifted the rod tip and the fish came out of the trough right onto the flat. It was fast and the rod bent double. Alex commented on how different this fight was from the 12” and 13” browns we were bringing to the net most of the morning. This fish was quick but we had a good hookset with the fly lodged in the upper lip. Alex was doing a nice job staying with the brown as his Dad, Vince, looked on from the rear casting brace. It was a clean fight with some give and take by the angler and the brown.

We were looking at a quick fight with this fish because when it came onto the flat and made a couple passes it found a waiting net. See before it could get another head of steam for another run, Alex pulled the fish up to the top. The net was scooped and we scored a nice brown for the 20 + Club. The fight was enjoyable but in a record time. It was over before it really even started.
We grabbed some photos for the memories and revived the fish. It didn’t take long before the fish was kicking. The fish came out of the net and slipped under the boat. It was completely out of sight in just a few seconds. What a fish though. 

With thunder and lightning looming we grabbed lunch and waited out a rain under some cover. The water conditions changed late in the day and we changed tactics as well as flies. The fishing picked up and we ended the day with a tally of decent numbers of healthy fish.

A visit to The Hog Trough was worth the few minutes we spared on that Thursday. I can imagine food all lined up with Alex’s nymph floating along just waiting to be tested. Then that brown slipping up and making the right decision to test Alex’s nymph. 

I can imagine that great tasting fried chicken, mashed potatoes, breads, greens and, mashed potatoes (I know mashed potatoes was listed twice and it was listed twice in the second paragraph too. I did that on purpose because I really like mashed potatoes) anyway, mashed potatoes and the list of delicious Southern cooking went on and on...
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.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Huntsville Fly Fishing

Some days on the river are absolutely the best days. Sometimes because the fish are cooperating, sometimes because the bigger fish are eating, and sometimes because the folks in the casting braces are old friends who make the day enjoyable. Greg and Brooke have fished with me for several years now and when we get together, we tend to get good results. Brooke seems to catch the big ones and sometimes the most. Greg, being a dad, seems to enjoy it as much almost as much as if he had caught’em all himself. Greg is no stranger to big fish or the 20+ Club so maybe it is healthy to see your kid catch the big fish every once in a while.

On this day we chose to leave the ramp a little early and try to stay in front of the recreational folks. It wasn’t long before Brooke was bringing her first fish to the net and Greg brought his first a short time later. 
We were sticking close to structure on this day. Structure can mean rocks, pockets in the gravel on the river bottom, and of course the blowdowns. Brooke was catching most her fish close to the different structures. Greg was batting clean-up with his usual accuracy. Blowdowns and pockets along the bank were running up the numbers.
Depth- We kept going after the fish, moving along with the slower currents and picking out the best places. One other thing we focused on was depth. There are blowdowns that look fishy and get the most attention from practically every angler who has a fly and some even toss their favorite lure. One thing I notice when folks are fishing these structures is a high percentage are not adjusting their depth. Most anglers leave their nymph at the same depth and pretty much fish it all day, streamer anglers don’t always let the streamer sink, with timing, or fly weight, or sinking lines. The blowdown is fished hard by angler after angler, but often the flies are not in the fish’s field of vision. 
After a morning of good fishing we stopped at one of my favorite spots for lunch. As Brooke and Greg ate and caught up on their lives, I adjusted the rigs and dropped a few flies in front of a few fish, just to make sure the flies were “well trained and ready for some serious afternoon catching”. 
We loaded the boat, Brooke and Greg slipped into the casting braces and we got the boat into some slack water. We backed up the bank to take another shot at some water that was productive just before we ate. It was the right choice as Brooke and Greg had a few more takes and they added a couple more fish to the count.
One more depth adjustment and we entered one of my favorite stretches of river. It’s heavy with structure and ledges and it’s just super-fishy. Brooke was fishing particularly well and getting real good drifts. Greg had his fly right behind Brooke’s fly. But Brooke’s fly got to the rainbow first and the fish ate. Brooke came tight with a solid hookset and the rainbow started the fight with a quick run to the bottom and into deeper water. Although Brooke had hooked and landed big fish before, this rainbow was a bit on the active side. She stayed with the fish and countered every move. The fish made a blistering run across the river and tried to get to some structure, but Brooke kept just the right amount of pressure on the fish and was able to get the head to turn back toward the boat. After a couple shorter runs the fish finally gave up. Brooke got the head of the fish up and slid the rainbow into the net. Score another one for the green boat and the happy anglers in the casting braces. We snapped some photos and made sure the fish was ready for a good release. We dipped the front of the net and rainbow slid out, then back to the depths.

We were letting our lunch settle and pretty much catching fish in all the likely places with just a few slow spots throughout the afternoon.  Greg and Brooke kept throwing the flies and for the most part the fish responded. Both anglers got their slams and both caught some nice fish.
Brooke and Greg proved again that some days on the river are absolutely the best days. Sometimes because the fish are cooperating, sometimes because the bigger fish are eating, and sometimes because the folks in the casting braces are old friends who just make the day enjoyable.
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, July 4, 2019

Summer Fly Fishing Tennessee

 Christmas is the time for giving. We offered gift certificates over Christmas season last year and Matt took advantage of giving a day on the water to Larry. Being that these two guys both fly fish it was only fitting that when Larry decided to book his day on the water that he brings along the guy that was thoughtful enough to give a day on the water as the gift.
Matt and Larry made use of a good forecast with favorable generation and we were floating before the recreational crowd even got out of bed. Larry is experienced and Matt is proficient as well. Both are good casters and both are willing listeners. We moved slowly down the river on this day, picking apart all the likely places and pulling fish off blowdowns, mud banks and ledges. Ledges: I’m a fan of the ledge. Here is the definition of a ledge from of all places the 

Ledge- n
1.    a narrow horizontal surface projecting from a wall, cliff, or other surface.

There is something about a ledge that gets my attention. See, most times a rock wall looks pretty much the same underwater as what we see above the water. Not exact but similar. But as a general rule of thumb if a rock wall has ledges you can see, it probably has ledges that are below the water’s surface that you can’t see.

The ledges are an excellent place for a fish to lay. If there is a current, even the slightest current flowing by a ledge there is a high percentage chance that current is going to carry a little more oxygen and possibly even a little food. And if that isn’t enough there’s a high percentage chance a fish is going to be laying next the that wall, along one of those ledges. If everything goes just right such as the correct presentation, with the right fly drifted or stripped at just the right speed you will get a hit. So if everything goes just right and the fish makes the right decision for us and the wrong decision, looking at it from the fish’s point of view, a fish will be picked-off the ledge.

Not only is a ledge a good place for a fish to lay but with all the possibilities the ledges bring it’s a good idea fish it thoroughly at different depths. Allowing a streamer to sink for different periods of time works and, on this day, we fished the ledges at different depths.  

The guys were hard at work most of the day. We fished nymphs at various depths. As always, we concentrated on the speed of the drift against the speed of the water. Larry was dialed-in and crushing-it from the front of the boat. He is at a place in life where he gets to fish on a regular basis and it shows from his approach, the cast and his presentation. Larry was in the front brace and making the most of it.

We stopped for lunch after a good morning. The guys slowed down their pace even more and I put new leaders and tippet as well as new bullets (flies) at the end of their rigs. 

So, with new flies tied and the guys fresh we started down the river again. Sometimes after lunch the fishing slows but the guys kept bringing fish to the net and the day kept going. 

Matt added some quality to the quantity with some respectable rainbows as the summer heat kept us hunting for shade when possible. 

We lost count of the fish and the places the guys pulled them from throughout the day. But it was a good day all around. Plenty of action and plenty of relaxation with good conversation. And it all started with a Christmas gift.

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.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Fly Fishing in Middle Tennessee

The last time Marc and Lawson were aboard the drifter we were on the Caney Fork. We caught some nice fish including Marc’s really nice brownThis time we shoved off and we caught up with the life changes that happen over the course of two or three years. It didn’t take long before Lawson was on the board with his first rainbow of the day. Marc didn't waste too much time to get on that same board himself.

Fishing the shelves and drop-offs: Lawson was well into a drift across a drop off when he set the hook on a nice rainbow. But it all started with knowing where the drop off starts, its depth and naturally setting up for a clean drift. 

Knowing where the drop off begins is as easy as knowing the contour of the riverbed you are fishing. That comes with time but the closer you can pay attention to the currents and how those currents and color changes reveal the underwater structures, the more accurate you can set up for the drift of your fly. 
Start the drift before the drop off. Casting and then achieving the right mend will set the pace for the fly. Depth is extremely important when fishing drop offs. Set your nymph too deep and the nymph will drag the bottom, many times wrecking your chances of getting the fly in the face of the fish. Setting the nymph too shallow and the fish will likely never know the fly has even been presented.
We set Lawson up for a good drift over the drop off. The color change was obvious and Lawson dropped the fly right at the leading edge (upstream) of the drop off. The fly hit the water first and was followed by the indicator. This technique sends the fly to the strike zone quickly. When Lawson’s fly began the descent it settled after the mend and we had a good drift going. The fly pattern is a good pattern but the presentation was as good as they come and the rainbow couldn’t help itself. The fish ate and Lawson set the hook.

The rainbow came out of the hole and into shallow water. Rainbows are quite active fish and they fight the same way. The rainbows on this day were jumping and running each time they were hooked. Lawson was in good form and keeping the fish in front of him with the rod at a 45 degree angle. The fish didn’t come to the net without a fight but it came to the net and Lawson scored a good sized rainbow.

We grabbed a stream-side lunch and rested. The river was fishing good and we even caught some fish while relaxing on the gravel bar. The rest of the river has been fishing slower so I prepped the guys with a rundown of past trips. We wrapped up lunch and Marc and Lawson slipped back into the casting braces.
Lawson was again in the front brace and Marc in the back. The fishing was still good as we entered a new stretch of water. We fished a small and indiscreet pool which gave up a couple more rainbows. We moved across a small gravel bar and Lawson dropped his fly on a rock pile. The fly settled and it didn’t float long before Lawson was setting the hook. The brown trout came off the rock pile and headed toward the bank and several blowdowns. Lawson pulled on the rod and applied some side pressure. The fish came to the net a short time later. It was a healthy brown, not the biggest in he river, but the water flowing across the rock pile was giving up oxygen, food and cover and keeping the brown in good shape.
Marc needed a better fish to complete his day and to take away some of Lawson’s bragging rights. We entered a bend with lots of downed-timber and Marc laid his fly along a parallel log. It was a lengthy drift but Marc was able to stay with the mend and keep the presentation going. He set the hook and a feisty rainbow came away from the log but tried its best to get back. Marc kept the pressure on and gained line pretty quick. We didn’t let the fish pull for long and short time later Marc had a good rainbow and took away just a little bit of Lawson’s bragging rights.

We kept fishing and adding fish to the count. Overall it was a good day with a couple fine fellows. I always enjoy their company and the discussions we have along the way. Those discussions along with fishing the drop-offs, rock piles, runs and bends make a day on the water extremely enjoyable.

The rivers are fishing well and we have some open dates. If you have read this far and are thinking it might be time to call to get your date on the books, there’s not a better time than the next several weeks.
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.