Sunday, June 1, 2008

Mark J. and Bob I. on the Caney Fork

I picked up Mark J. and Bob I. who are both from Murfreesboro, TN and we were to the ramp at 7:00 a.m. The waters of the Caney Fork were rising from one generator as I rigged up the rods and discussed the first plan of action for the morning, which was…..Streamers…..of course.

We were off the hit the banks with our Clousers and immediately began to see flashes as the fish chased the guy’s offerings. The skip jack were out in force as well as the trout. We boated a couple of skip jacks in the 15” range, when they found fondness in the Clouser. We stopped at one of my favorite holes and lost a nice fish. I went ahead and put the fish on notice that we will be back for it in the near future.

I ran down the list of food and drink on the boat. When I got to desert of the day, which was a Snickers Bar…Mark was ready to eat desert at 8:30 in the morning. It reminds me of a friend of mine who says, “Life is Short, Eat Desert First”. This is a thought provoking statement and it has a lot of merit. But, Mark decided he could wait and explained how proud his family would be that he was eating a healthy snack of baked chips instead Snickers for breakfast.

When the Army Corps shut down the generators and the water went from 3400 CFS to zero, we went from streamers to nymphs and started picking up rainbows. Before lunch we were well on our way to the Grand Slam. The only species left on the list of trout being a brown, which we had on the hook, but hadn’t brought to hand. Rainbows and brooks had already been bagged for the day.

The recent stockings of brook trout have made a new target species for folks. Although the brook trout are still a little small, they are coming into their own colors now, as they adapt to the river. The fish are turning more orange with a hint of red at their underside and still have the pure white around the edges of the fins. They have migrated throughout the river and from where they last saw the inside of the stocking truck. Hopefully we will see them grow into some of the monsters that states including North Carolina and Arkansas have been able to produce.

Mark is deadly with a soft hackle and brought along a sweet little bamboo rod that has great action. When we crossed the lunch shoal and he saw the fish stacked up, he just wanted to stay right there. We pulled into the usual spot and set up for lunch. While I cooked, the guys hit the shoal with soft hackles as the water continued to fall out.

After lunch we went hunting browns and we boated the first one within 15 minutes. This completed our first Grand Slam, but there was still another to be put in the books. The canoe traffic and people playing in the river made navigation interesting, but not as bad as we seen in recent years.

The water hit again, this time from the Army Corps 2:00 release. We waited for place in the line of boats and landed a couple of rainbow doubles. We managed to search out a double of brook trout just as the thunderstorm hit. The rain came at us sideways, tree limbs were blowing into the water and across the road by the river. It was bad, but the weather behind the storm looked to be clearing. While others headed for the safety of the ramp, we waited out the storm to continue fishing.

Post storm we hooked up with a few more fish including the nice brown trout that Bob is holding in the photo below. The day began to end when the river turned the color of chocolate milk. But, Mark did manage to catch the first stripe bass of the year. I pulled back into Murfreesboro with two tired fishermen. The guys did a great job working together and were a lot of fun to have aboard. I am looking forward to fishing with Mark and Bob again on their fall trip.

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