Monday, July 7, 2008

Caney Fork and Elk River Trips

Two Boats on the Caney Saturday, June 28th, 2008

We took two boats to the Caney Fork and launched just as the Army Corps shut down the generator. We were floating just minutes later and we had two slams before lunch, actually within a couple hours of the launch. Although the water again didn’t really fall out as far as I like before the second wave hit, Jim A. and Barry H. both caught fish . The Army Corps didn’t call and ask me for advice on the generation schedule, but we still managed to boat some quality fish.

Jim A. With a nice Caney Fork Rainbow caught on a BHPT

We stopped for a bite with the water rolling under one generator. Lunch today was Mexican Pork Chop Quesadilla’s with Black Beans. We solved many of the world’s problems right there on the river bank, as we always do at lunch time.

While we were eating we saw a guy on a kayak flip and lose everything. I grabbed one of the boats, with Anthony in the front and Barry in the back. We rowed to the middle of the river and caught the things we could salvage. We retrieved his paddle along with his box of lures. The young man made it to the opposite bank and Mark took the paddle to him along with the other things we retrieved. By the time Mark made it back we had broken down the chairs, locked down the grills, and then we went back to fishing.

To sum up the day on the Caney it would look like this. We caught many fish in the usual spots and they were caught, for the most part on the usual flies. The brook trout continue to fatten-up and the browns are coming back around on lower water as we’ve seen them in the months past. Traffic was the usual for this time of summer…..heavy…..but everyone knows this going into a float and we just fish around the other boats, canoes and wading fishermen.

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008 Our Two Favorite Clients

Mark and I took our daughters for an afternoon of floating and fishing on the Caney. The girls are nine and ten years old and they are becoming quite the little fisher girls. (OK maybe I am a little biased). We hooked them up with fish while we were still within eyesight of the ramp. Both of the girls brought fish to hand, which is good considering their short attention span. Inevitably they will end up in the back of the boat discussing their future plans and how they are going to talk their Dad’s into buying them a horse.
Discussing the Hatch of the Day

The girls even let the Mark and I get in a little fishing action before we had to relinquish the long rods back, as they resumed their catching. The set-up of the day was BHPT’s and red Zebra Midges under an indicator, along with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

The most fun I had was watching Emily catch a fish, while Delaney netted the fish. It looked like a small circus in the front of the boat for a few minutes, but I will have to say it was as much fun as I can remember on the river in a while.

We cruised into the take-out just before dark. On the way home, it was quiet in the truck and they were asleep just after we hit I-840.

Saturday, July 5, 2008 The Elk River

After the recent discussions concerning the warming of the water below Tims Ford Dam, I wanted to get back to the Elk and take a look at the fish for myself.

As most of you know TVA was asked to adjust the flow and generation to save endangered species on the Elk which are apparently below the Alabama state line. The spilling that had been occurring several months back warmed the water temperature of the river. The temperature was close to the seventy degree mark, which is lethal to both rainbows and brown trout. TVA listened to anglers and local residents, as well as the folks from TWRA. They have begun to spill and sluice to lower the temperatures. During the week TVA will also run a generator for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening which appears to be helping to stabilize the water temperature.

Considering the holiday weekend we were amazed at the number of people at the dam. It was not nearly as crowded as we had suspected and we saw some familiar faces in the water as we floated to the Bend Pool.

The TWRA had recently stocked the Elk at the Dam as well as Farris Creek Bridge. The people who were fishing immediately below the dam bridge were having a high success rate, but my concern was centered around the general trout population at the mid point of the float.

We had one trout by the time we made it to the bend pool. After we rounded the corner at the Bend Pool and began our float down the short shoot to the Scud Pool, business began to pick-up. We boated an amazing number of fish within the first three miles. The majority of the fish were SNIT's (Standard Nine Inch Trout), but there were some fish that appeared to be holdovers as well. We caught an almost equal number of browns and rainbows, however we still hadn’t gotten to the mid point of the river to see the effects of the long weeks of warm water on the fish population.

The lunch this trip consisted of Pork Chop Quesadilla’s with a great Banana Pudding recipe from Gary and Nina Woods. This went well after a few hours of intense fishing.

As we floated into my favorite stretch of the river we were glad to see rise rings emerge in the middle of the river. The fish are alive and well. They appeared to be as healthy as they were in March and April, before the recent events took place. Most of the fish were holding in the usual places such as the shoals and the deep runs and if you found one fish you would find several more within a few feet. The fish seem to be moving around a little, but they are also staying tightly packed.

Mark Engages in a Different Form of Catching Fish

We picked up several fish and as you can see from the photos there are some nice sized fish still in the river. Mark was on target with a Hare’s Ear and Silver Bullet Midge combination and I got in on the action with a BHPT and a Silver Bullet Midge combo.
Elk River Brown Hits a Silver Bullet

I’ve been on the water several times during the past few weeks. There is definitely another trip or two, to the Elk, in the coming weeks just to make sure I’ve got a good handle on the river. Also, the Caney generation schedule has changed once again and looks to be favorable for a quality float. So, I am looking forward to more great days on the rivers in Middle Tennessee...

The Drifter Gets Some Rest After a Hard Morning of Fishing


  1. David
    Great report...and I love that picture of Mark "catching" the fish!


  2. I thought fish juggling was illegal in Tennessee

  3. I'm not "catching" or "juggling" that trout. Clearly, I'm demonstrating my ability to levitate fish.

    BTW, nice picture of the skiff! Wow, skiffs must be the coolest boats EVER! :)

    Mark, a.k.a. Fish Magic Man
    a.k.a. Skiffboy