Monday, December 29, 2008

Part IV

Yep, here is that final slide show. We'll call this Part IV, the last one for the year or something like that anyway. Thanks for a good year on the water. Click on the photo.....well you know what to do.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Obey Our Final Trip of 2008

The last time we were on the Obey was back in September. TVA was releasing one generator and it pushed us past the good water pretty quick. We made the statement that "fishing could be good after they turn off the generators and the flow slows down a little".

Today I fished with Gary W. from Nolensville, TN on the Obey River. This was Gary's first trip to the Obey. After we launched the boat it was only a few minutes before Gary hooked his very first brook trout. Gary has fished the Smoky's, from Michigan to Maine, and out West, but never had caught a brookie. I was glad he was able to have "a first" on such a fine day.

Gary's First Brook Trout

We picked up several brook trout throughout the upper part of the float, as well as a rainbow here and there. The weather conditions today were good....unless a person took a look at the wind charts. The temperature was in the 60's for the most part, with sunny to partly cloudy skies. The wind was blowing on most parts of the river, but we were able to find some places with calm water where we could get a good drift. Those good drifts were often rewarded with a hungry fish.

Nice Rainbow in the Boat Net

At one point the main part of the river was impossible to navigate and get a clean drift due to the wind. So we took option II, which was to seek refuge behind an island with some shelter from the wind. Gary was throwing the Sage and playing with a three fly rig that had two BHPT's and a Miracle Midge. He hooked a strong rainbow that came up from some deep water. The fish sent me scrambling for the oars to keep it from running too far under the boat and the net for the appropriate scoop of the fish. Gary played the fish and brought it onto the reel. After a few short runs toward a downed log Gary turned the fish and brought the fish into the boat. Gary had another rainbow to show for the day.

A Healthy Rainbow

The day was good in-spite of the wind. The wind was a difficult at times and gave quite a workout at the oars. But, considering the amount of food I ate over the past week I probably need to row another 7 miles! And, what better way to end a trip than BBQ! There is a place I have been wanting to try for several years. It is close too the river and it seems like every morning we drive by to launch the boat, they are cranking up the hickory to start their cooking. Well tonight when we got off the river we went to the One Stop so I could try the BBQ. There aren't many Mom-Pop places around like there used to be. But, if you are up on the Obey, fishing for trout, I would recommend a stop by for some of their BBQ to top off a good day on the river.

A Great Way to Top Off the Day

Friday, December 26, 2008

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas this year! We sure had one at our house and I am still feeling the effects of the food we ate......and continue to eat. We will be back on the water tomorrow, if the generation will permit. For now, tonight, I am listening to Jimmy Buffett and working on some new flies that we will try tomorrow and hopefully throughout the shad kill on the Caney Fork River. If everything goes good we should have another report posted sometime this week.

We have one or two more slideshows to go from 2008 the Year in Review. Then we will start on 2009, which I hope to kick off in Townsend chasing those Smoky Mountain trout and then moving into some more cold weather fishing. For now click on the photo below for some more of the Year in Review.

Click on the photo for Part III

Monday, December 22, 2008

North Georgia Report

A few months back I said we would have some different things available on the Fishing Report. One of the things is, we are going to have different folks writing about their fishing adventures. Rachel (ALflygirl) and her husband Jamie H. are a couple of people who fish with me several times a year. Last week they went to North Georgia for one of their annual trips and brought back some photos as well as a report. Rachel was kind enough to send the report onto me so it could be posted on our fishing report. So, without further interruption here is a report in her own words as well as some pics.........Thanks David

The Toccoa River in North Georgia

So, it hasn't rained much here in the South in a long time, but the skies opened up this past week just in time for our trip to N Georgia. My husband Jamie and I try to take a couple of trips a year over to the Blue Ridge/McCaysville area.We arrived in McCaysville around mid day on Wednesday the 17th hoping to fish the at Horseshoe Bend on the Toccoa. Negative! They were generating at Blue Ridge dam and it was flowing swiftly and looked like chocolate milk. So we went to option # 2 - the Toccoa Delayed Harvest section that is above the dam thereby not affected by generation. (Did I mention that it was finally raining in N GA???) The DH section is absolutely beautiful and usually has flows around 200 cfs. Needless to say, it was not flowing at was around double that....somewhere in the 400 cfs range. Not to be outdone, Jamie put his waders on and fished extremely close to the bank and I opted for the bank. The fish did not come out to play so we packed it up and headed to the cabin....just as it started raining again!

Thursday we had a trip planned with Guide Kent Klewein. Kent is a great guide and really wants you to have a good time, but also wants you to learn. Just as David is our go to guide in Tennessee, Kent will be our go to guide in Georgia. We fished the private section of Noontootla Creek which had a good bit more water than when we fished it last year, but was not as affected by the heavy rains as the Toccoa. We fished one section in the morning and had one pretty rainbow to hand and several good that even took me into my backing before it broke off!

Rachel with a Nice North Georgia Rainbow

Jamie with His Nice North Gerogia Rainbow

We took a break for lunch and re-fueled and moved to another section. We got into a section that proved to be MUCH FUN! We tied on some flies that Jamie had tied up for the trip and it was ON! I hooked into a nice rainbow and landed it. I managed to get a nice tangle in the midst of trying to get my rig out of the way, so Jamie moved into the same spot. WHAM! He landed a 21" rainbow that had some beautiful colors! Jamie moved upstream a little and I moved back into the spot! WHAM! After fighting this fish for what seemed like 30 minutes (reality...probably 10 minutes) and going downstream for what seemed like 100 yards (reality....probably 30 yards) I landed a beautiful 23" rainbow. Whew! After those two brutes, we were both pretty much pooped. We fished a while longer and called it a day....a GREAT day! Thanks Kent!

The Nantahala River in North Carolina

The next day, we woke up to....yes, you guessed it...rain. We headed over into North Carolina to the Nantahala DH. This is an absolutely beautiful river that I would like to fish again....with a little less water in it. Jamie hooked up with one rainbow and we kept on trying for a while, but we finally gave in and went in search of BBQ!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Knotheads & Slideshows

Tuesday night I went and visited the Lynchburg Flyfishers and we tied some knots. Now don't be fooled , we didn't watch anyone "tie the knot" or didn't hear of anyone's stomach being tied in knots", we just sat around and tied some knots, fishing knots that is. This group of folks are from various backgrounds and of different fly fishing disciplines. In the next couple months some of the group will attending the TU meeting here in M'boro and they will have a saltwater fly fishing meeting as well.

As far as the slideshow goes, just click on the photo below and see part II of the Year in Review. Oh yeah and Merry Christmas everybody and hope you enjoy...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

2008 The Year In Review

I have spent a good number of days on the water this year with a lot good folks including my family, and clients, new friends and old friends. I've had the pleasure of fishing several different rivers, some small streams and in the Gulf of Mexico as well this year. We've caught fish on nymphs with indicators, dry flys with droppers, and small streamers trailing bigger streamers and a lot of other stuff I can't remember. I didn't get to go cat fishin so I didn't use worms, but hopefully next summer I can get away, take the spinning rod, put it in the Y of a stick and wait for the twitch. Don't have a heart attack you want to go too.

Since the rivers are blown out here in Middle Tennessee and the Caney Fork is high, the Elk is rolling and since our trip down the Stones River through the middle of Murfreesboro didn't come about this weekend, well I thought I would make a slide show. With so many photos and many trips I finally stopped at four shows, so that should get us through the rest of the year. Hopefully I'll sneak out on the water if we can get Christmas taken care of and the weather will cooperate.

I started working on the slide show in between tying some fies for this weeks Lynchburg Flyfisher's meeting and digging through the garage looking for my 3 weight to take on the annual family New Year Smoky's trip. If you were in the boat over the past year and don't see your picture, stay tuned for the next slide show, because your photo is Prego (in there somewhere). By the way I found the three weight in with all the five weights and got most of the flies tied.

Also, let me know what you think about all this new (old to most people) technology. So, click on the brown trout below and see the first of four slide shows from 2008......and thanks to everyone who made 2008 a very good year on the water.

2008 The Year In Review

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Last Cast on the Caney Fork River

24 degrees. That is what the digital thermometer above the rearview mirror in my truck read Saturday morning. We layered up our clothing and shoved the boat off the trailer. A fog was coming off the water, because it was a lot warmer than the air outside. Our third partner dropped out at the last minute, which left me and Dan S. to float the Caney Fork River.

Shuttle Dan dropped Dan off at the top of the ramp and waved as he pulled off for his next shuttle. I haven’t seen his new dog Midge yet, but we had a good conversation about her on Friday night when I called to set up the shuttle. Midge must be a good dog because I hear rumors that she likes drifters.

The Caney Fork Was Quiet With No-One in Sight

We shoved off from the ramp and were quickly out into the middle of the river and drifting with the flow of one generator. Neither Dan nor I were in a big hurry to fish and were content just watch the herons and other wildlife while drinking our coffee. The first part of the trip was simply us floating along with good discussion, hot coffee and an occasional pull on the oars to help avoid landfall.

Finally I gave in, stepped up to the front casting platform and put a black Deceiver through its paces. The freshly tied fly brought several looks and flashes, but no takers for the first minutes. We concentrated on structure early in the float and with structure fishing comes boat positioning. Dan did a very good job taking the drifter through the stumps, downed logs and limbs were close to the bank.

Lefty's Deceiver

We anchored up in the midst of several hard hitting acrobatic browns. The first fish of the day was Dan’s. It was brown trout that was caught on a streamer that we named the Chicken Fly, because underwater, well, it looks like it is the size of a chicken. Quickly the conversation went downhill and considering the temperature, which was still very cold, The Chicken Fly was re-named the Frozen Chicken Fly.

A good Brown on the Chicken

Between knocking the ice out of our guides; we caught a couple more browns, a couple rainbows and a nice brookie to complete the slam. You can tell when the action is fast, because the first thing to be thrown by the wayside is the camera for the hero shot. Only the most colorful or nicest fish got their picture taken. The brook trout in the photo below measured just over 13” (or 19” on the Caney Conversion Chart), but the colors of the fish were among the most impressive of all the fish caught.

Colorful Brookie

A fly that I haven’t been using much this year is a Bust-a-Brown. This fly is one I developed one evening when I combined my poor tying habits with some red wine. The Bust-a-Brown first started as a soft hackle, but I quickly determined the soft hackle material did not cooperate with the wine and the fly rapidly became a soft hackle/streamer. The following day I was standing below Tims Ford Dam, in the Elk River with a couple friends. The TWRA apparently had just released several thousand 9-11” browns. Those browns couldn’t get enough of my new creation, but I couldn’t buy anything over 11” that day. I caught lots of fish, but never could get it down below those stockers, to see what else might be hungry. Over the years I would go back to the Bust-a-Brown from time to time, if I want to see if there is any action in a riffle here or drop off there.

#14 Bust-a-Brown

I tied several #14 Bust-a-Browns the other evening while working on my poor tying habits. When the action slowed a little I tied one on and threw it into the swift riffles against the bank. On the third cast a healthy 14” brown took the fly and quickly got a chance to see the inside of the boat net as well as a measuring tape. Yep, the fly still produces the browns when called upon.

We continued downriver as the sun came out from behind the clouds and warmed the day a little. The Chicken began to thaw and the fishing slowed to a crawl. We picked up a few here and there on nymphs and had some flashes on Deceivers. With the day winding down Dan noticed the Chicken was down to one eye and some of the tail material was tangled as well. The now One Eyed Chicken Fly continued to produce fish and flashes from the more curious fish.

The Brook Trout are Growing

“This is the last cast” is something we really don’t mean, but all seem to say. We look for every excuse to say those words one more time as we pull in slack to start another back cast. We had said those dreaded words at least twice already, as Dan was standing in the front casting brace looking at some downed structure. He had to get home for a Preds game and I wanted to surprise the family by getting home before dark.

Dan said “this is the last cast” again, as he dumped the forward cast. He started stripping the line fast. I knew he was going to take one more shot at the structure, because he had been looking at it out of the corner of his eye, as the current pushed us closer and closer. The dumped cast was unintentional; I shifted the nose of the boat a little more down stream for angle. Dan pulled the line, double hauled and put the One Eyed Chicken at the base of a stump, and then he gave a couple quick strips to take out any slack. With the first good pull a fish boiled and Dan set the hook. We backed into the middle of the river to keep the fish from tangling in the structure. When the fish made it into the safety of the net it was another brook trout that measured 13”. The appropriate photos were taken and we stored in the camera.

The Last Cast Produces

We stored the rods and swung the boat around so I could put my back into it and get us down to the ramp. It was about 45 degrees but the wind made it feel more like the morning in my mind. The fish were rising occasionally and we could see some sitting on the bottom feeding on who knows what. But, that really was the last cast.