Friday, January 30, 2009

Latest Fly Fishing Report From Around the U.S

******Updated Report*******

To help keep everyone in the loop with what’s going on in the world of fly fishing, we have another new item for 2009. I’ve touched base with some old friends as well as new friends in the fly fishing and guiding business from around the United States. These folks have agreed to give us some fishing reports. See the Resources Page for their information.

Since it is cold and the folks from Kentucky are socked in by the ice and snow and the people from Ohio are trying to shovel their way out of the recent snows. Those who are lurking from Michigan, in between sledding and riding your snow mobiles, probably could use a fix. Let’s bring everyone up to speed with some fly fishing from other places.

This 18 lb Redfish Caught in Apalachicola Bay

Apalachicola, Florida and the Florida Keys:

Kathy Robinson from Robinson Brothers Guide Service in the Florida Panhandle sent us this report: As the weather & water warms, Spanish Mackerel normally start showing up and they are a blast to fish for. Colder weather is great for striper fishing in the Apalachicola River system, so if it's not right for trout & reds, guess where you'll be fishing? Robinson Bros will head south this month to fish the Keys for Permit, Bonefish, Tarpon and Barracuda.

Upstate New York:

Adirondacks- The season does not begin until April, however there is excellent winter fishing for steelhead in the Lake Ontario tributaries.

Jeff Etnyre on the Henry's Fork

The Henry's Fork- Thanks to Jeff Etnyre of Hyde Boats for this report. In spite of the snow we are still fishing. Although its a little early, we'll soon see consistent hatches of midges and blue winged olives as the temperatures warm up. February, March and April can be very good when the temperatures are above freezing. Most all of the fish we caught on the last trip were on size 18-22 midges. Fishing this time of year is weather dependent but it can be very good.

North Georgia:

Toccoa River The heavy rains and generation have flushed the river. Blue wing olive's have been hatching; tiny black stone flies have just started hatching and will continue through February. Midges are consistent as is usually the case this time of year.

Noontootla Creek Farms is running at the best water levels in years. The entire stream is fishing very good. With the water up the fish aren't spooky. Kent says this river just dosen't get any better as far as fishing conditions.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Hyde XL

The Hyde Drift Boats XL Model

Hyde Drift Boats has released their newest model drifter the Hyde XL Low Profile. This boat has a center line of 16’ and can be configured with a walk through interior, which is my favorite design. The walk through interior saves friends and clients from seat hopping as they move to different casting platforms within the boat. However Hyde Boats are a modular design and can be configured over a thousand different ways to accommodate the owner.

Click on the Photo for Configuration Video

The new side storage boxes give a total amount of 25.37 cubic feet of dry storage, in the walk around style boat. In my mind if there is a space to carry something….there has to be something to carry in that space. However to keep the boat neat, I like things to be in a storage unit or a cooler and side storage boxes provide even more storage.

The XL has an increased footprint. In layman’s terms the bottom of the boat’s surface area has been increased to allow the boat to float even higher in the water. This will let the boat float through shallower water, which allows it to slide across an increased number of the shoals on low water.

Sometimes water gets into the boat from entering and exiting the river. The recessed floors keep water off the rower’s feet during the summer months when it is warm enough to wear sandals. This doesn’t seem like a big deal unless your feet have been in water all day with sandals while you are rowing. If this has happened to you then you know exactly what I am saying. The Hyde design, top and bottom, is extremely well thought out for the anglers as well as the rower.

While we are on the subject of what is under foot, Hyde has spent a remarkable amount of time and money researching and developing the G4 bottom. The G4 “shoe” as it is call by many is made of a slick polycarbonate that fits the bottom side of their boats. For those who aren’t crazy about bottom maintenance, after a season of running rocky rivers, the G4 shoe is certainly worth the money as well as peace of mind.

All of Hyde’s boats come standard with recessed reverse rod storage. The tubes are lined with marine vinyl to protect an angler’s rods. The tube is also divided so you can easily store two fully rigged rods on each side. There is also still room in front of the rowing station to put the cooler, which is extremely important for longer and warmer days.

Some of the Color Options Available

Hyde offers a Lifetime Warranty and because they manufacture all of their boats and trailers, they have the ability to customize all of their boats. So, color options, configurations, and nearly every other option is virtually endless.

For those who have fished with me you know I use and some say abuse my Hyde. The construction of these boats is second to none. In short the XL is certainly worth considering for folks who might be in the market for a new boat. The features of the Hyde XL are well thought out and constructed with the quality that Hyde Boats have been know for.

Thanks to Jeff Etnyre, Matt Hyde and Hyde Drift Boats for your help with the information and photos for this review.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fly Fishing the Caney Fork With Streamers

I am writing this at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night with three hours sleep in the past forty-eight hours. We just came in off the river and it was an outstanding day. I fished with Anthony Williams and Dan Sharley who are both friends of mine from Murfreesboro. We fish together quite a bit, but today was a little different for us. We usually fly fish the Caney Fork River by floating a nymph at least for a little while, but today we threw streamers for 11 hours straight. Streamer fishing is my favorite way to fish so this time of the year is something I can get excited about.

We started the day leaving the dam at 7:45 or so with the digital thermometer in the truck showing ICE. We started throwing streamers and immediately started raising fish. Early on we moved several fish but hook-ups and landings were a little slower than expected. After we got into the groove we started landing some fish. A friend of ours, Mark Roberts was behind us most of the day with a friend of his Aaron and they left the dam shortly after we shoved off.

A Still Growing Caney Fork Brook Trout

Anthony hit the combination early in the day with a pattern he tied up and Dan wasn’t far behind trying some new patterns his father has been working on. I watched these two fish while I was at the oars. They were consistently placing the flies within inches of their targets and hit most of the places that might hold a trout or two. The rewards were worth their trouble. Like I said Anthony stepped it up a notch today and landed some very nice browns, completing his slam without a problem. Dan picked up nice fish of all three varieties as well. I struggled early on, but completed my slam after lunch too.

Anthony and His Lucky Hat - Catch the After Lunch Brown Trout

Speaking of lunch… we cruised into the usual lunch spot we had the first double of the day. Anthony brought his brown to the net, but the double almost went unnoticed due to the fact that Dan had such a nice rainbow on his line. We brought the fish to the net and stopped to eat our Mesquite grilled burgers with the usual accoutrements. The discussion for the day was about the cold weather and boat traffic. Mark and Aaron came ashore shortly after and we continued sharing our points of view on fires, fish and cold fronts. Then before we knew it we were in the drifter with Anthony hooked up on another brown.

Dan's Rainbow...A Strip, A Fight, A Catch, A Photo and A Release

The weather was very cold and didn’t get above 43 degrees with a “feels like” of cold and windy. After the sun started going down behind the bluffs and trees the cold became downright nasty. Reviving fish was necessary, but brutal on the hands at the same time. I wouldn’t have had it any other way because the day was such a good one. I will post this in the morning but for now I am off to catch up on some of that sleep I missed over the past couple days.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Upcoming With Southeastern Fly

I've been away for a week or so, but before that and after the last post I've been tying flies for upcoming trips, rigging a rod or two or three and doing some writing for some upcoming articles. The articles consist of some work for this website as well as some work for some other folks. Since you've clicked on this site we'll give you an update. If everything goes my way I'll be on the river tomorrow throwing my favorite old streamers and one or two new patterns and that report should be up soon after. I've talked with Hyde Boats, gotten some info on their newest boat and there will be a boat review in the next couple weeks. Anthony Williams has been kind enough to shoot some photos of the Bust-a-Brown and I've been working on the tutorial for that fly. Yep, I have been busy.

This week we welcome MidCurrent news...we've added MidCurrent news to the right side of the fishing report. The Editor of MidCurrent is Marshall Cutchin who is a former Key West fishing guide turned internet publisher. MidCurrent is an outstanding resource for all things fly fishing. Their news is only one part of who they are and the services they provide.

Also, Calvary Outfitters meets this Thursday evening here in Murfreesboro and if all goes well I'll stop by and check that out. See their website for the time and location.

Ron Snow who is a guide in Montana and here in Tennessee is planning a benefit for Project Healing Waters. You can check out his site at Nabours and Friends For Project Healing Waters. for all the info concerning the meeting to kick off the project. The kickoff will be Tuesday, January 27th at Fanatics Sports Grill also here in M'boro.

Also, we started booking trips for the spring so we are already shuffling some things around to accommodate folks.

So just when you might have been thinking I had won the lottery and caught a plane ride to warmer weather (everyone reading this in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Iowa I feel your pain) I show up with this update. Stay tuned in the next week or two for some good fishing info and a fishing report or two.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hendersonville Fly Fishing Club

On Tuesday night I was invited to speak with the Hendersonville Fly Fishing Club at Steamboat Bill’s Restaurant in Hendersonville, TN. The club had a good turnout of folks, who all appear to be fly fishing enthusiasts.

The topic was Midge, Streamer and Nymph Fishing in Middle TN. We spent time discussing the tailwaters of the Obey, Elk and Caney Fork rivers. The group had some very good questions concerning each of the rivers and the techniques of all fly types. As usual I learned from the group and will put some of the things into practice the next time I am on the water.

The Hendersonville Fly Fishing Club has several outings throughout the year, one of which is an upcoming trip to Arkansas. They also have another trip planned to Upper East TN later in the year. The club is a well organized group who even has a library of books and videos to help their members become better fly fishers.

I appreciate the opportunity to speak in front of the club and recommend if you are in the Hendersonville, TN area on the second Tuesday of the month to stop by Steamboat Bills and meet the folks in the Hendersonville Fly Fishing Club.

The rivers around Middle TN have been pretty much blown out with large amounts of generation. The Army Corps and TVA appear to be taking advantage of the high water to generate electricity. We welcome the electricity they generate for heating our homes while it is 9 degrees outside, but the fish are probably just trying not to drown. That being said, as the water recedes around the creeks in Middle TN the generation is slowly cutting back. When the water becomes a little more manageable to drift we will be back out throwing some of the streamers that we’ve been working on for the past several weeks.

I’ll keep you in the loop as we head back out onto the water…

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fly Fishing the Obey River With Streamers

Here in Middle TN. weather has been the big story on the news, with our friends and certainly within the fly fishing community over the past week. The Army Corps has been releasing water into the Caney Fork at levels we saw in early spring of 2008. It seems that TVA was trying not to release large amounts of water at the Elk River until later in the week, but it appears they too have given into the rains and begun releases of just under 3900 CFS.

The Weather Guess

On Saturday there would be neither fly fishing the Caney Fork River nor would there be fishing the bend pool at the Elk River. This time of year there are not as many folks booking trips as spring, summer and fall. So, I had the choice of fishing steamers for larger trout at the Obey, or working on an upcoming presentation at the Hendersonville Fly Fishing Club meeting this Tuesday night? It quickly became obvious that some “field work” would be the only way to discuss the latest tactics for the upcoming presentation with the Hendersonville group. That’s my story and I’m stickin to it. I hooked up the drifter and off Dan and I went to the Obey.

Light rain and warmer, that was the weather guess. Falling water for the morning and mud lines entering the river at the various creeks would be the water conditions or so we wanted to think. Everything looked good as we hit I-40 and then got onto Highway 56. We hit Highway 53 and got our first glimpse at the Cumberland River just North of Gainesboro, TN. There were whole trees, large logs and brush floating in the Cumby. That river would dangerous at best to navigate today. We continued to listen to Kelly Galloup and drive toward the Obey.

How does the Cumby affect a day of fly fishing on the Obey? Well the Obey is a short tailwater that flows from the Dale Hollow Dam into the Cumberland River at Celina. Wolf Creek Dam was releasing over 21,000 CFS into the Cumberland to keep pressure off the dam, which is under repair. Also, water from the creeks between Wolf Creek and the confluence of the Obey at the Cumberland, would add water to the Cumby. The Cumberland River would be high and actually back up into the Obey. The backed up water of the Cumberland would bring stained water into the lower section of the usually clear Obey.

We unloaded the drifter at Moody Boat Ramp just above Celina. The boat ramp beavers had been doing a very nice job of working on the trees at the ramp and they had a couple trees about halfway ready to fall. Little we realize significance of falling trees until late in the float.

I met the shuttle at the lower ramp in Celina and got a good look at the lower portion of the Obey. Already there was debris floating in the Obey even with one generator pushing water from Dale Hollow into the Cumberland. This was going to be an interesting day of fishing.

Dale Hollow Releases

Date Time (Central) Generators

1/10/2009 6am - 7am 0

7am - 8am 1

8am - midnight 0

We shoved off from Moody about 30 minutes post generation and started our float. We started throwing large steamers, because we wanted to see just how big the trout are in the Obey and what better way to see than throwing the meat? Within an hour the flow slowed to a crawl and the water became slightly stained. But, we trudged along picking up smaller rainbows here and then there. We tried some nymphs and midges to rest our/my arm from the streamer rod. As usual the BHPT # 14 came through for us, first in the middle of the river then against some large rocks along a bluff. It stopped raining long enough to down a couple chicken tenders Dan picked up the night before, then it rained some more.

But, the real reason we were there was to see the bigger fish and how they reacted to larger flies. We had many flashes and some hook ups, but didn’t connect with the really large fish, which were following our presentations many times as we stripped them back from the bank. We tried several different streamers such as Clousers (I am a big fan of this fly), the Chicken Fly, Deceivers, Wooly Buggers and a couple home made recipes. We hit on several different colors as well, but the colors seemed to change depending on how hard it was raining if nothing else. There are some bigger browns in the Obey and they will pursue bigger flies if not for food, it was daytime, then to feed their territorial instinct. It continued to rain…

As we rounded the bend at the halfway point and picked our way through the debris in the water, the flow stopped. With no release from Dale Hollow Dam and the Cumberland backing up, the Obey River virtually came to a complete standstill. We were halfway to the lower ramp with no push from a release. What should we do? Fish of course! We continued throwing streamers against the bank as the water was just starting to creep up into the trees. It appeared the Cumby was making its way further and further up the Obey and the clouds continued to dump rain…

At dark we decided to continue fishing as much as we could until we got to the ramp. We were hugging the left downstream bank and were about a ½ mile from the ramp. That’s when a large tree gave way from the pressure of the water and fell into the river about 50 yards in front of us. The small waves from the tree rocked the boat. The tree reached out into the river a little less than half way and was about two feet in diameter. I was at the oars and made a quick scissor stroke, which put us out into the middle of the river and away from the banks that we had fished to all day and now into the night. We made our way around the tree and both thanked God we hadn’t been a minute earlier. The smell of fresh wood filled the air along with the smell of the rain that had come down all day…

At the ramp we loaded the drifter and got into some drier clothes. I put the flies we used throughout the day in the front of the truck to begin to dry out for next week. Oh and the weather guess? The weather guess was pretty accurate for the day… it did rain, but it sure beat not getting out and enjoying a day on the river.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Boats for Fly Fishing the Caney Fork, Elk River and Other Rivers.

I’m not in the market for a new boat, but…if I were I would certainly take a long hard look at the newest model from Clackacraft. The new 16’ Low Profile Fly Pod looks like a great new boat from Clackacraft. Now, I don’t row a Clacka, but this boat has all the features I have been thinking about in a boat such as: a low profile, walk through design, an easier walk around rear knee brace, double front and rear rod storage.

Side Storage Locker

Over the past few years I have begun the migration from 2 piece rods to 4 piece rods, but not all my rods nor my clients rods are 4 piece design. Therefore, we don’t have those cool shorter rod tubes which are easier to store. So, the two side storage lockers appear to have plenty of storage for those longer rod tubes and the chairs for our shore lunches. The storage lockers have non-skid material on the tops and you can walk on them as well. This is a really useful and nice feature.

I am not completely sold on the Gulfstream Bottom as being better than Hyde’s smooth bottom, but I am not sure how much I could tell between the two without rowing both in the same day. So, I won’t even go there as it would just be speculation.

The Interior of the Clackacraft Fly Pod

The 16’-5” length is just a few inches shorter than our Hyde. It is interesting that Clacka decided to lengthen the distance between the two angler positions, which should give a little more casting room. The guide needs all the room they can get to pull that anchor rope from the floor. The anchor floor system is a little tough on the back, but you can put your legs into it if you have to pull it up from the depths.

Anyone who knows me knows that I like things that look cool. Clacka is offering 13 different colors which can make just about any color combo. I am sure there are several color combos that can make these boats look good while floating downstream.

Like I said I’m not in the market for a new boat….not yet anyway. But if I were, I would certainly take a long hard look at the Low Profile Fly Pod.