Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fishing in the Winter

Still Ice on the Trees

Hope everyone survived the snowstorm of 2010. The water level below the local dams is still extremely high not to mention dangerous. I had some work to do on an upcoming article, so I took the family and the dogs for a adventure to a nearby creek. We all had fun playing in the snow, tackling the dogs and slipping around on everything slick. Now, everyone is in having their hot chocolate and warming up.

Couldn't Resist the Streamer in Clear Water

So, after the photos are uploaded and the final touches are put on the article, it will be back to the tying bench in preperation for the upcoming year. We are still working on several projects including the Tri-Cities Riverside Angler's Weekend. Also we continue to book early Spring day trips and 3/4 day trips, once the water is more manageable.

I know we keep talking about the upcoming things and there are a few more interesting projects that are soon to be released. We also hope to be back on the water soon and hope to see you on the water!

See the Latest Fishing Report from Southeastern Fly and Click Here for Regional Travel Information

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Calvary Outfitters & Center Hill Water Release Update

Calvary Outfitters meets tomorrow night, Thursday, January 28, 2010@ 7:00 P.M.

This will be their first meeting of the new year at Calvary Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, TN. On the agenda will be tying a few flies and giving your fishing reports. For questions contact Anthony Williams 615.416.1596.


Center Hill Dam continues to release large amounts of water, but, the water level in the lake is going the right direction... So, what does that mean? Nothing right now. Oh, unless you like striper fishing and the possibility that when the generation is reduced there may be some stripers in the river and stripers being what stripers, they love to hit a fly. I am staying tuned just for another excuse to get on the water.

Why are we following Center Hill so close? Let's face it, that is a lot of water!



Elevation immediately above the dam

(feet above mean sea level)

Elevation immediately below the dam

(feet above mean sea level)

Average Hourly*

(cubic feet per second)










* discharge reported at end of hour

See the Latest Fishing Report from Southeastern Fly and Click Here for Regional Travel Information

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Center Hill Dam Water Release Update

We are waiting for the water to recede from this weekend's rains and it is going to take a while. Great Falls Dam is spilling and now Center Hill Dam has cranked it up as well. Below is the water release from this morning, which shows the hourly discharge. Also, take a look at the Elevation above the dam on Center Hill (the lake side of the dam) it continues to climb.



Elevation immediately above the dam

(feet above mean sea level)

Elevation immediately below the dam

(feet above mean sea level)

Average Hourly*

(cubic feet per second)

9pm 637.42 489.82 14,600
10pm 637.55 489.85 14,600
11pm 637.68 489.88 14,600
midnight 637.80 489.90 14,600
1am 637.92 489.82 14,600
2am 638.01 489.81 14,600
3am 638.11 489.81 14,600
4am 638.19 489.79 14,500
* discharge reported at end of hour

See the Latest Fishing Report from Southeastern Fly and Click Here for Regional Travel Information

Friday, January 22, 2010

Caney Fork, Elk Generation & We've Got Some Work To Do

The rain, this has been the story of the past several months. But, we rescheduled the trips for the next few days, as did several of our friends that were coming up from Georgia. I am sure the rain will let up and the fishing will get back to normal, but I am ready to get out and be on the water for an extended amount of time, with an extended amount of action too. The US Army Corps is turning loose water at a rapid rate at Center Hill Dam today and tomorrow.

Center Hill Dam Release
Date Time (Central) Generators
1/22/2010 noon - midnight 2 or more
1/23/2010 midnight - midnight 2 or more

...and if that isn't a kicker TVA is turning loose a fair amount of water at Tims Ford Dam for this time of year as well.

Tims Ford Dam Release

Date Time (Central) Generators
1/22/2010 3pm - 4pm 0

4pm - 9pm 1

9pm - midnight 0
1/23/2010 midnight - 6am 0

6am - noon 1

noon - 5pm 0

5pm - 8pm 1

8pm - midnight 0 there we have it from those two rivers anyway. Dale Hollow Dam may be an option. I need to work through this evening, at least, to bring some projects up to speed and get at least one of them ready to release later next week. Stay tuned for a pretty neat thing we have coming up. We will be posting it later next week. Until then I am going to work.

See the Latest Fishing Report from Southeastern Fly and Click Here for Regional Travel Information

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Light Dam Release on the Caney Fork

A Heron Just as the Rain picked Up

Winters can be good for fishing and some may not be so good for fishing. This winter seems to be feast or famine as are the water releases from Center Hill Dam. We were on the Caney again and this time with Gary, who is an accomplished fly fisherman. Gary is dedicated to fishing at least one different river each month. The rivers Gary has fished appear to be endless and he is extremely comfortable on the water as well as in the casting brace. Add with that some cool stories and it makes for a fun day.

We launched the boat just minutes after the one hour pulse of 4250 CFS began from Center Hill Dam. We started early with streamers and found few looks through the upper stretch. We had a decent brown and saw several flashes. A nice larger brown trout that did everything but take the temperature of an articulated fat head that Gary was throwing. The banks of the river were still showing us low water when the generator shut down and the Army Corps went back to the normal 250 CFS sluice.

Gary Just After a Brown on a Streamer

We drifted nymphs with trailing midges through productive water and rowed back upstream on several different occasions. As I was rowing back through Lancaster it seemed no fish were rising anywhere, so we took a break and had a quick shore lunch. Sometimes just sitting and observing the passing water makes it easier to think of the next few tricks to try. We had success on streamers but finally the fish appeared to start midging half-way through our meal. So, we opted more for mostly dries with droppers of midges and nymphs for the second part of the day.

The traffic on the river was somewhat heavy for a winter day. The other boats were polite and we all worked together as each boat reported a slow day. After a small bottleneck, Gary and I broke out of the pack, bagged a decent brown and then missed a few fish. Gary keyed into a rising fish and threw an excellent cast just upstream of the rise. A quick mend and then seconds later the indicator dove to the bottom. When Gary set the hook the fish broke off. It was a straight break of tippet and no pigtail for those who are wondering.

A Cold Winter Day and Ice Falls on the River

The slow action continued throughout the remainder of the day, but Gary, who is a veteran of the water knew the score and kept his spirits up. It was fun joking with other boats and watching Gary throw streamers while I was changing midges and nymphs on the other rods.

Slow was the word of the day, but it sure felt good to be on the water. And, this time we were able to launch the boat at the bottom of the ramp instead of the top. Bill and Josh it was nice to meet you both and hope to see you on the water in the future.

Caught & Released

See the Latest Fishing Report from Southeastern Fly and Click Here for Regional Travel Information

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January Caney Fork Fishing Report

Sometimes it isn't the greatest idea to go fishing. Today however, it was a real good idea. With the air temps at 10 degrees when I left the house, how could it be anything but a good day?

First off the ramps were all frozen. David and I couldn't do the float from the Center Hill Dam to Happy Hollow because of the icey ramps. So we went to Betty's Island to check out the ramp there. We could get to the ramp and since the sun was on the ramp it was relatively clear of ice and snow. Can get off the takeout ramp....Check One!

The ramp at Happy was icey and slick, what should we do? Minutes later we were unloading the drifter from the trailer and with a few good pushes, we slid the drifter down the ramp and into the Caney Fork River. Fly fisherman will go to great lengths to catch brown trout.

Once we were on the water the plan was to throw big streamers and with the water temps at 44 degrees it should have been a perfect streamer day. The action was slow through the first 1/2 of the float, but once we found some shade the brown trout came out and hit the offerings.

I won't bore you with the details and besides I need to thaw out. So here are some pictures that help explain the day.

Sometimes Getting to the Water is Half the Fun

This Brown Was a Little on the Skinny Side

Snow on the Hills Around the Caney Fork River

This One Had a Nice Head Shake

David Popped This One in Afternoon

Finally Falling Water

My Turn Again

See the Latest Fishing Report from Southeastern Fly and Click Here for Regional Travel Information

Almost to the Water

Monday, January 4, 2010

January 3 2009 Caney Fork Fishing Report

COLD!! That's the report, thanks for stopping by...

No really there is more to the report than that, however the cold was the big story of the day. I got a call from Dan asking if there was still room in the boat for the trip on Sunday. My potential partner was teetering on the edge of not going, so I said sure. We agreed to wait until it "warmed up" and decided to leave the house at 9:00 A.M.

Note To Self- 18 Degrees at 9:00 A.M. is Not Warm.

Dan had just finished with a month of Christmas duties, as we all had, and he had finished the revamping his website as well. I had been cooped up in the house tying streamers, putting some touches on a presentation and working out logistics for the Tri-Cities Angler's Weekend. So, I was ready to hit the water, cold or no cold!

We were on the water by 10:30 and made the trip around the dam pool with the flow of the current. The stripers were not there, the river water was probably too cold for the bait and the shad kill did not appear to be happening. So it wasn't until we passed the ramp that we had the first strike from a trout that was smaller than what we were throwing. We both momentarily forgot about the cold.

First Hit Was Just Downstream of Here

We were throwing the big stuff and had several looks and tugs, but no real players until just above Lancaster. Then we had a fish-on while throwing a rainbow pattern and then another strike while the fly was just laying on the water and Dan was trying to warm his hands.

Sculpin Brown

We continued on and finally boated a respectable brown that had a 4"-5" sculpin lodged in it's throat. The tail of the sculpin was sticking out of the brown's mouth about 1/2". This supports the theory that fish eat other fish head first. However, the mystery remains as to why any fish would hit a large streamer, when it has not finished the meal it obviously was trying to digest.

"You have to take it off the hook. It's too cold & I ain't touching that fish!"
Dan Sharley. January 3, 2009 just above Lancaster TN.

Dan and I continued on downriver and I hooked up, this time with a trophy brown...

Another Note to Self: Do what the guide says and don't raise the rod tip. I cannot remember the number of times I have said this and seen this only to watch the fish roll and get off the hook. The angler (i.e. me this time) should fight the fish from belt and not raise the rod tip up until the last second, just in time to make the scoop with the net. We were quickly over losing that fish about an hour and half later.

The Army Corps was pumping water through one generator at 4250 CFS and had a somewhat constant flow going throughout our time on the water. The water was a little high, but there were some fish that came out to play and some that came out to look at the big stuff we were throwing.

We had several more takes and hits, but only one more trophy on. This fish had experience and shook the hook before Dan could get a good hook set. The hook set wasn't from lack of trying and an angler has to wonder how a fish can get away after eating the head of a fly with two hooks. Overall the work over the past few weeks at the tying vice seems to be paying off. But, I am sure the cold weather had us both off our game just a little...or really probably more than that, but I am not ready to fully admit that just yet.

How about a night float later this week? It is supposed to be in the single digits.

See the Latest Fishing Report from Southeastern Fly and Click Here for Regional Travel Information

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Upcoming Events for 2010

2010 is already shaping up to be a good year with several new things on the horizon. Now, we won't change the things that have brought success, but we are not going to stick with the old things if they are not working. We are still making every float trip the very best it can be and we are still the guided drift boat service who specializes in helping every client become a better angler. Below are just a few new things coming in 2010.

The Tri-Cities Riverside Anglers Weekend
April 8th - 11th, 2010

We are partnering with Bee Cliff Cabins for 4 days of Fly Fishing and 3 Nights lodging on the Watauga River. These dates are just in time for the caddis hatch and with Bee Cliff's excellent location there is more water available than can be fished in a lifetime. We are offering three packages from accommodations to accommodations & float trips with local guides. Click here for additional info or email Southeastern Fly to make your reservations.

The 3/4 Day Tailwater Float Trip

This is Winter fishing at it's best and sometimes most difficult. There's no stopping for shore lunches and no watching indicators or dry flies. This trip is an all out assault for larger fish. Anglers will be casting big nasty streamers, with full sinking lines for larger fish. It isn't easy, but it can be the most rewarding time of the year.

Click Here for Additional Information and to Book the Trip

Group Seminars

Last year I was fortunate to give several presentations to groups here in the Southeast. We started 2009 with the Hendersonville Fly Fishing Club and after several stops throughout the year we ended in Atlanta with the Cuhutta Chapter of TU. This year the Observations from the Tailwaters presentation will still be available and look for Midges to Meat, which is an overall look into tailwater foods and techniques.

Give David a call for additional info at 615.796.5143
or email David here.

Kicking Off 2010

The Hacienda

We slipped off to lower Middle Tennessee for the day and met some friends at a cabin, for some cold outdoor activity's. Grilling burgers, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, shooting clays and some paper targets. Most of all we put wood on the fire and had good conversation. It was a good way to kick-off the new year.

My Turn To "Shoot At" Some Clay

Todd Shows Us How To "Hit" Some Clay

See the Latest Fishing Report from Southeastern Fly and Click Here for Regional Travel Information