Sunday, March 28, 2010

Elk River Fishing Report

Gary up Front with the Orvis Hydros

I met up early Saturday morning with Gary and Luke in Murfreesboro. After dropping the boat, then the truck, we were off, below Tims Ford Dam on the Elk River. The Elk is close to Lynchburg, Tennessee, which most people associate with Jack Daniels. Today the liquid of interest would be the cool waters of the Elk Rvier tailwater.

Luke had never cast a fly rod and we spent the first part of the day teaching casting techniques, which he picked up quickly. We also focused on the proper mend (for those who have fished with me, you understand this is a lengthy part of the instructions) and finally we discussed the best ways to fight a fish successfully.

The Hatchery Brats Came Out for Their Photo Op
The water was stained and it is possible the stain came from the heavy rains from a couple of nights prior to our arrival. The water clarity did seem to slow the fishing and even with the multiple hatches, between high winds, we still didn't see the surface activity we desired. But, the conditions gave use a chance to try a new pattern or two and to have some success on a fly Gary developed a few nights prior to the float. His recently developed bead head creation, brought some success to the boat with the addition of a brown trout to our list of fish.

An Elk River Brown Trout

The fish seemed to be holding close to structure. Not only the points of the bank and wood, but also to the bottom structure. Which meant knowing the river bottom and the currents was the best offense in the drift. The wind kept us on our toes and hard on the oars most of the day.

Water Clarity Wasn't the Best, But It Has Been Worse

The creek between the highway bridge and Tims Ford Dam was discharging slightly stained water. As with most post rain event days on the Elk, the other tributaries were pushing slightly stained water as well. This condition is normal for the Elk, but the fish were still somewhat active. A long drift was key and zero movement on the drift was a must. One of the rainbows watched the fly drift over head no less than six times before it was tempted to the fly.

Eyes of the Brown Trout

As the day went on the wind picked up and the fish continued to come to the fly, only when the presentation was at its best. We tried streamers before lunch, receiving mostly drive by's and no takers until late in the float.

The Technical Prtion of the Float

The Elk presents several different types of waters. Want to test mending skills? Try getting a drift through all the way through the the cut at General Lowes. With many different currents, logs, stumps and shoals, this is a test of the angler's ability to think out the currents ahead, while making slight corrections to the fly and challenge' the rower's ability to handle the boat . Whether a fish is caught or not caught through this section, it certainly the most challenging water on this river.

Gary and Luke were a pleasure to have on the boat. Luke will make a fine angler as he gets more time on the long rod. Gary has been fly fishing several years and has a unique ability to see the big picture when it comes to a day on the water.

Caught and Released

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Asian Carp Come to MIddle Tennessee

Check out this story about Asian Carp coming into Middle Tennessee.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Caney Fork Fishing Report and Eagles

The Weather- Partly Cloudy and Fishy

The Caney Fork River is getting back to good fishing. The brief taste of spring brought nice weather as well as rising and fighting fish. Dan, Anthony and I got out for a good float and observed some very nice fish! The water clarity was about 3' or so, as measured with the rod. When the pulse hit the clarity went down considerably, but that is to be expected.

Colorful Rainbows

We started out the day throwing big streamers...come to think of it...we finished the day that way too. But, in between we tried a few nymph patterns, also we tried just sitting in the drifter and being lazy in the sun. I thought I was going to be the most lazy and talked the guys into just anchoring up in the middle of the river. There I sat in the back of the drifter soaking up the sun, while Dan tried different patterns for rising fish. The sun overtook Anthony and I swear he dozed off. I think Anthony may have won the most relaxed award.

We spotted another bald eagle, which is becoming a regular on the trips to the river. Although the eagles (not the band, the bird of prey) don't seem to do anything out of the ordinary, they are still amazing. They soar in the air currents that comes off the bluffs around the river and are truly something spacial.

Dan Caught this Fish on a Fly His Father Tied

We finished up our day fishing topwater. We did not have much luck on top, but the weather seemed to fit perfectly with this style of fishing. Spring is coming! And, the water is the place to be. There were several reports of other nice fish caught on the river, the Elk is cranking up and the Obey is fishing well too. This is one of my favorite times of the year to get out, especially after this long, cold winter!

Getting out on the river is a great cure for Cabin Fever. The rivers in Middle Tennessee are fishing good and now is time to get out before the rivers get too crowded. Give us a call or send us an email to book your guided drift boat trip.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Southeastern Fly Podcast Episode 2- Dan's Fish to Catch Before the End of this Podcast or Before I Die

Dan and I sat down one evening to discuss his list of fish that he wants to catch. This is a bucket list of sorts and is based on the article he wrote for his blog titled Fish to Catch Before I Die

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lynchburg Fly Fishers

Tuesday night found me down at Fanning Bend club house presenting Observations from the Tailwaters, to the group in Lynchburg. It was a nice time, with a great group of anglers, in an outstanding venue. Thanks to Rhonda and all the folks who welcomed me into their meeting last night and I am looking forward to the next time I get down that way!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Obey River Fishing Below Dale Hollow

I snuck off to the Obey River yesterday. Really, Mark and Aaron were going to the Obey and invited me along to enjoy a float on falling water. For most of the spring and summer last year the Obey stayed on at least one generator. Low and falling water was not an option for the majority of the year. But, now is the time to float the Obey.

The First of Many Offerings

Waiting on the shuttle is a good opportunity to rig up the rods, sort through flies and hopefully, time permitting, to fish. The catching is not always the best at the ramp, but the casting and mending is a good tune-up for the day ahead.

While we were waiting on the shuttle I was watching a fish feed across from the ramp. This fish was set up just off the bank, on a ledge of rocks and the best news was, this fish was hungry. It was just out of casting distance, from the ramp and the pier. When we shoved off, this fish was our first of many targets. When we crossed the river, I was ready with a healthy streamer that looked like a good meal for a hungry trout. I dropped the streamer just off the bank and stripped across the rocks. The fish came from just off the ledge and chased the streamer for a short distance. Then the fish came around to taste the fly and ate it, head first.

A Hatchery Brat and Perfect Circles

We floated just a few more yards when the current flowed pretty heavy over a sunken tree. One of the reasons I like to fish un-weighted streamers is they continually want to float. Add that action to a sinking line and one of the benefits is the control it gives the angler. Stripping over the sunken tree limbs was not a problem. That streamer must have looked tasty, because a large trout came out from under the tree and up to the top, behind that streamer. The trout's back was actually a little out of the water and it looked like a jet fighter that was locked in on the target. The trout took the fly and went to the bottom shaking it's head. Then it came back to the top for a series of jumps. And, just like that the fish threw the fly and returned to the bottom and we continued hit the banks.

One of the Runs on Low Water

Clear Flat Water

We fished streamers until the generator shut down and the water began to fall out. There was a period of slower fishing until the fish decided the water level was just right and they went back to eating. By this time we were trying different nymph patterns and taking it as easy as we could. We began consistently picking up fish just before the "lunch spot" and hunger got the best of us, so we stopped for some sandwiches and chips. I went on a scouting walk and found a fish holding in a nice pool, all by itself. Some fish are not meant to be fished for and it was time to go. So, I put that fish in the memory bank and will see if it holds there on a regular basis the next float.
We Drowned a Few Nymphs That Must Have Taste Good

A Healthy Obey River Rainbow
We rounded out the day with a good number of fish. The float was enjoyable and provided different types of fly fishing to keep it interesting. There are a few fish that give the appearance of a hold-over and TWRA has also stocked the river with a nice helping of rainbows. There is enough action to keep it interesting and the chance a nicer fish is a real possibility. One of our previous trips to the Obey River found us at The Dale Hollow One Stop for bbq. This regular stop for dinner, after the float, has become somewhat of a routine and well worth the drive back across the river from the ramp.
This Fish Hit a Recently Tied Pattern
Now is a good time to book a trip on the Obey. The river is holding a lot of fish, but more importantly TVA is cooperating with a generous schedule of low water. The water temps are holding in the low 40's and Dale Hollow Lake pushing clear water into the river.
To book your trip to the Obey River give us a call or send an email to

Monday, March 8, 2010

Caney Fork Fishing

We got out on clear afternoon! Anthony..... David and I went to the Caney Fork River below Center Hill Dam and finally found some fish that were willing to cooperate. We started off with streamers and began to see a few flashes as well as a couple strikes here and there.

Anthony Working a Streamer

We went through the color chart and finally David found the right color combination. After David boated a couple fish, Anthony was quick to change to the magic color. I have to admit when it was my turn to fish, I had the right color on the line and quickly picked up a brown of my own.
TWRA Was Around to Check Out Some Folks
The new regulations took effect on March 1,2010. This should help to grow the fish to hold-over stages and should allow more fish to survive to good size. Trophy fish are not out of the question within the next two years, if the water improves.
A Healthy Rainbow with a Full Belly
We picked up browns and rainbows, but the water was a little high for most of the trip and we did not find the brook trout. The rainbows also went for streamers, which made us wonder if they are still keyed in on the shad kill that has been happening since a few weeks back. But, we didn't see a shad on this trip.
Nymphs Were Working Too

We fished nymphs toward the evening when we began to see fish rise. The nymphs had to be placed in just the right spot and within sight of the fish. The fish were not moving long distances for a meal. Water clarity continues to be an issue on the Caney, so an accurate cast is critical to success with a dead-drifted nymph.

David With a Nice Caney Fork Brown Trout

To book your trip on the Caney Fork River or the Elk River call 615.796.5143 or email