Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fly Fishing the Caney Fork

Between Weather Cells We Caught These
Some anglers like a good challenge. Most of what has been posted around the internet says, the Caney has no fish. Is it as exciting as a couple years ago? Probably not on most days. There do not seem to be as many 14-16" fish right now as there were a couple years back, which is unfortunate. The rains last year, the dam construction, the grout and on and on (insert reason here.....) had an effect on the river. But, getting out and finding the holdovers, along with TWRA bringing the hatchery brats in by truck made today another good day for us.

Lower Water Produced a Bunch of Hatchery Brats

We were on the water at about 9:00 A.M. and ahead of the storms....for a while. It was going to be a quick trip. We had four fish on before we left the ramp and a dozen more were boated before the first hour ended. By the time we heard the first thunder of the day we were already calling it a good day. The white bass complemented the normal run of browns and rainbows.
Anthony took a break from the oars, stepped up to the front casting brace of the drifter and began working structure. While I was watching for lightening and generally not paying attention, he popped a nice fish with the streamer rod. Anthony played the fish perfectly from one side of the river to the other side of the river. The fish came to the net and Anthony bagged the brown of the day. Then, a loud crack of thunder came and we were off, rowing like a mad man I was ready to get to the ramp.

Anthony With the Brown of the Day

Rowing Into the Storm

We Caught a Few of These
After rowing about as far and as fast as I could, and trying to get to the ramp, I asked Anthony to take the oars. It seemed like a couple miles of straight rowing and I was a little tired. Now Anthony was rowing and there was a break in the storms. This seemed like the perfect time for my turn to throw the streamer rod. Sometimes I feel sorry for my friends when I am in the casting brace. The reason? Because I am as picky with the boat positioning as I am with clients mending.
Anthony put the boat in the exact position that I wanted. This gave just the right distance for the right cast. After a couple short strips the fight was on. The rod bent over almost double and the fish started hard head shaking runs around the boat. When we got the first look at the fish we thought it was either a smallmouth or a grouper (OK that was a joke). Finally the fish came to the surface and Anthony scooped th fish up into the net. It was the first smallmouth I can remember being caught in the drifter on the Caney. What a nice fish it was too.

A Nice Smallie from the Caney Fork River

Some of you may be wondering if we beat the worst storms. Lets just say getting the boat on the trailer was interesting, especially with 3" of water in the bottom. And, this would be a totally different report if we didn't make it to the ramp. Overall we caught a lot of fish.
The hatchery brats kept us busy between the holdovers, the white bass are still in the river if the angler is ready and the Caney continues to produce a good fish. The Caney seems to produce for the diligent anglers and Our day was very good. Not bad for a river that most people say doesn't hold any fish...


  1. Glad you guys made it out of there safely. That is a nice smallmouth! Looks like you found a few fish anyways...

  2. That's a nice SM. Did you weigh him? Was it spawned out? You should put that on the CFF forum along with a little plug for your guiding.