Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fly Fishing the Caney Fork for Project Healing Waters

This report actually started on April 11, 2009. That was the date Erik bid on a trip for two anglers on the Caney Fork. The donated trip was for the auction at Nabours & Friends for Project Healing Waters. Erik was gracious enough to bid and won the trip.

We began the “Will Call” program and began setting dates for the trip. Then it would rain and the generation would start. I would get an open date and he couldn’t get away. He would get an open date and I would be booked. So it went on for over a year. Last week Erik sent a text and asked what date is open for October? I responded back with the date and we set up the trip right then. So, Erik and Jackie met me at Happy Hollow and we were off to float the upper portion on the Caney Fork.

Jackie Hooked Up First

We started the trip off with the right attitude, plenty of laughs and some heckling. The weather was close to perfect and we launched as the Army Corps shut down the generation and sluice. With talk of rods and other gear and prior trips we began this one with the nymphs. The water was slightly off color. The lake level is below 626 and the color is a bit on the green side. Some will call it water level in the lake, some will call it lake turnover, but who really knows what causes the off color water?

The First Fish, Just to Prove We Were There

Another Brat

Early on the fish didn’t seem to mind. They were looking for flies that might taste good and Jackie was the first to score with a hatchery brat . Then she boated another and it was on. Erik wasn’t far behind with a few brats of his own. We stopped and switched to a high protein fly and Jackie boated a nice rainbow on her first topwater cast.

Erik is Hooked Up....Again

We dropped the anchor to fish dries to a pod of feeding fish. These fish are always in this spot and seemingly always feeding. However, they are not the easiest fish to catch on a dry fly. We started Erik on parachute flies and went through the box. Jackie hooked up, but Erik was intensely fishing to the first few fish in the pod. I grabbed the big box of dries and pulled out a Purple Passion, no not the drink, the Purple Passion fly. Some people swear by the color purple. Some say it is the first color fish see on the color chart. After a few fish refused the fly, I began to select a smaller fly. A rainbow came up and nailed Erik’s offering, he set the hook and the fish began to run. The fish ran around the boat and promptly tangled the fly line in the loading hook on the drifter. After much scurrying by the guide, the fish made the right move and the line came loose. Erik boated the fish and we decided to leave the pool so we could make the takeout sometime before dark.

Fished Hard for This One
Notice the Color of the Water

Erik Strikes with the Nymph Rod

The day continued on with both anglers seeing and catching fish here and there. Then we drifted into a section of water that seemed to be holding every nice brown in the river. It appears the large browns are in full pre-spawn, pairing up and staging for the upcoming event. Hopefully they will get through their ritual, get on the shoals and get it over with, before they are caught when they are the most vulnerable. We moved on...

The Shadows Were Getting Long

Caught & Released

At the end of the evening I had lost count of the fish and certainly lost count of the laugh count, which seemed to be high on the fun meter. We cashed in a bunch of fun tickets on this float and I am looking forward to fishing with these two accomplished anglers in the future.

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