Sunday, March 20, 2011

Elk River Fly Fishing Report

Fishing Report- The Caney Fork is running three generators and the Obey is running a couple generators. Anglers from boats can catch fish on both rivers under the current generation, but the conditions can be very dangerous and/or slow. There was a report of a very large brown caught this week. Unfortunately the fish was not released, but it proves there are still some large fish to be found in the Caney Fork. All this water and the hunt for fish bring us to the Elk River...
Gary with a Fish-on, David Yelling Strip!
The Elk was fishing good last week. There were some rains during the week, however the river cleared up when TVA pushed one generator for several days and the tributaries began to fall. The fish are very healthy and are putting up a good fight when they are hooked. The water temps are nice and cold and the water is getting more clear as the weeks go on. This will not last for the entire Spring, but for now, with these conditions the water quality is a good as I have seen in years. If you know where to look the fish are responding.
- I
This trip had been planned, scheduled, re-planned, rescheduled and finally the day came. We had two boats, five people and a lot of anticipation. The Elk fished as good as it ever has fished. Before the day was over there would be more fish than could be counted, good food and smiling-tired faces.
One of the Caves Along the Float
Lynchburg TN is known for Jack Daniels and Miss Mary Bobo's. The famous whiskey is made from natural spring water. This cave is early in this float and is a reminder of the whiskey that made this area famous. The water that feeds into the river from this cave is running clear. But if you float this section too soon after a major rain event, water from this cave only adds to the chocolate color of a stained river. For the next several days the water should only improve.
First Fish on a New Fly Rod
Gary bought a new fly rod last year, on a trip out West, and he was ready to put it to use. The fish were none too happy about the end result, but they came to the party and Gary got some action early....and often. We started on nymphs and never really got into anything else. We tried a variety of patterns and caught fish on most of them. Confidence was a big deal in the boat on this trip. If there was no confidence in the fly there was little or no action on that pattern. The theory of confident anglers proved out again.

Spring is Upon Us
Healthy & Colorful Rainbows
Was it the super-full moon that is 50,000 KM to the earth or the generation? There are so many theories about fish and why they eat, but water quality and water level are definitely major factors in fly fishing for trout. The trout in the Elk are healthy and every fish is putting up a fight when hooked. One of the rainbows on this trip took a nymph on a dead run and the take was easily seen when the fish flashed as it took off from under the blowdown to get the slow passing nymph.

Barry Putting his Orvis Through Its Paces.

Another Rainbow for Barry This Time

The Daily Double
When friends get together in a boat for 8 plus hours, it can get confined at times. Gary and Barry are both laid back and fish very well over a long period of time. Both are very good anglers who enjoy a day on the river as much as anyone for who I have had the pleasure to row the boat. The conversation is always good and ranges from fishing in western states to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. After a while on long floats fish "almost" become secondary to the day.
At lunchtime we got both boats and everyone together for conversation about the morning of drowning nymphs. With the grill fired up, the refueling began.

Gotta Love Early Spring

Gary Knocks Out the Big Bow of the Day
....and a Brown for Barry
This trip ended at dark. We spotted the owls that live at the end of this float and that was our best bird watching of the day. The flowers are beginning to bloom and the trees are starting bud. The early springtime colors are just starting to make their appearance. The future generation for the Elk is showing approximately one generator for the weekdays. The Caney is showing an extended forecast for 3 generators and the Obey is showing a steady release of 5395 CFS for the next 5 days. When we get a break in the water release schedule we are booking trips.
The "Will Call Program" is a good way to get a Spring trip on the books and have shot at a good day when the water conditions and the weather are favorable. Overall this year has been good for us and the anglers we book. It doesn't matter if you are wanting to book a float trip, might be thinking about taking advantage of the Effective Nymph Angling Class or just read this report for your own angling info, make 2011 The Year of Getting Out There...


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