Sunday, May 1, 2011

Unexpected Generation Relief and Cicada Sighting

Clean-Up is No Fun

It has been interesting around our house this week. On Wednesday we woke up to a small tornado coming up our street and over our home. So we spent the next few days cleaning up the broken trees, lining up people to fix the roofs and repairing other damage that tornado's tend to cause. After cutting trees and dragging limbs the following days it was time to spend a few hours on the river, before we got back to cutting trees and dragging limbs... Although the damage is a pain to deal with we are thankful our damage was nothing compared to the damages in other areas of the South.
Notice the Water Seeping at the Flood Gates

With the rough weather came the rain. Each year about this time we seem to get some bad weather and heavy rains. We fished at the dam a bit and noticed the water is up to the spillgates and seeping around the bottom of the gates. Center Hill can only discharge water through its flood gates when the pool is in flood stage, i.e., above elevation of 648.0. Right now the elevation is 653 and rising, as the US Army Corps tries to relieve the water in the Ohio Valley basin. So what does it mean? The possibility of little or no generation on the Caney and then when there is room in the downstream lakes, huge releases.

Muddy Water Bows

Brent and I took off to get on the river for a quick float. We started on streamers and Brent struck first with a rainbow and then a white bass. After that it was on. We had follows, flashes and strikes on most stretches of the river. Water clarity was terrible downstream of the dam. We continued for a while, but we decided to hit a few of the better spots and then load up the drifter and head for the dam.

Waiting for the Start of the Float

We tried nymphs for a short time, but the water clarity was just not good enough for the fish to respond. We stayed on streamers and sinking line. The fish did respond to the streamers and really made what could have been a slow day, at the very least, worth the drive.

One of Brent's Bass

Some of the Scenery from the Float

Brent Long-Arming a Fish...

Even With Muddy Water - Fish Responded to the Streamers

When we first got to the dam pool we went for trout. We found the pool to be clear and we caught several trout on nymphs. Then we brought out the streamers and started playing with the skipjack. We boated a large number of skippys and it seemed that they were all in a pod that was moving around the big pool. We found them in several places and then determined they were all in a huge hole that was several feet deeper than the rest of the pool. Once we found them, they responded on practically every cast. Brent tried several patterns and all produced. Different retreives also produced more fish than others. Retreive and stop would produce more strikes than a fast retreive and deer hair produced more hits than lead eyes. It was an interesting experiment.

These Were in the Dam Pool

So with all this water we wait again. The Elk is generating, the warmwater streams are high and the Obey is in the same shape as the Caney. This week I will be working with an outing for Casting for Recovery and have also been invited to present Observations from the Tailwaters at the Middle TN Fly Fishers May meeting. So it will be a pretty busy week. On another note, I heard a report from Mark Joines that he found the first Cicada at his cabin over the weekend. So, get on those vises because it looks like that hatch is just around the corner.

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