The Obey- Water, water and more water. That is the story of fishing the Obey River right now and throughout the remainder of the hot days of Summer. The US Army Corps needs to cool down the Cumberland River and Dale Hollow is the coldest and largest resource to achieve the cool down. So for anyone wanting to wade the Obey is not a good choice right now. For floating this river can be tough because the daytime float-fishing will be done for the most part on two generators. Hang in there though because late Summer and Fall are great times to be on the shortest of tailwaters in Middle Tennessee.
The Elk River- This tailwater is fishing pretty good even through the hottest of hot Summer days. If the fish aren't rising- go deep. The fish are making instinctive decisions, including whether the value of protein in a bug will be worth the amount of energy it takes to go get the bug. Bigger is not necessarily better when going up top, but it sure is fun when they come up and kill a big furry dry fly. Shallow moving water will work for dry flies, although drifting a big nymph past their nose will bring more numbers of fish. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Those who aren't getting out there, aren't having to make those decisions. The best suggestion is get out there and try it all. The operating guide shows about a 1 & 1/2 months of good water, barring a rain event, before TVA begins the lake draw-down and Winter pool begins. This river can be a pretty good choice when booking a trip.
The Sights of the Lower Caney Fork
The Caney Fork River- We spent some time on the lower Caney Fork. We were a little bit ahead of the generation and the two hour pulse caught up with us pretty quick. We were looking at tossing streamers and hopper dropper rigs on one generator and almost 5000 CFS for most of this trip. The lower part of the river was not the best place to be, so we explored some and fished some backwaters to pass the time. There are no crowds to speak of down low on the river. The bugs however are better. We saw some awesome midge hatches, a few caddis and a nice mayfly hatch or two or three. The fish weren't too interested in the bug life down there and it would help if TWRA would drop a truckload or two of browns down that direction.
The upper portion of the Caney Fork, below Center Hill Dam, is producing the best fishing on the river right now. The low water that is comfortable for wading is the best time to be there. Late in the day or very early in the morning helps to combat the canoe hatches that come off mainly on the weekends and mainly on falling water. The river can be peaceful after the last group of boats pass. I have spent a lot of time this week working on some different midge patterns. The life cycle of a midge is interesting and spurred some thought. Some of the patterns brought strikes, but other patterns brought nothing. The good patterns went back to the box for return trips and the non producers went to the garbage when I got home. Small dries on midging fish sometimes can be good entertainment. Now back to those midge patterns...
Normandy Lake- I spent a bit of time on Normandy Lake with the fly rod this week. Poppers and small streamers have been working and a friend of mine even caught a catfish on a small streamer. As the water temps drop, the lakes may come into play for that late afternoon fly fishing fix.
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