Sunday, September 25, 2011

Caney Fork River and Elk River Fishing Guide Report

Some Brown Trout Goodness
Obey River- We did not get up to the Obey. so there is not a real time report for the Obey other than, one generator 24-7 and cold water coming out of Dale Hollow Lake. One generator on the Obey is good for deep water nymphing from a boat and it is easier to get away with larger bugs, that are heavy and sometimes even difficult to throw. A large-fluffy indicator or a Thingamabobber help to keep those weighted nymphs off the bottom.  8'-10' between the indicator and fly is not uncommon after passing the shoal at the drainage, on the right downstream, below the 2nd boat ramp. Fish around the logs and blowdowns and expect to lose some flies. If you are doing it right expect to lose a lot of flies.
A Lone Angler Working a Bend
The Elk- has been fishing pretty good on nymphs. There are some nice fish and some are making their way into the wading sections of the river. These sections get some heavy pressure at times, but also anglers can find some room to themselves at non-traditional hours of the day. Fish nymphs close to the bottom and often. A dropper, i.e. a soft hackle under a nymph and the old stand by of a Zebra Midge dangling below a nymph will produce a few more fish, when they come to inspect a nymph and change their mind for the smaller morsel.  The terrestrials on top are not producing like they did earlier in the year, possibly because of the off-color water coming from the lake and the lazy release from the generator. On the plus side visibility is still about 2'-3' and the water temperature is a steady 57-58 degrees, measured at 4 feet deep.

A Caney Fork Brookie in Fall Colors

The Caney- The river is running 62 degrees about 2 miles from the dam and a 4' depth. It seems the lake is running low on cold water, but we should see the temps begin to cool and the fish get happier. Hopefully the sluice is providing the much needed oxygen the fish need. The big sluice is doing what the sluice does every year. The water is off-green color with about 3' visibility right now and after the big sluice is turned off for the year we are hoping the fish will be hungrier than a kid on the second day of Summer camp. We did find a 25" brown trout that was almost dead at Lancaster. The water was falling out at the time and the fish was swimming upside down in the weeds. The fish looked relatively healthy and there was no blood or hook marks in the mouth area. After 20 minutes of trying we still couldn't revive the massive brown. I would like to believe this fish died of old age...
Jane in the Front of the Drifter
After the high water events out West this year, we are getting reports of anglers who are ready to hit the local rivers. After spending her Summer in Jackson Hole, Jane called before she left the the Cowboy State. We agreed to hit the river when she returned and after a couple phone calls we were meeting at the ramp. Jane has been fishing with us for several years and usually multiple times each year. When Jane comes to the river I try hard to get her to fish nymphs when it is appropriate. But she is not too fond of that plan and we are on dries pretty quick. This trip was no different. We tried several patterns and ended up with a size #18 Adams early in the float. Jane is an excellent dry fly angler and soon was hooking up on top water. Nymphs would catch fish on this day, but dries are much more entertaining.
Jane and I continued on down the river seeing and talking with several anglers and friends of the river. The fish got lock jaw for a bit, then a nice brown rose to the top and snapped its jaws on a big hopper. The fight was not swift, but it was decisive. Jane wasn't going to let this prize come unbuttoned and the brown was in the net.  The fish continued to rise and we had other fish and other shots at pretty nice fish. As is usual and customary we arrived at the ramp just after dark. We agreed to fish again in the coming months and hopefully we can  get out for the shad kill dry fly float in the late Winter months.

Late Summer on the River


  1. Glad to hear the water temperatures are still fairly reasonable. Hope it cools off soon before the lake runs out of cool water... That is a really nice looking brown. Glad to see that they are healthy and in good shape. Can't wait to see what kind of monsters show up for streamers as we go into the cold months...

  2. David, even when you 'force' me to nymph, it's always fun to fish with you---truly. Thanks for the great day!

  3. Jane, it is always a pleasure to watch you fish those dries!