Thursday, October 6, 2011

Middle Tennessee Fly Fishing Report

Gary Working a Pool on the Elk River
The Caney Fork- Center Hill Dam continues to release water during the week. If anglers get there early or late there is a chance to fish low or falling water, depending on which time and which access you prefer. The water in the lake temperature is 63 degrees at 10' and on the other side of the dam, in the river, the temps are 62ish. Speculation is the lake may be starting to turn over, but who really knows. The amateur biologists have a lot of theories and they could be right. The water in the Caney is still off color from the sluice, so the fishing is tough, but one or two great fish can make an angler's day.
The Only Bass of the Week....and Caught on a Trout Stream?
The Obey River- The river is full of water from one generator on the weekends. But anglers get a reprieve during the week, when the cool waters of the Caney Fork help cool the water for the steam plant downstream.  Low water is the best time to fish the Obey, however fish can be caught from a boat on one generator. On low water the flow can produce the most painfully slow drifts known man. But the river will five up some good fish on small nymphs and midges.  Check the generation schedule before you leave and keep an eye on the flow. This river fills up fast and rumors of unexpected releases have been heard. Make sure you have an exit strategy before getting in, especially if you are wading the first mile or so.
Time to Get on the Water

We Saw LuLu Guiding Her Owners on the Elk River
The Elk River- So the Caney has been getting some press lately about the off-color of the release. The Elk River is running just a little bit more clear, but not much. There is no sluice at the Elk River and the release has been mostly from a release from the top side of the dam. But the TVA has done a good job of conserving cold water (or at least cool) because the water temperatures are 58 degrees a couple miles downstream. Still the greenish dirt color of the water slows the fishing a bit. There is a lot of grass and weeds floating in the river right now, so fishing streamers is difficult. We had some follows and caught some on streamers this week, but it wasn't easy. And expect to clean those hooks most every cast. Also, the river still needs several hours of generation to give it a good flushing. Wading or dropping an anchor can produce clouds of debris that would make a feeding carp blush.
Hoping These Will Grow Up!
We have been fishing more nymphs as of late on the Elk. Choose the right size, color and shape and the indicator will dance like a Mexican jumping bean, choose wrong or get lazy and it's going to be a long day. The fish are reacting to the better drifts and there has been a recent stocking. The river sees a lot of traffic that thins downstream. Be careful wading because it is hard to see the snags, downfalls and unexpected rocks on the bottom. Some anglers are reporting better days than others.
A World Record Chub?
 I fish with Brent several times a year and when he said he was going to the Smokies I was glad he was getting a chance to go. Brent took off on the Gatlinburg side of the the Park and got into some brookies on dry flies. Man was I jealous It was good to see the fish were responding even with the low clear water.  Brent spent most of his day on dry flies and catching these little Jewels of the Park. The forecast for the mountains this week is for some much needed rain. So the next few weeks could be "epic" in the Park. 
Brent Went to the Blue Lines This Week
There is a poll on the right side of this report. If you haven't already, take a minute and vote. It is good to see what anglers prefer. I keep telling myself I am going to take some time off and wait for the tailwaters to get into better shape but who knows. Hopefully I can get out onto a lake in the next couple weeks or up in the Smokies for a day or two....guess we will see what shakes out.
Fall on the Elk River


  1. 18" rainbow on a streamer. I love ripping and stripping.

  2. I really like that first picture looking down on the drift boat...very cool picture! Also what a brook trout! The mountains are in prime shape right now so if you are wanting to go, don't delay...