Monday, March 26, 2012

Tennessee Trout Fishing Report

The Caney Fork is generating during the day, with two generators being the norm. There is no generation at night and short windows of opportunities for early morning fishing. Keep a keen eye on the water levels and get out of the water when you first notice an increase in flow. There are reports of fish being caught with both generators pushing. However, that is a lot of work and usually is tough to get consistent results. Streamers and sinking lines will put fish in the boat.
Reflections of the Morning Fog Lifting
Brent and I caught a low water float the other day. Our catching started out slow, real darn slow. When the sun came up the fish turned on. We found some feeding fish late in the day and fished dries as well. This kept us on the river late and made a tough following day. But, all is well and we will return to fish another day.
Fish Tails
The Obey River- Floating the Obey on two generators is possible. Pretty much the same thing goes for this river on two generators as goes with two generators on the Caney. Use streamers and sinking lines. Nymphs fished along the seam and in the back-eddies will also produce. The captain needs to keep a sharp eye on the flow and obstructions close to the bank. Getting a boat in a bad position on this much flow can cause a capsize. We are staying off the rivers with this much release.
Fishy Backwaters
The Elk- this little jewel is producing fish and favorable generation. Fishing is tough, but putting a nymph on the nose of a fish will produce a strike, the rest is up to the angler. Fish nymphs deep! If the nymph isn't ticking the bottom from time to time, it is not down in the water column far enough. We have been fishing multiple nymph rigs against single nymph rigs. The single nymph rig out-fishes the multiple rigs every time.  I am not sure I understand why the fish take the single rig more often, apparently the fish know.
Two Words Plenty-Full

Two Things Keep Us Going...Brown Trout and Diet Dew

Monday, March 19, 2012

Warmwater Fishing Report

Middle Tennessee continues to receive rain and those afternoon thunderstorms. These storms mess with the clarity of the tailwaters, not to mention the added water to the lakes. All this rain starts a chain of events that lead to generation. But, Spring is here and not just in theory! Daytime temperatures in the 70's and 80's, birds singing and snakes! We saw this year's first snake this week. Consider this a public service announcement or a heads-up, or whatever, but Mr. No Shoulders is out and about so watch it...
Fish Tails and Plaid
David K and I decided to hit some warm water fisheries and chase the musky while the tailwaters cleared. The conversation, via text, went something like this..
"Hey Dude we need to get out and chase that musky you have been wanting to get"
"I'm in, same time and same place?"
"Yep see you there" 
So we were off to boat David's musky. We were on the water with some new bullets on the line. David stayed up late tying and brought a cool new/old patterns to try. I decided we would fish out of David's box and went to sleep early. 
Sun-up and the River is Just Over That Hill
The Plan? The plan was for David to catch that musky. I settled into the rowers bench and passed rods to the front of the boat as needed. Although the water was high from the storms the day before, off color, and 60 degrees, David opted for a non-weighted streamer on a floating line. We fished the usual spots and then it happened, just like that and not long into the float. David hooked the musky, fought the fish's attempts to run and brought the fish to the boat. The fight was over quick and before I knew it we had a musky in the boat with us....the fish was mad and hot. Now bringing a hot fish in a boat is one thing when it is a trout, or a bass or even a catfish, a hot musky is a whole other animal. The teeth are sharp and if the fish gets away, a slap to the face with that tail can cause some serious pain.  We got the fish under control pretty quick, snapped the appropriate photos and released it to fight another day.
We sat at anchor for a while and took in the morning. We discussed rowing upstream back to the ramp, against the current and going home. We thought about loading up and going to the nearest tailwater. We could throw nasty streamers to big browns or we could just float the rest of the way and toss meaty flies to mad fish. I pulled up the anchor and backed the boat out into the current, then gave a shove on the oars and we were off again throwing meaty flies...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kevin and Brady on the River

Brady and Kevin
Kevin called one afternoon and wanted to nymph fish with his son Brady. We found a break in generation and  I picked them up at their motel. We launched the drifter from the gravel bar and rowed downstream to less pressured water.  The guys were rigged up with the "Super Secret Nymph" with droppers tied on below. Kevin's first cast was a thing of beauty, for a couple different reasons. The first reason was simply because Kevin looked behind him then he started his backcast. Such a simple thing can be a big thing. The second was the way he shot the line and got an extra couple rod lengths of distance from the cast. Brady, was up next and took a look behind him, then let the cast rip. Brady hasn't fished quite as much as his Dad, but within a few minutes he was in the groove and gained twice the distance in the first hour, 
First Fish
Kevin struck first on the dropper and then came up with two more fish. We came into a stretch in the river that I found last year. We fished the stretch and Brady came back with two fish of his own. Then when he was stripping in he got a hit, but it was a short-strike. So Brady sent the fly back into the zone and the fish struck again. This time Brady came up with the rod and the line came tight. After a nice fish Brady had a good fish and caught up on the friendly-family competition.
Brady Hooked-Up

Brady With Some Rainbow Goodness
We continued on and we hit some sections of the river with a fish here and there. But, in some sections, it was "get a bucket and hose" cause these guys were on fire. Then things would calm down. As creeks dumped water into the river, the river would gain a little more color. The fishing slowed with every creek, but then the fish would start biting again and we would bring more fish to the net. After lunch Kevin got into a good run and pulled out a decent fish on the super secret nymph.
Kevin With Another Rainbow This Time at Lunch
Kevin's Brown

Results of Recent Rains
So the guys kept casting and fishing and picked up a few more fish. We caught a double and marked that off the list of things to do. We stopped in a section of the river with a lot of structure and fished dries to a feeding fish. The feeding was inconsistent, but we pulled out the year's first hopper anyway. Well, really the pattern is a mix of spent caddis and hopper. It was an interesting experiment even though it is a bit early in the year. So this day wound down and daylight was gone when we came to the take-out. Kevin and Brady were just a lot of fun to fish with and I am hopeful they learned the river well enough to make a trip or two back to fish from their own kayaks.  
The river levels are mostly up and a bit down with the generation schedule. Water is still filling the lakes and Spring is on the way. We are hoping the water levels will catch the Summer pool and that is when we will "hopefully" have some windows of fishing opportunity. Trips are scheduling so if anyone is thinking of booking, it might be a good idea to get a date reserved. Until then we are tying that Super Secret Nymph and a few other trick patterns that are already producing for anglers.
Fish Tails .........and Water Lines

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Tennessee Tornadoes, Hail, Wind, Bass and Panfish Report

Congrats to Greg - His First Fish on the Fly!
Wednesday in Middle Tennessee was a day of tornadoes and high winds, with heavy rains in the southern part of the state. All plans were put on hold and then delayed as waters cleared.. Friday in Middle and East Tennessee was much worse. Multiple thunderstorms throughout the day and reports of epic storms in Middle Tennessee, in the evening. East TN dealt with early storms and tornadoes and before the day was over there were reports massive hailstorms, tornadoes in the double digits and heavy rains. So Tennessee and most of the southern states saw our share of bad weather, we are all due some sunshine and calm days. Hopper season can't get here fast enough for me!
The tailwaters were not really cooperative so Greg and Brent joined me for a day on an area lake. Greg was one of the anglers who I had the opportunity to fish with on the Calvary Outfitters trip in November. Greg's mission that weekend was to learn how to cast and learn the basics of fly fishing. As was the case with all of us there were other reasons to be there. Greg learned to cast that weekend and turns out, he is a pretty darn good caster. So when we unloaded the drifter at the lake he fell back in the groove pretty quick. 
Water Clarity Was......Lacking?
It is real tough to go fishing this time of year and not take the streamer rod. Soon Greg was banging the banks with a Galloup pattern and the sinking line was helping Greg feel the rod load. Brent was in the back of the boat putting the fly within inches of the bank. It was all good. The fishing was a bit slow, so we took a break and made some big changes. We made a move to more shallow water and soon we were back to work.  Greg was first to hook up with a nice bass. Then before we knew it he was hooked up with another bass and then a panfish. He was in a groove. We spent the rest of the afternoon bringing bass and panfish and introducing them to the boat net. The sun went down behind the treeline and soon it was a bit on the cool side. We headed back to the ramp, spooked a couple geese that were too noisy anyway and loaded up the drifter. Not a bad day of warmwater fishing for March. 

Brent Fishing as the Sun Went Down