Monday, April 16, 2012

Fly Fishing the Stones River

First Fish of the Day
Hap Was Hooked Up
A Low River
We are in the heart of small stream fishing and have been on the local streams chasing something different. Mostly we fish warmwater in the Spring, when the tailwaters are adjusting for lake levels.  Hap and Price, who are brothers, wanted to learn about warmwater fishing.  Both have fished some and had good fundamentals, so we planned the trip and the next step was to launch the drifterThe river was low and we had to drag the drifter across some shoals right away.  We found a resting spot and began tying some simple knots.  Then the fishing began.
Now Getting On With the Catching!
Price Hooked Up 
Colorful Pan fish
The Drifter At Rest
The rivers all around Middle Tennessee are low and the Stones is no exception. The fish weren't tough to find and the small pan fish began pushing the flies around early in the trip. The sun warmed the water and the fish came to the top. The guys worked on their casting, some different retrieves and before the day was over they were hauling. The longer the casts got the more the fish responded. The casts were really looking good so we added a dropper, which improved the catch rate.
The colors of the various species were spectacular. There are many species within the bluegill family, each are unique in color and pattern. The blues on the fish are vivid right now and stand out as much as any color, on any warmwater fish. Add this to the fish's aggressiveness and that makes for a fun day on the water.
The Brothers At Lunch

We stopped for lunch and filled up the tank with cedar plank grilled salmon and the usual accouterments.  We watched the river and the wildlife, then we gathered up everything, including some garbage left by others and hit the river again. The catching continued and the instruction became less and less. The guys were clearly coming into their own.


...and Beer Pong, Red Eyes
After lunch we were passed by several canoes. Everyone was pleasant and it seemed, from the conversations with the passers-by, that the guys were more than holding their own against others on the river. One canoe in particular had two pleasant gentlemen, who were just enjoying the day and spoke as they slid by. Later as we approached a gravel bar, it appeared they were pitching a tent. But as we slowly fished our way toward them, we realized they were playing beer pong!  We were invited to join them, but we had to decline as there were more fish to be caught and the end of the day was pressing. So we kept rowing and declared another first on a Middle Tennessee river. 
A Handful

Ancient Hierogliphics?
The day was winding down and there were two more rock ledges I wanted to explore. Both had been good to us in the past and we hoped this trip would be no different. The pan fish were still on, but the best was yet to come. Price caught yet another offering on his last few casts of the evening. So we moved to the last ledge. Hap, tossed the Bomber with a dropper and gave the line a couple tugs, the bass tugged back. Hap set the hook and the line came tight. This bass did not disappoint us in the fighting department. The fish finally came to the net and after the release we ended the day that positive note.
The Last Fish of the Day
Hap and Price were a lot of fun to guide. They were quick learners and both improved steadily throughout the day. The warmwater trips are fun to do and we have some lakes that also offer excellent opportunities for angling adventures. Thanks again guys, that was a good day.

1 comment:

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