Sunday, July 15, 2012

River Revenge

Early Morning with the Sun Coming Up
Howard came back and we got some revenge on the river. Th last time we fished together TVA had a problem with the dam, which resulted in low water flows and spilling warmer water into the river.  That trip was not fun and this trip we hoped would be not only better but much better. I woke up and checked the Accu-porch weather, which showed a cloudy morning on the upcoming sun. Load the fly boxes and cooler into the boat and the rods hanging in the truck, then off to the river. Howard was right on time and soon we were on the gravel bar launching the drifter. A quick call to TWRA to report some poaching and then we were floating down the river.
Howard Hooked Up
It did not take long before Howard was hooked up on an old pattern that I had completely forgotten about, until Corey P. brought it up in a recent conversation. I dug through some old fly boxes and added the midge pattern to the days fly choices. Thanks Corey the pattern hooked up early in our float. Howard was on a dry dropper and the dropper produced a few brook trout. Then we found some rising fish and began fishing to feeding fish. 
Just Another Fool for a Dry Fly
Howard is an excellent dry fly angler. We fish dries on floats from time to time, but when the fish aren't cooperating he doesn't mind going to the nymph. We found a fresh rise ring and Howard cast just upstream. The fish rose to the dry and Howard stuck the fish. A short time later there were high fives and such as the fish was reviving in the net. The morning was still early and this wouldn't be the last fish of the day on a dry and it sure was fun. 
Just After Morning Coffee
Caught & Released
We fished dries off and on as we drifted down the river. The usual nymphs worked well as we expected. Long, slow and painful drifts were extra slow on the low water release. The water temps are still 59 degrees or so on the 85 CFS release. So there is some cold water but not a lot of it. Rain would be one of the many stories of the day. The rain was heavy at times and short lived most times. There were short drizzles and blowing winds, which are typical for this time of the year. The water clarity is still good and that is sometimes half the battle.
The Browns Were Out and Took a Nymph

A Different Kind of Refusal
Howard and I stopped at a place where on my last float there was a feeding fish. We slipped into the pool and found what appeared to be the same fish. On this day the fish was not feeding as aggressively as the last time, but it was still high in the water column and looking up at the passing food. We made a few passes with a dry dropper and the fish was not paying too much attention. But one of the drifts was right on line and the fish was looking. The fish rose again and almost nosed the fly, then it turned toward the bottom and refused the fly. After a fly change and a few more passes the fish came to the fly again and gave a slight refusal, then it just swam into the bottom of the pool and disappeared. We made a move to more feeding fish downriver.   
Net Revival

More From the Dry Fly
A short time later we came to a pool that used to be my favorite pool on the river. On this day there were rising fish in that pool. Usually the fish in this pool, for the most part, are normally brown trout. There isn't anything really huge in the pool, but the fish are healthy. Howard dropped the dry fly along the edge of some structure and then he was setting the hook as fast as any angler I have seen. The fish gave a nice fight before conceding the fight and came to the net. We fished a bit more in some run-off before pushing on. A short time later there was another rise ring. We searched for the fish and after a couple drifts and passes we backed up and got a longer upstream drift. The fly settled into the current and the brown rose to the small dry, took the Adams and Howard was right on again. We shot some photos and then we began pacing ourselves to beat the storms. 
Phish Tales
The storm came a short time later. When the storm came it came with high winds, lightening, and very heavy rains. It seems no summertime trip to the river is complete without a storm or at least a chance to try and outrun a storm. The day began to wind down and new storms were forming in front of us. I settled in behind the oars and we briefly hit the better pools before we relented to an all out row for the takeout. The river is fishing pretty good right now. As you can tell dries are working as are nymphs. The numbers are good and could have been better if we had stayed with the nymphs all day. But how can anyone resist a chance to stick a feeding fish on the dry fly?
This is what the Pre-Storm Looked Like

1 comment:

  1. David failed to mention that he cought the biggest fish on perfect drift thru a deep pool. We saw the fish rise and in spite of our best efforts we weren't able to get her up to feed again. After I gave up David took the nymph rod and ran the fly down the lane casting way upstream giving it time to get down. When the indicator dove David set the hook and brought a real nice brown to the net.