Fall is here and the colors are changing. The trips to the river, if one stops to take a look, are colorful and the sky is clear. The colors along the river's edge have peaked for the most part, but the fishing has not peaked.
The Smallest Fish of the Year
The Caney Fork River- Fishing has been good with a few short windows of low water opportunities. We have fished nymphs for the most part but there are still some fish, in some parts of the river, that will still take a dry. Be ready to strike the fish as soon as the fly hits the water. I say this because several times we have seen fish take the fly, both dry and nymph, almost immediately. The fish are opportunistic in their eating.
Brent Hooked Up Under a Fall Moon
The Bead or Not to Bead- I floated this week with Brent and Donnie. Brent is an accomplished angler who can put on a nymphing clinic if he needs to. Donnie has not been fly fishing long, but since he began fly fishing he has been fishing the nymph. If I had to compare the two anglers, Donnie is advanced in the regards to the short number of months he has been fly fishing, but Brent has an advantage over Donnie. I wanted to do a test that might add some value to future floats. We put a dry and a small glass bead nymph on Brent's rod and a regular bead head nymph of the same style and size, under an indicator on Donnie's. Then we fished a heavily stocked access point. The bead head fly won the test, hands down. Both anglers fished the same water, with Brent in the front of the boat so he got the freshest water. So what does all this mean? On this day on this water a bead was not the key to catching fish, but sure doesn't hurt to have a bead at the head of a nymph. No anglers were harmed while undergoing this test.
The Elk River- TVA has been spilling water for the past few weeks. We don't run any trips on 900+ CFS when floating the Elk. But there is hope and that hope is just around the corner! Or at least that is what the forecast shows. The bottom of the river should be in much better shape when it is time to float the Elk. The fish should be fine and healthy. The water is released through the gate, then flows down the spillway and hits the bank where it makes the turn downstream. All this puts additional oxygen in the water and this is a win for the fish. The water temps have remained stable below the dam and have fallen at Farris Creek. Interestingly the water has been 3-5 degrees cooler at Fayetteville than the water at Farris Creek Bridge. The water temperatures downstream beg the question of how much the water temperatures are affected by the watercress fields. That is probably a story for another day...