Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"I am Not the Fisherman of the Family"

Adam With A Good Brown Trout
Steve and his son Adam wanted to learn to fly fish and I was fortunate to get a call to work with them. The forecast for the day was sunny and 72 degrees. Everything looked good and then I heard the wind forecast of 20 mph with gusts to 30. The wind wasn't going to be in Middle TN until after lunch, so we had all morning to learn to roll cast, cast and mend. We discussed he conditions and the guys were ready to get on the water. We pushed the drifter off the trailer and backed out into the 250 CFS flow. 
A Different Point of View
Adam hooked up during the instructions, during a mend, and brought a nice brook trout to the net. Steve said "I am not the fisherman of the family." I bought that line but would soon figure out he is indeed a fisherman. We continued to work on his casting and mending. Both of the guys had fished with hardware so they had an idea of how to fish. As we floated along we discussed trout habits and how flow brings the food to the trout. We had good discussion with some of the other folks on the river then moved to a part of the river that has produced pretty well lately. Adam was picking up fish on a fairly regular basis and Steve was getting good drifts. Steve's indicator dove and he pulled up and stuck a nice fish. The fish headed for the boat and then the downfall that had been held this fish earlier in the Summer. Steve brought the nice brown to the net and we had our first really nice fish of the trip. And, we learned that Steve may not have been a fly fisherman for long, but he certainly was a good fisherman.
The First Nice Brown of the Trip
Some browns were paired up and on redds a month and half ago. When they started pairing up we concentrated on rainbows to give the browns time go through their spawning motions. One week later those browns were gone.  They haven't been seen since and I was beginning to think they were gone for good, nope, never coming back.  When Steve caught the brown I was shocked a nice brown made an appearance and more than that, glad!
Adam's First Fish on the Fly

Steve and Adam on a Break
We ate lunch and retied some tippet, then we were on our way as the wind began to blow steady with more frequent gusts. The Weather Channel Girl's wind prediction was going to be true. So why is it one day the weather was near perfect and the fishing was tough and the next day the fish came alive, along with the 30 mph gusts? Could be high pressure vs. low pressure, cows lying down or not, maybe it was fish eating before an incoming storm? Who really the half way point of the trip it was pondered, discussed, then forgotten because the fishing was heating up. The catching cooled off then heated up and it was that way for the next couple hours. The guys were hanging in there and both were starting to really "fish". The wind? The wind was howling and I could feel it pushing against the oar blades between strokes.
Down Under
A Good Rainbow

We were beginning to feel the pressure of the setting sun. The temps were cooling, but not at a fast rate. Rain was on the way and hopefully moving toward us at a slow pace. The guys where hitting their spots with regularity as the nymphs bounced along the bottom, pulling the indicator under on occasion. Just when you think the indicator is disappearing because the fly is dragging the bottom...
One of Many Brookies in the River Right Now
We try to bounce nymphs in some sections of the river. The fish seem to key into a nymph that is banging along the bottom. The technique is not easy to learn, but it is effective in some parts of the river. The trouble bouncing nymphs, it is not uncommon to have a false alarm. Anglers cannot get complacent and do a lazy hook set after a few false alarms. Steve spotted a nice slot of deep water and we discussed it momentarily. We decided the slot was worth a try and Steve dropped the fly in a good spot. Soon the indicator dove and Steve hesitated, then pulled the rod up. The fish felt the pressure and bolted for some rocks. Steve brought the line tight and the fish jumped. The guide said "Oh Shi..." "that's a nice fish."  With Adam on the video camera we were chasing the fish around the boat. As the brown tried the different tricks Steve kept up and we eventually had the fish on the reel. It wasn't long before Steve got ahead of the fish and that last blistering run was over. The head of the brown was finally out of the water. The fish came to the net and the net was full brown trout goodness. The fish was in great shape and really made the trip, along with all the others. We took the usual pics, measured the fish and added Steve to the 20 + Club, then it was over. Adam and Steve came a long way from their start at the beginning of the day. It is funny, the Weather Channel Girl's prediction wasn't bothering us at all... 
Steve Makes His Way Into the 20 + Club

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