Sunday, March 10, 2013

Avery and Mark. Tailwater Nymphing Techniques

Gil Plates

Avery stopped me after a Calvary Outfitters meeting and booked some time on the drifter. He has been a creek angler for quite some time and recently decided to get some time on the drifter. His goal was to learn some additional fly fishing techniques. He would bring Mark, a long time angler and one who had previously spent time on the drifter. Mark is an accomplished fly fisherman. 
When we arrived at the river we spent time talking to TWRA. The guys at TWRA are surveying anglers to get an idea of the fishing pressure among other things.
Avery Hooked Up
There were several boats rigging for the day. Everyone was in a hurry to fish and enjoy the 60 degree weather. We pushed off from the gravel bar to get ahead of the traffic. We lost the jon-boats at the first shoal and were quick to get into the more productive water. The rods were rigged with nymphs and we hit a long pool. They endured went through my usual mending instructions. Mend, mend, mend, the proper mend technique is something that cannot be expressed enough. We discussed how the mend compliments the presentation and it is not just about whipping line around in no particular fashion. Mark hooked up first on a drift across structure, with that the skunk was gone. Avery worked some swift water and this gave him some insight on mending in a run. Just as the run settled, Avery's nymph drifted into the zone and just like that he hooked up. The guys were into the fish.
The Guys Caught Their Share of These
We fished pretty hard in the morning and Avery was getting dialed in. He was hitting his spots and catching his share of fish. Mark was hitting the spots and had a great mend, but wasn't hooking up quite as often. I didn't see him miss fish, it seemed the fish just were not falling his way. We concluded Avery had the prime spot on the river, in front of the drifter. In my mind there is not a better place on the river than in front of a drift boat.
We stopped for lunch and after eating, fished a run that will sometimes produce a decent fish. The guys worked hard on their mending in the slower and faster paced water. We continued on and it seemed we continued to catch the same fish over and over. 
Mark and Avery Working a Run
The day continued with the guys well into double digits. We floated into an all out caddis hatch. Size 14 caddis were popping everywhere. For the entire mile of the river and just before dark we continued to nymph. Why would we nymph with bugs popping? Not a fish was rising anywhere in sight. Maybe later in the Spring the fish will catch-on to a good meal...
We slid into the gravel bar as the sun set over the hills. It was a pleasure to float with Avery and Mark. Avery came a long way in a short period of time. He had all the basic skills before coming on the boat. He became a better angler because he was able to apply previous fishing technique with new fly fishing skill. Mark has been around for a while and already caught his share of fish. He has one of the best and most subtle mends I have seen and it served him well several times throughout the day. The guys fish all over the southeast and hopefully they will share some of their successes when they return from future adventures.
Clear Cool Water  You're Welcome-  Springtime


  1. Have you guys been catching any brooks?

  2. We haven't caught a brook trout in a couple months. We did float by a gentleman the other day who said he caught a nice one. Hopefully, there are some still hanging around.

  3. David
    I learn something each time I read your fishing post. I am going to try book a trip with you before the summer heat. Thanks for sharing

  4. Bill it would be a pleasure. Let me know when you are ready to set the date and we will get it on the books.