Sunday, July 28, 2013

Howard Back for Round II in 2013

Howard and I have fished together on many occasions and usually he will put a big one in the net. Sometimes we will get more than one larger fish per trip. But, this trip would be all about the numbers. We met at the Southeastern Fly satellite office (i.e. a safe parking lot) and headed to the river. The water was a little higher than normal but we both wanted to get out on the river. Our discussion, while driving to the river, revolved around the crazy-high rainfall this year. We had scheduled and rescheduled and I believe even rescheduled the reschedule, but finally we were going to fish.
We discussed a trip the day before and what was working, while we pushed the drifter off the trailer and into cool clear water. We rowed past other anglers and headed to the first stopping off point, a small shoal in the midst of chaos really. People wade over, row over and walk past this shoal throughout the year. We fish it and catch a fish most every time. This little jewel of a shoal, on most days, gets the skunk out of the boat and has been known to hold some nice fish. Howard dropped a nymph above the shoal, the fly settled, then a quick hook set and he guided a stocker rainbow to the net. From there it was on...

We fished through the morning boating a rather large number of fish. If Howard wasn't sticking a fish in a 5 minute span we would simply move on and assume there would be more fish in the next pool, on the next shoal or around the next bend. The river did not disappoint and neither did the nymphs we were fishing. After a productive morning we stopped for lunch. This day we dined on BLTs with all the "fixins" and as is best lunch was in the shade.
Howard is an excellent angler who enjoys being outside and on the river. He wants to catch that big fish almost as much as I want him to catch that big fish. We were floating along toward a log jam and on most days we don't even get a shot at this fine piece of water. This day the water was up just enough to drop a nymph in several seconds before the boat slid by the log. Howard turned a big fish but the hook didn't stick. We even stopped and went back but the fish wouldn't respond again. We did bring his little brother to the net but not the trout we wanted. We won't pass that spot again without fishing it though.
Being on the water we see some interesting sights like moths that have gotten onto the water surface and can't lift off again. The moth spends a lot of energy trying to get themselves airborne again and usually their wet wings prevent this from happening. Anglers who are watching the commotion spend a lot of time waiting for a large fish to come up and take the moth off the surface. As we floated toward the takeout we witnessed a moth that was trying to get off the water. We could see it from upstream for several minutes too. We were a good mid-length cast away form the moth when a large void opened and that moth simply disappeared.
We didn't see a nose come up from the water, nope there was a boil and then the moth was just gone. Howard and I were thinking the same thing at about the same time. We knotted up a bulky fly and I rowed the drifter back upstream. We fluttered our own pattern, making lots of noise, but the water didn't open up for us. Not this time. We marked yet another spot we will fish the next time we are trying to put the big fish in the net.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Still High Water on the Caney

The Caney Fork: Anglers who have been tying flies for this river, hopefully they will be tied to some tippet before too long. The USACoE is turning back the flow at Center Hill Dam. The water in the Caney Fork is not in a Summer flow yet, but hopefully we will see the good falling water flows before too long. We were on the Caney in the last several days and the water was high....real darn high. One of the canoe rental companies has been turning people loose on 11,000+ CFS. Because of the high water we have opted for fishing the side channels, behind islands and in the trees, for the most part out of the main channel. 
The fish responded to streamers and took looks at nymphs, but with the high flows on the Caney it is a better place for a boat ride than a fly fishing trip. The lake level is at 636' behind the dam as this report is written and hopefully in a couple weeks... When the releases are less than one generator the usual patterns should work, but with the wacky weather it is tough to predict.
Elk River: Finally a place to fish on somewhat lower water. The flows on the Elk have been good over the past several days. This river has fish that are willing to eat and they aren't too far from the access points. The fish are responding to nymphs and some soft hackles, but nymphs have been working for us.
The water quality is pretty good right and other than some grass the bottom is fairly clear. With that being said one might think the fish would be looking up. The fish may be looking up but they aren't eating off the surface. Not yet anyway.
We are hoping there will be some more angler friendly flows throughout Middle TN in the next several weeks. All this rain may have been needed, but we want to fish. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Here's a Caney Fork and Elk Fishing Report

Here is the fishing report for the Caney Fork and Elk Rivers. Read carefully cause it is short. Lots of rain over the 4th of July weekend has caused the lakes to rise and the generation and spilling to begin. This is the pattern all over Tennessee, well for the most part anyway. Georgia isn't in much better shape and neither are North Carolina trout waters. But this too shall pass.
Speaking with anglers, guides and fly shops this week it seems everyone is pretty much tying flies. I have to say the fly boxes in the drifter are more full than they have ever been at this point during the Summer.
At Least the Flowers Are Getting Plenty to Drink
So why the Mysis Shrimp pattern? Well since there are no rivers around Middle TN with these little nuggets it appears a trip out West may be brewing. More on that to come. Hopefully the local freestones will recede and we can get in a smallmouth trip here or there. If things go well, look for a report to come later.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Nashville Area Fly Fishing

The Elk River: It was a productive first half of the year for us. Mostly the fish have been taking nymphs and mostly in the usual places. The generators have been off and TVA has been has been spilling. Right now, as I write this report, there is a 240 CFS release predicted. That is twice the CFS as was released at this time last year. Review TVA's Predicted Data closely before making the trek. There is no sense wasting a drive down there only to find out there is too much water to fish.
With a 240 CFS it is a good flow for floating. For those waiting to book your trips on the Elk the next month or so should be a good. For those who have already booked this river, I am expecting pretty good floats. Try nymphs and soft hackles for good results. Dry/droppers have been doing OK, however not as well nymphs under indicators.
The Caney Fork: We have been on this river quite a bit as of late. We have steered completely clear of the upper section because of the usual summertime crowds. Anglers who just have to fish the upper section of the river on the weekends would be smart to get there and leave early, if generation permits. Otherwise, for those who show up later, well it is probably somewhat challenging.
We have been fishing a lot of nymphs. But we have also thrown in some dries, and dry/droppers here.  Some of the browns have responded to a couple different patterns. The mayflies that are popping off are either feeding the fish or feeding the birds and either are fun to watch. We have been matching the hatches with Parachute Adams and Royal Coachman flies. (I know they don't match the hatch, but hey they work). 
Dry fly purists would have a slow day in most sections, so we tend to switch it up and try a few different things. If you get into one or two fish it usually pays to fish the area around where the first fish was found. So that's the report for now. If you get out over the holiday expect some heavier crowds, as people head to the river to cool off.