Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Middle Tennessee Musky

You can see from the photo above things can get a little "squirrelly" on the river at times. Sorry I couldn't resist... Anyway David came back to Tennessee and we did what any angler would do on a free day, we grabbed Brent and went on a musky hunt. The first time we shared the boat chasing musky Brent scored in the first 45 minutes, so we were hopeful.
The water was a bit cold and a cold front was coming through Middle TN so we had plenty of excuses if things didn't go our way.We stopped at all the usual addresses and none of the toothy critters were home. Things were looking pretty grim until we had our first follow just before lunchtime. 
We did things to pass the time like try to get a shot of a turtle in mid-air when it jumped off a log. The photo above was as close as we got on this trip. Then a few minutes later we had a second follow as the sun began to heat up the water. But, that fish spooked at the boat. We continued the long float, now stopping at only likely places.
We managed to make up some time in between the follows but still it would be after dark before we made the take-out. As we discussed the take-out we slowed for a likely spot. A few casts into the likely spot we had our 3rd follow of the day. This made us fish even tighter to structure as the sun started moving behind the hills.
Then on one cast tight to the bank and in structure a small musky turned on the fly as it hit the water. The take was in plain view and viscious. The fish was hooked good as it ate the fly head first. When the fish made it to the net it was about a 20"+ musky. It was a bit small and the fish got its head through the net and past the gill plate. After removing the fly, the net had to be cut to get the fish through front ways. Then before we could get good photos the fish slid through the net and with a couple kicks of the tail the musky was gone.
We still had several miles to the take-out so we put the hammer down, well we rowed fast anyway and made it to the ramp just after dark. When were all loaded up and ready to head for home when we noticed the sky was black and full of stars, So we spent an extra 30 minutes or so taking photos of the stars. Actually taking the photos was one of the coolest parts of the day. It was good to share the boat and the oars with David and Brent again and as we head into the first part of the new year I'm sure we will do it again. 

Right now the water on the freestones are at a good level and we can chase musky.  Winter trout trips are upon us. If you want to set up a trip just email or call/text 615-796-5143 to get a day on the Caney Fork, Elk, Holston or Clinch rivers.

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