Sunday, February 1, 2015

High and Low Water Fishing

The fish in Middle TN are healthy that's for sure. We have been tossing some streamers over the past few weeks and have been trying some different methods to catch'em. Some methods we have been bringing back after not using them for years.  It is amazing how a new trend is sometimes a technique that was put on the shelf years ago for one reason or another. None the less it's fun to fish those techniques and they can be as comfortable as fishing with an old friend.
I had a discussion with a couple friends yesterday about fly patterns. We all agreed an angler can take the right handful of patterns anywhere in the United States and catch fish. (Yes, I caught a flounder on a Zoo Cougar in the Gulf of Mexico a couple years ago, not that it proves the point.) People sometimes make light of the person who seems to fish the same patterns over and over. But, is that person concentrating more on the presentation?  We all know presentation is extremely important.  Should we all take a handful of patterns to the river this year? I am not saying that and certainly don't want to tell anyone how they should enjoy their pastime. Presentation vs. pattern is only food for thought though.  
Anyway, we began this report talking about fishing streamers. On the Caney and with higher water they have been working well. Hitting the gravel bars and banks on that higher water has been productive. We have been staying on the lighter shades of the color wheel. But, we caught some falling water the other day and turned to the nymph. It was tough fishing for the most part and looking back the water levels did not fall out as quickly as on most days. The river was still high from the previous round of generation. But we caught fish and the better fish came to nymph along gravel bars and in more shallow water than usual. This goes back to the old saying, if you don't do anything else adjust the depth.
Some fish will eat and eat and... It is cold out right now and with the cold weather there aren't as many bugs, surely the fish are realizing this too. During the colder months fish change their feeding patterns and feeding habits. On the tailwaters the fish can turn from bugs to sculpins and other small fish. Sculpins grow to be about 4" long,  instead of swimming like most fish they dart among the rocks and other cover and apparently make good meals for brown trout. As seen in the photo above this sculpin didn't get away. The brown was still trying to digest the sculpin and if I had to guess the brown was a day or two away from getting its meal completely into the digestive system. So while waiting for the main course maybe the brown decided to try our nymph to curb the ole appetite. 
The Elk has been fishing well, especially in the middle sections of the river. The streamer has not been productive on this river, other than a small Bugger. A well placed nymph however can be deadly. The flows on the river are super-low when the generators are turned off and this makes the wading pretty easy. The weekdays have seen some short windows and these windows are providing some enjoyable wading in the upper section of the river. Fishing can be tough up there but there are still some fish around.  Don't be afraid to try an old technique it can be as comfortable as fishing with an old friend.
To see the latest fishing report click here and for more booking information see our Homepage.  If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river just email or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water.

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