Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hank - the Latest Addition to the 20+ Club

Sometimes life just takes over. Life isn't all about fly fishing and sometimes competing priorities take the place of our time on the water. Hank had some other priorities and wasn't able to get on the water for a long period of time. So we were going to spend the day knocking the rust off the cast, brushing up on the presentation and he was just going to enjoy an afternoon on the water...and perhaps catch a few fish.

The day started with some casting work as the other boats pushed downstream. Hank was fighting a strong headwind, but casting well. It wasn't long before the the cast turned to the mend, the mend turned presentation and the presentation turned into to a fish in the net. Then not long after that one fish turned into two and then we had a few nice rainbows added to a few brown trout. Hank was getting back to the basics of fly fishing and we were doing well early in the float. Then we went for a dry spell. Other boats were reporting similar results which made us all feel better. This has happened before and sometimes changing every fly in the box doesn't even help. Then we caught another fish or two and the mojo came back. The mojo brought along with it, a nice tailwater brook trout. This was the first brookie in a couple years or maybe even longer. Then Hank hooked a real big fish and after a short fight the fish broke off. So right there the decision was made, we went headhunting.
After losing that first nice fish we gathered ourselves up and started down the river. All the other boats were now ahead of us and we were picking the best water to match Hank's best presentation. Then a big fish came up and inspected an ant, the fish stopped short then ate. Hank saw it all unfold and he came tight to the fish. The fish immediately started across the river. Hank was doing a nice job on this one, then it jumped and the fly came to the boat... without the fish. The big fish score was- fish 2 and the good guys 0. Soon that would all change.

We were now beginning to race daylight just a little. The shadows were getting long and the temperature was starting to fall. With a long way to go we were looking for water moving at just the right speed. Hank found some of that water. This time the fish came to the sinking ant, gave it "the once over" and opened it's mouth then inhaled that it. The Orvis H2 bent double right away. Hank sure did have his hands full with this one. The fish was doing its best to get back to the bottom. All the coaching throughout the day, all the stuff we worked on with the other fish and all Hank's previous experience was being tested on this fish. The fish fought all the way to the boat three different times. Each time the fish would make another run. A short time later Hank was getting the fish closer and bringing this fish to the net. After the one last short run that all the bigger fish seem to make. It then came quietly to the net. This would be the last fish of the day for Hank. We stowed the rods and made the long row to the ramp. Nice work Hank and welcome to the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club.

If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river e-mail or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water. For additional booking information see our Homepage and to see the latest fishing report click here.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

M.E. Makes the Most of Her Time in the Casting Brace

Zero generation. That release, or lack of release, leaves the float plan wide open. So after we made our plan we shoved the drifter off the gravel bar and began to float. M.E. was quick to bring a few fish to the net. She brought Ronnie and her own flies. Her flies were working good early. These fish have seen most of the flies in a 10 county radius so a good presentation was critical.
M.E had a good morning and the fish were responding in all the usual places. We were searching the more shallow water and fishing the slopes of the shoals. That would work well throughout the morning, but by the middle of the day we would need to change the water type we were fishing.
When the anchor dropped and the boat came to a rest beside some downed timber M.E. went to work. We found some feeding fish that were hanging in a distinct feeding lane. It was clear these fish had found the conveyor belt and were tuned into something small. A nymph fished too deep wouldn't even seek a look. A hopper fished over their head would get a long inspection but no strike. We reached into our bag of tricks to try one more thing and one of the bigger fish ate. The rod came up and the line came tight, then the fish reached in it's bag of tricks and went straight for the structure. M.E. did a nice job keeping the fish going in the right direction and as the anchor came up to move the boat into open water she brought the fish right along.  The fish kept trying to get back to the downed timber but she kept it in the open water and finally the fish had no where else to go but to the waiting net.
We left the conveyor belt and that nice fish was soon followed by another nicer fish. The afternoon wore on and this lady was catching fish when most people on the river were really struggling. The presentation was key to her success. We worked on casting some but worked on presentation mostly. I know the presentation is "preached" in these fishing reports but it really is the key. Slight mends mean everything on some days. This day was the type of day where it meant everything.
The weather?  The day went from partly cloudy to clear and hot. The fishing went from good to almost great and then simply back to good. And so it went. As other watercraft passed and people would ask "how's the fishin?" we would respond "not bad". But it was hard for M.E. to keep from that big smile. 

When the drifter finally touched the take out and enough fishing gear for a day on the water was stowed, we cranked the F/V Southeastern Fly onto the trailer. Then we pulled to the top of the ramp for a quick recollection of the events for the day. There was only one thing left to make the day complete. That's right open that Yeti cooler and pull out those Snickers! Ronnie also had a Snickers. Nice work M.E. this was a good day and a good trip. We will chase those musky soon. 
If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river e-mail or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water. For additional booking information see our Homepage and to see the latest fishing report click here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Clay and John Target Rainbow Trout in Middle Tennessee

I wondered in the early morning hours before this float if it would be a good day? Clay and John would climb aboard the drifter early and we would do our best to beat the recreational traffic. Clay said he had fished the river several years prior and had a good understanding of fly fishing and the river. His son John might need a little help. Before this early morning float was over John would prove he also had a good understanding of fly fishing.
Knocking off the skunk took a short time. The guys were throwing nymphs against the backdrop of a clear morning. The temperature wasn't cold but it was cool, the water was still and clear. The guys were quickly getting good drifts as we hopped from the more productive areas of the float. At each stop the guys had a fish on the line. This made for a more enjoyable morning. We stopped the drifter at one point to rig some different offerings when we spotted a big fish...this was truly a big brown. We threw most of the fly box at this one but it was weary and spooked from the start. So, I marked this one in my mind as a place to hit at another time. The guys kept at it as we continued our float and talking about the fish we just saw several more times. With John in the front brace and Dad in the rear brace we moved on and stopped at the next productive area.
John makes the 20+ Club- As I was rigging Clay's rod for a different pass at some feeding fish, John was messing around with a nymph. The next thing we knew he was standing up straight with the fly rod practically doubled over. The big rainbow was making runs and then stopping. With Clay and me coaching and John staying on top of the situation we knew one more run was coming. John was way ahead of the fish and we began to move it toward the waiting net. After a couple misses with the net John raised the head and the fish made a last ditch effort. When the big rainbow got it's head going toward the bottom it found the waiting net. Game over. The rainbow was in the net and John was in the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club. Nice work Clay and nice work John. Looking forward to the next float and hopefully another good day on the river!
If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river e-mail or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water. For additional booking information see our Homepage and to see the latest fishing report click here.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Greg and Brad Fly Fishing Middle Tennessee

Another good day on the water! That sums up the day and may even be a bit of an understatement. OK, let's start at the beginning or really before the beginning of the day. The last time Greg came to fish on the F/V Southeastern Fly he brought his daughter Brooke. These two are always fun to fish with and we usually bring our share of Middle Tennessee's fish to the net. On this day Greg brought his son Brad to fish and although he had never fly fished before, he was a quick study. Brad's ability to grasp the concepts and execute on instruction, well, it made for a very nice first day of fly fishing. Greg would once again come through with some larger fish, just as he has done in the past.
We started Brad out with some basic casting lessons. This isn't a River Runs Through It and we don't keep a metronome as a casting tool. Nope we have a reasonable amount of time to get folks up to speed and then add instruction throughout the day, after all this a day of fly fishing and not just a casting lesson. Once Brad was fairly comfortable with his casting we moved into presentation. After he achieved a good presentation we put him on fish. The first three fish were long-distance releases. But Brad was ready on the next try, and with his proud father looking-on, we slipped Brad's first fish caught on a fly rod into the waiting net. 
That was one of several firsts for Brad, which included the first fish caught completely on his own with no instruction and his first brown trout on the fly. At one point Brad had a count of fish in the double digits while Greg was still well inside single digits. But, Greg has never liked to be too far out of the game and soon we would slip into a highly productive area where Greg would begin a run and begin adding to his score. It wasn't long before the guys were bringing fish to the net a rapid pace and before the day was over they would have their share of doubles.
The conditions on this day were near perfect. The temperature was hot but not unbearable and the water temps were cold. The river could use additional generation to push some grass and algae out but the fish didn't seemed to mind until later in the float. Nymphs were the choice on this day. We went with terrestrials for a long period of time but then just settled on getting just the right presentation with nymphs. 
After lunch the guys were soon into fish again, seemingly picking up where they left off. However, as the day wore on and the shadows grew longer the fishing slowed to a crawl. An outstanding morning and early afternoon with a high count and some nice ones would sustain us for the slower evening. 
After the last fish was netted and the rods were hung in the truck we loaded the drifter on the trailer and I got a chance to meet the rest of Greg's family. There aren't a lot of pastimes, jobs, or hobbies where a person gets the chance to meet so many cool people. So to say I am lucky to get to do this is really an understatement. But, I really am lucky to get to take people fishing. Not only that, but we also because we had another good day on the water!
If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river e-mail or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water. For additional booking information see our Homepage and to see the latest fishing report click here.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Laura, Logan and Mary an Afternoon of Good Times

Mary set up the date to float on the drifter to spend the day with friends and perhaps to catch a few fish. Mary, Logan and Laura rolled into the parking lot a few minutes ahead of schedule, yes these women were serious, and we went straight to the ramp to launch the drifter. We were on the water with a number of other boats and we were floating in each open spot we could find.  It sure didn't take long to get some fish in the net...but soon Mother Nature would push us to the waiting safety of the bank.
Once the storms and the traffic finally passed we were floating on peaceful waters and that's when these girls went to work on the fish. We tucked into a likely spot and Laura broke the dry spell with a healthy brown. That fish was celebrated with high-fives and chocolate. Logan wasn't far behind with a nice rainbow and then Mary, who had been patiently waiting, brought another rainbow to the waiting net.
Mary and Laura brought back some of the skills they had learned on their prior trips. But, this was Logans first trip on the F/V Southeastern Fly and she was getting into the action nicely. It was cool to see Mary and Laura transfer their knowledge to their friend and then see Logan come into her own. And it was fun to watch them all set the hook and bring fish to the net.
Interestingly enough they brought nice to the net on this trip in practically the same places they caught them on their Spring trip. The fish weren't jumping in the net but when they would eat the girls would bring a nice fish to the boat. We didn't catch every fish on this day. Nope, but toward the end of the float we slipped into a good section where the fish have been hungry this year and when Laura asked "where are the fish", well she found found the answer...

The answer came as Laura set the hook on a big rainbow. That rainbow, with a fly in its upper lip, went a little crazy. Actually this fish went a lot crazy and was running at the boat, then it turned and went to the middle of the pool and sat on the top with its dorsal just out of the water. Apparently this fish was simply planning the next move. That next move? The next move was to start a blistering run toward some logs. Laura never had a chance to turn the fish and it broke the tippet cleanly. The line was then just floating on the water. We said the appropriate words, mostly under our breath, and then tied on another fly then went back to work.  Mary, who had been patiently waiting, brought another rainbow to the waiting net...
If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river e-mail or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water. For additional booking information see our Homepage and to see the latest fishing report click here.