Monday, November 28, 2016

Learn to Fly Fish Middle Tennessee

Stephanie, Jessica and Morgan were ready to go fly fishing on a cold clear morning. So the drifter was pushed off the trailer and we climbed aboard. We set up just a few feet off the gravel bar and began casting lessons. Jessica and Morgan were first and in no time at all I was feeling good. Stephanie, who put this trip together, was next and when she got her cast dialed-in we were underway.
We floated a while and even backed up for another shot at a the first section of water. We had no takers. But, we got into the next section and all three of our new anglers put a fish in the net. We moved down the river again. A short while later we moved into some water that has been productive over the last few months. The fishing was technical but the fish were responding, then Jessica hooked into her nicest rainbow of the trip. We brought the fish to the net and Morgan got into the shot when it was time to take a photo. After the fish was released, Morgan took over the front casting brace. This young lady then started getting into a groove. 

We drifted downstream a little farther and Morgan set the hook on a large fish. The fish was nice and began to go just a little crazy. Morgan kept up with the fish for a short time, but as it raced through the pool and shook its head the fly finally came loose, then it was over. Morgan took the loss better than I did... It was time to bring out the chocolate. Morgan and I got back some of our energy and went back to work.  
Stephanie had been viewing the events of the day from the rear casting brace and was throwing some good casts of her own. She had experience with the fly rod but it seemed she was having just as much fun watching her daughter and granddaughter trade the fly rod in the front brace. Then she made the mistake of offering decision to give up the rear casting brace to Morgan. 

As we do on the F/V Southeastern Fly, there is no "helping" the younger anglers with casting or retrieving. If they want to fly fish they are going to fly fish and once they learn the basics they are going to fly fish on their own. Morgan began fly fishing just a few hours earlier and what happened next was pretty amazing.

Morgan wasted no time using her new found talents to put on a casting and catching clinic. I was surprised at how well she was casting, but her hook set is where Morgan really came to life. She didn't miss many as she began to increase the numbers for herself and the boat in general. 

With Jessica in the front brace, Morgan in the rear brace and Stephanie keeping an extra eye on both, we finished out the morning strong. It wasn't long before the drifter crossed the last gravel bar and skidded onto the ramp. 

This was a productive trip. The morning started with cold temperatures and clear skies. The fishing began with new anglers. The angler's who started with casting lessons, ended with a mini fly fishing clinic. Morgan really has the beginnings of being a superstar in the fly fishing community. Hopefully she continues to get opportunities to continue what she began on this day.  It sure was a lot of fun spending the day with Stephanie, Jess and Morgan.
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.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Sometimes It's Just Your Day

Our late fall/summer-like weather is coming to an end. It is ending slowly but ending none the less. John and his son Alex came to fish and the day started off cold. Well let's say the day started off cold for late Fall. But if the temperature was like this in the Spring we would all be in shorts. It is November so we were wearing waders and layers. Later we would remove some of those layers in the name of comfort. 

The sky was clear and the water just a little stained, but the fish began to respond early. Good presentation, as always, meant more than most anything else. Alex and John had been on the F/V Southeastern Fly before and took their spots in the braces, both know the drill. John had offered the front but Alex had fished from the rear brace before and apparently was comfortable...time would tell if this was entirely the right decision. Fishing from the front of the boat was at a premium and John got on the board first. We boated his smallish rainbow and it wasn't long before Alex came back with his own smallish brown trout out of the same big pool.
The fish score was even and then the overall fish count escalated. Alex began to get better presentations. John wasn't far off and then we moved into some of the slowest flow on the river. Alex began to pick up some of the better fish.
We would hit every likely spot we could find and the guys would pull their fair share of fish to the net throughout the day. But after a while it was apparent that Alex would be the one who had the hot stick on this day
That slow flow had produced good fish over the Summer but now the grass has grown to the point that angler's need to pick just the right areas to drop their fly. Clean and short drifts through grassy waters were key. Alex found a path through the grass and produced a decent bow. After we released the fish Alex "went back to the well".
John put down his rod to watch his son fish the slot just off the wall. The Cast was a good one and the presentation was near perfect. I can't speak for John. But I thought, if anything a fish pulled from that spot would be smaller than the last. My thought was the bigger fish gets the best position and therefore gets the food first...sometimes. Sometimes that happens and sometimes not. This time Alex's presentation was still moving full speed slowly at best and when the fish ate, Alex was there to set the hook. Keeping the fish out of the heavy grass was a miracle in itself. The fish made more than a couple good runs but Alex kept the fish in the upper part of the water column. Finally we slipped the Brodin under the fish. Alex did a very good job with the cast, presentation and fight to get the fish to the net. All of us were smiling after this one and the fish certainly wasn't smaller than the last.

We pulled anchor rope and the anchor hit the stop on the arm. The float continued. The guys caught their share of fish at other stops along the way and finished with strong numbers before the drifter came to a stop on the gravel bar at the takeout.  The float came to an end but didn't end their fishing for the day. After a few more casts we were cranking the winch and the drifter was settling on the front trailer bunk.

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, November 6, 2016

Logan and Addison- A Couple's Day Out

It seems lately folks have been coming back to fish more often. Logan had already been on the water with her friends and this time brought her husband Addison back to enjoy the river. So we put Addison in the front brace and backed the drifter from the ramp. We weren't even 5 minutes into the float when he hooked up and brought the first fish to the net, removing the skunk from the boat. We maneuvered through other anglers and found ourselves in some open water. 
Logan was next up. She stepped up to the casting brace and got comfortable. We were fishing a ledge and she set the hook. The fish made a short run and then turned into the softer current. Logan kept the line tight and brought her first fish of the day to the net, a nice brown.  She followed that brown with a rainbow and both our anglers were now getting it done. 
The fish were responsive to our bugs. We have made a few adjustments to the shade of the bugs since the cooler nights have been more the norm. Middle Tennessee is experiencing longer than expect summer-type weather, but the cooler nights are making us adjust more than just the shades of color in the bugs. The cooler temps are also bringing out the fleece and the waders.
We were floating along at a good pace and the fish were responding to good drifts. The drifts didn't have to be perfect on this day, but they had to be good clean drifts on the correct lines. Even with that, sometimes it is just one angler's day. This day was Logan's day and she was getting some good fish. We would drift Addison through a good feeding lane without a bump. Logan would drop her bug a short distance behind and Logan's bug would catch the fish. Addison was not phased and was glad to see his wife have a good day. 
Both anglers were catching fish with good presentations. Addison has a great cast and dropped his bug in some quicker moving water, then he got his mend right and set up a good presentation. The fish ate and Addison set the hook. He made all the right moves as he began his fight with a decent rainbow. The fish went straight to some rocks but Addison got the rod ahead of the fish and brought it into slack water. After two more runs the fish had nowhere else to go but into the net. We dusted up the bug and he caught more fish with only minor adjustments. 
A good trip can be made great with one more ingredient... Everyone who reads this fishing report on a regular basis knows we are big fans of chocolate. Snickers. Recently I visited Chicago and went to the Ghirardelli outlet. As a result of that trip another chocolate will be on the drifter from time to time. Because even though sometimes it is all about the fishing, other times it's about all the creature comforts...and the fishing.

After a good number of fish, some nice fish and some creature comforts we came to the end of the float. We were racing a front that was coming in from the southwest. The last rod was stowed, the drifter was securely on the trailer and the anglers as well as the guide were in the warm truck headed up the ramp. Looking back it was good we found that open water and it was good to have these two angler's in the casting braces. As the year winds down I'm thankful to have met a bunch of really cool folks who I hope come back to fish more often.
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.

Marty and Tony in the Casting Braces

There are good times when friends can come together on the F/V Southeastern Fly to enjoy a good day of fishing. Tony came in from California and had a chance to fish with with Marty. Tony doesn't get to fly fish too much (compared to some), but from his first cast I knew it was going to be a good day with few adjustments needed. Tony had a good cast and took mending instructions very well. So now we were prospecting. 
After a few casts and some mends Tony was into fish. A couple missed strikes, then we had a fish on and in the net. Yep, this day was shaping up to be a good one. While Tony was dialing-in his game Marty was just getting started.
Marty has been around a while and has fished the rivers for years. He is becoming a fly fishing fixture in Middle TN and knows the river well. Marty is also a columnist for Kype Magazine and self appointed Mayor of Funkytown. Long story short, if there ever was a vote needed for Funkytown Mayor, Marty would get mine. Fortunately he already takes care of those day to day mayoral duties well, including Friday posts and funky shirts on the appointed day. In short his dedication to Funkytown leaves the rest of us time to fish and to generally mess around in boats all day. So on his day off from those many duties, he came to fish with his friend Tony and brought some more enjoyment to a good day on the river. Yep, we were having some fun!
The fish were biting and then not biting on this day and we were hooking up and then not, while making the most of the best situations. The browns were starting get interested in each other and some had just started to make their redds. So we stayed more on the rainbow trout side of the fishing throughout this day, but would stumble across a hungry brown here and there. The day began to heat up and we made a couple subtle adjustments to flies, which helped somewhat with the catch rate.
While Tony had the best seat on the river, which is the front casting brace, Marty took his knowledge of the river and put it to work. We floated slowly into some productive water Marty laid a good cast on the water, the fly settled and we drifted along. Marty set the hook just like he did many times throughout the float and the fight heated up pretty quick. Staying in front of the fish and having some  flexibility of the moving boat helped to land another nice rainbow for the Mayor. We made quick work of the after party of the catch and the fish was released back into the deepest part of the pool. 

We spent some extra time floating on this day. We would fish, stop, fish some more and trade some good stories. The day was warm, as it has generally been throughout this summer-like Fall, and we were in no real hurry. The fish would come to the net and then we all got back to work. All that "work" came together and we made it into a good day of fly fishing in Middle Tennessee.
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.