Sunday, April 30, 2017

The 2017 Middle/West TN Casting for Recovery Retreat

The 9th Annual Middle and West Tennessee Casting for Recovery was held under overcast skies and sometimes rainy condition. Fourteen ladies were invited again this year at no cost to the participants. There was food, fun and fly fishing.

My job, again this year, was to get fourteen guides to show up and spend the morning helping the participants to "perhaps catch a few fish". And as usual their was a waiting list to be a guide, which makes my job really easy. Catching fish and fun was high on the agenda... in-spite of what was at times pretty crummy weather.

The Duck River was high when we started so the guides kept the trout flies in the boxes and prepared for the day by pulling out the warm water ammo. We would be fishing for bass, brim, crappie and catfish from five lakes on the property. Within minutes the ladies were casting, thanks to their lessons the day prior. It wasn't long before the rods were bent and fish were coming to the net.

The morning moved along quickly under the grey skies. In-spite of the liquid sunshine the ladies were having fun as one after the other felt the tug of the fish on the end of the line. The guides were not lacking for smiles either. They seemed just as happy as their partners when the fish would decide to eat. 

Our morning of fishing was coming to a close. One after the other the ladies brought their last fish to the net. After the waders were stowed and the last of the rods were broken down we all made our way to the dining room for some of my favorite BBQ of the year. Finally we said our good-bys and went our separate ways. 

The Middle Tennessee fly fishing community came together under the direction of the Music City Fly Girls for another fantastic event. As always it was an honor to be part of this day and as usual I'm looking forward to next year! 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Phillip and Ed- Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel at Times

Disclaimer- No, we really didn't shoot any fish in a barrel or otherwise... and no none of us have ever shot fish.

We did, however, catch enough fish that it seemed like they were just going to jump in the net, if we held the net beside the boat. The plan was to float the river and perhaps catch a few fish. The day started out with just the right weather. Shorts were fine as the sun warmed the bones and brought the fish out to join our quest. We were still sitting at anchor, talking and rigging rods when Phillip brought the first brown to the net. I threaten to call it a day and go get the truck and trailer...sometimes catching a fish that quick puts a damper on the rest of the float. But, soon there was another fish coming to the net and then made sense just to get the float underway.
The float started out on a positive note and for a while continued to get better. We made several stops along the way where we caught fish using several different techniques. Most anglers who fish the river know that streamers have been working well. We went to some meatier patterns and the fish responded kindly.
The guys were busy all morning and were bringing all sizes of fish to the boat. Several doubles and even a triple happened a couple of times. The average size was in the 13" - 15" range but as with all good floats, the best was yet to come.
After lunch we were back on nymphs and the guys were getting good drifts. There were some longer dry spells in the catching department, but there were no complaints as fish would respond with just the right timeing. Ed was in the back of the boat and getting back in his groove after several years of not getting out to fly fish. Phillip has been getting out with some trips to NC, those trips would help him prepare for what was to come.
Fish hold in all kinds of different water. The fish that sits at the head of the run is sometimes the biggest fish of the pod. The head of the run can be the position that gives that fish the best location to get the best food. The biggest and I would assume even the best tasting bugs have to pass by, as do all the other bugs, and if the big fish wants the first chance at all the food, the head of the run isn't a bad location to hold.

So, here we came floating down the river. The guys were dropping nymphs in the a run by the bank. Phillip lifted the tip of the Orvis Recon and dropped his bug right at the top of the run. The fish must have thought his bug was going to taste real good and decided to try it out. Phillip set the hook and the fish began to fight. Phillip told us it was a big one but Ed didn't believe him OK Ed was the second person in the boat to see the fish and we were soon well into a hard fight from one of the larger rainbows of the day. Phillip did a great job keeping the fish out of the fastest part of the run. All he needed to do was to keep the fish out of that one blowdown and that one blowdown was only a few feet away. Phillip used the backbone of the Recon to steer the fish away from the one safe place and bring it to the net. It wasn't long before we were taking a photo and the measurement. 

This fish would be our longest of the day and would earn Phillip a spot in the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club. Congratulations Phillip. We floated out catching more fish, first here then there and as the sun began to fall behind the tree lines. It was another good float and one that will go down in the books as a really eventful and nice day. Nice job guys!

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, April 9, 2017

Stephanie and Steve Fly Fish High Water

Stephanie has been on the drifter before and this time she decided to let Steve come along to see what the rivers of Middle Tennessee can produce. Both our happy anglers would catch their share of fish and fish new styles on their way from the launch ramp to the take out.
We started on top water. The brookies and some brown trout were looking up and when they looked up Stephanie and Steve's flies just happened to be floating overhead. We messed around with that for a while then pulled out the 6 weights with sinking line.Stephanie began by catching her first brookie as her first fish.  Soon we were bringing fish to the net but not at the rate we wanted. We stopped at one point and it was like someone was throwing bowling balls into the river. The river was getting crazy and like the fish we were getting hungry.
After fueling up and getting our anglers back into the casting braces we got down to business. We pulled into the upper end of "Brown Town" and began catching fish on a steady basis. We caught fish on every color we tried...Well, we only needed to try one color so I guess in reality that statement was still 100% the truth. The action kept coming on top with floating lines and down deep on heavy sinking lines.
The fishing continued to get better and better. Every stop seemed like it was productive and when a fish would rise it wouldn't be long before it was sliding into the net. These days don't come often and when they do it is pure magic. We made stops at the likely places that have been producing over the years and were finding our share of opportunities.
We waited for some other boats to pass, then the anchor came off the bottom and we floated into a productive portion of the river. The fish began to rise. A larger fish came to the top and Steve got his fly in front of that fish. The fish ate and Steve set the hook. The fish went to the bottom and put a deep bend in Steve's 5 wt. Orvis Frequent Flyer rod. The fish tried to stay on the bottom and the fight was full of give and take for quite a long time. Steve kept after the fish and soon the it was coming around to our way of thinking. The brown made one last attempt to get away and Steve brought it back, then to the edge of the net. One last pull on the 5 wt. brought it into the big Brodin net. We got the fish in the boat and removed the fly, then back into the water for some refreshment. With Stephanie witnessing the measurement, Steve made his way into the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club

We continued the day catching some really nice fish. Fish that on a normal day would be a photo op, but on this day they were just regular fish that we were catching and releasing. It is hard to explain how good this day really was to all of us.

Stephanie and Steve were a pleasure to spend a couple days with on the river. After we were done, plans were made for follow up trips. Next time I hope to see Morgan come back. Morgan if you come back, you bring that cast and I will bring us some more chocolate! Steve and Stephanie thank you again for spending some quality time 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.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Video to Compliment the Last Fishing Report

After the trip with M.E. and Ethan I received a text with some footage from our float. Ethan did a fantastic job with his video the production. There were a lot of laughs and this video shows just a few. Hope you enjoy his work and thanks again Ethan!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

M.E. Gets Herself Into the 20+ Club

The calendar can be your friend and enemy. Lately it is tough to get dates on the calendar, but after a fly tying event at Cumberland Transit, M.E., Ethan and I, finally got our calendars in sync. Time is something of which we all seem to be in short supply. We wanted to get a day on the river before they charged off into the Wild, Wild West for their walk from Mexico to Canada. You can follow along with their hike at this link.
Every great adventure starts, well, in the back of an SUV? Once everything was transferred from the SUV to the F/V Southeastern Fly, including our anglers and the guy in the rower's seat, we were ready. Ethan would score fish early and included in that score was a nice walleye. It wasn't real big, but nice. Although we've heard some big walleye in the river, they have been like hear about'em but you never see'em.
We started down the river and immediately went into a dry-spell. Some were fish busting but nothing super-intense. A few stops along the way for wildlife viewing and some killer sandwiches seemed to be the highlights of our early adventure. Then we came into a stretch of river that produces nice fish. M.E. was struggling a little in the catching department. Tossing heavy sinking lines in fast moving water isn't easy but M.E. put the fly in the right place and began to move the fly off the shelf. With a "hopping retrieve" and some good mojo the fly never made it off the shelf. The brown struck the little fly and began to head-shake. M.E. did a nice job playing the brown and just like she did last year, she brought the brown to the net. And that fish was known as just a warm-up.
The sun began to move toward a set and we found ourselves still on the water. I called for last cast and Ethan took me at my word. M.E. however had other ideas.  Still throwing the sinking line and now on a Clouser, M.E. kept at it. The fish hit and immediately the Echo II bent almost double. Neither Ethan or myself thought the fish was big, but M.E. was quiet. Ethan even asked "are you just messing with us?" Then the rod began to bounce, big head-shakes answered that question. No one was messing with anyone because it isn't easy bounce the Echo II.  For those of you  who have fished the rod you can attest to that statement. This fish is the exact reason the Echo is on the boat during streamer season. M.E. was still trying to stay ahead of the fish, that was now trying to get her into the weeds. M.E. did a nice job pulling on the fish and letting it have some line when needed. Our first glimpse of the fish soon came and then she was able to get the fish to the net. Arms extended way over the drifter and the fish slid into the net. A Quick measurement confirmed the fish was indeed long enough for the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club and then a few photos before the fish was released to be caught one more time. Nice work M.E and Ethan. #honorablemention
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.