Friday, June 28, 2019

Fly Fishing in Middle Tennessee

The last time Marc and Lawson were aboard the drifter we were on the Caney Fork. We caught some nice fish including Marc’s really nice brownThis time we shoved off and we caught up with the life changes that happen over the course of two or three years. It didn’t take long before Lawson was on the board with his first rainbow of the day. Marc didn't waste too much time to get on that same board himself.

Fishing the shelves and drop-offs: Lawson was well into a drift across a drop off when he set the hook on a nice rainbow. But it all started with knowing where the drop off starts, its depth and naturally setting up for a clean drift. 

Knowing where the drop off begins is as easy as knowing the contour of the riverbed you are fishing. That comes with time but the closer you can pay attention to the currents and how those currents and color changes reveal the underwater structures, the more accurate you can set up for the drift of your fly. 
Start the drift before the drop off. Casting and then achieving the right mend will set the pace for the fly. Depth is extremely important when fishing drop offs. Set your nymph too deep and the nymph will drag the bottom, many times wrecking your chances of getting the fly in the face of the fish. Setting the nymph too shallow and the fish will likely never know the fly has even been presented.
We set Lawson up for a good drift over the drop off. The color change was obvious and Lawson dropped the fly right at the leading edge (upstream) of the drop off. The fly hit the water first and was followed by the indicator. This technique sends the fly to the strike zone quickly. When Lawson’s fly began the descent it settled after the mend and we had a good drift going. The fly pattern is a good pattern but the presentation was as good as they come and the rainbow couldn’t help itself. The fish ate and Lawson set the hook.

The rainbow came out of the hole and into shallow water. Rainbows are quite active fish and they fight the same way. The rainbows on this day were jumping and running each time they were hooked. Lawson was in good form and keeping the fish in front of him with the rod at a 45 degree angle. The fish didn’t come to the net without a fight but it came to the net and Lawson scored a good sized rainbow.

We grabbed a stream-side lunch and rested. The river was fishing good and we even caught some fish while relaxing on the gravel bar. The rest of the river has been fishing slower so I prepped the guys with a rundown of past trips. We wrapped up lunch and Marc and Lawson slipped back into the casting braces.
Lawson was again in the front brace and Marc in the back. The fishing was still good as we entered a new stretch of water. We fished a small and indiscreet pool which gave up a couple more rainbows. We moved across a small gravel bar and Lawson dropped his fly on a rock pile. The fly settled and it didn’t float long before Lawson was setting the hook. The brown trout came off the rock pile and headed toward the bank and several blowdowns. Lawson pulled on the rod and applied some side pressure. The fish came to the net a short time later. It was a healthy brown, not the biggest in he river, but the water flowing across the rock pile was giving up oxygen, food and cover and keeping the brown in good shape.
Marc needed a better fish to complete his day and to take away some of Lawson’s bragging rights. We entered a bend with lots of downed-timber and Marc laid his fly along a parallel log. It was a lengthy drift but Marc was able to stay with the mend and keep the presentation going. He set the hook and a feisty rainbow came away from the log but tried its best to get back. Marc kept the pressure on and gained line pretty quick. We didn’t let the fish pull for long and short time later Marc had a good rainbow and took away just a little bit of Lawson’s bragging rights.

We kept fishing and adding fish to the count. Overall it was a good day with a couple fine fellows. I always enjoy their company and the discussions we have along the way. Those discussions along with fishing the drop-offs, rock piles, runs and bends make a day on the water extremely enjoyable.

The rivers are fishing well and we have some open dates. If you have read this far and are thinking it might be time to call to get your date on the books, there’s not a better time than the next several weeks.
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, June 23, 2019

***New Episode*** Southeastern Fly- The Angler's Influence

On this episode of the Southeastern Fly- The Angler's Influence we go back to the Panhandle of Florida to talk Cleve Evans who is the owner of Forgotten Coast on the Fly. This time we talk species and locations for trout to tarpon. We talk all things fly fishing from why we practice casting to how we explore new areas to how we explore new areas and why exploration is important.
Our first stop are the mountains of North GA where Cleve learned to catch freshwater trout with his Grandmother in and around Suches GA. As Cleve grew and learned more about fishing, he picked up the fly rod and eventually went to Calloway Gardens where Kent Edmonds taught him the basics of casting and fishing on the fly. 

From there Cleve joins friends and begins to explore the areas he spent in his youth. Finally, Cleve landed on Panama City Beach and began to explore the Florida Panhandle. He was bit by the saltwater bug and bought a skiff to further explore the area for redfish, jacks and tarpon. 

You are invited to come along as we get to know Cleve Evans, Owner of Forgotten Coast on the Fly.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Middle TN Fly Fishing

Nymphs on falling tailwaters- People often ask this question: Is fishing better on low water, rising water, full generation, or falling water? The answer to the water level question is more complicated than it sounds and the variables are too numerous to recite in quick conversation. Everyone has their preference and like everyone else I have mine. Falling water – Check.

We try to plan trips weeks in advance and it can be a crapshoot when it comes to generation schedules on the three different tailwaters. We take we are given and make the most of the hand we are dealt. 

Josh has fished from the casting braces of the Southeastern Fly on many occasions and when his text arrived with some dates, we set the trip for a couple weeks out. I had a tailwater in mind and was looking forward to floating it, only to find out a couple days in advance that the release was not great for fly fishing. We had a plan B which wasn’t a bad alternative. So, we agreed to meet and then off we went to enjoy a near perfect weather pattern and perhaps to also catch a few fish.

We pushed the drifter off the trailer on high water and soon Josh was fishing streamers, then when the water shut off, then we went to nymphs. Super-secret patterns were used and fish responded. After a few warmup rainbows and browns, we moved to the feeding lane in the middle of the river. Feeding lanes are important in this world we call trout fishing on the fly. Finding feeding lanes that carry oxygen and food are essential and if you add a little cover into the mix, well it’s almost a gimme. Almost.

Josh dropped the fly in the feeding lane and right at the edge of a pothole. That fly floated a few yards and the fish ate. It’s best if you are watching your fly or looking in the general direction and if you aren’t it helps to have someone behind the oars who is somewhat paying attention. I’ve been on both ends of watching the indicator and this time when the fish ate I just happened to be watching. First a grunt and then a quick calling of the angler’s name and Josh set the hook. It was a good fight and a clean fight and the fish put Josh’s H3 through its paces. We netted the fish and snapped a quick photo. We released the rainbow to grow and hopefully be caught us. 

We tried an entire stretch of the river using dries but didn’t get a look. Consistent topwater season is around the corner. Just around the corner. We were back on nymphs and Josh was fishing well. We waited for a plastic hatch to develop and pass, then we moved into some particularly fishy water. 

Dropping the fly in the right place at the right time to achieve just the right presentation is another critical piece to successful nymph fishing. Too early and the fish has time to inspect it from top to bottom. Too late and the fly doesn’t get in front of the fish. Dropping it at just the right time will essentially trick the fish into making the right decision. How many times has a super-long drift worked better than a somewhat shorter drift? Think about it.

Anyway Josh dropped the fly in that definitive feeding lane. The fly sank and the indicator rolled over. It floated a short distance before the rainbow ate. When it did Josh paused and then came tight to the fish. The rainbow jumped and made a run, then jumped several more times and made a couple attempts to throw the fly. Josh did a nice job keeping the rainbow where it needed to be, away from the blowdown, and then guided it toward the waiting net. We snapped a couple photos and revived the fish. When the fish was ready it left the comfort of the net and swam back to the blowdown from which it came.

Just like that, Josh made another appearance in the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club. A place where he is no stranger. The rest of the day brought us more fish. The numbers weren’t huge but in the double digits. A double-digit day with a bit of quality thrown in wasn’t bad for Plan B.
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, June 3, 2019

Alex and Marshall and a Day of High Numbers

We've been fishing together for several years. Marshall and Alex understand the program and we can get down to business pretty quick on a trip. Alex takes the front seat, me in the middle with oars and Marshall makes himself comfortable in the back of the boat. It's a good system that often yields favorable results. 
Today's trip would be nymphs and terrestrials. Nymphs fished with precise casts and nice drifts would be the ask from the anglers. Also there were donuts and fish and Snickers and soft drinks as well as Kings Hawaiian for the finest of bread aficionados. But mostly it was fish. The first twenty minutes or so were slow with only a few fish coming to the net. Then we started picking up the pace and the catch-rate came with it. 

We discovered a pod of browns with some rainbows mixed in to keep the techniques on-point. Just before lunch the catch-rate was getting pretty crazy and there were fish coming to the net before I could get the last one unbuttoned and revived. Our system was working...
After a stop on the gravel for a bite to eat, I think we were all eager to get the guys back into the casting braces and drown some more trained flies. It was mere minutes before the guys picked up where they left off. The flies kept working and we kept trying three of my favorite patterns. 

The Drift- It doesn't always have to be perfect. There are times we can get fish on the lift but the better fish come from a dead-drift that floats seamlessly over an obstruction such as a gravel bar, a blow-down or a rock bed. The pattern doesn't matter as much as the depth and quality of the drift. The right drift at the right angle with the right depth filled the Brodin all day least until Alex and Marshall's arms got a little tired. 

So far the trips this year have been fun. We've caught some nice fish and had good numbers. It seems most trips are with repeat anglers which people say is a good thing. I just feel good that we always seem to have a good times with laughs and a chance to catch up with each others life. The fishing? Yes the fishing is important too and that why we focus to make angler's day on the water the best we possibly can. 

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.