Saturday, August 24, 2019

Tennessee Bass On Poppers

This day promised to be long, very long. It will start with trout and before the end of the day I will be geared-up and ready for some rest and then some bass! Up at 4:45 a.m. and load the boat cooler with lunch. Lunch. It’s now almost 5:00 a.m. tell me who wants to think about lunch? Grab the cup and pour the coffee. Coffee is the early morning lifeblood, the world's very first and always loyal energy drink...and a drink that requires the coffee pot to be preset the night before. Crap. Push start and go outside to hook the boat to the truck, load the rods, rain gear and other coolers. Done. Back upstairs to the office. Step over the dogs, turn on the light and grab flies from the drawer. Grab the one in the vise too. Downstairs, pour the coffee and remember the tippet. The tippet. Yep the tippet in the desk drawer. Upstairs again and turn on the light. Back to the drawer. 3x, 5x and 6x. Which did I need yesterday and did not have? Can’t remember so bringing them all. Grab the poppers too. Stop and pet the dogs for a few minutes then grab the coffee, the flies and keys. Out the door.

The Weather-Guessers are talking about the 40% chance of rain and storms throughout the day. Rain gear, check. Lightening gear, hmmm. The parking lot is empty except for the me and some empty beer cans from a baot ramp parking lot party the night before. Grab the cans and put them in the trash bag, transfer everything from the truck to the boat and that’s when clients wheel into the parking lot. They have been on the F/B Southeastern Fly before and have trout on their mind. Both are good guys and I’m off, off to meet the shuttle and soon to return. The first sign of clouds shows across the horizon as we top the hill. Down the hill and onto the river bank. The guys get in the casting braces as I quiz them on the number of fish brought to hand. They are good anglers so I multiply their number by 30% and subtract. Even after the math they still had good numbers and the boat hasn't even left the ramp. 
They fishing is hard in the early morning. Bringing fish to the net can be exhausting and make a guy hungry. We all need something that would go with coffee? Donuts. We have those and luckily there is a hole in the middle which makes them a bit less fattening and makes it "ok" to eat one more than you think you should. Donuts all around...donuts for anglers and the guy on the oars. 

Cast, mend to adjust presentation, and wait. We continue the day with a good rhythm of cast, mend for a correct presentation and set! Fish to the net and release. Then cast again...

We end the day with multiple doubles, a couple of slams.  Load the boat on the trailer and stow the rods. We didn’t really need the rain gear or the lightning gear, thank the Lord. Back to the Boro and saw goodbye to the guys. 

Home again. Pet the dogs, unload trout rods and load the bass rods. It's 7:30 p.m. and I have a 2 hour drive. Put the cover on the boat for the long drive and threatening rain. Upstairs to grab more poppers that probably will not be used. Load coolers and text the guys. They need more paper towels and Pringles. Out the door and stop by the grocery for more snacks including an arm load of Pringles. The cashier gives me a look like she wants to ask about the Pringles but she doesn't and I am not offering anything but a smile. Driving to the condo it's late, past my bedtime and I am tired. It was a good day on the river but my mind is shifting to bass on the two private lakes. It's my favorite get away with my family and with friends.
I'm on four lanes, then two lanes, then one lane and then gravel. Cicadas are singing and I can hear them over Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band sing about a small town in West Tennessee and how they "try to keep the city clean". For those of you who are not fortunate enough and don't know that line, check Google and it should lead you to a great song. The live album has many other good Seger songs on it too. Anyway, the gravel leads to the gate. Punch in the code and the gate swings open. The headlamps hit two sets of bright eyes and I recognize them as deer. Soon I am pulling up to the condo. The guys are there and quickly come down. They grab the coolers and my luggage and I grab the Pringles as well as the paper towels.

We are on the water the next day by 8:30 a.m. There's no need to get out too early as the bass are plentiful and willing to eat our poppers on top water. Yep, top water bass that are ready and willing to eat poppers on top water. 
Casting to structure is key all weekend. We cast, let the popper sit, like a frog. See, we've watched frogs and when they decide they need to swim to the other side of the lake they jump in and make a short stroke. They stop momentarily and begin swimming to the other side. So we cast and as the fly adjusts, turns over and gets settled then we take a strip. The strip has to be just the right speed and then BAM! (insert Batman emoji for BAM!). Hopefully you've seen the Batman emoji for BAM! 
We spend a couple days throwing these poppers. About halfway through the first day someone notices the dragon flies are swarming. Bass are jumping to get a dragon fly and the dragon flies are active along the banks. So we row to the dragon flies and plop a big ole popper into the action. BAM! Again we found another way to catch some bass. It's the dragon fly hatch but we don't even have to match the hatch, just find it and we are getting good results. There are some bluegill that get into the action too. We take advantage of both bluegill and bass as well as the Pringles throughout the next couple days.
As always it was a good getaway for all of us. The fish were friendly to our offerings and we were friendly because we turned everyone of them loose to be caught again. If you are looking for a good getaway that is relaxing and frankly a place where no one can reach you unless you want them to reach you, this is a fantastic trip. We can make a bass weekend or even a day of bass on poppers well worth your time.
It's a relaxing drive home, but the next morning is very much the same as other mornings...up at 4:45 a.m. and load the boat cooler with lunch. Lunch. It’s now almost 5:00 a.m. tell me who wants to think about lunch? Grab the cup and pour the coffee. Coffee is the early morning lifeblood, the world's very first and always loyal energy drink...

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.