Tuesday, January 21, 2014

East TN Tailwaters - January 20

Like most anglers, the winter as really taken a toll on us and we haven't been give a lot of great opportunities to fish our tailwaters.  Whether is be poor wading opportunities due to water release schedules or bad weather, its seemed as though this winter has been one of the worst in recent years. 
TVA built this weir below South Holston Dam to add oxygen to the river. Oxygen-rich water helps create a sustained habitat for aquatic insects, vegetation, and fish.
 I decided to take a solo trip up to the far east of TN and visit the South Holston.  The South Holston is a truly great river and produces numerous large fish year end and year out.  Each year I make a goal saying I would like to be able to fish this river more(watagua also), but its tough leaving my mother Clinch River when its almost always fishing well and 5 minutes from my front porch.  For the past several years, I've found myself making short trips up to the SoHo during the winter(usually when the Clinch is blown out), and it always helps fix my itch to catch some fish.  This is exactly what I needed this past weekend.

I arrived around 11:30am and TVA was scheduled to stop water generation around 12:00pm.  I spoke to a few locals and took a couple pictures. 
Not to my surprise was the crowds of anglers ready to get some time on the water.  I walked down the trail that starts up at the weir and anglers were already lined up like a scene from a magazine for a salmon run.  I found myself a fairly good entry spot and once water levels were safe I began fishing.

Fishing was pretty fair and I managed some good fish, but nothing huge on this trip.  I caught a few on a #18BHPT and the majority of my fish came on a #20 juju midge.  I felt like the fish were really responding to the flash of wings on the juju. 

I didn't take any fish pictures on this trip.  All I had was my phone and my hands were too cold and not worth the risk of dropping ANOTHER phone in the river.

As usual, my Sage One performed great and provided some good casts in the strong cold winds.

I'm really hoping that we get some low water on the Clinch soon.  I'm sure when we get to go the fish will be really active.  This has been the case following the past few years following high water winters.

I'm also getting some of my fly tying materials stocked up and getting ready for the up coming sulphur hatches.  I have a couple new patterns I'm anxious to tie and try
Sage One 590 has been my "work horse" since I picked it up.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Clinch River - Report

I've been out a handful of times over the past couple of weeks on the Clinch.  I've had some good days on both ends of the river.  On the lower end - pheasant tails and soft hackles have worked well for me.  On the upper end I've been doing well on really small midges and cream colored scuds.

Here are a few pictures from the past couple days.

Photo credit: @troutmanbrook via Instagram

Yesterday morning I found this nice rainbow who fell to my #20 midge

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Report - Early June 2013

I was able to get in a couple trips of fishing this week.  I love getting out at this time of year, because you just never know what kind of day you're going to have.  Some Summer days turn out great, but on other days fish can be tough to figure out for a variety of reasons.

My first trip was to my home waters the Clinch River.  The Clinch can be very fun to fish during late May and into June.  My trip was indeed a good one.  I began the day up above the weir fishing some deep water as they turned off the generators.  In approximately an hour I had brought several fish to hand and lost a few others.  The fish up in the weir pool are tough, thick, and fighters.  In the weir pool all my fish came on a midge #20.

After fishing the weir pool for a hour, we decided to head down to miller island.  Luckily, their wasn't too many people out yet and we were able to jump in a head of all the crowds.  I usually avoid miller island because of the crowds, but decided I'd give it a shot since I hadn't fished that area in such a long time.  Its always a plus to be the first person to fish the island(front or back).  Fish seemed to really be stacked up on the front side.  They were everywhere and not just in the normal lies.  I didn't spot a ton of really large fish, but there were certainly many willing to cooperate.  I caught fish on pheasant tails initially in a couple different variations in sizes #16 and #18.  Towards the end of the island there are a couple different pools that I threw some soft hackles and picked up a handful of average fish.  By the time I reached the end of the island(approx. noon) I began to see a few sulfurs coming off and I was surprised to see the fish keying on them this early in the day.  Historically, the best sulfur hatches are much further down river, but this was a pretty significant hatch.  It was a lot of fun getting to fish some dry flies and some good action.

I also took a little road trip and visited Cherokee, NC to do some fishing up on the Raven Fork.  I hadn't ever fished the tribal waters and wanted to do a bit of exploring.  We didn't fish the trophy waters, but did fish the waters above and below the 2 mile stretch of the prized water.  Unfortunately the heavy storms from the previous weekend still left the waters fairly high and swift.  We had a bit of a tough time finding some manageable water to fish.  We did manage to catch some fish on nymphs and san juan worms.
Caught this little guy on the first cast of the day

This was the most productive stretch of water

My little brother Cobie laying out some line into a deep pool

 The waters up in Cherokee are very nice.  Once we had finished fishing, we did some scouting in the trophy section.  We spotted some really large fish.  Next time we visit that area we may try and get into some of those big uglies.  It appeared to be a nice area to do some camping. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Elkmont Trip

Campground Parking Lot at Elkmont
Rod and I decided to battle the Memorial Day crowds and venture into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and fish up above Elkmont.  We hiked about half way up Little River Trail and began fishing. 
It wasn't long until we each had hooked up
After picking up some fish, we ran into a fellow fisherman who recommended we hike on up and fish around the bridges.  This was about another two miles up the trail, but he ensured us it was worth the efforts. 
By the time we got up to the top of the trail we were quite tired, but determined to fish some of these fine looking waters.
Rodney at the Husky Gap Trail Sign.  Look tired?

Neither of us are too skilled when it comes to fishing the smokies.  We would definitely be considered "tailwater guys".  We were hoping to see some nice hatches, but it never happened.  All of the fish we caught were subsurface on nymphs and green weenies. 

Caught on a Weenie

Rodney after our long hike up Little River trail

Standing on the bridge of Little River Trail
All in all, we had a good time.  Weather was great, crowds weren't too terrible, and we were just happy to get out and enjoy the day in the solitude of the Smokies. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Check out these poppers from Fly Fish Food



I've never ventured into tying my own poppers, but I may have to give it a try this year.  I'm hearing that the small mouth bite is really hot right now and I'm itching to go.  In E. Tennessee we're blessed with some truly great small mouth waters near by and I don't have to travel all that far to get into some good action.  

Check out the Latest from S.C.O.F



I've really enjoyed SCOF since it debut in 2011.  This is the best zine in the business as far as I'm concerned and it just so happens to be centered out of the Southeast!

If you haven't already, check it out and give it a follow.  It's always full of knowledge and the southern culture fly fishing experience.

The Summer Issue looks to drop in July.  

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Clear Cure Goo

So I just jumped in head first and bought some Clear Cure Goo.  After talking to a few people and doing a little research online, I realized all I really needed for most of my personal tying needs was the light($29) and a bottle of CCG's "hydro"($21).  I'm really excited to use CCG and see what my results are like.  Everyone I've spoken to has praised it giving it 5 stars.
After I get the chance to try it out, I'll be sure to post some pictures of a few flies and let you all know what my thoughts are about the product.  I'm most excited to make some bomb proof midges for my local tailwaters.