Monday, December 31, 2007
I met up with a fishing buddy that had only fished the Caney once and wanted to see some access points. We started up high on the river not too far below the dam and things started out kinda slow. I was experimenting with a 3 fly rig, a dry for an indicator followed by a zebra midge and then some type of weighted nymph pattern. Early on, I tried the Copper John that had been doing well during previous recent trips. After that didn't work, I tried another nymph pattern or two before checking a rock off the bottom. Several scuds in the #18-#22 size range were scurrying around ranging in color from gray to olive. I had recently tied up some new patterns that I thought would imitate a scud well and tied it on. Soon I had my first fish and things were looking up. One of my nicest (not largest) fish of the day soon followed, so richly colored that if I hadn't known any better, I would have said it was a wild fish from an East Tennessee freestone stream. Sometimes the biggest fish aren't the best...
The rest of the day continued much better than the first part. It seemed like many of the fish in the river were feeding on scuds. In the deep runs, you could see the flashing of light off the sides of fish as they fed right on the bottom. After getting tired of fishing the upper river, we headed down and caught up with the generation pulse were the water was still falling out. Fish were up in the shallows over weed beds once again feeding heavily, and this time we did well with quite a few browns coming to hand. None were huge but all were healthy fish that fought well, often putting on acrobatic aerial displays. A few fish even took the dry that was serving as an indicator so all in all it was a nice day.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
It isn't often I can say this but I'm glad I wasn't trying to fish there yesterday. Water conditions like that are extremely dangerous for wading. The water is falling fairly fast though and should be quite fishable for the next couple of days before our first serious cold snap arrives and shuts down the fishing. Forecast highs for the middle of the week in the mountains aren't supposed to get out of the 20's so I'll be home tying lots of flies for the upcoming year hopefully.
The weather around the country is cold and bringing lots of precipitation as well. Yellowstone had a tough summer this past year with low water because of the low snowpack. Things are looking much better for next summer with yet another big storm system moving through the northern Rockies. A glance at the national weather map from the National Weather Service shows winter storm warnings, winter weather advisories, and even blizzard warnings for much of the area.
Look for the Rocky Mountain states to fish well next year and possibly even be on a "normal" schedule as far as runoff is concerned. Of course, a lot of factors still have to come together to make that happen, but so far things are looking up. I think its about time for me to start trying to figure out a way to have another Yellowstone trip this next summer...wish me luck!!!
Friday, December 28, 2007
Overall, the fishing was pretty good but it was really crowded at the main access points which made things a bit annoying. The highlight of the day was watching a big 20"+ brown moving up into a shallow run above a nice hole to feed. I made several perfect casts and got some nice drifts over him but stuck a decent rainbow instead and that was the last I saw of the big guy. Oh well, another time.
The top flies for me were various midges and a red copper john. I've been fishing copper johns more and more in all types of water and am surprised by the results. It seems like it shouldn't catch fish on a river like the Caney but you just never know.
As 2007 winds down, it is time to start thinking forward to '08 and the adventures it will undoubtedly hold. I think I'm going to be adjusting my fishing habits some, more on that later...
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
I've been tying a few flies in between studying for finals and as soon as I get home, I'll be tying fast and furiously trying to prepare for the behemoth browns that await and will probably tear my flies to shreds. Of course, I'll likely get some time on the home river, the Caney Fork. Also, a trip to a new river is in the works. I've been hearing great things for several years now about the Cumberland River below Wolf Creek Dam and will finally attempt a trip. The sad part is that the Cumberland is closer to my house than the Smokies and only about 30 miles farther than the Caney and yet, I've never been. The rumors of big fish have finally convinced me that an investigation should be carried out. The last month or so I've really been missing the tug of a big fish on the other end of the line so this break will be dedicated to looking for the big guys. Check back soon for updates...
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
A few lucky readers apparently get out a LOT more than I do. A total of 8 people said they fish over 100 days a year. I guess I need to find a house on a trout stream so I can do likewise, or perhaps we could return to the days of cheap gasoline although I'm not counting on it.
Those of you that fell into the first two categories, my deepest sympathies go out to you, particularly to those that fish less than 10 days a year. Of course, I could rub it in and remind you how I eclipsed that number on just one trip, but I'll try to be nice about it instead. So, if you don't get out too often, set yourself a goal next year to increase the number of days you spend on the water.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Thankfully, my next time fishing should be somewhere other than the HI. Most likely it will be the SoHo but it is possible that I will be on the Caney for a few hours before that. Regardless, the quality of fishing (well, at least the catching) should be much higher. I'm going for one of those big browns on the SoHo over Christmas break and will be fishing at least a couple of days over there. If things go well, I may have to schedule a bit more time to fish in East Tennessee. I can't wait!!!
Monday, December 03, 2007
Everyone has those days when you're catching fish but they just can't compare with the fish in another location. After being spoiled on my home waters over Thanksgiving break, the rubber trout of the Hiwassee didn't give the same thrill that they sometimes do. For example, if I haven't fished in a few weeks, the Hiwassee is great, and usually I'll catch a few colorful fish that make up for the rest of the dumb stockers. This last weekend wasn't one of those days. All the fish were cookie cutter stockers that looked like this:
When you compare this guy to the fish I regularly catch on my home waters, there's just no comparison.
The day wasn't completely useless as I discovered some very nice browns that should give me a great challenge this winter. If I'm lucky, perhaps I'll eventually catch one of the big boys. Thankfully, Christmas break will be here soon and I'll be back on the Caney and will probably even get some time in on the South Holston. Not a bad way to spend the holidays... Until then, you'll find me at the vise preparing for the festivities.
December 2006, SoHo