Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 08/16/2019

Fishing has slowed down in some places and heated up in others. Smallmouth bass fishing on the streams of the Cumberland Plateau has been good to excellent while the tailwaters have slowed down somewhat.

In the Smokies, streams are getting low and warm. Stick with mid and high elevation streams for now until we get some rain and cooler weather. Right now it looks like this will probably last until the end of the month although we do have some rain forecast next week. Let's hope that happens! A variety of bugs are working here, but lean heavily on your terrestrial box.

The Caney Fork in particular has been tough the last few days. A combination of factors has been hard on the river including striped bass which eat a tremendous number of trout. Overall fishing pressure has also contributed to tough fishing. Those fish have become educated!!! Think small on your midges and you should at least find a few trout.

The Clinch seems to be in the middle of the annual late summer drawdown of Norris Lake. High water will be the norm here for the next few weeks. If you don't have a boat, then don't bother.

Fall fishing is not far off. The Clinch should fish well unless we have a wet fall. Sometime between mid October and early November, we should see flows start to come down. The Smokies are my personal favorite for fall fishing. The fish will be hungry and maybe even looking up!

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year? Maybe...

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year? Maybe...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Carrying Your Gear: A New Perspective

For many years in this sport, a vest was the only way to carry your gear. There were very few fly fisherman that even considered any alternative. Things are different now of course but I had not realized how different until this poll closed. Nearly 50% of you are apparently using a chest or lumbar pack of some type. That doesn't mean that people aren't using vests, just not as much.

Personally I still have a vest and where it some of the time. If I can get away with a lanyard I prefer to go light. There are times though when you are on a new stream or perhaps a challenging spring creek or tailwater where you don't want to be caught unprepared. In those circumstances a vest is still very beneficial. My vest is organized carefully and I always know where everything is when I carry it.

The beginning of this summer brought about some big changes in how I carried gear. Up until that point I had always used a vest. Then I got a lanyard and everything changed. Now I usually like to wear a fishing shirt with the large pockets so I have a place to stow a couple fly boxes. The vest holds pretty much everything else I need. I can always throw an extra pack of leaders and a couple strike indicators in a pocket and I'm good to go.

The benefits far outweigh any negatives for me. When I carry the vest, I'm prone to carrying too much. This seems to be a common problem for most fly fisherman since we always like to be prepared. When you have a lanyard, there just is not anywhere to put more gear so you are forced to cut back. A heavy vest can pull on your shoulders all day leading to tightness in your neck and consequently tension headaches. Once you get used to a lanyard, you almost forget that it is there.

I haven't tried any chestpacks. Honestly I was planning on getting one before I found an excellent deal on the lanyard. I am guessing that the benefits of a small chest or lumbar pack are very similar to that of the lanyard. If anything it might be better because you can carry slightly more stuff without overloading.

The final word for the day...my recommendation: If you haven't tried something other than a vest yet, try a chest or lumbar pack or a lanyard...I think you'll be pleasantly surprised...

3 comments:

  1. If I may add...

    ...if you are to get a chest/lumbar pack, make sure it's one that does both. I prefer to keep it around my waist, but sometimes it's just not practical. Also, my pack is always overloaded...I probably stuff more into it than I could into a vest. And with it in lumbar mode, I still feel like I'm fishing light even if it is packed...at least until I open it.

    Ed

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  2. Ed, thanks for adding that detail. I have quite a few friends that have gone with a pack that they hang over their shoulder/neck and can also be converted to a fanny pack and they really like it a lot. I haven't tried any of these options yet but have been thinking that a small lumbar pack with a water bottle holder would be the perfect compliment to my lanyard...

    ReplyDelete
  3. ijsouth9:01 PM

    I wear a vest, and you described me to a 'T' - I carry way too much. On this last "trip" (really, the evacuation from Gustav), I only fished a few hours a day, and I ended up using one fly - a Mr Rapidan. I certainly didn't need to carry umpteen dozen boxes of flies, etc, but I did - I just have the feeling that I need to carry any possible fly imaginable, in case they're picky, etc. If I'm able to come up for Thanksgiving, I'm going to do some exploring that will require a lot of hiking...rather than lugging my hippers and all my stuff, I'll try to pare things down and will stick with my hiking boots....I'll just avoid getting wet.

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