Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 04/19/2019

Easter Weekend Update: The Smokies have been pounded with rain today and will feature high water through the holiday weekend. If you must get out and fish, wait until late in the weekend and be very cautious. Fish the edges and stay safe!

Otherwise...our early hatches are giving way to lighter colored bugs now. Light Cahills, Pale Evening Duns, Blue-winged Olives, March Browns, and Hendricksons have all been on the water at times. The huge Black Stoneflies are around now as well and providing some big bites for hungry trout. Sulfurs should be starting fairly soon, especially with all of the nice weather we are having. Little Yellow Stoneflies are just starting to show up now as well and will get much stronger as May approaches. The yearly pinnacle of spring dry fly fishing is quickly approaching!

Tailwaters are starting to fish well. The Caney Fork is still blowing a LOT of water. That should change fairly soon if we don't get too much rain. I'm thinking we might start seeing some opportunities in early May if things hold steady, maybe sooner. The Clinch has been fishing extremely well. Big hard fighting rainbow and brown trout are the target here on light tippets and tiny flies. Bring your A game or go home disappointed. Sulfurs should start to really take off shortly along with more caddis than we have already been seeing. On Tuesday's float, fish were taking a variety of bugs including midges, caddis, and the odd sulfur.

Warm water options are really taking off as well. That is assuming that flows cooperate. Big rain events will shut this down for a few days, but otherwise, everything is fishing very well right now!

Photo of the Month: Early Spring Rewards

Photo of the Month: Early Spring Rewards

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

    ReplyDelete
  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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