Guided Trips


Things have changed a lot since the last report. Unseasonably warm weather has kicked off the first hatches of the year in the Great Smoky Mountains while an extremely wet February means all of the tailwaters are blown out across middle and east Tennessee.

If you want to fish in the Smokies, nymphs and streamers will be your best bet unless you encounter a hatch. In that case, Blue Quills and Quill Gordons should be in your arsenal as well as Blue-winged Olives.

For now, just forget about the tailwaters in the short term. continued rain means it will be at least another month before the tailwaters are fishable again. With luck, we can start thinking about some streamer float trips on the Caney Fork in mid to late March, although that may be optimistic. In the meantime, head for the mountains and enjoy chasing the wild trout there.

Photo of the Month: Breaking Cabin Fever

Photo of the Month: Breaking Cabin Fever

Monday, April 02, 2012

Lostman's Five Version 2.0

One of the most relaxing parts of the Everglades trip was spending extra time at Lostman's Five.  Two nights was just about perfect for recuperating from the paddling of the past 3 days.  The wooden platform that was built upon the site meant we were able to sleep perfectly flat.  Best of all, we paddled up towards the freshwater Glades, began seeing alligators and birds......lots and lots of birds. 

On the first morning (second day) at Lostman's Five, we woke up to find a Black Vulture sitting atop the porta-potty.  Apparently the terrible odors wafting out smelled more like breakfast to the bird.  Before eating breakfast, I had good shots of a Turkey Vulture flying over as well as a Brown Pelican.  While not an avid birder, I do enjoy seeing and taking pictures of birds.  Basically this means that I like to see them but can't always accurately identify them which is kind of nice.  I prefer to keep some of my hobbies uncomplicated. 

The day's paddle towards the freshwater Glades was challenging for the first couple of miles as we had to paddle up Lostman's Creek and across a long bay.  The wind was blowing straight down the bay towards us and we had to fight for every gain.  Once we entered the small creeks on the other side though things improved. 

Alligators appeared with regularity, often sunning on the banks, sometimes floating half-submerged while keeping a cautious eye on us.  Some of them were rather large, or at least, it seemed so to us.  A canoe can suddenly seem rather small when it is sharing the water with an alligator nearly as large.  Still, they are generally shy and did not pose any serious problems.

Our hopes to paddle all the way to pure freshwater were not realized as we ran into a dead end pond with the water still brackish.  On the way, we saw many birds as well as lots of fish.  A particularly large snook had me wishing I had been fishing upstream instead of paddling.  By the time it rocketed past the canoe I knew any hope of catching it was gone. 

As the afternoon wore on, we all started to get hungry.  Returning to camp, we spent the remainder of the day relaxing, eating a good meal, and preparing mentally for the big day ahead of us.

After eating, I tried to be creative with the camera.  The next day was going to be tough and I wasn't sure if I would have many opportunities to get the camera out once we made it to the big water along the Gulf of Mexico.

As evening descended, a large alligator swam slowly past camp and up Lostman's Creek. 

Can you find the alligator in this picture?

1 comment:

  1. Shades of years gone by. There are times when I really miss that. Thanks for taking us along.




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