Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 09/04/2019

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 for another week 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. Yellow Stimulators in particular have also been good lately.

The Caney Fork continues to produce a few fish here and there. Stripers are still thick in the river which isn't helping the trout at all. As long as things stay dry, this will be a viable option. There are a few large fish present if you know where to look. Yesterday's big fish was a 21.5" rainbow caught while sight fishing. Don't expect that every day, but if you're prepared to put in your time, there are good fish to be caught (and released!!!).

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 except, possibly, during early mornings. Weekends are offering some morning windows but crowds will generally be thick as well.

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 for the Smokies

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year for the Smokies

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tying Feathers

Do you ever want to try and steal some feathers from a duck?  I've come close to considering this one a few times.  Just imagine what all these feathers would look like on a fly.  If we could harvest these without killing the duck, it would be a great renewable source.  Instead of buying a bag of feathers, each tier would simply keep a small flock of various birds...  I'm sure someone would consider this cruelty to animals, but if I was this duck, I think this solution would be much preferred over getting shot...


11 comments:

  1. I have considered it, and plan to do it when I have a property where I can keep some birds. I was thinking more along the lines of chickens that might produce some quality hackles. I figure I can just pick up feathers they drop (molt) and probably won't need to do any inhumane plucking.

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    1. Jay, that's a great idea! I have been on the receiving end of some beautiful peafowl feathers obtained this way. If you pick up the feathers soon after they are shed you can normally get some excellent specimens!!!

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    2. Anonymous8:46 AM

      I do that!! My parents have Araucana and ISA Brown chickens-- it always seems like there are feathers lying around!

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  2. As soon as my new neighbor (lives where the people lived with the Llamas) moved in he brought me 4 bags of duck feathers. Yeh, he's a duck hunter. Only problem I have is I don't know what to do with them. I've yet to find a recipe that calls for duck feathers.

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    1. Mark, do you have flank feathers or wing feathers or both? If you have the smaller flank feathers, the fibers make great tails as well as wing cases on lots of different nymph patterns. My favorite variation on the Gold-ribbed Hare's Ear nymph is tied with mallard flank feathers for the wing case. It normally out fishes a standard GRHE back in the Smoky Mountains although I haven't tried it here in Colorado yet.

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    2. Anonymous3:37 PM

      Hi, Mark and David, just to jump in here. I have used Mallard Flank feathers for years in tying one of my favorite Streamer patterns. Trouble is I have to buy my Mallard Flank feathers since I don't have any duck hunting buddies. I would look kind of silly chasing them around at the pond in the park where I live just to maybe pick up a flank feather or two.

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    3. Mel, I'm in the same boat and buy all my feathers. If you ever decide to harvest some duck feathers at the park let me know. I'll be glad to come video the event!

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  3. Well, I don't have much interest in growing my own so to speak, but I'm always on the lookout for feathers from natural sources or from friends who hunt. I've got some beautiful turkey feathers last year from a friend in Ohio. Best pheasant tail nymphs I've ever tied.

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    Replies
    1. Generous friends who hunt are definitely great to have! I have a large collection of pheasant tail feathers from a good friend that come in handy all the time when I'm tying flies!

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  4. id rather shoot the duck (and pheasants), more time on the water, a great dinner, and feathers to tie flies!

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