Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 04/16/2019

Wow! So many changes since the last report. First, the streams in the Smokies are mostly in good shape except after rain events. Water has been a bit on the high side in some drainages but overall conditions are very good. 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.

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

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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