One of the most important lessons any fisherman can learn is to always be prepared. As a fly fisherman, it is easy to take this to the extreme. This is why we have boxes and boxes of flies that we rarely if ever fish, instead opting for the same old Parachute Adams or Yellow Stimulator. Of course, when you are always prepared, you can effectively fish any hatch that comes your way.
I've had to learn this lesson the hard way more and more than once I might add. On a recent float with David Perry, I showed up prepared to toss streamers the whole way. On the spur of the moment I tossed a 5 weight in the boat just in case. Of course, when we found fish rising to midges I remembered that my midge box was back in the car. Oops. One good thing did come of this trip. At some point we rigged that 5 weight up with a bead head nymph and one of those pinch on indicators. Then, at the end of the day, I just kept the whole thing rigged and ready.
Well, I fished that rig a few times over the last week or so. I caught some panfish at Cumberland Mountain State Park, and a nice big delayed harvest rainbow on the Tellico. All of this was done in between the episodes of high water.
Fast forward to yesterday. I'm heading down to Chattanooga for a few hours and as I'm driving along, I remembered reading something about a delayed harvest stream right along my route! Can things get any better? Well, yes and that is where being prepared comes in. I had that rod still rigged and ready to go. It didn't take me too long to figure out that I should probably just stop and do a quick investigation.
Fifteen minutes later, I had landed 3-4 rainbow trout and was back on the road after one of the better detours I've ever taken while out driving. Never even got my feet wet either. That rod is still in my car. In fact, I'm contemplating a trip over to Cumberland Mountain State Park again this afternoon and if I make it over there, it is always better to be prepared. Of course, I might end up just taking the camera for a walk which is great as well, but if I see trout rising, I guarantee I'll be ready.
FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 5/22/2017
Fishing is good to excellent across the area. The Caney Fork River continues to shine on both high and low water. In the Smokies, strong hatches have been keeping fish looking up.
Yesterday, Blue-winged Olives hatched for hours during the light rain and drizzle. Fish were looking up but also took nymphs well. Streamers were moving some quality fish as well. The summer hatches are well under way now. Expect Golden and Little Yellow stoneflies and Isonychia (Slate Drake) mayflies. Light Cahills and Sulfurs have been around as well.
The Caney Fork River continues to fish anywhere from good to great on high water streamer floats. Anyone who wants to target trout with streamers will find this to be exciting fishing. Low water is becoming more and more likely, and if that trend continues we will see some great low water floats. The fish are hungry and we are going into some of the best fishing months on this fine tailwater.
Cumberland Plateau smallmouth streams are rounding into fine shape now. Rain will bump flows up again, but in between the fish are hungry and willing to hammer a fly! Musky floats are about over for the year unless we get more rain.