Photo of the Month: Autumn Slab of Gold

Photo of the Month: Autumn Slab of Gold
Showing posts with label Float Fishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Float Fishing. Show all posts

Monday, November 30, 2015

Hard Work Pays Off

There are some days on the water where you work really hard all day and end up not catching any fish. Other days you may catch just one or two fish. These days are much easier to enjoy when one of those fish turns out to be a really big brown trout.

Yesterday, I hit the river with David Perry for a long day on high water. The norm on high water is heavy rods, big flies, and sinking lines. We had the added bonus of steady rainfall all day which is great streamer weather if you ask me, but the moisture can get a little tiresome after six or seven hours on the water.

Usually, when you bring your own boat, you get to choose when to fish. Despite bringing his boat, David was nice enough to row first for a while. Eventually, we switched and he started working the water. After he had cast countless times to a long and usually productive bank with nothing to show for it, I looked through my box and pulled out a fly that I developed last year for these tough high water conditions. With nothing better going on, it wasn't too hard to convince him to tie it on.

Soon we were drifting through some good looking water. I found a safe spot to drop the anchor so I could throw a few casts out of the back of the boat with my own streamer rod. Only a few casts later, David said, "There's one." He was calm about it, but I started reeling in my line anyway just in case. Only a breath later he followed up with, "It is a pretty good one."

I yanked up the anchor as fast as possible and started chasing the fish down the river. Soon we were within striking distance so I grabbed the net. Amazingly, everything worked as it should and we were staring at 25 inches of gorgeous brown trout. All I can say is that David is a fish catching machine. He not only catches some really big trout, but also puts his clients on big fish as well.

Large Caney Fork brown trout


The rest of the day was anticlimactic. David graciously returned to the oars after catching his monster. I eventually found a couple of small fish willing to play and near the end of the day David caught another smaller fish as well. A bald eagle made an appearance as well which is the first time either of us have seen one for several months, at least on the river. Still, neither of us could stop thinking about the big fish, and I'm guessing we'll be back looking for more again over the next few weeks.

For the time being, high water is going to be a problem on the area rivers and streams. Not good high water either, but higher than you really want to float and fish for the most part. Heavy rain over the Cumberland Plateau means we'll see extended high flows. The good news for streamer fans is that the elevated flows will eventually push all the fish into high water lies so streamer fishing will become better once fish become established in those places. Check back in another few weeks for more as our winter streamer season really gets going.

Until my next time on the water, I'll be tying flies and dreaming of big brown trout!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Slow Fishing but Quality Fish

The Caney Fork River has been going through its late summer and early full funk lately but is showing signs of breaking out as we get closer to November. Several floats over the last couple of weeks have produced lower than normal numbers of fish but some shots at quality trout. The numbers should improve as we head into November.

Today we started early and landed the best fish of the day within sight of the ramp. It was a solid 16 inch rainbow. Later in the float, a larger rainbow broke off the 6x tippet that is required on these fish while a very nice brown came unbuttoned right at the boat. Some browns are starting to move around and this prespawn time is a great opportunity to sight fish to some large fish. Please leave the fish on redds alone though. Look just downstream from the redds for some great fish eating everything getting stirred up by the spawners.

My first trip back from Yellowstone on the Caney produced the best fish of the fall so far, a solid 19" rainbow. The fish was caught by Gary Dowd who did everything perfectly to land this solid trout. Hooking them is only half of the battle at best, and these large fish will normally pull out all the tricks once hooked.

Caney Fork trophy rainbow trout


Conditions will continue to improve as we go into November. If things stay relatively dry, expect the river to have very good float conditions by the first week or two in November hopefully.

If you are interested in a guided fly fishing trip on the Caney Fork River or in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, please contact me at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or call/text (931) 261-1884. Thanks!

-David Knapp

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Stripping Streamers

Anyone who knows me as a fisherman knows that I love stripping streamers for hungry trout and anything else that will hit, so naturally I wasn't about to turn down an invitation to float with David Perry of Southeastern Fly this past Sunday.


With the heavy generation we have been experiencing, we decided that an early start was pointless and instead decided to enjoy a little extra sleep compared with most fishing trips. By the time we met up a little after 9:00 a.m., I was ready to hit the water hard.

Early on, we tried a lot of different tricks. I had some eats on a dry/dropper rig I've been playing with, but lost the only fish I hooked. Before long, we knew that the generation was going to be dialed back and hopefully that would put the fish in a good eating mood.

Sure enough, almost as soon as the water started to drop we started to see flashes and get a few hits. I had been on the oars for a while and by the time the water was falling out it was my turn to fish again. Somehow I got lucky and found myself in the front of the drifter. The view from the front is better than the view as the rower!


I was experimenting further with some double streamer rigs that worked well my last time out stripping streamers. On this trip, everything came together, and I was really in the zone with follows every cast it seemed. The only thing that eluded me on this trip was the big one. As far as numbers went, it was my best day on streamers in a long time.



The 3 photographs above are courtesy of David Perry of Southeastern Fly

The big one did give me a chance, I should mention. Apparently it was not meant to be though. I got a great hookset as I watched one of the coolest boat-side eats I've seen in a long time. The fish jumped a couple of times as well. Everything seemed like it was working great. It just wasn't meant to be on this trip unfortunately.

The good news is that I know where this fish lives, and even have a pretty good idea what he might like to eat. I'll be back looking for this fish and hopefully some that are much larger as well. The fish I did catch were all very healthy since virtually nobody has been out there harassing them. That means we can look for ward to a great year in 2015.


Looking ahead, we have some good flows finally on the horizon for streamer fishing. Next weekend it appears we will even have some low water to enjoy. Best of all? I currently have Sunday available for anyone wanting to get out and eliminate their cabin fever. The bad news? The weather on Sunday is calling for rain. Still, if you want to get out and fish, a half day float is not a bad idea right now if you are up for stripping streamers or maybe even some nymph fishing in the rain.