Photo of the Month: Autumn Slab of Gold

Photo of the Month: Autumn Slab of Gold
Showing posts with label PB&J Streamer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PB&J Streamer. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Yellowstone Cutthroat Love the PB&J


With my Yellowstone vacation wrapped up, I'm still deciding whether or not I'm glad to be home or not. Like all good trips this one had to end, but not until I had caught plenty of big trout and enjoyed some unseasonably warm weather. Foul weather and large numbers of lake run fish would have been nice, but not waking up to lots of snow and freezing temperatures was also nice.

One of the best parts about the trip is that I threw streamers or hoppers almost exclusively except for when I dropped some soft hackles off of the streamer or large nymph for the lake run fish. Lots of streamers were thrown including one of my favorites, the PB&J.  As it turns out, Yellowstone cutthroat love the PB&J just about as much as Tennessee tailwater trout do. This despite the fact that there are not any shad around on the Yellowstone River, but the lack of shad did not seem to make the fish shy about eating it. Apparently it is just one of those patterns that catch fish under a large variety of circumstances.

I'm still in the middle of processing the many gigabytes of pictures that I took. Starting in another couple of days, I'll be guiding pretty steadily for a while also. That means that Yellowstone reports will come along but may stretch out over the next month or even two. Thank you for your patience. In the meantime, watch the Little River Outfitters message board for an initial abbreviated report and also my Facebook pages for the Trout Zone and Trout Zone Anglers for pictures and other tidbits from the trip. Some pictures will also show up on Twitter.

If you are looking for a guided fly fishing trip this month or next, the calendar is getting close to full. Book sooner as opposed to later or else I will be out of open dates. Right now, I have October 21 and 22 available as well as some days the last week of the month. November is looking a bit more open as of right now, but the inquiries are starting to come in so don't wait too long. Contact me at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com if you are interested in a guided fly fishing trip in the Smokies or on the Caney Fork River.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

First Time Streamer Fishing

Fly fishing for trout with streamers is definitely an intermediate technique at minimum and perhaps even could be considered as advanced. One of the joys of owning a drift boat is being able to introduce people to good streamer technique. When everything comes together, and they catch that first trout on a streamer, the smiles rival catching that first trout ever. Last week I had an open day and called my buddy Tyler to see if he wanted to fish. Rarely do I have to ask him twice, and we made plans on when and where to meet.

The next day, we dumped the boat and immediately anchored up for a snack. I had a full morning of errands behind me and needed some fuel to row down under the 5,000 plus CFS that were coming through the sluice gate and generator. This proved to be a good opportunity to give Tyler the verbal crash course on what we were trying to accomplish.

Before long, I pulled the anchor and we were under way. Tyler was hitting the banks and current seams like a pro and before long the follows and flashes were coming. In fact, I soon saw perhaps the largest trout I've ever seen on the Caney flash on his streamer. I glanced up and his eyes were as big as saucers, and I was back rowing like mad to try and give another shot. On this day, it was not meant to be. The big fish never showed itself again, but I guarantee that I will be back to look for that big slab of buttery brown.

Once we switched for a short distance so I could throw a few casts myself. Tyler is slowly learning to do a good job at rowing. Eventually I'll have him trained in to row me down there river the whole way.  On this day, the student would out-fish the teacher. Before long, I switched back to the oars and this time I could tell that Tyler was dialed in. The streamer was landing within a foot of the bank and he was swimming the fly like a pro.

We were entering another big fish zone where I had recently seen a large brown. Directing Tyler to cast to specific spots soon brought results. A nice fish slammed the streamer and Tyler was happy and nervous all at once. Anyone who has had a nice fish on the line knows the stress that comes at such times. Handling it like a pro, he soon had the fish in the net and posed for a couple of pictures. Like other recent quality fish, this one ate a PB&J streamer. Congrats Tyler!

Caney Fork River brown trout

Caney Fork River brown trout head shot

After watching the fish swim off strongly, we continued downstream. I fished a bit more, but other than some small stockers chasing and one nice fish that missed the hook, I could tell it just wasn't my day. Tyler went back to the front casting brace and before long had his second brown on a streamer. Not bad for his first time ever streamer fishing.

Another Caney Fork River brown trout on a streamer

Soon the ramp slid into view and before we knew it the boat was loaded. The air conditioning felt great after the hot sun on the river. Funny how catching nice fish made us forget the heat until we got to the end of the float.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Scouting

As we move closer to summer, our warm water streams here on the Cumberland Plateau are beginning to wake up.  On Sunday afternoon, I headed out with a friend to check a new spot off the list.  Most of these streams on the Plateau are remote and often much more rugged than anything I've ever encountered in the Smokies.  The hike in can often be brutal, but if you put in your time and do your homework, there are places with better access that can be found.  In fact, we never fished more than 1/3 of a mile from the car.

The best water is usually much tougher to get to though so I'm planning a return trip that will involve a bit more hiking.  While these streams are full of small bass and sunfish, some nicer fish can be found as well as evidenced by this nice smallmouth I found.

Photograph by Seth Arnold

Fishing was still a bit slow and will heat up over the next 3 weeks as waters warm and flows drop.  By June, things should be moving right along and will continue to be good through September most likely.  By late in the season, the fish in these streams are spooky as flows drop to a fraction of what they are now.  Long clear pools interspersed with gentle riffles and pockets make long casts a necessity as well as smaller flies.

But now, for the next few weeks at least, I'll be out there tossing larger flies like my PB&J streamer.  Bright colors worked best and the PB&J in Firetiger got the most looks.  Soon they'll be taking bugs on top as well.  The smaller fish were working the hatching Hendricksons pretty well, but soon we'll be tossing Stealth Bombers, Wiggle Minnows, and hopper patterns at the bass and panfish.  If you live in the area, Plateau streams and creeks are a worthy target in lieu of driving somewhere further to trout fish.