Photo of the Month: Autumn Slab of Gold

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

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Where We Are Fishing

Where have I been fishing? Not the lower elevation streams that are already excessively low for this time of year and running much too warm for fishing to be ethically acceptable. That much I can say. Of course, some trips have been on the Caney Fork River which fishes very well during dry years. However, up in the Smokies, the key is to head high to the high gradient mid and upper elevation waters that tumble down from the highest portions of the Park. Up high, water temperatures are still perfect for trout so you can fish with a clear conscience.

The rhododendron is starting to bloom and will work its way farther and farther up the hill as we move through the next few weeks. I've heard that the Flame Azaleas are peaking right now up on the ridges and balds. With a little luck I may hike up there this week to see the sight for myself before it is too late. The trout in the streams are happy and willing, but we could definitely do with a little more water.

Thankfully, the long range forecast is looking excellent. By late next week, a cooler and hopefully wetter weather pattern will kick in. In fact, if things get really good we'll even be back in the lower and mid elevations of the Park again. I can only hope.


If you are interested in a guided float trip on the Caney Fork River or in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, please contact me through Trout Zone Anglers, via email at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com, or call/text (931) 261-1884. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

First Time Musky

One of my favorite things in fly fishing is seeing someone catch a fish for the first time.  Kids who are picking up the long rod for the first time and even seasoned anglers catching a new species all enjoy the experience so much that just being around is fun.  Yesterday, I had the privilege of spending the day on the water with my buddy Dan from Little River Outfitters.  He has been dying to catch a musky, and I had some time free and an idea of where we might catch one.

We met up and hit the water early enough that it was still pretty chilly out.  The adventure almost got off to a bad start when I nearly didn't get off the ramp with my car/trailer (minus the boat of course).  Recent wet weather had really messed up the top of the short ramp with a deep ditch cut by runoff.  Thankfully, after more suspense than I really care to have, the car eased on up, and I was able to start breathing again.  Soon we were drifting and Dan was throwing big flies looking for the toothy critters.

The early part of the float was pretty slow.  I suspected that we would start seeing fish after the first couple of miles.  Slowly floating down, we enjoyed the nice day and the warmth of the sun that was not just making it more comfortable for us but hopefully was also warming the water to turn on the musky.  We both started wanting a snack at about the same time so I pulled the boat over and we got out to stretch our legs on firm ground for a little while.  I also got busy with the camera.



As soon as we started floating again, Dan had 3 strikes in a row off of the same bank.  We never did get a good look at the fish but were glad to see the action picking up.  Continuing down, we got close to the section I wanted to really hit hard and I decided to take one more turn in the casting brace before getting Dan on the prime water below.

Just a few feet further down the river, I had cast up into a big back eddy and was retrieving the fly when a familiar shadow appeared behind the fly.  I started speeding up the retrieve and the fish charged on, unmindful of the boat.  Going into my figure 8 motion, the fish shot past, only to come charging back.  Unfortunately I made a little more commotion than I should have with the fly rod in the water and the fish bolted at the last second.  My buddy Dan was going crazy at this point. "Did you see how big that fish was?!?!? he asked.  His eyes got even bigger when I told him that it was a small to average fish, probably around 3 feet long.

I kept casting a little bit longer but as we closed in on the prime water, I insisted that Dan get back in the front of the boat and it didn't take much urging on my part.  He was ready now after seeing that fish chase.  The wind was starting to pick up and the clouds were lowering as rain moved closer.  It was now or never.

Dan was working a large pool, casting to logs and other structure.  Finally he turned and started working the far bank when I heard "There he is!"  Almost immediately the line came tight and the battle was joined.  I started rowing after the fish and it was a strong one.  Dan had the 8 weight bent over more than I believed was possible and the fish would not give up.  Several runs later and some lucky oar work thrown in for good measure, we had the fish in the net.  Dan was pumped, and I have to admit I was as well. These fish never get old!



We pulled over for the obligatory photos.  Soon the fish swam off, still incredibly strong considering the battle we had just enjoyed.  Minutes later, the rain arrived and we did not see another fish the rest of the way.  Still, getting a musky in the boat rates as a great day and we both had more than enough energy for the ride home.  I'm sure we'll be hitting it again sometime soon and I'm positive we have a new convert to musky fishing.  These fish have a way of getting in your blood.


Monday, September 08, 2014

Drift Boat for Sale

Okay, let's try this again.  I'm looking at a new to me boat which means the current boat has to go.  Check out the Craigslist ad here.  The first time I posted this I had a lot of interest but had to pull the ad when the other boat I was looking at then sold quickly to someone else. The boat will sell quickly at this price so if you want to spend the cooler months out chasing monster trout with streamers, jump on this before someone else does.  This is a beautiful boat that has already seen some big fish by me and people floating with me and is ready to get you out through the winter float season that is almost upon us.  Please contact me at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com if you are interested in this boat.  Thanks!