Photo of the Month: Ol' Gator Mouth

Photo of the Month: Ol' Gator Mouth

Monday, April 28, 2008

Twice the Fun


What's better than catching a fish? That would be catching two fish, at the same time that is... The white bass and hybrids were slamming baitfish in the shallows last evening. The fishing was just plain silly. Basically, it was as easy as waiting for a school of fish to come by busting bait, toss my flies in, twitch them a couple of times, and hold on. I had multiple fish on more than once but only actually landed one double.


Late in the evening, some slightly larger fish started coming up. I stuck one really good one but couldn't get a solid hookup. Finally I got a good one on and after a solid fight I landed a good fish. The rain was starting to pick back up about this time so I called it a day...one of my better ones lately...

Friday, April 25, 2008

New Poll

I'm trying to get a feel for how often everyone visits my blog. Do you check daily and are always disappointed with the lack of daily updates or do you only stop by once in awhile to see what's happening? I'm debating putting more time into this blog but want to know if it is worth it. Just vote over on the poll and let me know how often you stop by...thanks!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Back on the Tennessee


My curiosity has got the best of me the past couple of evenings. I've been heading down to see what is happening and today was finally a good one! Things started off quickly with a fish on within 3-4 casts and it never really slowed down all that much.


The highlight of the day was my first crappie which has been one of my goals for fishing down there. All that's really left now is a smallie and a striper. I'm about ready to give up on the striper until next winter but we'll see. The smallie is another story, and I should be able to get one of those but time will tell.


The Skipjack are still around. Last night I hooked what probably would have been my best one yet but it threw the hook a minute or so into the fight. Tonight I found a good spot where the action stayed hot for the last hour or so of daylight... Hopefully I'll have time to try again here in the next few days but with finals next week, that may be difficult. Also, it is possible that the Caney Fork might have a wadeable window this upcoming weekend. If it does, I'll be heading down to see how the fish our doing...

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Walk in the Park


That's exactly what I did this past Sunday. The weekend was spent camping at Elkmont which was great as always albeit a bit expensive. They seriously need a student rate so poor college students like myself can enjoy some time in the park without breaking the bank. I guess I just need to start backpacking instead of car camping...and now I'm off topic...

One of my favorite ways of fishing is to hike in on a day trip, sometimes up to 15-16 miles roundtrip. Sunday's goal was not that optimistic. I'm out of shape after a lazy winter so 10 miles roundtrip seemed reasonable. The trailhead at Elkmont was reasonably busy when I arrived at 10:00 a.m. Sunday morning. An hour later, I was 4 miles deep in the backcountry and ready to start fishing. The stream temperature was about 48 degrees and the clouds hinted that the air temp might not climb much as the day progressed.


A double nymph rig seemed reasonable considering the conditions and I tied on a GRHE with a softhackle dropper and a couple small split shot. After a couple fruitless casts, an energetic rainbow hit the Hares Ear and the day progressed nicely in similar fashion. An hour later I had caught 10 fish and was getting hungry. During lunch I began noticing that every time the sun poked through the clouds bugs would start flying up from the stream. After I started fishing it began to make sense. The rocks were all covered with newly hatched yellow stoneflies. It was too cold to fly quickly so they were waiting for the warmth of the sun to take to the air.


This revelation brought out my trusty Tellico nymph as the new dropper and the catching continued. Not long after lunch I hooked and lost the best fish of the day, a brown pushing 11 inches. I missed a nice brookie as well but the rainbows kept coming to hand at a steady pace.


Somewhere after 30 fish I began to wonder if they might hit a dry and out come a yellow Neversink Caddis. The fish must have been starving, because they attacked it with reckless abandon. The time was slipping away unfortunately so I finally called it a day and started the trek back to the trailhead with another amazing day on the water under my belt. By 7:00 p.m. I was on the road back to Chattanooga with a great sunset in front of me and a relaxing weekend behind...

Big Trout

That's right, big beautiful rainbow trout. Unfortunately I'm not the one that caught them. There's nothing quite like battling a large trout on a fly rod and Tom Chandler over at the Trout Underground seemingly hit the jackpot on a private pond making the rest of the world (or at least those of us that fly fish) envious in the process. Definitely check it out, but I warn you that anything related to work or school will be difficult to near impossible as you start daydreaming of that upcoming trip where maybe, must maybe, you will battle your own monster trout...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bassin'

Finally got a little bass the other day while fishing the Tennessee River. Took a bright pink fly...go figure...



The interesting thing I saw on this trip was a really nice crappie one of the spin guys had caught from shore. My experience with these fish is limited mainly to spinning gear way back in the day, but I have caught a few small ones on the fly. Hopefully I'll find some nice ones soon though, because they're a blast to catch...

The highlight of the day really wasn't the fishing, and the fishing wasn't bad. It was the sunset I saw while standing nearly waste deep in the choppy waters with fish rolling on the surface out in the current. The cool northwest wind was blowing that foretold the near-freezing temperatures that are forecast tonight and tomorrow night. Herons occasionally sailed gracefully over the scene and ducks were working along the shoreline. As it grew closer to dark, bass started coming up in the shallows busting baitfish. All in all, it was a perfect way to spend the evening...

Hiwassee Hatches

For the first time in awhile, I made it over to the Hiwassee again. The day was fairly predictable when it came to the bugs. Morning action was largely on midges along with a few fish on softhackles. In the afternoon, there were caddis early on transitioning to BWOs and Hendricksons between 3:30 and 4:00. A buddy took a couple stomach samples and the morning sample was all midges whereas the afternoon sample was mainly BWO's along with a few larger mayflies. The fishing was good for numbers but not much on size for me. One guy I was fishing with had a really good fish take a caddis dry but lost it quickly. If you're looking for a quick trip, the HI is a good bet right now but you'll mainly be catching stocker rainbows. I'm looking towards the mountains for my next trout excursion where I hope to find lots of wild fish rising lazily all day long in remote pools that rarely see a fly...stay tuned for more as this develops...

A couple of the bugs...


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tennessee Tarpon


The Skipjack are running now and fishing for them is a blast. I tried it out for the first time today and had a great time! They hit like a freight train and jump like a rainbow trout...can't get any better than that. On the down side, my cheap 6 wt rod seems to be cracking. I can't tell if it's just the finish or not but regardless, I'll probably have to switch over to my 5 wt for warmwater fishing. Should be interesting...





Caught a few other fish as well...


Monday, April 07, 2008

New Video

Check out the new video I posted below from this past Friday. The white bass were hitting well although it took me awhile to figure things out. The key was a VERY slow retrieve or else they wouldn't touch it. They were feeding heavily on shad and other minnows (see photo below). In addition to the bass, I also caught a nice thick bluegill.


I went again for a little while yesterday and things were slow. The one hit I had was big though. My fly was drifting along nicely when my line stopped and shot forward. I quickly set the hook to find what felt like a swimming rock attached. It bolted downstream ripping line until I was very near to be in my backing. After what seemed like an eternity, I had a large (estimated at around 10 pounds) drum up almost to the bank but couldn't get it to budge any further. Finally, it threw the hook right at my feet. It was a sad moment but then, I wasn't too upset because I've already caught them and I was really wanting to hook a striper. Maybe next time...

Cloudy Day Bass