August Journal 2013


31 Aug 2013

The boat is down and the lake should be starting to drop soon. Saturday is here and the beginning of the college football season. All things pointed to getting chores done and watching some football, but not exactly how it worked. After getting up and doing a few computer things, the idea of sitting in front of a television for more than a Tennessee football game is insane. I like football, but the Vols are about all I can watch for an entire game so I change plans. My new plan is for kids to mow the yard and I go fishing. When I return I will listen to the Vols game while I continue the exciting task of re-organizing the garage.

I grab the fly rod, remember it is Saturday and head to the South Holston River. Remember that it is Saturday I can assume it will be packed at the river. To my surprise it is not too bad and I find a pull off. I wade out into some current with deep holes and begin fishing. On one of the first few cast I get a big hit, I set the hook like any seasoned bass fisherman would set it, that’s not a good thing, and the line snaps. I thought mercy I am not suppose to set the hook like that, then I remember why it took me an extra 10 minutes to leave. My son and I had gone bluegill fishing the other day with the fly rods and there was a big knot that sat a few days on my line. A smart angler would have replaced this before leaving, but an excited fisherman undoes the knot as fast as possible and gets his line broken.

I thought that was my only fly like that one, it was a nymph blue-winged olive something another, I got it at a fly shop a while back and it was smoking the bluegills. I look on my vest and try a bead head uh…………not sure. This fly was purchased on the way to Beaverdam Creek and I have no idea what it is. It’s rather large, #12 at least, but it sinks quickly. I put it on and the fish bite quickly. I miss a lot of fish, more than 10 maybe a lot more than 10, and end up catching 4 with one of them not able to be photographed. He was a bit camera shy and I neglected to get the net to him in time.

The second fish was nice, it may have been in the 15″ range. The picture may not appear that was but seriously, it was a nice one. As a matter of fact I had consider keeping some this day for a nice smoked trout evening, however, I thought this one was too close to the slot limit to keep.

When the fished stopped hitting it, they really stopped. I tried many other flies and typically got a bite one each one but nothing like the one fly. You may be able to identify this fly in one of the pictures above. I am planning on doing a little research and may attempt to tie one. The only thing is I am gonna have to get some bead heads, bigger hooks and maybe a little more material, there was some green in this pattern. Anyway, the fishing was fun and each time I hit that river I leave happy that I came. Hope you have a great Labor Day.



23 Aug 2013

The race is in town and the traffic is thick, when more than 100,000 folks visit your area on a weekend, well, it changes the flow of traffic. I am not complaining I appreciate all the race fans, not to mention that it appears that fewer folks are fishing. So I figured Friday I am in the mood for some fish. Not wanting to buy it from the store, I mean seriously, someone with my fishing skill set buying fish from the store. I decide to give South Holston Lake a try.

I don’t fish South Holston enough, it is a bit further than I like to drive and I typically striper fish, but it is a beautiful lake and enjoy getting up there periodically. After launching the boat, I head to point 3. I fish this area a while with I think only one hit, then I hear very distant thunder and see dark clouds. Time to forget about fishing where you think is good and just get back toward the boat ramp. I do not play any type of tough man games with the weather. I don’t mind rain but when you talk about lightning being possible, look out supermarket I need some fish please.

I head down a cove at the boat ramp and begin trying a spot I thought looked fishy. Throughout this I missed 3 or 4 with one of them running away with my line and I have no idea what I was thinking. I waited long enough to get service from the DMV by the time I set the hook, or I should say attempted to set the hook on the rascal. Anyhow, I missed the fish and begin to think I should raise the white flag and head to the house.

In the past few weeks I have made mention to my daughter that the motor did not sound right. Most folks would have not heard the difference, but unless someone had slowly added parts of a 4 barrel carb I could tell a little difference.  I say that to tell you that as I drove from point 3 to the cove it was as if the boat was turning into a muscle car of old. By the time I had reached the cove and shut it off to fish, I was getting concerned. When I decided to head home I started it again and it sounded rough. Loud, I heard metal, did I say loud, I tell you that I just flipped the ignition off and trolled all the way back to the ramp. The next day I called my mechanic, if I haven’t told you, this guy is as good as you will find, Marty does some fantastic work. He told me to drop it off and now has possession of my boat. I mention this to say that if they are generating for a while, looks like my fishing days are going to be fewer and fewer. When he gets it running top shelf, I am giving real serious consideration to selling this awesome boat. This is not necessarily due to wanting to sale, but with medical changing and yet to being caught up on previous medical bills, I may need to let her go. If so, I am planning a Kayak to replace. This will make the lake bass fishing tough, but should keep me on the stripers at the river and may open up a door to hit the Holston River. Anyway, hope I can write again soon, have a great day and God bless.


17 Aug 2013

The past couple of weeks have been filled with overtime at my “real” job, which is a blessing to help with out medical bills. So I will not complain only praise for the OT, however, this has hindered the fishing for the weekend so I thought I would share what took place on Saturday.

My 16 year old son has been doing a little trading and had a trade set-up at Douglas Dam boat ramp, or in that area somewhere. He was trading for an older model boat so he can experience his own fishing adventures with his friends. My motor is a 115 and I think way too much about safety for him to just take-off on the water in mine.

We get down there and are going to just put the boat in the water to make certain no major leaks were observed. As we went to move the boat to my truck, we see that the ball is a 1 7/8″ as opposed to my 2″. We are 90 miles from the house and my wrench won’t move the nut. I jump in the truck and head to a local marina. Mountain Cove Marina was just a right there and I hoped they would help. As the shop was open and the folks were working hard, I hopped out and asked if they would be able to remove this. They were extremely kind and got someone right on it. The ball had not been removed ever and it was set. The young man working on this looked like he had played some football and I would not have wanted to be on the other team. He was a strong gentleman, but don’t misunderstand, he was as kind as he could be.

They ended up spending more time than most anyone would have thought due to the way the rust had set-up, but finally mission accomplished. I asked what I owed and the response was nothing. I darted (more of a moderately fast walk as I am out of shape) to the store, got some change and went back and gave the young man a little something for his trouble. He fussed and said no but one benefit of being older is you are automatically considered stubborn.

My son got the boat and we headed home. I just wanted to take a minute and say a big thanks to the folks at Mountain Cove Marina for bending over backwards to help someone out. I’m hoping to get on the water this week, but the race is in town so we will have to see how that goes.


10 Aug 2013

When I woke up, the rain was coming down pretty good, looked like it would be a day of no fishing. After a while, the wife looked at the weather and it appeared that there would be no storms until about 4:00. I don’t mind getting wet while fishing, but the lightning is an entirely different story, I just don’t play games with that.

The launching took place at Bluff City and for the first couple hours, I was in the boat alone. The daughter met up with me after I had time to catch bait and find out where the fish weren’t biting, so we fished around the ball fields.

While I was up front and not paying much attention, this loud splash made me jump. It didn’t quite have the sound of a striper hitting the bait, but I turned and looked and this bird (not sure what it was) had swooped down, scooped up the daughter’s shad and begin to fly away, this would have been awesome video. The bird took off, the balloon left the water, then came the release. This thrilled me as I thought I would have to cut the line because if the bird had the hook in its claws, I was not getting it near us.

After the release, the bird circled us many times, this is where I got the picture, not good, but not bad for the phone. Above is a picture of the damage the bird did to our bait. We finished the day without catching a single fish, but we did get off the water before the big rain came. It was a pretty awesome day on the water, the bait thief that we got to watch made that trip a blast. Gonna try up at Bluff City again, but if I continue the streak of getting skunked, it’ll be time to head to the lake. Have a great day.





02 Aug 2013

I must begin with a disclaimer, there are only two fish in the pics above, just a couple of different angles due to not being sure how they will turn out. My phone camera does great, but I can’t see a thing on it in the sun. Plus for those folks that just look at pics and don’t read, well….. I look like I caught twice as many fish.

As it is Friday and I get off work early, I came home to find out the plan. When I realized that I had some free time, the garage door was opened and off I went to Bluff City, Boone Lake striper time. Knowing the last time I was here that it was crowded near where I thought the bait may be, I began looking for shad at the boat ramp. Caught a dozen or so small shad, great for flipping for trout or bass, and 6 or more good size gizzards, time to fish. A few boats were where I was headed to and I don’t like to run up on folks so trolling around the swinging bridge was in order.

Not a bite one between the train tracks and swinging bridge and after a boat left and one came down from upstream, I began trolling that way. As I neared the bend I began flipping the smaller shad toward the bank and I got a run. I lifted to set the hook and a big large mouth, it would have gone over 5 lbs, jumped up, I think he winked at me just as he spit the hook out. I am assuming the bubbles in the water afterwards was laughter from the fish, but nonetheless feeling pretty good. If I remember correctly, I did pull a little smallmouth off of this bank.

I get to the cold line and bait is everywhere. Taking the knowledge I obtained last week, the fishing began. I stretched for just a few minutes knowing good and well that a fight was about to take place.

After fishing for way too long there and catching more bait, I trolled back downstream. As I holler at a boat asking which side he would prefer me to pass, my balloon line begins to take-off. I am using a balloon just to keep up with the shad, if I don’t, the lines will cross and I will be undoing a whopper of a knot. I rush back as the balloon is screaming sideways. The rod is ready and the hook is attempted to be set. I had jumped the gun and the shad was gone. It did not feel like the fish had the hook in its mouth, note to self: be patient.

Troll down to the train track and flip a small shad, this is where the other smallmouth was caught. I had a couple more hits, either trout or bass, but no other stripers. I talked to one boat that had caught a few, but apparently I needed to check the moon phase or something, it was just not a good time to go. Oh well, we’ll try it again soon, have a great weekend.