Best day of Fly Fishing I Can Ever Remember
End of March
I am so far behind on my journal entries that I can’t remember the date. I apologize for being slack and I certainly don’t want to fill you with excuses like too busy, however I do want to extend a great big thanks to the 3 folks that read the entries and those that have visited our website. We are growing and seeing over 23,000 page views in March and in the last 30 days almost 10,000 visits. I am trying to get more reports for more lakes and rivers. I will try not to be so lazy but what is hilarious to me is that we are able to get reports for a lot of the lakes, but I am having trouble in my own backyard. The ultimate plan was to help me catch more fish….
Anyway, the final fishing trip is March was quite a few steps past awesome. It is opening day of Turkey season and my son and I head to the mountains. He had suggested taking waders to go fly fish. This is a shocker, he had tried it once at about 8 years old, then the evening before by himself getting skunked, he hasn’t been a big fishing enthusiast over the years. We get on the mountain, at least as high as I can physically go without passing out from exhaustion, and we wait. We end up hearing nothing and seeing nothing and he decides it is time to fish.
We head down to a fly shop to get a few flies. You may be thinking from prior post, you tie your own, why would you stop. If you will look under the fly tying section at the flies I have tied, you would understand. I want him to catch at least one fish this day, I am so hoping he will enjoy this. We snatch up a couple of flies (snatch meaning I did pay for them) and head to the river.
I don’t want this to be too long but I will explain a thing or two. I have a custom made fly rod that I made quite a few years ago. I ventured into rod making because it was the only way that I could afford one of the nice fishing rods. My son however was given a not so nice, 3-piece fly rod. This one I probably found in a combo pack for $20 somewhere years ago, this interjection has a purpose later. We get out there and I put him in my little honey hole with a store bought fly, just knowing he is going to slay them.
My son is a smart young man, I haven’t used a great deal of my own intelligence in order that I could pass on more to him, and he learns best by just being left alone and allowing him to figure things out. So as the casting starts, I move a little further downstream watching and waiting. After a bit time passing, he hurries quickly downstream and I asked what’s wrong. He holds up his 2-piece fly rod. I laugh and tell him just pull in your line, the hook will catch the piece of the rod floating downstream. During casting more times than once the end piece of the fly rod comes out, this is funny and that rod has been retired. It was not a well spent $20.
I head up to the honey hole as he moves. I put on my version of what I think they call a Puff Daddy. It is an olive dubbing body with what is supposed to be CDC at feather at the head. I just used some loose marabou that I had at the house, love the scrounging for stuff. I finally caught one on this fly, (pics will be posted sometime). I hold it up to show off to the son, he squints, pulls out binoculars cause he is a good 20 yards away and just laughs. Well after 3 of these fish are caught, guessing total length to be 16 inches if you laid them all head to tail and measured, I tell him to come over. I give him my rod with the hand tied ugly fly and walk away. He finally catches one that is about 5”. He is excited, I am thrilled and things are looking up.
We fish a while longer switching rods back and forth, breaking off flies from the whip of the cast. We learned how to undo knots and how to track down the end of a fishing pole that flies off during the cast. We end up with the day of me catching 4 with only one being of any size, 12” or so. However, my son enticed three trout to take his fly. He wrangled them to his net and was able to use forceps to remove the hook. It truly was one of my better days of fishing.
15 March 2013
First, I must offer my apologies for not getting pen to paper much sooner. As I have two teenagers, we are rather busy at times going to and fro. I did however manage a small fishing trip to the South Holston River last Friday for a couple of hours. I saw the sun shining brightly outside and put on my light, but long sleeve fishing shirt and off I went. The generating schedule is sluicing until further notice, but this was only producing 200 cfs and that means that I can wade.
I get up near the Weir Dam and begin fishing. I am out in the water and the wind is whipping. As I am trying to persuade the ever elusive trout to take my fly my mind begins to wonder why I did not dress a little warmer. I get nothing in the first half hour, so I move around a little. I am able to finally settle on a place that was once referred to as a “honey hole”. Any fishing spot that I catch more than a couple of fish I give the honor of this name.
I fish here getting a hit every now and again, but nothing substantial. I have gone through my arsenal of personally tied flies, knowing this may be the problem, and finally find a Hare’s Ear. I make a cast and miss one. Well the excitement builds as first cast a hit means I have found the fly of choice. I make another cast or two and finally, something to put on the website. This was not a monster and removing him from the water did not have any impact on the elevation of the river, but it sure was nice to get one. I go back to the same spot and just a cast or two later, another one. Obviously this one was the older of the two which one could tell by the size, my guess would be 3 days older. So I proudly snap the pic knowing that a big one now waits for the Hare’s Ear to enter into the water.
The next half hour resulted in a lot of casting practice. There were no more bites or any activity of significance which begged the question, did the trout I release go back and warn the others? I finally determined that must be the case and therefore headed to the house. It was an excellent day to be on (in) the water. The weather was fantastic as the wind died down; the scenery would make one marvel at the wonders of God’s creation, and for a couple of hours the worries of the world were gone. I realized a long time ago, worries of the world do not have reception out on the river.
10 March 2013
With the amount of moisture we have had in East TN, February proved to be a tough month. I ventured to new waters, Beaverdam Creek and saw some fantastic scenery. I did not write any of these up for multiple reasons, nothing funny happened, no fish were caught (not even a bite), and cabin fever had me to a point that I was not certain whether or not I would be writing from experience of day dreams.
However a new month has arrived, the TVA took a break from generating, and cabin fever was about to be the only medicine I knew to cure it, fishing trip. After church and lunch, I put on my waders (whose got time to fool with that at the river), jump in the truck and head to the South Holston River.
As I arrive I am fully expecting to see a full parking lot and I was not disappointed it appeared that many folks were taking the same medicine and I. As I am making my turn to go park, I suddenly remember telling a young man just yesterday that he would need a new fishing license as it is now March. I had not taken heed to my own advice, the fever returns, or at least I am getting hot. Anyway, I head out hoping that 421 Market sales fishing license. I ask some workers outside the store, confirmation, so I head into the store wearing my waders, let a pipe bust, I am ready.
After purchase of license I head back to the river. Find a little spot, whistle and ask a fellow angler if I would be in his way, he gave me the thumbs up and I begin to cast. After using multiple patterns and observing my box, I realize that I could have benefitted from being in the house this winter by tying up a few flies. I get desperate and tie on a San Juan worm but I had used brown to resemble a worm. Don’t tell my buddy, he can’t stand the idea of a trout eating a worm, no idea why, but we’ll just keep that to ourselves. To my surprise I get bit, fish on and it is a nice one, probably about 14” give or take. We fight for just a little bit and he releases.
I fish a bit longer and it’s getting close to time to leave so I head up to the little trout area. I put on a Griffith’s Gnat and get bit. I missed him but he was rather small anyway. I switch over to a pheasant tail and sure enough I catch one. As I am prepare to photograph the little feller, I wonder if this is where fish sticks come from, he looked about the right size. I release and go back to my late summer early fall faithful Green Weenie pattern.
You are probably saying what are you thinking (I get that a lot), but typically if I catch something on this pattern, it has some size to it. So I toss it out and let is swim in the current and sure enough, fish on! During the 3 seconds that were required to set the hook and lift this little feller out of the water, I thought, this looks just a bit bigger than my #12 fly; this guy is a tough one.
After photographing, releasing, and checking the time, I have a few more minutes. I quickly continue to fish the same pattern. Then as I am slowly lifting my rod, I feel the brown baby grab a hold. As soon as he hit the line I knew this was not like the others. This one took a few minutes to get into the net and let me tell you that if you want to see something funny, watch me hook a fish with a little bit of size, trying to net, remove hook, and photograph without handling the fish too much. The result is usually a bad picture, knots in my line and hook in my net, but the fish is injury free.
I talked to a few folks and they were catching some small ones and a few with size. They were using very small, less than #20 patterns, but I didn’t ask too many. It was a beautiful day to simply get out of the house. Hope you all had a chance to wet a line this weekend and I hope to be writing more soon. Have a great week and God bless.