December Journal 2014


The Christmas Break Flu By      29 Dec 2014

First, you are right, I can’t spell very well; as you have noticed if you’ve ever made it through one of my journal entries. I guess it’s a blog, but when I say that word I think of the old film The Blob and jello suddenly becomes off limits. However, the title did not have a misspelling as we have made multiple trips to see physicians with the flu situation happening around out neck of the woods.

With that being said, sorry for the delay in writing anything up, the truth is, between visiting and sickness, well, I haven’t gone fishing much and when I have, it hasn’t been serious. Most of my trips are with a slight fever, feeling bad, but not being able to stay indoors any longer, so I did a bit of learning.

I decided to take the new rod built below for my son out to the river. Folks, it is way too much rod for this application, however, it was able to land a few monster trout about 10-12″ long, bet that’s the first time you’ve heard monster and 10-12″ trout in the same sentence. Be that as it may, compared to an 8″ trout, they are beast. Anyhow, the generators were usually rolling and I typically don’t spin fish on the river. The first trip landed me a couple with an egg, but then I spoke to a seasoned angler. At least he looked like he knew what he was doing.

My next fever ridden trip saw me purchase, dare I say it……. nightcrawlers. Yep, my buddy in Georgia would punch me for doing this, he refuses to believe that trout eat those and will hit you if you say otherwise. Anyway, that seemed to work pretty well, caught a few and missed a bunch on a couple of one hour trips.

The new rod, I think I like it pretty well. I need to get on the boat and go after a bass with it, I know I know, it is my sons rod but I do need to be doing some testing. The nano guides will take some getting used to as far as feel and sound, but it seems to be very sensitive in this application.

The casting which is suppose to be better with the smaller guides is really difficult to tell at this point. I was using one sinker, one of those little one rolling around in my tackle box, and a worm, with a 7′ stiff rod, this one was built for more work than this. I think I…. I mean he is really going to like the rod. It obviously works because even I caught a few fish with it.

This may be the last entry for the year, I went back to my real job Monday although bed would have been much nicer, I have some work that must be done by Wednesday. Anyway, if we can get well, I hope to be out this weekend, would like to bring in the new year with a tight line. I hope your 2014 has been a blast and the new year brings you blessings.








Completed before Christmas

First I will apologize for my faltering in keeping up with the journal. With the hustle and bustle of the week and info you will find out when I post the next entry, it has been a hectic. I am trying to stick in order and thought I would talk about the latest rod that I got built.

This one is for my son, 7′ IM6 CRB (custom rod builder) blank. I used nano-micro guides on this rod. I have heard great things about the microwave guides, but them rascals cost a bit more than I wanted to spend. The pic on the right above is a comparison pic of the small guides to a typical guide. These guides weigh next to nothing, they are difficult for me to work with due to how small they are, but when they are on the rod, they appear to add little weight to the rod. Sensitivity is a stiffness to weight ratio if I understand things correctly.

Some negatives about these guides would be, you cannot have a knot in your line, the guides are too small. I also plan to use 8lbs test on this rod. I used these guides on a 100% graphite blank (that is the description I read) bait casting and they are doing fine. If you like big line, you might want to avoid these small critters.

Anyway, above was my first weave pattern between the cork grips, it turned out ok but I am working on another pattern in an effort to clean this up a bit. Also, he wanted a picture of a duck pitching on the rod, that was weaved into the rod as well. Sorry no fishing stories yet, but come back, hopefully tomorrow I can fill you in with what has been happening. I took the fishing pole above out for a test drive.





18 Dec 2014

The Week Before Christmas

Today was yet another doctor’s appointment and I decided it would be wiser to work over tomorrow instead of going back to work. With this thinking, it gave me a bit of extra daylight and the generators were off for a while, South Holston River here I come. Let me suggest to hit a weekday at the river, the crowds are down, much like the water was today.

Anyhow, when I arrived, upstream looked like a light sprinkle with all the rises that were happening. Now the smart angler would match the hatch, but hey, I have never been accused of wisdom. So I started with an orange egg. I get a couple of bites and then land the brown in the net above. Shortly after the catch, no more bites. I moved down the river, put on an egg cluster and got a few hits but did not land one, head upstream.

I piddle around a bit, testing casting, looking, but not catching. A honey hole of mine and many others, opened up so I figured I hit it for a few minutes. I tried a yellow egg and got 4-5 big hits. I was unable to get a hook set and then it just turned off. I tied on an orange egg behind the yellow and began fishing.

The other two fish above were caught on an orange egg. They were a blast, I saw them in the water and casted above to let the eggs drift in front of them and bam it was on like Donkey Kong. I used my 3wt and this has added to the thrill. This was a great day and may have me skipping fishing tomorrow, but if you get a chance to hit the river on a weekday, it will be well worth the trip. Have a great week, and work is over after tomorrow and hopefully be out there more and get some great pics.




14 Dec 2014

I Hear the River Calling 

With the time of sunset in the winter, seems as if getting out on the water once a week is difficult. So after dropping one off to take an ACT exam, I come home and couldn’t stand it, had to take a trip to the River. After checking the TVA App, I figured to head toward Elizabethton. Today was going to be an experiment for me. We found some non-leaking waders for the daughter, but need some boots. Found some inexpensive ones but no felt, the felt on my Korkers were coming off, just glued them, so I switched bottoms. This trip solidified an answer for this experiment.

We decide to hit the secret honey hole and to my suprise, it is apparently not a secret, we were late. So we drove upstream and at every pull off, someone was there. We ended up going all the way up to Wilbur, turned around and headed to Stony Creek. We pulled off at a honey hole there and fished for about an hour or so. I might have gotten one bite, could’ve been a rock but I decided to call it a bite. The water was crystal clear and my stealth mode was malfunctioning, we headed back to the river.

The thought here was to go by the honey hole, if folks were fishing, head downstream to find a new honey hole. So we arrived and were able to begin fishing. I hook a decent one, but it got off. I ended up catching 2 fish, as you can see above and missing a few more. We didn’t fish too long as I just wasn’t able to hang out there anymore.

Now for experimental results. At times I felt as if I was ice skating when walking in the river. The non-felt bottoms are fantastic on dry rocks, but mercy sakes, I was inventing dance moves when out there walking. As I began to walk across an area with some current, I finally fell. I land in the water, some goes into the top of my waders and I get a bit moist all the way down to my sock. I am so glad I had the belt on so that I didn’t fill up, but let me tell you, the water temperature is cold.

So I got some Gorilla Glue and I have applied to my felt, even glued some of the shoe that was coming away from the sole. We now are going to be in search of felt bottom boots (cheap) for the daughter. I’m am not sure she would enjoy the fall anymore that I did, unless she saw me fall. So another day on the Watauga with an orange egg, but we heard that the BWO’s were being hit the day prior. Hope you got a chance to get out there, have a great week and God bless.






06 Dec 2014

Forecast was For a Cast

As the weekend approached, I noticed more doctors’ appointments and realized Friday fishing was a no go. We have an avid outdoorsman that is newly hired somewhat. He’s been with us over a year, but has just recently moved out of Virginia and obtained a TN fishing license. I was finally going to introduce him to the South Holston River Friday, but instead I simply had to give directions. Since trout fishing was his thing, I figured he would be ok. I showed him how to check out the generating schedule, he got there and the generators never shut off. A note, always be alert on the river, you do not want to get caught out there when the generators get to rolling. Anyway, he ended up landing 7 while they were generating, that would be a great day for me.

So Saturday we were going to go out and do a little fishing. As I did some thinking, yep that’s painful for me, I decided we would head to Watauga and since the ‘ol boy had never had any Ridgewood Barbecue, we should probably stop there to eat. The food was outstanding as usual, he found out through no effort of his own that someone there was single, and we headed to the river. I sent him to some moving water and I wading through some deeper stuff and went to the other side of this little island. I catch a couple fairly quick and tell him to come over. You notice the one picture above, looks like one of the trout may have gotten attacked. I’m not real sure about this because the other side didn’t appear to have much in the way of markings; anyway, I gave him my honey hole.

I head downstream within shouting distance and land a couple more. I inform him that I have never out fished anyone, this is not true, but hey, you know how folks like to give one another a hard time. He got a few bites on power bait, but was unable to land anything. I had briefly hooked another that was a pretty good fish, would’ve been the best of the day, you know they grow when you don’t catch them. But all in all it was a good day.

The forecast of 80% rain was pretty accurate as I was at least 80% wet all over. I do like fishing in the rain as I think that the water falling may disguise the lack of fly tying ability that I possess. I ended up catching 7 maybe 8 but I think it was 7. I didn’t take a picture of all of them, just the differing sizes, the phone does not like the rain and I have had this 3GS long enough that I am trying to set some kind of length record now. I used an orange egg pattern on my fly rod. Best results were casting upstream in the current. I wonder if the speedy water gets me a bite out of reflex and they don’t have time to see how bad my hand tied fly looks. Nonetheless, my buddy has a couple of places to go when he gets bored now and maybe he will venture into the fly fishing realm by next year. Next time, I’ll take an extra rod for him. Hope y’all had a great week, God bless.




Holiday Wrapping

I apologize for not posting more as of late, I have gotten out on the water but with the Thanksgiving festivities and family time, writing things up has just been a bit difficult. So I am going to make an effort to give a little bit of info starting the week of Thanksgiving and going through Nov 30th. This begs the question, why are you putting this under December, well, that is when it was written and I figured no one would look back to Nov.

I realize that a lot of fish pics are not posted, sorry about that, I have determined that when I catch some of similar size, I will put them in the water quicker. For the most part, I spent more time on the South Holston River, one afternoon on the Watauga, and stopped by Boone Lake to check out the water level. We will begin with South Holston.

I had a real tough day and a couple of decent days, nothing great by any means. The sulfurs were much slower and I did not see too many of them hatching and this is what I had expected to see based on past experience. In the lower part of the river I did get a few with my orange egg pattern. One of them was a whopper (that means big trout) but the rascal broke my line. I was using my 3 wt rod and had 8lbs fluorocarbon tippet so I am figuring I had a kink in the line somewhere. But nonetheless, he was over 15”, yes that is big to me, and we battled for about 0.839 seconds give or take. As I had spent some time in the upper part of the river, I am hearing blue-winged olive small. I tried my black fly, only a few hit it, Griffith’s Gnat did OK however I don’t enjoy trying to locate that little feller on the water with my eyes. I caught one of the little flies and if I were to describe it, I am going to say it was a little gray and maybe a 20-22, time to break out the vice. I caught a few fish on random flies but by no means wore them out. Eggs will pick up a few probably, but if you have a pattern for this little fly let me know. I am not sure of the body color but I can tell you that I have tried my olive and the results are not impressive.

Sunday afternoon was a beautiful day and I figured South Holston was standing room only, so I headed to Watauga. I only have one fishing hole here and figured to give it a go. I’ve not stayed out more than a couple of hours on any trips; physically I just can’t handle more than that. So I had an orange egg and went to work. Pretty quick I hook up with 2 trout only for them to self-release at my feet. I miss a few more and finally land one. Then after a bit longer I land into the beast that you see above (you can use beast or whopper interchangeably). I tried to net the fish but after 4 times of fish getting in net with head and tail hanging out, then flipping out, I figured I was doing more harm than good and laid it in the grass. I quickly grabbed rod to get a length comparison only to find line tangled in a bush. I quickly take a snapshot, realized my phone gained a pound or two by adding that pic, then ever so gently released the fish. Now this may not be a real nice fish for some of y’all (that’s you guys) but for me on my 3 wt rod, it was a blast. Typically my trout size ranges from sardine to sneaker length (and no not Shaquille O’Neal’s), so this one was a doozy for me, best guess about 18”. Feeling good I tried a peach/light pink/not sure of color egg and got one hit. Figured the catch was great and I headed home.

So on another day and it is all confusing by now, I headed to Boone Lake. I wanted to see if there was any chance of getting a boat in at Davis Marina and just how low the water was right now. Well, I guess a person could get a kayak in at Davis, but if you have a boat on a trailer, forget it, I’m not sure if you can get in anywhere right now. I did a little casting from the bank with a swim-bait, mercy the water is about as low as I have ever seen it. I didn’t get a hit, but now I am considering how to fish this water without my boat. I’m gonna have to give it a try this winter or spring, maybe summer if the water stays low for a long time. I’m gonna have to research a bit more on what is going on at the Dam and see how long this may take, I am hearing most of the summer. My thinking is fish are congregated, but the water was pretty shallow where I was standing, this could be a bit interesting and fun this year.

Hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was great and I hope that your winter brings you many bent rods. May God bless and I will try to write more soon.