December Journal 2015


28 Dec 2015

I’ve not gone fishing as much as I had intended with the time off, but with the rain, which has made a lot of muddy water, and all the activities taking place, I’ve only managed a couple quick trips that weren’t worth writing about. Don’t be concerned, I took a breath while writing that entirely too long of a sentence.

The weekend was nice and my plan was to go kayak, but muddy on Saturday and Sunday I was just sick, sorry to whine, so Monday, today, I headed out to Boone Lake at Davis Marina. An unpaid side note here about Davis Marina, it is right now a great place to grab a bite to eat. New management has taken over and done a great job, the food is good and reasonably priced.

I get to the lake, unload the truck, then carry the kayak to the edge of the water, it’s a pretty good walk carrying it on your head. When I laid the kayak down I looked up and all the calm water began to chop, the wind picked up. Now it was calm up until I laid down the yak, I found this a little odd, but thought hey, I need to learn to fish this thing in the wind.

I was really here for the time in the yak as well as trying out the newly made over the holiday, light weight bait casting rod. Not sure if I told you but I found a cheap blank and decided to give it a shot. I turned the guides on the under side, they call them acid rods, and let me say, I think I am going to like it, not sure about love it, but like it.

I started off and fished this for a while, but with the wind, the light weight, I switched to the spinning rod. I began throwing a swim bait and after the wind was blowing me around and I tried to cast in a way that I should not, my back cast grabbed hold of the other rod in the rod holder and a mess followed. I paddled to the bank, got the fingernail clippers and just started over.

This was hilarious if you had been able to see this event take place, then I hear the GoPro beep. Sure enough, I had turned it on to record for a second, forgot about it, and had gotten a full memory card of me paddling around and fighting wind, it’s been deleted.

Anyway, I finally just put on a spinner and just started throwing, low and behold my line gets tight, drag starts slightly and a fight is on. I get pumped and see that it is a big white bass, at first I thought it was a small hybrid, but a big white is what I am going with. I got him in the kayak, removed the treble hook, and now I am comfortable enough to carry my phone.

Now remember the GoPro is full and can’t be used, the phone is in a plastic bag and I am hurrying to get it out. The fish is calm as it can be and I grab my phone, reach for the fishes lip and he starts flipping. Sure enough that rascal jumps right out of the kayak. Here I sit pumped up about my first good fish in the yak, phone in hand, plastic bag between legs, and fish back in the water, I just had to laugh.

I fished another half hour or so but no luck. All in all it was a great day, I got one, if you need a pic or it didn’t happen, well, I had a ball. This yak is going to be some good time this spring. The rain is here tonight, wife has a birthday tomorrow, and it’s about time for the bed. Hope y’all have a great day and God bless, if I don’t get to go until next year, Happy New Year folks.





18 & 19 Dec 2015

The generation schedule is still running hard, at least Friday and Saturday, but I had a rod to go test. I had picked up a blank pretty inexpensive with light action. I had some Winn Grips to try and decided I wanted a bait casting rod that would throw some lighter lures. I headed up to South Holston Friday to test out the rod. To make a long boring story short, I did catch one and it cast pretty well, this will be a decent addition for the yak.

Saturday rolls around and I needed to get out for a spell, Stoney Creek figured to be my destination. Watauga is still spilling but I thought I would try a spot that may be ok to wade. I stopped off and within about 45 minutes, I had caught 4-5, egg and a flashback pheasant tail. One of them was pretty nice, guessing 14″ or so, and it was a nice little stop, however, still didn’t have the nerve to wade too far.

I headed on up to Stoney Creek. The Tellico pattern was working well, nothing big, but was doing pretty well with the smaller fish. Then the Tellico bit the dust, too many fish. I switched over to a Prince, and the bites slowed down a bit.

The fishing continued and let me tell you my learnings. First off, casting in the creek is not all that easy, but when the wind is whipping, it will cost you a fly or two. Wearing a toboggan (that’s what we call them around these parts) then a GoPro, and a hat, may be a mistake. As the wind blows, I looked down and my hat was floating by my leg, yep, wind blew it off and I didn’t even know it.

Other than this, it was a pretty good day. Plenty of fish were caught, it was cold and windy, but not too bad at all. A good day on the river and creek and an opportunity to get out for a while. Have a great week and God bless.






16 Dec 2015

Objects in Photos May Smaller Than They Appear

The plan was to go to the Watauga River for the day, South Holston was generating and I saw where Wilbur would stop in the morning. So off I went to Elizabethton and straight to my honey hole. I should have paid more attention to the schedule as they were not generating but were spilling about 800 CFS. This is a bit much for me to wade as I tend to lose balance often anyway. We are too early into vacation to have an incident.

I had wanted to fish the Doe River up toward Roan Mountain, so here was my chance. Now I will tell you that I am a rule follower, I don’t just park anywhere and start fishing, I need to know that I can park there, this is where searching for new water is a bit difficult.

My first stop was the state park at a parking lot. I jumped out and saw some decent water, thinking to myself that this should be Doe Creek at this point. I ended up getting a few bites and caught one of the little fellers above. New water and landed a fish, good times have come my way.

I didn’t last here very long as it did not take much time to fish and headed back downstream. There was a little league field and a short walk with what looked like a good place to catch one. I ended up fishing a pretty good stretch of water here and got multiple bites landing two little guys. These were caught on a prince nymph and the first one was on a flashback pheasant tail.

Anytime I try new water, well, I have zero expectations, if you had fished with me in the past, you’d probably say that should be my expectations in familiar water. But nonetheless, I got quite a few bites, they all felt like the little guys above, nothing major, and I got the smell of fish on my hands. When it’s a new spot, I figure that is some good stuff.

The rain is here today and I have some chores, but hopefully I get to sneak off a bit more, ya’ll have a great week and God bless.



Dec 11-13 2015

What a Great Weekend

This weekend came and I was able to “fishing” every day. The parenthesis are there due to being unable to use air quotes because catching fish was not my first priority. The kayak is a couple of weeks old and I was able to get it out once, but with this weather, I figured I needed to get used to this thing and develop some confidence. Friday afternoon I headed to my cousins to launch.

My first discovery was that 52 lbs that is 10’3” is not nearly as easy to carry as the M2 Heavy Machine Gun (60 lbs receiver if I remember correctly). The yak did not fit on my shoulder well and I don’t carry items on my head very well. Anyway, I managed and got the yak to the water and went for a spin. I was throwing a swim bait and sure enough in the shallows I got bit. The hook was set, the fight began when I reached up to turn on the gopro, that is all the rascal needed and he got off. It was disappointing because he felt like a goodn’. The rest of the afternoon I had no luck at all (yep, Hee Haw just passed through my mind), but I got much much more comfortable in the yak, headed to the house.

Saturday was beautiful and I decided to head on out and meet the wife at the lake after she got off work. I spent this day using my cast net from the yak. I was able to throw the net but not getting a lot of distance. I am pretty sure this will come with time and boldness on my part, but it will take a bit of practice. As I had committed to catching some bait, well, I did not and hadn’t had any luck when the wife arrived. She got in her yak and took off, we were going on an excursion. I tossed out a swim bait and figured I would do some trolling. As we headed down the lake, the rod bent, I reached back, grabbed rod, felt resistance, then it was free. We were in deep enough water and I don’t think it was the bottom, but anyway, fish or not, my blood was pumping. We headed toward a creek so I put the rod up and just started paddling around. Let me say this was a good time, wife really enjoyed it and I had a blast.

Sunday afternoon came and around 1:00 or so I began to head out to the lake, I was looking to find a new spot. I stopped off in the Muddy Creek Area and was surprised at how far I had to carry the yak, I may need to invest in some wheels. Do you like how I used the word invest here, I mean it isn’t like I am going to get a return on this except I will not get stronger from carrying the yak around, but if you use that word instead of I want, it’s much easier to justify.

Anyway, I paddled around fishing with a couple of bites I thought I got, but this may have been wishful thinking. I was a bit limited as in my haste I had forgotten much of my tackle. I was limited to one tube, a swim bait, and crappie flies (named for the fish, not bad flies). I did more paddling and realized that this is alright. I can get into places that before I could not. I found it to be rather peaceful on the water with only a few boaters driving by periodically. I can see it becoming a bit aggravating at times when you want to make a cast but have to paddle, if the wind is blowing in the spring, it could really be interesting. However, I am pretty pumped about catching me a striper in this thing. It will probably be put up until spring as the winter rolls in here in a few days, but I sure was glad for this weekend.



Boone 05 Dec 2015







05 Dec 2015

Now the fish in the photo may not appear to be much, but I was pretty pumped. Black Friday had come and I had been checking out a kayak. Fianlly well into the morning I decided to go take a gander. I looked, asked questions, realized the last one they had was on the wall, boom, I decided to take the plunge. It was a great deal and I’ve been wanting one for a while.

The day was nice, high 50’s and the sun was out, I got in the yak without falling into the water, this was a plus. I began with a swim bait, I noticed a rock, I compensated and the rocking began. I realized that hey, it’s December, I’m new to all this and I need to not fall into this lake.

I switched rods, went to a tube just to slow things down a bit. This lasted short time and I decided to put on a crappie fly and give it a shot. Low and behold I got a hit. The small little feller you see above is my first fish in the yak. The fight was not much but it was just what I was after.

I fished a bit longer and paddled around a while giving it a shot. I’m pretty pumped about the spring, this will help get me out on Boone Lake this summer. It is a 10 footer and not real sure about how it is gonna do in the river, but hey, this is gonna be a lot of fun. If the temps climb, I am on vacation around Christmas, I may get another shot at taking it out. Anyway, it was a great time and I look forward to getting a big striper, but hey, I think I’m gonna start with baby steps. Have a great week God bless.





04 Dec 2015

The first thing you will notice is that no pics were added, well, it was one of them days, apparently I still have them. I got off work early, come home and put the gumbo in the crock pot, grabbed waders and remaining fishing gear and headed to South Holston River.

The sun was out, generators off at 1:00 and Watauga is spilling 1100 cfs, I knew the crowd would be at the dam. Suprisingly, when I arrived, the crowd was not nearly what I thought, but I headed on up to the island to explore some familiar and/or uncharted waters. Started off in uncharted territory.

I waded into the slow moving water so that I could make a decent cast without getting caught into trees. Well, I got hung up on the bottom, I didn’t account for that. Walked over to that spot, slipping and getting my sleave wet up to my forearm, you can now see why I like solitude while fishing, nobody there to laugh at me, and saved the flies. I began casting and concentrated on keeping the nymphs from hitting the bottom.

My focus had just changed and it wasn’t long until I found a tree. This was a pain to get out but once again, after stumbling, tip toeing (is that a word) to the reach, straining and pulling, I once again saved the flies. I tried a bit longer then decided to move, this was not an effective fishing area for me.

I went to another spot and saw a few breaking, I put on a sulfur #18, I had see a few on the water and thought it is time to slay some trout. I got one good swirl (perhaps it was a refusal but that sounds too negative) and a couple of small ones, but nothing was taking it. I switched to a #24 black fly and gave it a shot for a few more minutes. Nothing was hitting so I headed to the grates.

One other angler was on the grates and I thought surely I can catch one little trout for a pic. I fish around a bit, sun glaring off the water, difficulty seeing, and probably the least amount of top water activity I can ever remember seeing here. I finally got a hit, I felt the resistance when I set the hook, but it was extremely short lived.

I decided that the gumbo was done, I was done, and on this day the fish were superior. This is not an unusual feeling for me as I have been skunked on multiple occassions, however, this time of year I figured I would do better. Oh well, tomorrow will come, the sun will be out, and I may just get brave to hit the lake, we’ll see. Have a great weekend, God bless