31 Jan 2015
With my delay in entry, I probably should’ve put this in the February Journal, but hey, that would’ve been cheating. Saturday had warmed up a bit and we headed to the Watauga River. If it was crowded, we were going to try the Doe, or Stoney Creek, but we found a spot that was free of anglers.
The water was up a bit and I got confused on which dam to observe on the TVA App. I looked at Watauga then remembered that Wilbur was the Dam between Watauga Dam and the river. It was sluicing or spilling or something but nonetheless, it appeared wadeable. I begin to venture out to some swifter water and it was a deep hole, good times were fixing to come my way.
I was using two flashback pheasant tail nymphs. The first one had an olive turkey biot for the body, the second one had pheasant tail. Perhaps I should call the first one a turkey biot nymph….. well nonetheless, I figured it to be worth a shot. Within about 0 minutes I had caught two out of this hole. I had missed a few more and the first one hit the turkey biot nymph, I mean first pheasant tail. It was a pretty decent fish but I did not take the time for pics. The second one is in the video above, it was a fun one and hit the legit pheasant tail.
After displaying my skill set to the whole world, at least my fishing partner who couldn’t see me from his location, I headed upstream. Once there after a couple of cast I found my line in a knot. This was rather impressive as even someone with the amount of practice I have had at undoing knots, I could not (knot) get it undone, hello clippers. After tying up again and not catching anything else, the exploration began.
We drove downstream looking for a honey hole. We stopped and did some casting at another spot and let me say, the casting was great. However, we were unable to land anymore trout. I was getting tired and we figured it time to go home. On the way to the house we drove by the Doe, we took a gander and resisted the urge to wet a line. One weekend I am going to have to hit that but it wasn’t going to be in January of 2015.
It was a good day, I only have one fish on here due to time. I need to get a bit better at the editing and hopefully it will improve with time. I am in talks with a friend of mine about putting his music on the video. After hearing myself speak, I am going to have to apologize, I didn’t realize that I spoke that slow, or to myself quite that much, I may need to seek counseling. Anyway, y’all have a great week and God bless.
30 Jan 2015
If you read this before the video gets edited, I’ll get that added a bit later. It is Friday and the forecast is for upper 30’s and breezy. Now this is not the optimum conditions for fishing which is why I like to go. Cold and breezy conditions tend to keep the number of folks that go fishing down, that is one of the reasons I tend to go. I enjoy the solitude, but have a difficult time in the wind.
I head downstream when I arrive at the bridge just below the dam. I begin wading to the other side because as everyone knows, fishing is always better on the other side of the river. As I begin to fish I see a small sulfur hatch coming off. The wind is whipping pretty good but I give it a go. I get a couple of hits, maybe refusals, not really sure, just see a swirl at my fly and with the wind creating a disruption, I just try to set the hook. Placing the fly where I want is not an easy task, impossible for this amateur, so after a while I head toward the bridge in hopes of getting out of some of this wind.
I begin fishing around the trees near here, not thinking I would do to well. Everytime I have been up here this place is usually surrounded by anglers, but hey, it appeared to be less wind and I figured to give it a shot. After a while, rather unexpectedly, I get bit. Now I don’t use a strike indicator, just feel or line movement. This time I went by feel because I had about lulled myself into a daze. I slowly respond and fish on. This was the smallest fish of the day, but had by far the best jump of any. I didn’t take a pic as I had the video, got it back into the water and the blood started flowing. This was a good thing because I had lost feeling in my fingers.
I continue on and the bites are getting regular. I catch three more that are pretty nice, see pics above. After I think the 4th fish, I had to change flies. I had put glue over the pheasant tail body to protect it from my forceps, but it just wasn’t enough. It may have been the fish wearing it out a bit also as didn’t use the forceps on a couple of them.
I switch up flies using a pheasant tail type design with different materials along with zebra midge. After a couple of hits I checked and the midge was gone, how can one person be so bad at tying a knot, I think I will blame it on the numb fingers. Anyway, I switch to a bead head pheasant tail, tied properly at least as well as I can. I get quite a few more bites but am unable to set a hook. I really should look into this strike indicator, I have tried them but I don’t bobber fish on the lake and just can’t do it. I bet I would catch a few more fish……… I will ponder this struggle.
Anyway, the day at the river was great, wind whipping created some interesting casting, the cold air created some numb fingers, but the solitude well, I don’t reckon I can explain the enjoyment. I hope you get a chance to get out this weekend, God bless and good luck.
Stoney Creek 24 Jan 2015
First I would like to explain the video for just a sec. When I first arrived at Stoney Creek, I headed down and began fishing. About 4-5 cast into fishing I get bit and remember the camera is off, so I quickly turned on and you can hear my comments. I am not sure if I bought the southern addition microphone with that camera, but that has to explain the slow talk.
Enough of that, I was pretty excited, the egg got hit and I figured it to be a great day on the creek. I continue to fish with no other bites, I swear those fish go back and talk, I began heading upstream. I get no bites up to my deep little honey hole (name I give a place if I have ever caught a fish there). I posted an area of the honey hole on the video due to all the activity that was taken place on the top water. The fish rising were small for the most part, but a few of them were 10-12” range. I attempted to toss every small dry fly I had in my box at them. The smallest I have is a #22, I can barely get my line through that hook and I can’t see it on the water, going smaller is not really an option for me. I’m not sure if I got any hits on these or not, I think maybe a couple but I would not swear to it.
I did some nymph fishing in the hole as well, I did get a few bumps on the nymphs but I am thinking that my reflexes had been affected by the cold weather, a bit slow. I tried most of the nymphs in the box with a few bites but nothing really seemed to be the go to fly. After a bit of time and the loss of feeling in my fingers, I headed to the truck, thought I would stop by the Watauga River.
I went to “my spot” (about the only place I have fished on the Watauga) to see if the water had gone down enough from the generating. The water was down, but it wasn’t down far enough for me to feel very comfortable walking out there alone. I stayed mostly at the bank and attempted to cast for a while. I got one bite but that was it. If the weather had been a bit nicer, I would have attempted to cross to the sweet spot for fishing, however, it was cold, the wind picked up, and I had at least caught one fish that day. It was time to head to the house, my wading boots were coming undone yet again, this time I shall allow the gorilla glue to sit for 5 days and see if that helps. All in all a good day of fishing and my apologies for the video editing, condensing 2 hours of catching one fish into 1 minute of video, well, it’s a bit more taxing than I thought. Personally, I can’t wait to get a few shots of the stripers nailing the shad. Hope everyone has a great week and God bless.
16 Jan 2015
Watauga River 16 Jan 2015
I had another appointment at the VA in the afternoon. My thinking was, I can head over to the Watauga River after appointment and squeeze in an hour or two. Grabbed the gear and the GoPro and headed to the river. I must throw out a disclaimer as I learn how to video and edit. My phone is so old that I am unable to download the app for the camera. Therefore, I am just guessing if the video is where it needs to be when I get out there. Therefore, you may miss a fish or something, I filmed too much cloud life this time.
Now for the fishing, I started off with a yellow egg with a yolk, I got a brief hook up pretty quick on this one, however, I didn’t stick with the egg very long. I noticed a few rises and went with a #20 BWO or maybe a #22 Griffith’s Gnat, I can’t really remember. Anyway, this one worked pretty well until the line broke. I have a tendency to set the hook like I am bass fishing at times, I really need to work on that.
I also used a Zebra Midge and got quite a few bites, never got a good hook set on these but they felt like a couple of them were pretty big. The one I landed was caught on a store bought nymph. I think it was a BWO something or another, I don’t remember since this was the first time I had gotten a hit on it. I would show a pic, however, back to my hook setting skills.
A lot of hits, quite a few hook-ups, but only landed one. It was a great time for a couple of hours on the river, hope you enjoy the video. I’ll get the kinks worked out in time, have a great weekend.
09 Jan 2015
First Day out with the GoPro
I know what you are thinking, first day out with the GoPro and all you have is 15 seconds of footage, including slow motion. Well that is not all that I have, however upon going into the editing phase, this is taking a bit of time to learn. So, I thought I would do a test run. Lord willing, I will get more of the days adventure up in a youtube video at a later date, but enough of that, allow me to explain the video and the day on the South Holston River.
It was a cold day and the wind was whipping, this is not my favorite combination. Nonetheless, roof work on Saturday and I was like a kid with a new Christmas present that I just had to use. So up to the river I go and meet with a friend of mine who is using his new fly rod for the first time. We fish the grates mostly, the reason being, it was not crowded and I was more worried about the video than I was the fishing.
We fish here for a spell and I finally find something in my box small enough to fool the rascals. I went with a #22 Griffith’s Gnat. I had gotten a few bites previously, but this one was doing great. The above video is here to demonstrate my incredible reaction time. With video proof I figured that you may be able to better understand why I do not land a great many fish. As you can see above, the fish hits the fly, disappears, then I lift my rod. I shall blame this on age.
The Griffith’s Gnat prooved deadly upon initially using until I did get a 10-12″ trout. He hit, I set the hook, the battle began and as I walked down to begin the process of netting the trout, the line came untied. I was excited and slightly frustrated.
After a bit, we decide to go down river a piece. I get one hit and he stays on the line for ~ 1.382 seconds. It felt good, I was freezing though and we decided to head back. I dropped my buddy off back at the bridge and I headed home.
The day consisted of multiple hits and almost as many misses. My buddy did catch a trout on his new fly rod. I hooked a few but landed zero. It was a beautiful but cold and windy day on the river. The camera worked well and when I can get the editing done and improve my skills, maybe we can have some pretty good video up by the summer time. Hope everyone has been able to stay warm and land some fish, God bless.
01 Jan 2015
Reflecting and Expecting
I was unable to get out to fish this week, so I thought I would take a minute to reflect on the previous year and see if I couldn’t set an expectation for next. 2014 was an interesting year for us in East Tennessee. The not so good consisted of medical being the word of the year, high hopes for 2015. Even with all the issues that arose, we are still going strong just a little bit slower at times.
The good for 2014 was the fishing. We had a trip to Florida which produce a few giant grouper, pretty good time right there. My daughter and I had set a goal of a 30+ lb striper this year and without a doubt, we hooked it. However, we were never able to get the rascal in the boat. I have never had a time of landing a fish like this year. I had a Penn reel, purchased at a yard sale, that got made into mince meat by a striper. At least three treble hooks that got straightened out by the striper. Line that was broken, some stout stuff, and multiple other issues. The biggest struggle was getting the fish to take the bait instead of just killing it.
The trout fishing has been good, caught a couple over 16″ but not sure I have broken the 20″ mark yet. This is a great lead into the expectation. Goals for 2015 is to break the 20″ mark on a trout. I typically don’t measure them, but have decided that I want to know that I have landed one.
The striper goal has not changed, we are still going to try to get a 30+ pounder this year. We think we got one in 2013, but did not weigh the thing, gonna have to get the batteries in the scales. The goals aren’t huge, but we take baby steps here. I was able to land a 21.5″ smallmouth last year, so the bass, we will just try to catch a few of them.
For the website, the plan is a gopro while fishing. I got a buddy that said he can do the editing and I am going to give one a try. I would appreciate you holding the laughter if I show my skill on the camera. We are also going to make an effort to get more reports on the site. We are still trying to get every body of water in the state and would like the surrounding states as well. 2014 with all that was going on here at the house with medical, we were unable to seek out too many more guides, bait shops, or marinas. Hopefully, we can get more reports out there for folks.
I hope 2014 found you very well, but hope that in 2015, all the fish you threw back have grown at least a pound and you get another chance to fight it. Have a great year and may God bless