A couple of days of fishing in E. Tennessee is a rare thing in the middle of my guide season, but when Wifey and the boy head out of town I tend to drop what I’m doing and head over the mountain for some tail water R and R. Here are some pics from last week to get your week off to a fishy start.
May your hands remain stinky,
Back in the shop, tethered to the front counter like a dog on a leash. I’m not gonna see the water till at least next Wednesday, but I did get out earlier this week. Hit a couple of different rivers that I tend to frequent somewhat infrequently… mainly due to the walking aspects of the whole affair. I can report that WNC’s rivers are full of trout, none of which appear to be that bright…enjoy some pics courtesy of Steve.
I will fish again,
Got a dispatch from, our in-house videographer, Ryan Dunne the other day. Apparently big generation equals big fish as far as the TVA tail waters are concerned. The only question here is; Why is Chris not happier in that picture? The only thing I could come up with is he must have just crapped himself and is now trying to figure out how to clean it up. I know I would have dropped a deuce in his shoes.
Keep The Fur and Feather Flying,
I fly fish for trout. I release trout…most of the time. There is a river near the house which just opened for harvest this week. The fish have been there since December and have gotten nice, healthy, and delicious eating everything that a self-respecting trout should eat (i.e. everything except trout chow). By this weekend there won’t be a trout left in the river as the wave of fish killing worm chuckers have descended like locusts and their thirst for blood won’t be quenched until there is nothing left to catch but suckers. Most years I would avoid the place like the plague, but this year I decided to see how the other half lives…I am now the fly fishing version of Dan Aykroyd in Trading Places. The reasoning goes, if they are all gonna get killed any way, why not let them die in the most honorable manner a trout can wish for…by fly. We were thinking about doing a feature on fly fisherman run amuck but after killing our limits, and taking a look at the photographic evidence, we decided that we should never speak of the incident again…much like a Uruguyan Rugby team stuck in the Andes…we did what we had to do…for our freezers…you wouldn’t understand unless you were there man. Here are some pictures from the day that probably won’t wind up being on the next TU slideshow.
I am ashamed…but surprisingly full….Trout are delicious…who knew?
After sitting in a holding pattern for a couple of days, the winds on the coast finally died down enough for Steve and I to get down to Charleston and put together the Spring Redfish feature with SCOF contributor Tucker Blythe. Fly fishing the Low Country is kind of like Mexican wrestling, there is a whole lot going on and most of it is way beyond your comprehension (also the whole flamboyant masks and banana hammock thing). Tide, cloud cover, wind, bait chuckers, idiots with trolling motors, and trout sets are all a part of the equation. The equation only gets more complicated when you add in the fact that there are thousands of miles of coastline, creek, marsh, and oyster flats where a biomass of Reds can appear and disappear just as quickly. In the end the whole thing comes down to getting shots and not completely crapping the bed when that shot comes. I wouldn’t say that our bed was spotless after two days, but it wasn’t like we had to throw away the sheets either…maybe just hide them at the bottom of the hamper. I really want to thank Tucker for working hard to put us on the schools, and I would also like thank myself for not completely letting myself down. Look out for the feature in the Spring preview issue but until then enjoy some shots that won 1st runner-up in the beauty pageant.
Fishing the Ravens Fork on the Cherokee reservation always seems a little too much like fishing in an amusement park for my taste. A few years ago Bob Barker showed up and pulled a metaphorical Happy Gilmore on the folks who own the bear viewing establishment, and I use “establishment” in the loosest sense of the word, no more than a mile from the fly fish only section. On your way to the river you can stop at Harrah’s and play the slots, buy a tomahawk and a real Indian head-dress, and catch the live dancing Indian do his thing (I shit you not). By the time you actually get around to fishing, chances are that your wallet is lot lighter than when you got there, but at least you now look like one of the Village People, and have done your part to steal a little more of a once proud people’s dignity. To keep up with the general Liberace like subtlety of the place, the Ravens Fork holds some of the largest rainbows on the east coast. These fish are not wild by any stretch of the imagination and are chosen specifically for their ability to reach party sub size before you can utter the word triploid. I stopped guiding Cherokee during the summer because tubing is allowed in the trophy section and one too many obese Native Americans have ruined my day by porpoising in the middle of the hole I happened to be fishing. I do try to make the trip over there a couple times a year when generation schedules don’t co-operate in E. TN and I can’t think of anywhere else I want to fish. I fish amusement park triploids because there fat, there fat because I fish them. It’s all a vicious cycle.
Got a dispatch from SCOF saltwater contributor, Tucker Blythe, the other day. After a very convincing argument (involving venn diagrams, bar charts, and plenty of photographic Redfish evidence), Steve and I are heading down Charleston way at 3:30 am to be at the marina by 9 am and knock out the spring issue Redfish feature. By this time tomorrow I expect to be elbow deep in a school…that doesn’t sound right, does it? Check out the report from Tucker’s friends over at Salty Shores:
I had the opportunity to ride down to Charleston yesterday and fish with friends Tucker Blythe (www.greyghostcharters.com )& Guitou Feuillebois. We fished an area Tucker had been scouting about an hour south of Charleston. The weather was finally beautiful after several days of wind/rain. I almost forgot what it was like to fish unpressured redfish. We hit a couple of Tuck’s go-to spots and some new areas where birds were working glass minnows. It seemed like every place we stopped we would spot a school of fish before somebody could even climb up on the platform. We ended the day with 15 nice redfish and watched every one of them scarf the fly (thanks to some great water clarity). There’s a lot of people fishing the shallows these days and increased pressure will eventually shut a school of fish down. Don’t keep wearing-out the same school of fish – keep exploring and trying new areas. Once you find fish that haven’t been repeatedly blasted with cut bait, the pay-off will be totally worth the effort you put into it.
You can find the full story here. All the photos are courtesy of J. Nelson.
So my conspicuous absence from the blog-o-sphere can be explained quite simply. Wifey and the boy are out of town, the weather broke, and I have been doing a lot of fishing. Highlights of the past few days include J.E.B. Hall’s new rat hunting television show pitch, Steve being on the business end of a sucker grenade, and enough cheap beer and pretty fish on dry flies to make a grown man cry. Enjoy some pics from my winter vacation.
A ray of warmth may be at the end of the freezing snow choked tunnel for my little neck of the woods. By the middle of next week it is supposed to hit 47 degrees, which should set the dial to ludicrous speed for most of our trout streams. That is just fine by me as it has been one of those, take your shots when you get them type of winter so far. So as of right now I am singularly focused on making my 6 weight, full sink thunderstick go boom. Until then, here are some pics from a trip last week. Nothing to exciting fish wise, unless you think a ton of 12 – 14″ cookie cutter rainbows is exciting…which I do.
Get ready for the flood,