Photo of the Month: Morning

Photo of the Month: Morning

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fishing to Refocus???

While perusing the World Wide Web this morning, I came across this news story about the Indiana Pacers' Paul George.  Apparently he has offended many people because he went fishing after a big loss in Game One of the 1st round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks.  Sports columnists and commentators are ripping him for not being focused and suggesting that the Pacers are going to lose the series to Atlanta the way things are going.

I'll offer a different perspective.  For many years, fishing has been my way to escape and relax.  I usually return from fishing trips feeling refocused and energized.  While the majority of the non-fishing populace doesn't understand this, mostly because they've never given fishing a fair shake, those of us who do fish totally get what Paul George is up to.  In fact, I'll go out on a limb and predict a big game from him in Game 2.

Anyone else think he was just relaxing and collecting his thoughts so he could refocus or am I way off here?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday News

I don't have a whole lot to share today but for those of you on Twitter, you can now find me there.  In a few minutes I'm heading out to chase some crappie and perhaps some bass and bluegill so there should be a warm water report in soon.  This week will feature some time on the tailwaters and I'm starting to plan some backpacking excursions in the Smokies.

Currently, I have some open days as well for guided trips late this month and through May.  The Smokies are settling into a routine and will be awesome for the next few weeks.  If you are willing to hike there are always the possibilities of big days for numbers.  I can set up a trip for whatever you are looking for.

The tailwaters are starting to show some windows as well.  Last week was phenomenal on the Caney.  Bring your A-game and there is always opportunity for big browns.  I hooked and promptly lost a large fish last week but it didn't matter as I had already wore out my arm on the buffalo that were all over the river.  The trout fishing this year is going to be incredible as long as we can find some sections without too many people.

Head over to Trout Zone Anglers to learn more about trip options and pricing or send me an email to set up your trip!

Happy Easter

I just want to wish everyone a Happy Easter today as we celebrate the Resurrection!!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Quick Report: Guide's Day Off


So I'm running low on time today so I'll keep this as brief as possible.  The last two days, the Caney Fork had a couple of windows with no generation for all of us wade fisherman.  That didn't last long as today they are running water all day again, but it was nice to get out while I could.

With no trips scheduled on Wednesday and of course wanting to see how the river is fishing, I took off and timed it so I would arrive just as the water was falling out enough to get in the river and fish.  It didn't take long for me to see some MASSIVE fish busting on the surface or at least so it appeared. My first thought was, "Oh no, the stripers are already here. Too bad for the trout!"  After getting a glimpse of fins and tails breaking the surface, I soon concluded that it wasn't stripers and started to wonder what in the world was going on.

Eventually I discovered the commotion was made by spawning Bigmouth Buffalo.  I'm not entirely convinced that there weren't some carp in the mix as well but let's just say I was in awe.  I've always heard about these fish but never run into them in large numbers on the upper river and by the time I see them on the lower river later in the year, they are very tightlipped.

Running my nymph/midge rig through the deeper water eventually resulted in a hookup.  Wow! These things can pull!!!  My arm is still sore.  After catching a couple on the midge, yeah, that's right, I said a MIDGE on 6x no less, I was worn out and decided to go looking for trout.


That's a size 22 gray midge

The net opening is 16" x 22" for reference and this was not the largest I caught...

In some deeper water downstream I started catching some rainbows with regularity and had a large trout, probably a brown, break me off with just a couple of good headshakes.  The trout were showing a preference for the nymphs which was interesting.  I never did get around to fishing a dry/dropper rig  but they probably would have eaten the Zebra Midge fished that way.  Late in the day I even found a skipjack for a rather unusual slam of rainbow and brown trout, buffalo, and skipjack.  Fun trip for sure!

Fresh hatchery 'bow

Deeper water was the ticket...

The good news is that the midge hatches are getting stronger and the fish are responding.  The Buffalo are in the river as well and can definitely provide some entertainment if you've never hooked one.

This brown fought twice his size and had me convinced a big fish was on for a while.

Yep, spring is definitely here when the dogwoods start blooming!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Road Trip

This afternoon I'm hitting the road to head for Hendersonville, TN to speak to the Hendersonville Fly Fishers.  If you are a member and able to come tonight I'm looking forward to meeting you!

Yesterday was a much needed guide's day off and I found some good water on the Caney with willing trout.  There were a few surprises as well which I'll report on late tonight or tomorrow morning!  Let's just say the river is fishing well and if you need a guide to show you the ropes, please let me know!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

BRRRRR

The frost this morning appeared as promised, but thankfully it doesn't seem to have hurt anything too badly.  We don't have too much green around here yet.  The trout streams are probably having a much tougher time of it.  Take a look at this temperature graph from Little River just outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


Talk about falling water temperatures...that is a continuous drop of close to 15 degrees, and a drop from the highest recent temperature of more than 15 degrees.  I would be willing to bet that the fish might be lethargic to start things off today simply because of the drastic change.  Fish don't like huge fluctuations in temperature or water levels very much and will normally take a bit of time to adjust.  The good news is that the general direction of the water temperature is most important.  We should see temperatures begin to increase shortly as the stream receives full sun exposure throughout the day.  Once that temperature starts to rise, then the fish will be happier for sure.

In other news, it looks like I might get out on the water.  The Caney Fork is showing a 5 hour window without generation so someone clearly needs to go investigate to see how things are on the river.  Hopefully I'll have good news!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dogwood Winter

Right on cue, as the dogwood in our front yard started to bloom, an epic cool down arrived.  After temperatures in the 70s for several days, waking up to snow flying outside my window was a rather abrupt reminder that spring temperatures are never particularly reliable.  Indeed, even now, the snow is nearly gone after covering everything this morning with a fresh coat of white.  Temperatures should warm into the 40s before tonights hard freeze.  Some of the plants are already looking tired and cold while others are still trying to act as if spring didn't hit the pause button.

When I got up, I grabbed a camera and headed straight outside.  Around here you never know how long the snow will hang around.  Now I'm glad I was in such a hurry.  Here are a few of the pictures I took.

The woods received a fresh coat of white.

The maples are wishing they had waited a few more days to leaf out. 

The daffodils are already feeling pretty cold. 

Forsythia brings some bright cheer to an otherwise drab day. 

Ground with lots of sun exposure was still warm enough to melt most of the snowfall. 

Redbuds are just starting to bloom.  The ones who haven't are probably much better off now.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Pledge Drive

Okay, so I'm not going to ask for money, and quite honestly those pledge drive things on the radio drive me crazy.  However, I am hoping that everyone will head over to the Trout Zone's Facebook page and especially the page for Trout Zone Anglers and hit the "Like" button.  If you are one of the many who seem to be jumping the Facebook ship, but you do use Google+, then head over to the Trout Zone Anglers page there and check it out.  I've just started working on it and it is definitely still a work in progress.  That's all and thank you  all for your support!