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!