A few weeks ago, I went down for an afternoon on the river and had one of my best outings in a long time. The days where expectations are low seem to turn out the best, and this was one of those days. I fished here and there before finally settling onto a nice riffle that spills over into a deep run. It seemed that every rainbow in the river had moved up into the shallows to feed. The routine was so simple that it almost was ridiculous. Throw in my nymphs, watch the indicator dive, raise the rod, and voila, a trout was hooked.
Caney at sunset
On this and subsequent trips, the hot fly was a Ray Charles which does a good job of imitating the scuds and sow bugs present in the river. For anyone who is unfamiliar with this fly, I highly recommend giving it a shot. At certain times of the year it is particularly effective. If you don't tie and need a source for this fly, contact Trevor Smart at firstname.lastname@example.org. He charges $1.50 per fly and ties other patterns as well such as the South Holston staple, a Tungsten Bead Stripper Midge (#20-#22).
Trevor Smart Photograph
Trevor Smart Photograph
This past weekend's float was very similar. Early on, I started out throwing streamers in the hopes of finding an aggressive monster brown. All that wanted to play though were the rainbows. Later, the nymph rod did the trick with the Ray Charles producing well most of the day and Copper Johns picking up the slack later on. The fish all seemed to be quite healthy including one hot rainbow that came from a slot up against a log. This fish shot out of the water in the first of several jumps as soon as it was hooked, truly one of the better aerial shows I've seen from a trout this whole year.
David Perry working a nice run
I FINALLY saw a train on the tracks along the Caney on this particular trip. Up until this float, I had NEVER seen a train anywhere around the Caney although I could only assume that the tracks weren't just there for nothing. Best of all, we caught the train as it crossed the Smith Fork bridge, providing a photo opportunity that few get without either getting lucky or going to some effort.
Train over Smith Fork bridge
Late in the day, we found three Bald Eagles that also gave me an opportunity to use my camera. Someday I'll have a better zoom lens, but in the meantime I'm just glad to have seen these beautiful birds and documented the experience. We also saw deer and even the river itself provided incredible opportunities for my camera.
Fog makes the river almost eerie yet beautiful at the same time.
Hopefully I'll be returning to fish the Caney in the next few days. I also have a trip to the Smokies coming up in just over a week. Check back for updates on those trips as well as some more reports from the last month or two...