Sunday, December 9, 2018

Adjusting to Winter Fishing


My blogging takes a hit during the winter months, mainly because of the weather. I'm not a fan of cold weather and it's a good thing that I don't live in the colder regions of the U.S. My hats off to all you guys who brave the frigid temps to wet a hook.
The winters here in Alabama go through what I call the yo-yo effect; high temps for a couple of day verses extremely lows for a couple of days. On those warmer days is when I try to be on the water. I forget about those factors that may cause the fishing to be slow this time of year. I'm just glad to be enjoying the outdoors and sharpening my casting skills for the coming spring.
The Sipsey is getting a lot generation now due to the all the rain we are experiencing. Any trout that is released at the dam now is usually flushed miles down the Sipsey where a boat is needed to land a trout or two. The waters below the 69 bridge are too deep to wade and the banks are covered with trees and brush. When the generators are running the tailrace can rise 10 to 15 vertical feet in a matter of minutes, meaning lots water moving fast and furious down the tailrace. We are in the our third day of rain as I type this post meaning heavy generation for this next week. Three thousand rainbow is supposed to be released at the dam Thursday. I have a feeling most will be washed down stream, due to the heavy rains we are getting. The long range forecast for the deep south is living up to the projection, a wet winter!!
This may be my last trout to land on Walker County Lake until March 1st. The lake is always closed during the winter months. 
You never know what you'll land using the fly rod. Catfish are usually on or near the bottom of the the lake this time of year.  The Flashback Pheasant Tail was the fly that got the most attention. 


Friday, November 23, 2018

A First!!

Trout was released yesterday in Walker County Lake located a few miles from Jasper. This is the same lake I fish numerous times in the early spring. Late this afternoon was a first for me landing a number of rainbow using a tungston beadhead copper john tightlining. 
A fun 30 minutes using my 2 wt. which I carry in my truck for a quickie!!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Quality Rainbow Landed on The Sipsey


This time of year when one fishes the Sipsey they can expect high humidity which will produce heavy fog over the its cool waters. I'll admit it adds beauty to the place but it also hinders ones ability to see a dry fly take. Sound most the time is what you rely on to detect the hit. Fortunately I was spared the blind dry fly take this morning because there were no rises in the area I was fishing. All the trout taken this morning would come from fishing a nymph.
This beauty was landed hovering close to the bottom, in fact I was adjusting the depth of the indicator numerous times as I search for trout to take my offering. Getting a good drift was somewhat hard to achieve this morning because the release at the dam was slower than usual which gave a slower drift. I've found when the release is slow at the dam one needs to fish deeper for a take.
This trout displayed plenty of fight as it went airborne a number of times trying to throw the nymph. A trout tail walking along the water surface is water ballet at its best.

The two hours I had to fish this morning was very productive enabling me to land numerous trout this size. I'm having to plan ahead for the days I'm going to be fishing now because the construction on the house has moved inside.
Notice the boots of another fly fisherman in the picture, he was willing to let me use his net to land this trout. Forgetting your net and leaving it at the truck is not being very organized. I lost 20 minutes of good fishing walking back to the truck and back to the tailrace to retrieve the net, hopefully there's a lesson learned here.

 The net came in handy right after I got back on the water helping me land this colorful rainbow. It was good to take a break from the lake fishing and get to land some really quality trout!!


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

When Poppers Fail—Part 2


Today's title is appropriate for this post because simply put no popper produced today on Smith Lake. The daylight trip started with a couple of true and tried poppers that usually get hits but the bass and bluegill were not interested. Smith Lake is on the draw down right now causing the fish to move to deeper water. In fact before the draw down is complete Smith will fall at least 12 to 15 feet before the water levels start to rise again after the first of the year.
Overhanging limbs hanging from huge trees growing on the top of the rock walls; small bushes and even small trees rooted in the rock walls produced a tremendous amount of food for the fish. In other words this kind of bank is the Walt-mart super market for all the fish species waiting below.
This healthy spot exploded on the Moth as soon as it touched the silk smooth water surface. Notice I said Moth, not Muddler; my reasoning is it mimics the small moths I've seen stationed on some of the tree limbs here. The fight this fish put forth was worth getting up at 4:30 AM. He was released to fight another day!!!
These four gills nailed the Moth in different ways making me think a couple were annoyed with the fly and a couple really wanted a meal; one will make the quest count.
I've fished a lot of waters in my years of fishing but when it comes to beauty and an abundance of fish Smith tops them all!!!  

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Bluegill Quest Continues


My bluegill quest has been lacking lately. I decided to see if I could add to the numbers Friday by fishing before a weather front coming in on Saturday. Your fish-catch ratio can improve fishing before a front. I couldn't ask for a better morning with cloudy skies and very low humidity to fish the popper and black gnat on Smith Lake. In fact I had clouds overhead until 10 AM after that the sun took over and the bite practically stop.
One of my favorite banks in Ryan Creek to fish, I've landed numerous bluegills and spots from this area.
This bluegill was taken using the Barr Nunn popper letting it sit motionless for what seemed like forever for a hit----but the patience paid off. This was the way the bluegill wanted the fly the first hour of the morning; a complete contrast from the spawn where the fish will kill the fly as soon as it touches the water.
 The bass wasn't as active as the bluegills, which was alright with me, because the mission today was to improve on my numbers. This spot give the 4 weight quite a workout making me think he was much larger.
Worthy of the count
The prize of the morning was this monster bull gill taken using the black gnat fishing with the sink-tip line. The last spawn ended the first week in August on Smith Lake and this bluegill showed the signs of that spawn. He was not in good shape as far as body weight. He would have weight in at a pound before the spawn but today he tipped the scales at 12 ounces. Both big bulls deserved their freedom after an epic fight against the 5 weight, both will count towards the quest, I'm 13 away from reaching my goal------GOT TO LOVE LANDING THESE BIG BLUEGILLS USING THE FLY ROD!!!