Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Touching the Cool Waters of the Sipsey Again

Today’s trip was not about landing trout on the Sipsey but a time for me to reflect back on the many storied trips I’ve had on this beautiful tailrace. Sure a colorful rainbow would be nice to bend my 3 weight, but the excitement of just watching my fly gently light on the Sip’s surface took precedence over the catch.
 This was my first fishing trip since August 29th 2017 when I hurt my back and had to have two Epidurals to get back on my feet. Close to five months is a long time to go without wetting a fly for me; so to say I was pumped about getting to fish was an understatement.
  I was anxious to try my new Orvis Battenkill II reel my son gave me for Christmas. I paired it up with my Hardy Streamflex 3 weight. What impressed me about this reel was the narrow spool to reduce line stacking and of course the lightness.

l put the combo to work within five minutes of wading into position in one of my favorite holes on the tailrace. This beautiful rainbow nailed the Copper John as it was drifting down one of the many runs located on the lower end of the tailrace; a lot of fun on the 3 weight.
The tailrace was higher than I like to fish it, but I didn’t care; I was back on my home waters and that was all that matter to me.
My wading staff was my best friend today as I maneuvered through all the rocks on the floor of the gorge. I saw one guy take a spill on the slippery rocks; luckily he didn’t damage his wrist and knee. 
Faster water was the turn on for all the trout I landed during the four hour trip. This bow was taken as my nymph floated over a few submerged logs. I lost a couple other trout in the run due to break off in the logs. I questioned myself for using the 3 weight after losing two quality trout in this run, but again being here today was more important than the loss of a few trout. I know I’ll have many more trips to redeem myself.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Moving Back Home

My wife and I have been discussing for sometime to move back to Jasper. Why, you ask, well we are lonesome for our friends and the small town atmosphere that we had in Jasper Alabama.

For me I’ve missed fishing with my buddies that I fished with for over 25 years. I’ve also missed my beloved Smith Lake and the Sipsey Tailrace. I didn’t realize until after we left Jasper that I gave up a fantastic fishing area. I could be on Smith Lake in 20 minutes and on the Sipsey fishing for trout in 25 minutes. The fishing in and around Spring Hill is limited to a few small lakes that are fished heavy and fertilized to the limit. The Caney was a great place to trout fish but driving an hour and half to get there was a bit too long for me. In fact I could actually see myself as I got older fishing less here because of the distance I had to travel to connect with bluegill, bass, or trout.

Cathey and I hope our house moves fast and we can be back in Jasper by the first of the year. We differently need to be back before the spring fishing season begins on Smith, Walker County Lake and the Sipsey.
I will start my BLUEGILL QUEST again in the spring of 2018.  Smith and Walker County Lake will provide the challenge to take some super size gills from their waters.  I never landed anything here worthy of the QUEST-------it’s a good thing my back in getting back to normal.  

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Few Odds and Ends

Talk about dreary days, Monday through today would make one think that we are on the verge of winter. Low sixties with steady rain from Irma has kept me inside still dealing with pain and thinking of spring fishing which is a long way off. 

I had a MRI this past Thursday which showed that I have Degenerative Disk Pain which I don't wish on anyone. I will meet with an Orthopedic Surgeon next Wednesday to give me some options on how to relieve the pain and hopefully avoid surgery. The one option I hope he suggests is the Epidural!!

In the meantime I’ll stay in touch commenting on your blog post. ----------------By the way been watching some really great movies lately while lying on the sofa; which is the most comfortable position I’ve found to deal with this ordeal-----check out Sharon Stone in “Running Wild”----5 star movie and worth every star!!     

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Betty Crocker of Fly Fishing

I wonder if you guys knew that all of us bloggers had a fantastic pastry chef in our blog community. I formed that opinion after I sampled some of The River Damsel’s fantastic cookies that arrived in the mail today. These are the chocolate chip variety big and thick that makes you want seconds, if fact I down two after lunch. She also packed in a great read featuring Henry Winkler’s book, “I’ve Never Met an Idiot on the River” which I will read while my back is on the mend. Emily’s thanks so much for the care package; this kind of generosity is why I enjoy blogging so much.
 I needed my spirits lifted today and Emily’s package helped with what I’ve been going through for the past two week; constant lower back pain in my right hip. I won’t bore all of you with the details but I’ve been seeing my MD, Chiropractor and Physical Therapist for the past two weeks and I’m still in pain daily. In fact I’ve never experienced pain like this before in my life. The only relief I can get from the pain is lying flat on my back, which I do quite a bit. No fishing for me or anything else until I get back on my feet, which according to the Therapist could be weeks.
Hope everyone has a great Labor Day!!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Big Trout Awesome Float

I spent early Sunday morning this past week on the best float trip I’ve ever experienced landing some of the largest browns and rainbow trout I’ve ever landed. My son-in-laws Dad, Ron made the trip with me which was his first fly fishing experience. David Perry, our guide had him casting in no time and on fish soon into the float. The fog was still on the water in places as we made our way down the banks using our 6 weights 9 foot fly rods.
Nice rainbow that give quite a fight on the 6 weight; this trout and the others I landed made up for the number I lost. Fish seem to always hit when the fisherman isn’t watching.
Ron with a quality brown!
After landing this brown I can honestly say that it put up more of a fight than the rainbow I landed earlier in the morning. I lost another brown in this size range because I wasn’t able to maneuver it away from structure.
  The prize of the morning for me was this 22” brown, which was the largest trout I’ve ever landed. I was beyond happy from the look on my face! A big thank you to David for making this one of my most memorable trout fishing trips; I’m looking forward to our next outing!!


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Learning Curve

My phone alarm went off at 5 AM and I was up and ready by 5:45 for my next fishing class on the Caney Fork. That’s what my trips are like every time I wet a fly on this beautiful tailrace now. I arrived at 7:30 suited up and made my way to some new areas on the river that I’ve not fished before. As usual the fog was present with no surface activity at all. With expectations of landing stocker trout again today I decided I would use my 3 wt. 9 ft. Streamflex.    

Any of you guys think the brown is more of a fighter than the rainbow and brook?
How I wish I could get my grass in my front yard to look this green----a trout supermarket for sure.
I’m still trying to break the 14” mark here and so far those size trout have eluded me. Fishing the Caney is going to take much more work on my part to equal the success I had on the Sipsey in Jasper Alabama.
Thought I would share some images of my son Jason who lives in Sacramento fishing from his new Hobie Kayak. Fuller Lake north of Sacramento is one of the mountain lakes he fishes there.
 One of the colorful rainbow he landed for the afternoon fishing Lake Fuller!!