Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ticks The Silent Insect

For all of us who have encounter the Tick weather on a stream fishing or just hiking outdoors, the bite can be punishing. This post is a follow up to the hiking trip my Grandson and I took the other day in Tennessee. We were hiking a trail near a stream when somewhere along the trail I got bite by a tick. I didn’t know it until the next day when I discovered some red spots on both hips and both legs below the knee. I have been bitten by ticks before and been able to find it on my body; this tick was nowhere to be seen. What puzzled me about this bite were the multiple reds spots that showed up the next day and the day after. Usually a tick will attach itself to your skin to suck blood and one can see the tick if they look closer enough, but this tick was something completely new to me.

I went to the doctor Wednesday evening and the doctor had blood work done and prescribed a powerful antibiotic with some medication for itching. He told me that some ticks can leave multiple red spots, beside the traditional one bite mark. He ruled out Lyme Disease, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, because I didn’t have any symptoms related to either disease, which are: Fever, Joint Pain, vomiting, muscle aches, or severe headaches. I did go back to the doctor on Friday and he gave me a shot for further infection, which has helped I believe more than the medication I am taking. After five days of dealing with I can see signs of healing taking place, because the red spots are not as pronounced as they were Tuesday and Wednesday. I hope all you guys will take heed to this post and be extremely cautious when you are in the woods, whether you are fishing or just hiking as I was doing. I am including a link that I found extremely helpful in explaining the in results of tick bites.   

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hiking With My Grandson Bryson

On Monday my grandson Bryson and I did a short hike down a trail that runs parallel to a scenic creek in the Springhill area. The creek is located near a park that Bryson and I visit quite often when my wife and I are in town.

The trail we were following is man made over some years of traveling up and down the creek. I told Bryson to lead the way and Pops follow along.

This is a beautiful little creek with some signs of small fish swimming mainly in the shaded areas.
Bryson found a number of these vines that he tried to climb without much success.
We were both fascinated with the way this tree was laying over the trail; it was not only rooted in the ground at the stump but at the top as well. I recently got my camera back after a so call overhaul, so my images should improve with future post.
Laelyn, Cash, and Bryson with Pops and Meme



Saturday, July 12, 2014

To Fish With or Without Someone??

I have never been one to shy away from fishing with anyone, who loves the sport as much as I do. Of course there are some of us who prefer to fish by themselves and when the opportunity presents the right situation I am one of those guys as well.  Let me explain, my Pelican boat is only 10 ft. in length and would easily hold two fishermen, but with both of us using fly rods it could get a little crowded. I bought this boat to fly fish from and have never used it any other way. It is the perfect boat for me to fly fish small lakes and ponds by myself. I do prefer a companion when fishing from my Bass Tracker along the 500 mile shoreline of Smith Lake, not only for the company but for security reasons as well.

The tailrace is a place I can fish most of the time alone, the guys I fish the lake with doesn’t fish for trout, their only interest is in the warm water fly fishing. I seldom fish the tailrace without seeing other individuals fly fishing there. Fishing with someone or fishing alone differently has it pros and cons. I am sure there are a lot of opinions as to why someone would rather go it alone on the water or always have a companion to tag along. What is your opinion?
Cash Miller Atkisson came into the world Thursday at 3 PM; mother and baby are doing well as is the rest of the family. His big brother Bryson and sister Laelyn are fascinated with this little guy. Pops and Meme will be keeping Cash company for a while until Mama gets back on her feet. Looks like I have another future fisherman in the making.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fishing The Sipsey Tailrace on a Cool Morning July 3rd.

I was met today with some of the coolest weather we have had this summer on the tailrace. As I suited up I could feel the cool 65 degree temps, which was quite a contrast compared to the high humidity a couple of weeks ago which the south is famous for in July.
Walking the trail to the first access point I notice this apple tree loaded with green apples. The deer had already started eating the ones on the ground. This is the first yield I have seen on this tree.
I couldn’t have asked for a better morning to fish the Sipsey; the slight fog which hovered over the water surface was an inviting sight for me to make my first cast with the Adams.

 While working the area I notice a trout to the right of me continually breaking the surface. I really couldn’t determine what the trout was taking, because I saw to hatch at all on the surface. I know this trout was surface feeding, because I saw the bubbles it expelled as it submerged each time. Let me explain the bubble theory, Randy at the local fly shop told me sometime back that I could determine if the trout were taking anything on top by the expelled bubbles of air they release when they inhale the insects on the surface. So with this faint evidence of surface activity in front of me I begin to pursue this particular rainbow.

Getting the right drift was somewhat a problem because this trout was stationed in a narrow seam, adjacent to some faster water. I had fished this area before during early mornings but with no success because of drift problems, so today I was determined to make the right cast with the perfect drift. Casting some distance above the trout and letting the fly get that good drift through the seam finally paid off with this nice rainbow. I worked this trout for at least 15 minutes before I finally enticed him to take the dry, patience and more patience.

As I moved up the tailrace I just couldn’t resist fishing some of this fast water that I often have had success on. I have taken a couple of spills here, because of the moss covered rocks and current so I waded out with my staff extremely careful. I tied on a pheasant tail soft hackle and high stick it through some of the numerous seams in this area. I was using my 9 ft. 3 weight, to work the fly just under the surface. Fishing a wet fly is somewhat new to me and I must admit I am still in the learning process when fishing any soft hackle fly, but I am determine to become successful fishing wet flies on this tailrace. No one fishes wet flies here, so this would be a plus for me.
I decided to tie on the standard zebra midge which most everyone uses on the Sipsey. I used no indicator only a small weight to get the midge down in the fast current tight lining which brought this rainbow to hand. I really felt a sense of accomplishment for today’s trip because I reinforced my patience factor, and I continue to land trout in the fast water that no one ever fishes here. Now if I can just get my first rainbow on the soft hackle in the fast water.






Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fishing Trip Washed Out--So Concentrate On My Other Hobby

Thursday was my day to make it to the Sipsey Tailrace and try some wet flies for the recently stocked rainbow. Needless to say it rained all day Thursday and into the night. My wife and I left for Tennessee on Friday afternoon which has halted the fishing for me until next Tuesday. At the rate I am going my bluegill quest may be gone for this year.

So with my fishing on hold for a while I spent some time Friday morning tending to my other hobby, gardening, in the form of my cherry tomatoes, and peppers.
The wife’s discarded flower pots with one of my five cherry tomatoes plants. The blooms are just showing up on this plant. It will produce tomatoes into fall.
This plant is already producing, amazing what a 2.00 bag of top soil will produce when tomatoes are involved.
One of two sweet banana pepper plants that will produce into fall with an amazing amount of pepper yielded.
I thought I would try a couple of plants in this pot and see if I could double my yield. Both plants are producing pepper. There isn’t a lot of maintenance that goes into gardening on this scale, a little liquid miracle grow and water is the ticket. 
Muscadines are another food passion of mine in the fall so I planted a couple just to see if they would produce in the coming years.






Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Advertising My Favoritte Fishing Products

I am sure that all of you who follow my blog I have notice from time to time that I mention products that I used when I am out on the water fishing. I do this not to receive something free from the company which I do at times; but simply because I am so impressed with the performance of the fly, fly rod, or any other fly fishing accessory that I may be using at the time. Most of these products are sold through small companies and a few through large companies. The larger companies have many more avenues to promote their products as oppose to the smaller companies. A lot of the smaller companies use referrals, product reviews or their own website to help move their products.

Over the years while writing post in my Fishing Through Life blog I have featured many fishing products which have brought me great success on the water. So today I thought I would once again give a shout out to some of my favorite fishing products I am using.

Flies and Poppers----Boogle Bug Popper---BreamBugs—FlyDeals—Ultra Light Lures—Roostertails, Tiny Crank Baits, Small Grubs and Tiny Rapalas

Fly Rods----Redington Fly Rods—Greys Streamflex Fly Rods—St Croix Fly Rods---Ultralight Fly Rods—Dawai Spinmatic Spin Cast Rods—Micro Lite Spinning Rods

Fly Reels & Ultra Light Reels---Redington Drift Fly Reels—Venture 3 Gloomis Fly Reels—Orivs Battenkill Fly Reels---and how could I forget my Pelican Boat.

It is good to be back on the blog circuit, after my wife and I spent some time in South Carolina, and in and out of Tennessee checking on our daughter, who is expecting their 3rd child. Somewhere near July 17th. my wife and I will become Grandparents again, which we are looking forward to.
By the way I can't wait to get back on the water Thursday!!!!!



Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Bar Nun Popper Wins Again

Today I got to try out my newly purchased Bar Nun poppers I purchased from BreamBugs last week. What precipitated the purchase of the poppers was my fishing trip last Tuesday when I found out that color really does matter when fishing for bluegills. 

The bluegill on Smith Lake doesn’t spawn your traditional style, meaning the water clarity can afford them the luxury of spawning in depths of 10 to 12 feet.  In most other waters bluegill spawns in depths 6 feet or less. Once a popper is thrown their way in deeper water it may take a few seconds before there is a hit. In other words one has to have a little patience to get their attention, using the light scale chartreuse popper.

I had my 3 and 4 weight 8 ½ ft. Redington rods rigged today with a Muddler Minnow and of course my new Bar Nun popper. The objective for the two rigs was to see if color and pattern still really mattered to the bluegill after a week. Long story short it did, no hits on the Muddler at all and killer hits on the Bar Nun popper. In fact I would place the Muddler right in the same place I cast the popper and the bluegill would come up and nail the popper and totally ignore the Muddler. I ordered 6 poppers last week and now I am down to 4 as a result of losing one in a tree and one in a break off with a nice gill taking it with him in a brush pile.  
This bluegill along with numerous small bass and other bluegills continued to nail the popper until the sun over took the banks. Sun is not a friend of the fly fisherman especially on Smith Lake. I want bore you with images of more bluegills, but this one and two others were worthy of the quest. I am now 31 away from my goal.
I manage to land this nice spot using the size 6 yellow Boogle Bug right at daylight. This was my only bass of the morning. This fish took the Boggle while it was sitting still. I had to change my retrieve action to get this fish to hit the bug. The jerk and stop motion didn’t work for this bass this morning. A very slow motion and letting it sit still got the hit. The retrieve could be different on my next outing. That's what makes fishing so exciting for me, one never knows how the fish will react from day to day.



Thursday, May 29, 2014

Popper Color Does Make a Difference When Fishing For Bluegills

I’ve always assumed that bedding bluegill would hit anything thrown their way regardless of color, nymph, dry fly or popper. Well Tuesday I got a lesson in just how finicky bluegill can be on Smith Lake. My buddy Ivan was fishing with me at daybreak yesterday for the large spots using the big poppers, which by the way never panned out for any major hits. I did land one spot in the slot at 13 inches which was the extent of the bass trip. I attribute the slow spot action to all the Memorial Day boat traffic, which really churned the water up for three days.

So we started searching for the bedding bluegills in all the nooks off the main channel. The first 4 or 5 nooks different produce anything but small fish in the form of little females and some little spots out of the slot, which is below 12 inches. As we moved from nook to nook we finally connected with a small band of gills bedding out from the bank near the overhanging tree line on the right side in the image below. Ivan landed the first of 6 nice bluegills in this area using a popper that I didn’t have in my fly box.
The bluegill were bedding 10 to 12 ft. deep here in this area and the minute they nailed the popper they would take off for deeper water. Ivan’s 4 weight really got a workout. I didn’t land a single fish here using a black Bar Nun popper. These fish were so aggressive that they were coming out of the water like a bass to take the pale colored version of this popper, which is very unusual for bluegill on Smith.
I tried a number of flies trying to get a hit as we sit there fishing for this group of bedding bluegills, but nothing work for me. I tried nymphs, dries, grasshoppers, even different colored poppers which proved to me that these fish were taking nothing on this day but this size 8 pale chartreuse Bar Nun Popper.  So yes color and pattern makes a difference when fishing for bedding bluegill.
I did manage to land one bull bluegill using the Black Bar Nun version of this popper that I will count for my quest. To prove to me again that the pale chartreuse popper was still taking fish over everything else, Ivan landed a couple bass where I had just place the black popper. Ivan has been using these poppers for years, and yes I have been using them too, but today the Bar Nun brand made a believer out of me. Can you guess if I ordered a few???

This bluegill will get counted for my quest which puts me at 34 away from making the quest for this year. Congrats to Ivan for finding this fantastic popper that enabled him to have one of his better bluegill fishing days on Smith.