Friday, July 1, 2016

A Break From Blogging For Now

I can’t believe it has been 5 weeks since I wet a fly on the Sipsey. The bluegill quest has cut into my trout fishing time there. I had a couple of hours today to fish the lower section of the tailrace. This area has the big logs submerged and some nice pocket holes, where I landed my best trout ever back in May. Today was a complete reversal; where the water was very low, no hatch or surface activity at all, and fishing behind a cool spell. I went through the usual patterns that general work on those slow days on the Sipsey, all proved unproductive today. The trout were in the sipping mode, but not as aggressive as I have seen on some of my former trips. I lost a number of trout today, and had only one to touch my hand, which slipped from my grip before I could get the image. Just being in the cold water and fishing the Sip today was enough to get my trout fix.
 My blogging buddy Mel, surprise me the other day with some nice looking flies that he tied up for me to use on future trips. Thanks Mel I will put all too good use. I have started collecting different fly patterns and a couple of Mel’s flies will go in my collection.

Cathey and I were glad to sign a contract on our house Thursday. We will be moving the last of July or the first week in August to Spring Hill Tennessee. We will move in with our daughter and her family, and live upstairs for the months of August, September and October. Our house will be ready to move into the last week in October. No fishing from the boats, but a little fishing on the Caney will be my fishing fix while we live there. Very little blogging will be accomplished while we are in this transition, packing, moving, and adjusting to living with our daughter and her family. I will be checking on you guys from time to time and may do a post from when time permits on how things are going with me and the family. So guys keep wetting those flies for me until I get back on the circuit!!!!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Pushing the Redington 3 Weight to the Limit!!

As most of you know this time of the year is when I concentrate on my yearly bluegill quest. Tuesday I continued that tradition on beautiful Smith Lake. My fishing companion for the early morning outing was Ivan who I consider a great fly fisherman. He started fly fishing in his teens and has never fish any other way. Now in the early eighties he is still very proficient with the combo. The daylight launch found us leaving the boat dock with no humidity, some cloud cover, and the most important factor a full moon. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in a post how important it is to fish 3 to 4 days before the full moon and 3 to 4 days after the full moon. As stated in that post this is when the fish are most active. I wanted to use today’s trip as a test concerning the full moon theory. The plan was to fish the mouth of nooks and the rock ledges on each side of the nooks. Both of these areas yielded numbers of quality bluegills. Bluegills on Smith usually spawn in water 8 to 10 feet deep in the super clear water. After the sun came up we could see the bluegill swimming up from the depths to take the Bar Nunn poppers; talk about excitement. Today was the best trip Ivan and I have had fishing during a full moon cycle.

This rock wall point which is submerged here was very productive the bluegills were nailing the poppers near the wall and around cover extending out from the wall.

The white and yellow Bar Nunn was the magic that attracted numerous gills during the morning.
The best of the best for me today, all of these nice gills will be prepared for future table fare. These five will go towards my count for the quest. I am now 30 away from reaching my goal for this year. This moving thing my wife and I have going on may put a damper on the quest for this year, we shall see.
This beautiful Mimosa tree was in full bloom located at the waters edge, but what was found under it really got my attention!!!
My yellow popper found this 3lb. 8oz. spot resting under the Mimosa. Little did I know that this fish was this big, until it did a tail ballet a few feet from the base of the tree? The 3 weight got quite a workout landing this brut; lucky I had Ivan to net him. I hope I get my 4 weight back tomorrow so I can replace the 3 weight on my next outing. After today’s trip it needs a rest!


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Grandkids + Mom Fishing with Pops

Bryson and Laelyn spent most of Wednesday morning with Pops fishing a local pond about a mile from our house. This was the first time we had fish this pond, although I've passed it many times leaving and entering our subdivision. The grandkids had a blast landing some nice size gills in their new fishing hole. This was Laelyn's first time to get to go with Pops and Bryson and she proved to be quite a little fisher girl. She could land the fish, but wasn't having anything to do with handling them or the crickets which we used for bait. Some of the best years of my life since I retired, has been spending time with our grandchildren; I love these little guys. Pops, Bryson and Laelyn will add another little guy to the group when their little brother "Cash" joins us in a couple of years. I think I may need some help when that happens.
Big brother consoling little sister as she puts distance between her and the bluegill she just landed
These outings can't be all about landing fish; a little exploring has to added to make it even more interesting.
Bryson and his Mom, made a trip to Smith yesterday, to fish for the bluegill and anything else that would bite the crickets. Bryson is becoming quite a fisher boy, his landing technique is much better than last year. Next year his sister Laelyn will start making the boat trips with us.
 The prize of the morning went to Jenny landing this brut using a 7/1/2 ft. micro light rod with matching light action spinning reel spooled with 4lb. test line. Jenny played this catfish to perfection. She has landed catfish with me before using the micro lights, but nothing like this one. Bryson did a great job taking the photo. I can't think of a better way to spend a couple of hours early in the morning!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Adding a Little Variety to The Fly Fishing Mix

I have always been a fly fisherman who changes flies often if the bite is slow. On Wednesday I had a chance to put the fly flipping process into practice after the sun appeared. I was fishing Smith trying to improve on my bluegill quest for this season. Daylight is the best time to land all species of fish on Smith; after the sun comes up I start experimenting with different poppers sizes and colors. I guess the appearance of the sun on Smith is a signal to the better fish to go deep and wait for an unusual fly pattern to light on the surface to get their attention.
This bull is the first of the morning headed for the baking pan. Four fillets coming from this fish with the fixings is an awesome meal. He fell prey to the Bar Nunn popper which worked really well before the sun appeared. I landed this fish on my 5 weight which was the backup to my broken 4 weight. I hope to have the 4 back next week.
This early morning gill nailed the white Bar Nunn popper right before the sun appeared over the tree tops.  

Where do the bluegills go after they spawn? Deep water and the ones on Smith hang out around the rock walls such as those in the image above. They spend more time on the rock walls than they do on the spawning beds throughout the year. I have caught big bluegill that regurgitated small shrimp while landing them. Those shrimp are located in the cracks of the big rocks and boulders located on the rock walls. The fresh water shrimp is the magnet that draws the bluegill to the rocks.
 In the Deep South the bluegill spawn occurs at least 5 times from April through August. The full moon is the indicator for the spawn for each month during a given year. The bluegills are most active four days before the full moon and four days after the full moon. They will eat anything that is placed near their spawning beds during those 8 to 10 days. Cold fronts will drive the fish off the beds during the early spring months, but they reappear after a few days of warm weather. Knowing the full moon phases is critical during the bluegill spawning time. The rock wall above is one of my favorite walls to fish when the spawn is inactive.

When the white popper faded, the yellow landed a few; patience is the key when fishing the walls, sometimes the popper would sit motionless for 15 to 20 seconds before a light hit occurred.

After the sun appears expect smaller gills, such as this colorful sunfish, that took the Muddler Moth; an obvious throw back to land next year.

Alan’s dry was also in use, with the 3 weight as the casting tool.
A few bass were hitting the dries as well as the bluegill. This spot put up quite a fight pulling against the 3 weight. Numerous dries and poppers were used this morning, some produced and others didn't work on this outing. Those that didn't work today may prove to be winners next time out. I didn't count any bluegill today for the quest. Some were close but I think I can land some a little better on my next trip.
  A Side Note: My wife and I put our house on the market last week with a local real-estate agency here in Jasper. We will be moving to Springhill Tennessee as soon as it sells. Hopefully it will sell before school starts August 1st.
We want to be closer to our grandchildren and watch them grow up. They are at that fun age now of 7, 5 and 2. Our daughter and son-in-law have been wanting us to move closer to them for the past 3 years, so we have decided it is time; neither of us are getting any younger. I have already checked out the fishing spots in the area and there are many. The Caney Fork is near, which I intend to fish often over the coming years.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Landing Rainbow on the Caney Fork

Fishing the Caney Fork Tailrace is the ultimate in tailrace fishing, because of its beauty and of course the amount of rainbow and browns one can land during an outing. I got to experience its beauty and its quality trout on Wednesday of this week, fishing with one of my blogging buddies David Knapp. A big thank you to David for helping me to learn the tailrace much better and what fly patterns worked best this time of the year. I wanted to learn how to effectively read the productive water and eliminate the so called dead water; mission accomplished.

Quality rainbow that put quite a bend in my 4 wt. 9 ft. My 4 weight took a beating, breaking off 2 inches at the tip. I was trying to set the hook and the nymph flew back and hit the tip of the rod and broke the tip off. Something that probably happens 1 in 10000 times, really weird. Redington will replace the rod for free.
  One of the better rainbows of the day that inhaled the nymph; of the four tailraces I have fished since I started trout fishing the Caney is my favorite. The gravel bottom makes for easy wading and super clear water lets you know where the trout are feeding.

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Pond

I have often wondered at times what hobby I would have taken up if my Dad and yes my Mom hadn’t shown my brothers and I the joy of fishing. When I say my Mom, I should explain; I can remember my younger brother and I fishing with our Mom in the three acre pond located near our house. I was six and my brother was four and we love the outdoors especially when it involved fishing. My Dad would cut cane poles from the cane break located below the levee of the pond each year for us to fish with. By the end of the fall we had broken the tip off of one or sometimes both poles, so we would use Mother’s cane pole to finish the season. These were not your ordinary cane poles; they were designed to withstand a heavy catfish and sometime a stocky largemouth bass. Dad would use a piece of tape to attach the end of a mono light from the mid section of the pole and wrap it around the pole all the way to the end leaving at least 10 ft. of mono to fish with. Tape was wrapped every foot to whole the line in place on the pole. Dad would tell us that the tape served as the guides, although none were there my brother and I never knew the difference. I can still see the green tape on those poles. With poles in hand we would follow Mother to the pond at least once a week. That was the highlight of our week getting to go to the pond and catch bluegill and catfish. Our other highlight was getting to go swimming on the weekends with our older brother who worked at my Dad’s sawmill during the week. My Dad had bought him a green 52 Ford Sedan, and he would always carry it to the pond on weekends to wash it and get it spic and span for his Saturday night date. My brother and I would help him wash the car and then get to go swimming with him afterwards. The pond is where both of us learn to swim before we were seven.

The swimming was fun but our favorite was the cane pole fishing we did with our Mom and our Dad who would fish with us on some weekends. Owning and operating the local sawmill took up most of his time; so when we got to fish with Dad it was really special because then only then were we allow in the boat. Dad would paddle us around the edge of the pond letting us fish every stump with our cane pole rigged with grasshopper and bobber. During the boat excursions was when we thought we were fishing on a huge lake; the boat added that imagination for two young boys willing to listen and follow every word Dad was telling us as we meandered around the edge of the pond. The thrill of landing bluegill and catfish around most every stump brought out the excitement in both of us. Those are memories I will never forget, because the pond is where I found my life long hobby. It is also where my younger brother who is gone now, but not forgotten found his as well. My Dad and Mom use the pond as a teaching tool not only for fishing time but for quality time spent with the family as well. Numerous picnics, church baptizing, and holiday outing were spent at the pond. No computers, internet, twitter, or television, to entertain just the pond, times were good!!!

This image was taken this past fall showing all that is left of the once large pond, we enjoyed as young boys. Erosion and tree lines have filled in large portions of the waters edge. The spring that feeds the pond is still active and is all that sustains the water level now.

I couldn’t leave this post today without giving some love to my boyhood hobby; the Muddler Moth was at work on Smith this past Tuesday.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Landing Quest Size Bluegills on Smith Lake

Saturday brought a windy morning on Smith; again the bass wasn’t having anything to do with poppers on top. In fact no bass were taken at all for the morning. Some bluegills were still in the nooks, but the cold fronts lately had driven most of them off the spawning beds or someone had already got to them. 
If I had one warm water lake to fish the rest of my fishing days Smith Lake would be it. It’s magnificent rock walls, monster boulders, above surface and underwater is unforgettable. Oh I forgot to mention the super clear water, which enables one to see at 10 feet depths or better. 
Two monster gills were hanging out around this brush. I was using my 4 weight 9 ft. today for added strength. I fished until 10 AM close to the launch. Lot of boats were all around me most of the morning. Once the sea doos showed up along with the big ski boats I decided it was time to leave.
I know I’ve shown you guys homes on this lake before, but this one has to be one of the most unusual. I really don’t know what theme if any they were trying to imitate when they build this house. Individuals from all over the U.S come to build houses on this lake to use for summer homes.
The wind and a little cool front cut the bite today, make; I counted 8 in the cooler as I was getting ready to leave with these three being worthy of the quest.
35 away from reaching my goal

Friday, May 20, 2016

Blogging Buddies-----Hard to Beat!!!

It’s always good to receive free stuff especially if it's from a blogging buddy. I received this pack of goodies from Howard at Windknots and Tangled Lines the other day. I’ve known Howard ever since I started blogging 6 years ago, via his blog. It’s always good to know one of your fishing buddies thinks enough of you to give you something; know that the shirt, cap, flies and all the other items will be put to good use,a big thank you Howard!!

I started blogging in 2/11 2010; back then there were more bloggers on the net as oppose to now. Some have moved on to Facebook, or simply quit blogging. I deleted a number of blogs from my roll the other day simply because they have stop posting. Some have been in my blog roll for 1 year or more. I still add blogs to my roll that are interesting, but not nearly as many as I use to, they are becoming less and less.
Blogging for me has become somewhat of a hobby; it gives me a chance to connect with individuals who love fly fishing as much as me. As I sit the other day working on a future post I was thinking of how many individuals I know in Jasper who fly fish, two! Both fly fish the lake with me but only one fishes the tailrace. Most of the time I go by myself, which is ok on the tailrace, because I’m never alone there; I never fish the lake anymore by myself. So I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m thankful I have all you guys I blog with about fly fishing daily. When I starting blogging I was trying to learn everything I could about fly fishing for trout; I’ve learned a lot these past six years from you guys. I’m still learning about the sport; so thanks Howard and the rest of you guys for making the process a lot easier.