Monday, May 25, 2015

A Reprieve from my Last Outing

After trying to fish the slim cover waters of Walker County Lake last week I wanted to fish some crystal clear waters this past Thursday. The Sipsey Tailrace was just the ticket, to rid me of the horror I experienced last week, while trying to bluegill fish on Walker Lake 
Fishermen always have a plan in place when venturing out on the water, and my plan today was to get on the water by mid afternoon and hopefully experience some type of hatch. In fact I was so confident of some sort of hatch; I didn’t even rig my fly rod until I actually got to the waters edge. As I approached the fast water at access four I notice a few midges here and there but nothing significant enough for me to tie on a dry. So I started with a soft hackle, because a few trout were feeding just below the surface. A soft hackle usually will generate a take if the drift is near perfection when the subsurface activity is happening. I stayed with the perfection drift soft hackle for a while with no results; so plan B was put into play, which was dead drifting a nymph. I hoped I could land some quality rainbow on the swing part of the drift. This same technique has produced some of my best rainbows this season on the tailrace. 

The dead drift yielded this rainbow on the swing. This technique places less emphasis on mending and more emphasis on feel.   
While viewing this rainbow, I imagined seeing these spots on the backs of future browns that may be stocked one day in the Sipsey.
The last rainbow of the afternoon was taken using a copper john dropped under an indicator. A few minutes after landing this trout the generators came on and cut short what looked to be an even more promising afternoon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I Can’t Believe I Fish This Water

I had to want to fish really bad Tuesday to wet a fly in this messy slim and brown film cover water on Walker Lake. I drove up to the bait shop to get my fishing permit and really didn’t pay that much attention to the lake water, because I had big bull bluegills on my mind. The caretaker told me that he had fertilized the lake fourteen days earlier, so I thought surely it had cleared up some since my last visit the week before, man was I wrong. As I approached the launch I saw that the water looked a little cloudy, but that didn’t alarm me so I proceeded to launch the Pelican and troll to the east side of the lake as I always do. As I approached the east side I kept noticing the slim was getting thicker and the brown film was covering much more water surface, in fact the entire east side of the lake was completely cover with the brown film. With no wind the film would only move if it was broken with the fly, fly line, paddle, or the boat moving. In fact after I got home I had to wash both lines in soapy water to remove the slim. One would think fish would not hit anything in this slimy miss.
This would be the only bluegill I would land in the 20 minutes of misery I would spend in this place today. This is killing my bluegill quest!!!
It takes a dedicated fisherman to endure fishing in this over fertilized water. I will not wet another fly in this place until the lake is clear.   

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Getting my Trout Fix for the Spring

Fishing with a guide is always a plus when one is trying to land quality trout. Friday’s outing was one of those guide trips that had quality trout as well as numbers brought to hand. David of Southeastern Fly had B.T. and me on trout from the start of the half day trip to the finish. The weather was good with low humidity, and some rain, which took a back seat to the fish action.  Generators were off giving the tailrace a natural flow with all the familiar pockets, seams and some fast water; which would test our skills landing the trout as well as getting that perfect drift.

The only downside to the trip was losing all my images of the outing last night. I deleted all the images from my camera thinking I had saved them on my computer; so to see the images and details of the trip check out David’s post.  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fishing With The Grandchildren

My wife and I have spent three days with two of our grandchildren this past week and really got a good workout. In other words we didn’t need to go to the gym at all this past week. There is nothing like having grandchildren and enjoying spending time with them especially when they are young. They are only little once so make the most of that precious time. Friday afternoon Cathey and I carried Bryson and Laelyn to a local pond for some fishing. The images below sum up the trip!!
Bryson landing his largest bass to date
Quite an accomplishment for this young guy!!!
His sister Laelyn was excited for Bryson’s catch
The bluegill were in full spawning mode
Laelyn finally gets brave enough to touch one of the bluegill
After touching the bluegill she decides to wants to land one, I think Bryson may have found him a fishing partner.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Spots and Caves

Smith Lake is one of those lakes in the south that treats all anglers to some fantastic fishing. It also possesses some of the most beautiful scenery along its banks in the Deep South. I always enjoy viewing all of the Mountain Laurels that line the banks of the lake in the spring. Behind all the greenery, Laurels and awesome rock formations are numerous caves that could have been used during the Civil War. Some are big enough to store supplies and even provide human shelter for an extended period of time. One of the best times to explore these dwellings is in the dead of the winter, when the snakes and other varmints are in cold storage.
A little climbing required to approach this cave entrance
Foliage concealment
Another cave in the same area, an exploring trip is in order for winter.
A lot of the banks are decorated with the Mountain Laurel this time of year
The crystal clear waters of the lake yield some of the best spotted bass fishing in the south. This spot was taken Tuesday morning on the dreaded Boogle Bug popper. The fight was intense while the fish made numerous runs to break free of the 3X tippet. One only has to land just one of these fighters on the fly rod to make a daylight morning trip. The very best time to land quality spotted bass and largemouth bass fishing surface lures or poppers on this lake is daylight right before the sun breaks the horizon.  Other spots this morning would fall prey to the deadly popper before the sun turn the bite off.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Landing Weary Trout in High Winds and High Water

I finally got back on the tailrace today with my fishing buddy Charles. The 3 hours Charles and I had to fish proved to be productive.  We were fishing in high wind with gust in the twenties and some of the highest tailrace water we have fished this year. As we approached the first access point we notice no hatch and a wave covered water surface, so dries were ruled out. There was an occasional sub surface trout scattered in some of the faster runs that both of us normally fished. We decided to tie on a couple of soft hackles and fish the flies just under the surface of the water. The drift would be difficult at times with all the wind; but we were persistent and it paid off.
This rainbow just couldn’t resist Alan’s Soft Hackle. I have really got into fishing soft hackle flies this year. An excellent pattern when trout are sub surface feeding. The drift is critical even on windy days.

Charles with another sub surface bow, a good fight for the 3 weight
One usually walks dry on all these rocks but today we were wading for the entire trip.
My best rainbow this year, giving the 9 ft. 3 weight Greys Hardy fits!!!
This trout made my trip---I know this trout may seem small to you guys, but a trout this size on the Sipsey is special!!!
Charles working this trout to the net
I change my tippet after landing this fatty---one determined rainbow!!
Fishing a tailrace today with water reaching from bank to bank, super clear and a cold 55 degrees made for a special outing for Charles and me.