Thursday, May 18, 2017

Fishing the Feather Light 2 Weight

For those of you who follow my blog know that I am a huge fan of Redington Fly rods; mainly because of their lightness and most important their purchase price. In my opinion there isn’t a better quality fly rod for a reasonable price on the market than their classic series. I decided a few weeks ago to purchase their 2 weight Classic Trout mainly to fish some of the small streams in the Smokey Mountains.

 I found out last week that it matches well with the rainbow on the Sipsey Tailrace in Alabama. I knew I would be landing trout in the 10 to 12 inch range and the 7 ½ ft. moderate action graphic rod got quite a workout that afternoon. I found this 2 weight to be a bit more forgiving than my 3 or 4 weight fly rods I fish with. I was surprised with degree of stiffness it had which helped it handled a couple 12” rainbow I landed that afternoon quite well. True I didn’t horse that size trout in quickly using it but with a bit of patience I brought both to hand. I did lose numerous trout that day mainly because of hook set and slow reaction time. Fishing a lighter fly rod could have contributed to the hook set issue. I kept forgetting I wasn’t fishing with a moderate fast action fly rod. The rod proved what I already knew when it came to placement and presentation of the fly using a 6X tippet. As most of you know the lighter the fly touches the surface film the better chance for a take; this fly rod meet that test. The slight breeze that afternoon didn’t affect my casting but I could see problems in moderate or heavy winds.
A lot of the bluegill I have caught on Laura Hill Lake in Lawrenceburg is smaller than what I am use to landing, so this 2 weight will compliment those well. The total weight of the Redington 2/3 reel and the Redington rod weights less than 4.6 ounces; my kind of combo for sure!!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Going Light on The Sipsey

I’ve been waiting about a week to make today’s trip to the Sipsey, because my game plan was to go super light using my new 7 ½ ft. 2 weight. I purchase the fly rod mainly to fish in the Smokies, but I decided I would use it today to break it in on the Sipsey rainbow. June of last year was the last time that I wet a fly in the Sipsey since we moved to Tennessee.  

Upon arrival I found one other truck, so I knew I would have the place pretty much to myself most of the afternoon. The skies were a crystal blue with a slight breeze out of the northeast most of afternoon. I entered the gorge at access six and saw no surface movement, so most of the afternoon was spent fishing nymphs. I did manage to take a few trout on top but I think the trout were annoyed with the presence of the fly as oppose to really eating the fly. The drift had to be near perfect to get a take on any pattern. I’m really glad I had numerous boulders to sit on because I did a lot of experimenting with different patterns most of the afternoon. A lot of fun takes and a lot of trout lost today.
This was the size trout today that broke the 2 weight in on its first outing. I kept wondering on the way home why I missed a lot of takes today; could be slow reflex and learning to fish the a lighter fly rod. What ever it was I enjoyed the afternoon on one of my favorite tailraces.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Childhood Memories

Cathey and I made a trip a few weeks ago that really brought back a lot of childhood memories. We were in Bryson City North Carolina getting ready to ride the Great Smoky Mountain Train Express through parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains. The scenery on the train ride was spectacular along the Nantahala River, but what really got my attention was the huge Lionel Train display in Bryson City. The display was a theme recreation of the 50’s and 60’s complete with a working drive in theater and numerous other displays that was present in those early years. I spent over an hour filming and talking to the conductor of the six trains that were running and viewing the hundreds of models that Lionel has on display there. The little model train sets my brother and I played with back in the day were not on this level. 


Monday, April 17, 2017

Exploring Another New Lake

The Shellcracker Lake near Columbia was my target lake this past Tuesday to explore. One drawback to this lake is no grass area to slide the Pelican into the water. Lots of concrete including the launch ramp; lucky for me there were a lot of fishermen there to help me get it launched. The polyurethane material this boat is made of will not take concrete slides often.

This is a 75 acre lake nestled in a deep wide valley with a huge dam holding back a flood of water. After getting on the water I counted 16 other boats scattered around the banks. I found out really quick that the majority of fishermen were fishing for the spawning bluegill. The big difference between me and them was the fishing technique. Again I was the only one using the fly rod, while the rest were using the crickets and worms. The live bait fishermen were landing lots of bluegill and catfish. I did manage to find one small spawning group of gills located near the base of some small maple trees that were willing give the 3 weight a workout. Bluegill will sometimes spawn in very unlikely places and this group was located under the overhanging branches of the trees; presenting a bait of any kind was a challenge for any angler. Using a low side cast help me connect with the fish. I counted four orange corks tangled in the branches that didn’t make the connection.
I landed a couple of small bass holding in the back of this nook. Other boats were waiting in the wings to give the area a try.
Blooming dogwoods signals crappie season in the south!
I worked hard to land this bluegill from under the maple branches. In fact I was impressed with my placement of the popper to attract a strike. Time after time the Bar Nunn popper hit its mark to hook up with this group of spawning bluegills. This is a good bull bluegill, but I’m still looking for the really big gills. I hope I can land a few before the spawning
Season is over.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Making up for Lost Time

I can’t believe it’s been nearly seven months since I’ve fished from my Pelican boat. Too many things too mention have kept me off the water, with moving and relocating in a new town and house as being the major obstacle.

This past Wednesday was my day for me to relax and take in the beauty of Laura Hill Lake in Lawrenceburg. I spent the better part of five hours reacquainting myself with my Redington and exploring areas that I know will hold fish in the coming months. Simply put; it was good to just be back on the water after a long hiatus. 
Laura Hill is surrounded by rolling hills and numerous nooks loaded with sub surface fallen trees; which is the ultimate fish attractor. I got some strange looks today using the fly rod. The lake caretaker told me no one fished the lake with the fly rod. That bit of information really got my attention.
I landed numerous gills this size today; all were taken using the Barr Nunn popper around the fallen trees in water 55 degrees. The bigger bluegills were still in the deeper water and won’t move into the shallows until the water temps reach the low sixties. A good workout for the 3 wt. 9 ft. and the guy who was placing the popper!! 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Fishing McCutcheon Creek for Rainbow

Fishing McCutcheon Creek near our home in Spring Hill last week brought back memories of fishing some of the warm water streams in Mississippi years ago as a boy. Those early years found me using a cane pole and worms landing sunfish and catfish in a lot of the streams I fished there. Last week I was armed with my 3 weight Redington; ready to land a few stocker rainbows. I notice I was the only one using a fly rod. There were a lot of eager fishermen waiting with spinning rod and reels ready to “clean plow” fishing the small stream. The majority of the 150 trout that were stocked on that Friday were all caught and taken home for a meal by the fishermen at the end of the day.
The trout were release in 2 to 3 ft. depths
Nothing like seeing the thrill  on a child's face once they land a fish
Colton with his first rainbow on the fly rod---congrats Colton on a job well done!!
Colton help me land numbers of rainbow this size, all were release for other kids to enjoy
Colton with his Dad Wesley after they landed this huge rainbow using the spinning reel and a crappie nibblet as bait. Colton's dad told me he had never fished for trout before. We watched it swim away after a hero shot.
Ken, the Hatchery director told me when they arrived that he bought 10 of these big fish for the young kids to land. What made me really sick was seeing 4 of these big trout in metal nets dead caught by adults. A lot of metal nets were filled with trout before I left for lunch. The practice of catch and release was not in place on this day!!! 
McCutcheon Creek