Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Best Day Ever Dry Fly Fishing

When I left the house today at 12:30 I knew I was going to be nymph fishing at access five on the tailrace. I also thought I knew the generation schedule; but when I arrived at the parking lot I saw that the water was high. I don’t like to fish high water on the tailrace, but I was here so I thought I would make the best of the trip.
This area today was too deep to wade; it is usually a 10 ft. wide shallow wade through with plenty of room for back casting. Notice the guy in the shorts, that tells you it was quite warm for March here today at 71. This guy had a buddy up the channel fishing the spin cast. He and his buddy will play a role in today’s post as I fish through some of my favorite spots up the channel.
I was really surprised to find water I could wade at access six, and even more surprised to find a small hatch just above the water surface. If you look closer you can see some surface ripples in the deeper section of this stretch. As I waded to the huge rock boulder I kept looking to the right and left and discovered I was all by my lonesome. The surface activity cause me to change from my Prince Nymph to a 16 Adams.
My second cast at 2:30 produced this rainbow, my first trout after an hour of filtering through higher water. Notice the shoes in the picture, this is the guy at the first access point I met when I arrived. He and his buddy had followed me to this area. They both told me that they were from Birmingham and was new to the tailrace and hadn’t caught anything. They said they were trying to land enough trout for a dinner meal. 
As the hatch pick up motion the bite did too, so I tied on a smaller pattern in the form of a Renegade size 18 dry. I landed a couple more trout in this same area that missed the camera shot before this image shot. My two new found buddies fishing above me kept watching as I landed numerous trout using the dry, and one suddenly ask if they could have some of my catch to carry with them. They still had not landed a trout so I agreed to let them have what I thought would be seven or eight trout for the afternoon. So for the next couple of hours they would come over and remove my trout for me and put them on their stringer. It was not that these guys were not trying to catch fish on their own, using spinners, but for some reason they couldn’t muster a bite; so I became their ticket to supper, which I didn’t mind.
I worked this trout on shore so my buddies could handle it better. I am amazed at the surface activity at this point.
Another trout made easy for the guys. I am not taking pics of all the trout I am landing as I move slowly up and down a 100 ft. stretch. The guys are now wading out to met me in their shorts to get my trout and careful remove them from my net; with every trout given they thank me repeatedly.
Now I am seeing more of a hatch and the trout are feeding at fast pace in the front and to both sides of me.  I can’t remember seeing this much surface activity ever on the tailrace. I know I am now well over ten, because that is the number I have given my buddies who are getting ready to leave. The limit per person on the tailrace is five, so with their limit they thank me again and left.
I have now moved closer to the dam where there is more shade, which is where I pick this guy up. I noticed that if I used a delicate surface presentation with my fly I tend to get the take much faster. At this point I am landing trout about every three or four cast. The hatch is still going strong.
The Renegade is located in the top of part of the trout’s mouth; I notice that all the trout with the fly taken in the top part of the mouth were the ones that really exploded on the surface to take the dry.
I am now down to my last two Renegades, with this trout landed. I have lost 3 two in trees and one on a break off in water too deep to retrieve from a limb. My catch lost ratio is still on the plus side, but is fading with numbers of fish missing the fly.
The hatch at this point is winding down and this was one of my last to inhale the Renegade. I am standing near the dam at 5:30 PM and it is really overcast. With the forecast for tomorrow being 10 to 20 mile hr. winds and turning cold with temps in the 30's Wednesday night---could this be why I am having this kind of success???
This fatty was my last trout of the day. It ended what I like to think was my most explosive take of the afternoon. At this point the hatch was over for a lot of trout with full bellies.
Water level was getting close to normal as I made way up to the stairs. In 15 minutes the generators would be pumping full blast.
The long walk up these stairs and back to the truck was worth it for me today, because I like to think on an afternoon such as this, the fishing Gods had to be with me.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

33 comments:

Mark Kautz-Shoreman said...

Many times fishing with flies is much better than with lures or bait. Nice move on your part letting those guys have a limit each. Probably made friends for life.

Jay said...

Congrats on a good day. I bet it was fun to land that many on dries.
So, is the #6 access the one closest to the dam? Are the accesses numbered from the order they are from the dam or the order on the road as you drive in?

Justin Carfagnini said...

What a day! You really can't beat a a hot top water bite. So, much fun to watch any fish explode on something you present to them on the surface!

Kevin Frank said...

You might have one or two days like that in several years of fishing. Glad you experienced one. I think it was a combo of not only the front coming but being there at the right time. The bugs might have been taking the opportunity to hatch with high water and the trout were just waiting. Is there a really a need to take a pic of every fish caught? I never really understood people that do that. It's like they don't think people will believe them or something.

Atlas said...

Those are the days indeed! Man good stuff to be able to fish like that and have success like that. Good job man and thanks for sharing.

Bill Trussell said...

Mark
Both guys said they would be back with fly rods. Thanks for the comment

Daniel said...

Awesome.

Bill Trussell said...

Jay
Very unusual to see that type of hatch on the Sipsey. All the access points are numbered from the road as you drive in. Let me know when you guys are coming and I will meet you there. Fun place to fish--

Bill Trussell said...

Justin
A fly fisherman's dream to see and experience that sort of thing. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

Kevin
I may never see that happen again here, I was lucky. I think the approaching front was one of the major factors in the bite. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

Al
I have to say I was blessed, and using the 3 wt. to land the trout was beyond words. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

Daniel
Thanks for the comment

Mark said...

Bill - glad to hear you timed things just right and had memorable day on the water!

Bill Trussell said...

Mark
One that I will not forget for a long time. Thanks for the comment

Brk Trt said...


That my friend is a day that will not be forgotten.
Well done.

Michael Agneta said...

Days like that definitely what get people hooked on fly fishing forever. Kinda like golf. You can be a horrible hack, but man, that one drive that goes straight and long...

That's why I don't play golf.

Mel Moore (Pond Stalker) said...

Bill, would you show me how to do that one of these days? Absolutely, a great day on the water, etched in memory.

Bill Trussell said...

Alan
This trip is one I will never forget for sure--thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

Michael
Both guys that followed me to the area had never fly fished. Each said they were going to learn to use the fly rod and come back in a couple of weeks. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

Mel
I was a very lucky fly fisherman Tuesday afternoon; I wish you had been there with me to experience an unbelievable hatch. Thanks for the comment

Lester Kish said...

Trout in Alabama? Almost sounds like marlin in Montana. Seriously though, it's always good to catch a few. And a few more. OK, a few more too.

Bill Trussell said...

Lester
We are really blessed to have the opportunity to fish for trout here. It has taken a lot of hard work by Trout Unlimited and our local chapter to make this happen. Thanks for the comment

Blake said...

its nice to see that your fishing skills prevailed!

those guys probably left wondering how the hell you caught all those fish?

epic day sir, epic

Bill Trussell said...

Blake
Just about anybody could have landed some of those trout, if they could cast a fly 15 to 20 ft. The trout were that brave to get that close to feed. In fact I saw some as close as 8 to 10 ft. from me, but I didn't land any of those. I don't think I will ever witness that can of hatch again in my lifetime. I was truly blessed that afternoon. Thanks for the comment

penbayman said...

Awesome outing my man!

Bill Trussell said...

Pen
A blast using my 3 wt. 8 1/2 ft. Redington--thanks for the comment

David Knapp said...

Great trip report! It's days like this that keep us going back. Thanks for sharing such an amazing time!

Bill Trussell said...

David
I don't think I will be that lucky again. It was truly an amazing afternoon of fishing. Thanks for the comment

THE RIVER DAMSEL said...

Sooooo happy for you! A great day all around. Dry fly at its best...

Bill Trussell said...

RD
I may never see another hatch like this ever!!! Thanks for the comment

The NOCO Nympher said...

Amazing day fishing BIll! Beautiful fish and I am glad you made the day for your new found fishin buddies! I am glad the high water didn't deter you!

Luke said...

crazy how the levels fluctuate so fast!

Bill Trussell said...

Luke
One wild afternoon for sure--thanks for the comment