Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Fishing the Soft Hackle

The target fly last Tuesday on the Sipsey was Alan's Soft Hackle. I fished three different flies for the morning. The one that scored was the size 12 hackle, slowly retrieving it across fast water pockets. The hits were aggressive!!

Tellico Hatchery out of North Carolina stocked the tailrace a couple of weeks ago. This trout had been caught before as evidence of the red lip; nice fight on the 3 wt.
The heat factor before I left the tailrace was reaching the high 90's. The cold tailrace water felt good splashed on my face to help with the heat and humidity. Summer in Alabama is not my favorite time of the year!  A solid take tight lining the hackle got this trout's attention.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Fishing for Native Trout

Jason and I spent the day this past Wednesday fishing the  Little River in the Great Smoky Mountains. The beauty of this place at times out weights the fishing if you can imagine that. We met David Knapp of the Trout Zone at Little Rivers Outfitters at 9 AM. After rigging our fly rods and suiting up at the fly shop we were off on the adventure. I had fished with David before on the Caney so I knew we were in for an awesome trip. 
I knew we were going to be fishing fast water which is the reason both of us had our wading staffs with us. We move higher in the mountains to avoid landing stock trout. The fast water is where the native trout are found in the warmer months of the year in the Smokies. I can't say enough about the beauty of this river, with all the lush greenery and the high canyon walls. 
Jason using his IM10 ft. nymphing fly rod to reach a small narrow seam in one of many we would fish for the morning. David had suggested using longer fly rods to nymph areas in the river that couldn't be fished effectively using a shorter fly rod. 
Beautiful rainbow landed in a narrow seam at the end of some fast pocket water where Jason was fishing. I'm glad Jason and I had some experience fishing fast water while fishing the Sipsey. Fishing for wild trout verses stocked trout takes you to another level. 
The Rhododendrons were in full bloom all along the river banks.
We were on the move all the morning hitting all the fast water seams and pocket water we could find. David told us that the fast water is where the trout had access to the most oxygen this time of year. 
The sun had hit this area so I decided to fish it on my knees. These trout are extremely spooky so concealment is a must under bright conditions. I have landed stock trout on the Sipsey close by but not here.
Beautiful wild rainbow landed using my 9 ft. Hardy Streamflex. This fly rod with its light weight at less than 3 oz. was perfect for the nymphing areas I was fishing. Jason and I will put this trip in our memory bank as one we both will remember. I'm go glad Jason has a job where he can come home at least 6 times a year to fish with me. 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Nymphing With the IM 10 ft. 3 Wt.

My blogging has taken a hit lately with two weeks spent in the state of Texas visiting in-laws. No fishing on this trip just sightseeing some interesting places with a lot of history. 
Cathey and I arrived back in Jasper late Sunday evening and was glad to be home. No fishing for two weeks is tuff for me to experience, so my number one goal Monday was to line a trip up for the coming week. The weather forecast was rain for this week with the exception of a couple of days. Tuesday was going to be my best day fishing the Sipsey. 
By the way how many of you guys have discovered you left your fly rod at the house after you get to your fishing destination? That was the second time that had happened to me; you would think I would learn??? That debacle cost me forty minutes of fishing on the Sipsey. 
I encountered low water as evident by of all the moss covered rocks scattered on the floor of the gorge. I'm not a fan of fishing low water on the Sipsey because the trout can spot you in the shallows as opposed to the normal deeper water: but I didn't let this deter me from fishing this morning, so I made the best of a challenge. 
I choose to fish all the fast water because the current could hide me much better than the slower shallow water. I did have to do some tricky wading to get into position at times to present my fly. It proved to be worth the effort
in helping me land some choice rainbow. 
My first rainbow taken using my IM 10 ft. 3 wt. nymphing rod tightlining nymphs along the edges of the fast current seams. I never touched this beauty, simply removed the nymph with my forceps and he swim out of the net. We've had some really quality rainbow released in the Sipsey this past month. 
Sorry for the poor quality on this image, but I was trying to get the photo standing in some really fast water. In fact I almost lost my balance and took a dip, which would have really lessoned my fishing time. 
Today's trip was a practice session for Jason and I to use our 3 wt. 10 ft. nymphing rods on the Little River in the Smoky Mountains the last of this month. We hope to land some of the native rainbows, browns and brook trout there.

Friday, May 17, 2019

My New Fishing Partner

I've been fishing a lot since March and most of it was alone on Walker Lake and the rest of the time was on Smith Lake with some of my buddies. A few trips to the tailrace was worked in when the generators were not running. Hopefully most of the rains are gone and the tailrace will start to fish well in the coming months. 
One of my fishing buddies couldn't make the fishing trip we had planned for  this past Tuesday so I started looking for a replacement. To my surprise my wife said she wanted to go, so we headed to Smith Lake for four or five hours of fishing. It turned out to be a special trip for both of us because it had been 25 years since she had been in the boat with me. She wanted to fish for the bluegill using live bait in the form of crickets. The only rule I had to follow was; she wasn't going to bait her hook, touch the fish or touch a crappie nibblet. In other words I was her guide which was fine with. I was just glad to have her onboard!
This largemouth put up quite a fight. I was really proud of how well Cathey handled this fish. She finally landed the fish using a 7 1/2 ft. Microlight with 4 lb. test line. We released the fish to fight another day. 
Hopefully I can get her into the fly fishing in the coming months. She has agreed to give fly fishing a try.  

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Fantastic Surface Fishing with Poppers

Spring fishing can be some of the best times to land some really quality fish. The fish are much more active this time of year with the water temps warming and the spawn occuring. Feeder fish such as small shad is the number one prey for the bass on a lot lakes this time of year. If one can mimic the tiny shad then you are in for some fantastic surface action for largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass on most large bodies of water this time of year. Some of the favorite lures Bass fishermen used to get a hit is the rapala, fluke, or prop lures. Fly fishermen used a variety of patterns to imitate the shad as well, such as streamers, soft plastic shad patterns and poppers. If given a choice to fish with the bait casing gear or the fly fishing gear, I would choose the fly fishing method hands down. There's nothing like landing a quality bass using your favorite weighted fly rod. Well, let me restate the bluegill would have to be near the top as well.
I look forward every year for Spring to arrive knowing that I am in for my best fishing of the year. Jason and I got to experience the Spring fishing at it's best this past week. Jason was home for seven days and we spent four of those days fishing beautiful Smith Lake. Some good times were had landing countless bass and huge bull bluegills using the poppers at daylight and afternoons fishing Smith Lake! Jason was using his new IM10 fly rod which was a birthday present from me and his mom. The bass were killing the Glow After Dark Cream Boogle Bug Popper!! 
Another spotted bass taken on the cream Boogle Bug. There is something about the Boogle that gets the attention of bass. We were working the popper to mimic a wounded shad; it worked everyday we fish the Boogle! 
Early morning still a little cool on the lake until the sun starting peaking through the clouds. 
Afternoon didn't slow the bite down
All the bass taken during the days we fished were taken on top using either the solid black Booge Bug or the Cream Boogle when the shad were active. 
The big bulls were active as well using the Barr Nunn black and yellow poppers. The spawn will begin the last of this month. At times both of us thought we had bass on when landing these bluegills because of the tremendous fight they would put forth. I'm already looking forward to our next outing when Jason will return for more top water action in June!!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Who Started You Fishing

I have often said that I've never been bored one minute since I retired. I am so thankful my Dad taught me and my brothers how to fish and hunt at an early age. Most individuals who fish or hunt all started as youngsters. I often wonder why some of my friends, neighbors or other retirees don't fish. The answer could be the parents wasn't interested in fishing so the children never developed an interest. Most children become involved in what the parent's interested is when growing up. That could be hunting, fishing, sports, or any other activity. I know my two grandsons are interested in motorcycles because their Dad's interest in riding motorcycles. They are also interested in fly fishing because their Dad and Pops fly fish, so you see the comparison.
I have taught numerous individuals how to fish using casting gear or ultralight gear in my lifetime. Those individuals were all adults. I even taught a few how to fly fish in the short 12 years I've been casting the fly rod. All these individuals had never fished before and are still fishing today. One doesn't have to spend a great deal of money on fishing equipment to catch fish. Live bait paired with a spincast or spinning reel will get results on most all water in the U.S. Live bait such as crickets, grasshoppers, and redworms started many of us on our fishing journey. Hopefully that journey will continue for all of us for many years to come.

Most of you know that I like woodworking not as much as fishing but a close second. The love of woodworking steered me towards becoming an Industrial Teacher. I spent 35 years in the teaching profession before I retired in 2008. I really enjoyed teaching Industrial Arts because I came in contact with some great students who were interested in building small pieces of furniture to larger pieces such as gun cabinets, tables and desk. I seldom encountered problem students in those 35 years of teaching, because they enjoyed the class as much as I did teaching them. 
Once we moved back to Jasper I knew the house we were going to build had to have space for a small shop. Cathey agreed to give up part of her garage to make the shop happen.
 I've always liked my hand tools organized and at my finger tips so I can find the hand tool I'm needing to use! I still have to purchase a woodworking vice to fit in the opening under the table. My father-in-law and I built this shop table years ago when he had a shop.
 The table models machines will work for me with the limited amount of space I have in the 12 X 12 floor space.
I've already got projects plan for the grandchildren and some pieces for the house and patio.
Keep an eye out for my first project coming soon!!