Saturday, December 10, 2016

Comparing Two Tailraces the Sipsey Verses the Caney

Before my wife and I moved to Spring Hill Tennessee this year 99% of all my trout fishing was on the Sipsey Tailrace below Smith Lake Dam in Jasper Alabama. The Sip as the locals called it was not the place that sparked my interest in trout fishing, but it was the place that taught me many of the variables that go into learning the sport. I had spent the past twelve years fishing the only tailrace in Alabama before we moved. I will miss this narrow tailrace, super clear water, unique runs, small pockets holes, tight seams, and dry fly action. In other words, trout was easy to find and catch, if you knew the fly patterns that brought success; I did! Come Spring I will apply what I learned over the years on the Sipsey to the tailrace on the Caney, located a little over an hour east of our house towards Knoxville. The Caney can be a challenge to fish, mainly because of the tremendous fishing pressure it receives throughout the year. I will need to adjust to a wider tailrace, much more water to read, fishing tiny nymphs as opposed to dries, different feeding patterns of the trout, and most of all learning the areas where the trout hold. I knew exactly where those places were on the Sipsey and in time will find those places on the Caney. 

I still remember the first trip I made to the Caney with my son-in-law right after he and my daughter got married twelve years ago. That was the first time I had fished for trout using the fly rod. The trip was memorable not for the number of trout landed that day but for the challenge. I spent most of the afternoon learning how to get the correct drift, fly presentation, reading the water, bug hatches, feeding patterns and through it all landing a few stocker browns and rainbows. I was really intrigued by all the factors that had to come into play to land a few colorful trout. I still remember that first rainbow landed that day, and admiring its brilliant colors. The drift, presentation, fly pattern, playing the trout once hooked, all had to come into play for me to hold that beauty for a few seconds before its release. That one trip convinced me that I would spend the rest of my fishing days fly fishing.
An area of the Caney near the dam, where most of the wading takes place; the Caney is much wider and longer than the Sipsey. I made two trips there while we were living with our daughter, one in August with my son-in-law and this one the last of September.
Fun on the 3 wt. ----landed a few more stockers fishing between a lot of other guys that morning. I have some work to do on this tailrace!!


Mark Kautz said...

If you haven't already, you might check with Dave Knapp ( He might be able to give you a few tips.

Bill Trussell said...

I have fished the Caney with David back in June before we moved to Tennessee. He was a big help in showing me some patterns that the trout were taking at that time. I did land quality trout that day. I need to learn the river much better before I land the quality trout I caught with him back in June. Can't wait for spring to start fishing it. Thanks for the comment

Unknown said...

Fly fishing is definitely the way to go. Nice looking fishing spot, and pretty stocker.

cofisher said...

Hey Bill, does this mean that the bluegill quest is done? David's posted some awesome pictures of the Caney...can't wait to see some more.

Anonymous said...

Just might be what a fly fisher our age might need to get the juices flowing again. That is, "Taking on a new challenge"!

Brown, Rainbows,?........... Have you got some ideas as too what nymph patterns you will be starting with?

Looking forward to reading of your adventures come Spring.
P.S. Do you still have an opportunity to fish for bigger Bluegill?

Brk Trt said...

Bill, lessons learned.
I think you are going to enjoy catching browns, as well as brookies in the various waters of your new state.

Bill Trussell said...

Back in the 70's and 80's chasing the bass circuit was my passion; now fly fishing is my passion and will be the rest of my fishing days----a 360 degree turn--thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

True much more variety on the Caney, with the browns and brook along with the rainbow. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

If the pattern is tiny on the Caney you can land trout, providing you know the areas where the trout are holding???
I have found some small lakes within 25 to 50 miles from our home for super size gills; looking forward to the first spawn. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

The first bluegill spawn will happen here in April, which will kick start the quest. Thanks for the comment

Lester Kish said...

Bill, good luck in the new challenge. But why wait 'til spring? Is your new fishing hole not open for business right now?

rivertoprambles said...

Nice study on the joys of fly-fishing, Bill. Every stream and river is an education in itself for the intrepid warrior/fly-fisher. Have fun at your new locations!

Bill Trussell said...

I don't get on the water anymore when the temps are in the low 40's and below. The cold weather is no friend of mine now that I am getting older. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

The Caney is like most the tailraces here in Tennessee; lots of fishing pressure, which I will need to get use to; a new learning experience for sure. Thanks for the comment