I made my first cast looking up the tailrace from above access 5. To my surprise, there were only a few fishermen casting above and below me. I usually tie on a particular fly pattern in the parking lot before I ever step into the water, but this morning I wanted to check out the surface activity before I selected a fly. The surface film was super smooth but still had enough current to attract a take. With no surface activity visible I went with a soft hackle thinking I might get a reaction, no such luck. I've found that size and color in the hackle pattern makes a difference when fishing a calm water surface.
First of the morning in what seemed like a while to get a hit using a cream color hackle. I was using my 3 wt. Streamflex 9 ft. I knew the size trout that was stocked in the tailrace a couple of weeks ago; all were in the 9 to 10-inch range, so the 3 wt. was the right selection. These trout were having nothing to do with anything above size 18 fly pattern this morning, at least that was my opinion. In order to get a hit, I had to work an area slowly and have a tremendous amount of patience using a small soft hackle. One needs every advantage available when fishing this tailrace, because of the tremendous amount of fishing pressure it gets,. I would land this trout's twin before moving on up towards access 6.
Another Dale Hollow Hatchery trout taken letting a size 18 hackle drift slowly over a couple of pocket holes. I was using a 6X fluorocarbon tippet to get a better presentation of the fly. I started with a 5X but soon discovered I needed a lighter presentation because these trout spooked easy and had been bombarded with endless flies for the past 10 days.
My last of the morning near access 6 fishing right below the fast water that exists in access 6. This trout was a whole over from the last stocking either in June or May. It barely broke the surface to inhale a tiny soft hackle. There are very few of these trout left above access 5 now. So when you land a quality trout now consider it a prize. This size was the norm for me dating back to my first trip here in April. I guess I've become somewhat spoiled landing this size trout as opposed to the smaller ones I landed today, but I shouldn't complain because the 9/10 inch was a lot of fun on the 3 wt.
P.S. I was going to fish fast water today but it wasn't possible, because------next Sipsey Tailrace post