The Sipsey Tailrace is one of many tailraces that depend on trout hatcheries for a supply of trout year-round. The two main hatcheries that release trout into the Sipsey are Dale Hollow Hatchery and Tellico Hatchery both located in Tennessee. Most of the time the trout arrive in great condition considering the distance from the hatchery and the tailrace. Sometimes some can be lost due to the oxygen content in the tank they are transferred in. Of the two hatcheries mentioned Tellico releases the largest and healthiest trout. Dale Hollow's trout are smaller and not as healthy as the Tellico trout. I was lucky to fish the Sipsey this past Friday the day after Tellico released 1100 pounds in the Sipsey Thursday afternoon. All the trout released were quality trout a challenge for any fly fishermen using a fly rod.
I like to fish the tailrace when it's super clear because you can spot the trout you are targeting and know exactly where to place your fly. Friday was the last day of a three-day wind blitz we had been experiencing, so I was wondering if the wind would be a factor. To my surprise, the wind was a plus, because the ripples created by the wind made it difficult for the trout to see you up close in some of the holes I fished. This particular run was very good to me for the morning outing.
Dana one of my blogging and fly fishing buddies from Huntsville met me at the tailrace around 8:30. He is a member of theTennessee Valley Fly Fishers Club in Huntsville Alabama. He is also the editor of their monthly newsletter. So between fly fishing and reporting news from the club he stays busy. He had his best day fishing the Sipsey Friday. We both agreed as we were leaving and walking up the banks of the gorge that the trout were active this morning. Thanks, Dana for joining me on a successful trip for both of us!
This fatty rainbow was my first to get the morning started for me fishing an area I like to fish in clear water. I saw this trout moving back and forth in a tight run feeding. I noticed he was rising some and would settle back into his comfort zone. I tried a couple of nymphs trying to get him to commit to a hit but no luck. At times he would turn and move toward the nymph but no take. So after changing flies 4 times I finally hit on the nymph he took. What is so cool about tight lining is seeing the take and knowing you have only seconds to set the hook, otherwise you miss the trout. I am getting better at detecting the take as shown with this beauty taken on my 10 ft. 3 wt.---colorful gill plate on this trout. He put the 3 wt. through an unbelievable fight before he was netted. Gotta love it when a plan comes together!!
Another healthy Tellico rainbow landed fishing pocket water near access six. Every trout I landed this morning engaged the drag. I would have lost some of the trout today if not for my drag. A 5X tippet can easily be broken when this size trout charges in and out of rock beds fraying a tippet line quickly.
Sorry for the reflection in the background, but I was trying to get the photo before this trout jetting off. This trout was more of a fighter than any I landed for the morning. He made numerous runs before I netted him.
Another Tellico beauty landed as I was waiting for Dana to catch up with me at access five. By the way access, 5 is the best way to leave the tailrace if you are a senior. Access 6 and 7 are for those young bucks to climb all those stairs upward to leave the gorge, not us seasoned guys!
What a great way to spend a morning doing something that both of us love to do, landing numerous rainbow trout fishing on our favorite tailrace!!----------------tightlines!!