Sunday, September 5, 2021

Working Through Some Frustration


I'm glad summer with its 
humidity, rain, and heat is coming to an end. I got a feel of some early fall weather Friday morning as I launch my boat at the dam on Smith Lake. A light jacket felt good to be wearing as I motored to one of the many rock walls in Ryan Creek. Fall is some of the best times to fish the lake using a fly rod and popper. 

The closer you get the popper to the wall the better chance you have to get the hit. The heavy rains didn't affect the clarity of the water, making it easy for the bluegill and spotted bass to target the popper. 
The bass was not hitting anything on top and this one was the only one that hit the little popper. I am not complaining because anytime I can land quality bluegill using the 3 wt. I'm pleased!
The winner today in the popper category was the size 8 Orvis Bluegill Bug. I have mentioned how effective this little popper is before in a previous post, but today it outperformed anything I was casting. What makes this popper so special is its ability to go subsurface when moving it. Most all the hits today occurred when the tiny popper was submerged. I always select this popper when the fish are not responding to surface poppers and today was one of those mornings. 
What a great way to spend a cool early fall morning fishing some of my favorite rock walls on beautiful Smith Lake. All these beauties were taken using the little subsurface Bluegill Popper. 
32 fillets ready for the freezer to be enjoyed during the winter months. 

A little frustration, no a lot of frustration trying to maneuver a trout fishing trip on the Sipsey these days. I do have the option to fish on the weekend, but I'm not a fan of casting thirty feet from someone else above and below me. The weekends are the only time the generators are not running. I am grateful I have Smith Lake to fish during the drawdown. Today's trip help me work through my frustration----Hopefully, the drawdown will be complete by October.  


  1. Quite a haul Bill. Oh how I remember cleaning and fileting panfish. See my blog about the fires.

  2. Bill, the summer drawdown is always frustrating up here as well. They seemingly change the schedule daily, so planning a trip ahead of time is difficult. I wish they had a little more consistency!

  3. Bill, have you ever tried your bluegill fillets with a curry sauce? Good winter nosh that. Are you permitted to fish the Sipsey all year, or is there a season?

  4. Bill I know exactly what you mean when you say your tired of the heat and humidity. I enjoy the out doors but not when you sweat just sitting on the porch.
    Nice catch of bluegills. Bill you must do a post on how you fillet them and how you cook them.

  5. Alan
    I hope we are seeing an end to the summer heat. I will be doing a post soon complete with a video showing how to dress the fish and prepare the fillets for a meal soon. Thanks for the comment

  6. Justin
    I haven't tried the curry sauce, will give it a try. The Sipsey is open all year. The winter months are the best time to fish it because there is little generation. I hope to try my new Euro Nymphing combo next month there. Thanks for the comment

  7. David
    The schedule is constantly changing on the Sipsey as well. I am hoping for an October trip using my new Euro Nymphing combo. Thanks for the comment

  8. Mark
    The fun part of fishing is enjoying the outdoors and landing the fish---I'm not inot dressing the fish, but it's worth it once you bite into one of the baked or fried fillets. thanks for the comment

  9. Bill ~ I remember fishing in TN where they had generated water... Yeah, it is frustrating. In my case, we had to be off the water by like 1 pm to avoid the high flow change. I always want to get down to a local pond for some of those bluegill. Maybe this week. I finally got back to responding on my blog. Sorry!! Be well.

  10. Emily
    Still pulling the lake down and yes, that means more generating. The fall-top water season is about to begin on Smith which will keep me busy until I can land a few trout Euro Nymphing on the Sipsey. Land a few bluegills for me---thanks for the comment

  11. Bill, I'm glad you've got those feisty &, ultimately, tasty bluegills to help you weather the transitions. Very nice work.

  12. Fly rodding bluegills is all fun, and that pan of fillets makes my mouth water. Nice!

  13. Walt
    The bluegill is my second favorite fish to land on the fly, especially when one is matching the fly rod wt with the size of the bluegill you are pursuing. Thanks for the comment

  14. AIR
    This has to be my best trip this year fishing for the bluegill!! Landing these beauties in really deep water makes it a lot of fun catching them. Thanks for the comment