until the snow is flying. The browns on the Watauga and South Holston are making redds and beginning their spawning ritual. The colors on the browns have been spectacular this year.
Soon it will be time for our Winter Float Trip Specials and you can go sling some streamers for the big trophy trout these tow tailwaters are noted for. Keep an eye on this blog for the Winter Trip Special pricing announcement.
Mark your calendars for November 3rd and 4th, 2012 and be sure to attend the WNC Fly Fishing Expo at the Ag Center in Asheville, NC. It is located across the street from the Asheville Airport. If you want to learn more about Tenkara casting and fishing techniques then be sure to come to the show. I will be giving casting and fishing technique demos on the casting pond throughout the weekend. When I am note giving casting demos, look for me in the A & S Outfitters Fly Shop booth, you may also find me in the TFO, Chota and Flymen Fishing Company booths as well. I hope to see you there.
The rivers of East Tennessee are rocking with great fishing. The South Holston is giving us better float generation schedules and the Sulphurs are hatching all over the river. The Watauga is getting into consistent summer terrestrial beetle and ant patterns. The smallies and carp on the Holston Proper are awesome!!!
Just remember when you come to fish the South Holston during the wade generation schedules on the weekend, be prepared for the big crowds. Here is a shot from the weir area bridge last Friday.
Stay cool this weekend, we are going to have record high temperatures so be safe and drink plenty of fluids while enjoying the outdoors.
When casting weighted flies, here are some things to keep your thoughts on. Are you casting the fly line and fly off the end of the rod to ensure not smacking the rod with a weighted fly and damaging your equipment. When landing your cast is your line and leader as straight as possible and are you instantly connected to the line? Being connected to a straight line and leader will let you feel that bite that usually happens as soon as your fly hits the water. Watching a recent underwater video of a fly caster landing his line with slack and then taking to much time to get the line into his fingers and begin stripping, the smallmouth hit is flies three times before he felt the first hit.
Just some food for thought as your practice your casting in the yard or on the river.
I will be in attendance at Troutfest coming up May 19th, and 20th. I will be in the Temple Fork Outfitters and Chota booths all weekend. Be sure to stop by and lets talk some fishing.
That was the comment the lady client said yesterday on the South Holston Tailwater when she was talking about the sulphurs hatching and the fish rising to feed on them. It was great to see her enjoying a birthday wade trip with her best friend, two great ladies who love the sport of fly fishing. The trout were taking midge emergers early in the morning but as the sun heated up the water the sulphurs started slowly emerging then building into a full blown hatch. They were grateful that the rivers gods gave them the opportunity to experience the great sulphur hatch and to catch some of those beautiful butter belly South Holston browns they had heard so much about. The weather was extremely windy with air temps only at 50 degrees so when it came time for lunch we went to Mark Price’s Webb’s Grocery Store for a warm lunch, be sure to stop by there for breakfast or lunch when fishing on the South Holston Tailwater near Bluff City Tennessee.
The Watauga is fishing just as well, we are seeing midges, BWO’s, Craneflies, and the Caddis are coming off now as well. We have been floating the upper river this week with all the generation the TVA is doing, but it will slow down soon as they get all the lakes to full pool. We are using nymph rigs, as well as dry/dropper rigs to get trout in all types of water. One of my clients this week caught a nice holdover 11″ brook trout from when TVA used to stock them in the Watauga Tailwater. That was a great surprise as it came to the net.
We are booked solid for the next week and a half, there are a few openings the last week of April, so give me a call or email and get out on the Watauga or South Holston Tailwaters for the sulphur or caddis hatches.
Well the mild winter weather has really got the springtime temperatures in high gear. This coming week we are going to be 20 degrees above average for daytime highs. The fishing has been just as good as the weather.
The South Holston is very wade friendly only two short daily one hour generations each day.There are lots of fish being caught on BWO emegers and dark Zebra Midges. The slow flow means you will need to fish the riffles to increase your chances. The Watauga went from good streamer fishing to nothing but size 20 and 22 Zebra Midges and BWO emergers as well, but the bigger fish are feeding on the small bugs. We did a sample on one rainbow and he was full of midges. We are also seeing some sporadic caddis as well as some size 14 black stoneflies.
If you haven’t gotten your date booked for the Caddis Hatch give me a call, there are a few dates open. The smallmouth action is getting good with the warmer weather. See you on the water!!!
Here is a 20′ brown on a size 20 midge, and some nice rainbows as well, from the Watauga.
My good friend Mr. Bob Clouser and the folks at Temple Fork Outfitters have put together a chart to help you understand what fly lines to use compared to the weight of the flies you will be throwing. This has been very helpful in matching the various techniques we sue in guiding, making the rigs we use very easy and accurate to cast. Hope this helps you understand how to rig your current rods, but also to help you with any additional rods you might be considering to purchase for new ways to fish.
We must understand that a fly line is used to move weight forward to the end of the cast, whether it be a hook, small dry fly or a heavy weighted streamer or nymph.
Fly lines are measured in weight by grains and this grain weight is used to move weight forward. For example; a 5 weight fly line weighing 140 grains is not capable of pulling the same weight thru the cast as a 210 grain 8 weight does. There are many variables to consider while casting such as wide open loops, chuck and duck, over powering or lobbing.
This chart is designed upon the ease of the cast plus normal tight loops that will cut the wind with ease. An oval back cast along with the use of the body is a must when casting weighted flies.
We will start with a 5 weight fly line, anything under that is specially designed to cast small light flies and is not suited for any type of weighted fly.
Lead Eye Weights most suitable for these line weights.
Line Ounce of weight
5 weight = 1/120, 1/80, 1/50
6 weight = 1/120, 1/80, 1/50
7 weight = 1/120, 1/80, 1/50
8 weight = 1/120, 1,80, 1/50, 1/30
9 weight = 1/120, 1/80, 1/50, 1/30, 1/24
10 weight =1/120, 1/80, 1/50, 1/30, 1/24
The above listing of course is not written in stone but if the formula is followed, long easy casts can be made. In many instances a heavier eye weight than listed can be used but it will test the caster and the capability of the rod and line.
Note” The above suggestion for choosing the right weight a fly line can move forward with ease has it variations of course, most variations comes with the style of casting being used. The most proficient style developed by Lefty Kreh where the body is involved in the cast will make casting weight more efficient.
We are being blessed with great weather this winter, temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s and the TVA is giving great flows on the Watuaga and South Holston Tailwaters. The closed spawning sections on the South Holston will re-open on Wednesday and with the weather calling for low 60’s it will be a great day to float and check out these sections.
When floating on high water and throwing streamers, you need to follow a few simple techniques that will give you better chances for success. Having the proper fly rod & reel matched to the appropriate fly lines and leaders for the situations you are fishing is step one. Have good casting accuracy is number two, step one helps you become a better caster when the rod system is balanced. Step three is where your memory comes into play. We use a series of depth counts and strips to see where the fish are in the water column. When a fish takes your presentation you will need to remember the depth and retrieve you were using and this usually will work for the majority of your fishing trip unless river or weather conditions change. The final part is enjoying the fight and landing the fish. Have a great drag on the reel, again back to step one, equipment, will make sure you have the best chance at landing your trophy. These are just a few helpful hints that will help you when going after trophy fish with streamers.
I will be giving a presentation on February 8th to the Atlanta Fly Fishing Club, this meeting is held at Manuel’s is located at 602 N. Highland Avenue, near the Carter Center. I look forward to seeing you there.
Then be sure to mark your calendars for “The Fly Fishing Show in Raleigh”, I will be splitting my time between the Temple Fork Outfitters and Chota Outdoor Gear booths. Be sure to stop by and say hey.
Hope you have a great week, get out there and get some tight lines and screaming reels.
Here we are fishing Wilson Creek Delayed Harvest with the Tenkara rods. We were using the Ito and Amago rods with level fluorocarbon leaders ending at a 2 pound tippet. The nymphs were the best flies to have on, a heavy Caddis Czech style nymph was the bottom fly with a brown scud on the dropper. Wilson Creek is some beautiful water and plenty of rainbows and brook trout were caught. If you want to try your hand at Tenkara Style fishing, give me a call.
I am sure many of you are saying do I need another rod in my arsenal, yes you do. I have taken up the Tenkara Style of fishing and it sure is fun. Simplicity is the best way to describe this style of fishing. All you need is a good graphite rod from one of the Tenkara USA, I use the Iwana and Ito rods, various lengths of 8 to 20 pound fluorocarbon material for the base of the leader, 2 and 4 pound fluorocarbon fishing line for the finishing leader, and some 2mm tippet rings. Mount the leader base to the rod via the Girth Hitch connection, a 6 to 8 foot section is good. Add some 4 pound fluoro by loop to loop to the base, tie on a tippet ring with a Davy Knot. Now add to sections of the 2 pound fluoro to the tippet ring, one about 3 foot long and another about 6 foot long with Davy Knot’s. On the shorter tippet tie on a smaller fly of your choice, I prefer a Tenkara style soft hackle. On the longer tippet tie on a heavy Czech style nymph for getting things to the bottom quickly. This system works well in slow deep pools as well as shallow fast riffles. The possibilities are endless on how you can fish with Tenkara.
For dry fly fishing you will need a furled leader in a 10 foot length, add about 3 to 5 feet of 2 pound fluoro tippet with a loop to loop connection and any dry fly of your choice. With all the length on these rods it makes high sticking very easy.
One more thought on Tenkara style fishing. When your lines are freezing in your guides on those cold weather trips, no problem when using a Tenkara rod. Things that make you go hmmmmm!!
Today being CYBER MONDAY is the start of a very popular trip special pricing we did last year. Starting today and running through March 10th, you can float the South Holston or Watauga Tailwater going after those big trophy fish that these two tailwaters are known for. We use articulated streamers and a few other techniques that should put you on some nice fish. The pricing is $250 for one or two persons on a 6 hour float with a lite lunch (wife’s homemade soups), flies and equipment provided, you can use yours if you prefer.
Here are some from last year.
Don’t forget to get your gift certificates for the fisher-persons on your gift list. You can get one for a full trip or any amount needed that can be applied towards a trip.
Have a great week and enjoy all those turkey leftovers.