Wow I just realized I haven’t updated this thing in almost a month. Here we are in the heart of spring and you’re probably expecting weekly updates with fresh fishy goodness and we’ve been Bogarting the good info. Truth be told there really hasn’t been any good info to share until now. So here goes:
Unless you just got your green card you’re probably aware of the spring flooding problems we have here in Kentucky. It happens a lot here and it’s almost always in April or May. I’m pretty sure I’ve beat this dead horse into a mushy red paste by now so I’m not going to explain weather patterns and get all Jim Cantore on you. You’re aware that it happened again and we’re darn lucky the dam is fixed or we’d be looking at August for fishing the Cumby. The lake is pretty much where they want it for 2013 and the flow charts show some pretty amazing flows for the coming days. I haven’t seen generation patterns like this since my beard bore no gray hair. My head of hair was mostly full. My cable bill was higher than my phone bill. A gallon of milk cost more than a gallon of gas. And nobody Myfaced or Spacebooked. Ah the golden years….but I digest…..
If there was one thing I got spoiled to during the Wolf Creek Dam repairs it was the constant flows. There was always one generator….one sluice gate…one something. This meant you didn’t have to plan your day based on when the wall of water was coming. It meant you could sleep in a bit. This worked in everyone’s favor. We could meet at 8:00 A.M. instead of 6:00. I miss that and I found out how much this past weekend. We once again met at 6:00. Since I live in Lexington that meant getting out of bed at 3:00. I used to go to bed at that time not so many years ago. But then again I used to consider Waffle House at 2:00 A.M. a good idea.
We were supposed to have two full days of fishing this weekend but the generation schedule simply wouldn’t allow that to happen. I could have made two full days of it but I would have been stealing from these guys as we would have been slammed with high water for the second half of the day. They took my advise and made two half days instead. The water was still higher than I had hoped but the fish were there. We struggled on Saturday a bit with a beginner getting used to fly fishing for the first time and a guide trying to find out exactly how long you could legally make a leader in order to get down to the fish. We finally got it all dialed in just before we were forced off of the river by the generators. Saturday was much better as we had some experience behind us and much better conditions. The water was still high but the bugs were out early and the fish were much more willing to take our offerings.
Both days we hit Rainbow Run by 9:00 A.M. Eastern Time and the gravel bars were completely submerged. That’s the water levels we had to deal with. That’s no longer the case. They’ve pulled back on the generation just in time for Memorial Day Weekend.
So now that we’ve bitten through the crunchy crust of spring it’s time for the gooey nougat. We actually saw a few sulfurs and caddis on the water this weekend and I’m expecting those to multiply in great numbers as the water levels continue to drop and the sun bakes these little goodies to perfection before they burst forth and offer themselves to our colorful friends in the great buffet we call spring in the Bluegrass.
So here’s what’s going on and what to expect if you’re fishing anytime soon.
Dry flies: Caddis Caddis Caddis! The water has been high and these little guys haven’t hatched out yet. Also we’re seeing sulfurs so bring those along. As always on the Cumby a parachute adams will catch just about anything during a hatch.
Nymphs: Princes in #14, Hare’s Ears in natural and olive #14, Pheasant tails in #16, Copper Johns in pretty much any color or size, Zebra Midges. Black has been the best for us but I’m sure other colors will work well.
Streamers: We haven’t had much luck on streamers recently but lower water might change that. We always love white buggers and clousers. Toss the big meat (hehe) in the deeper holes under sinking lines. The big browns are still there and we’d love for one of you to find one.
Due to all of the flooding and folks being scared of the Cumberland during recent springs we still have dates open for June. We don’t have many…but we do have dates available. This is the time to go folks. We have guides available to get you out there for what may be the best spring in almost a decade on the Cumberland. Give us a call.
If you decide to go on your own or fish some local water, a farm pond, a creek in your uncle’s back yard, a mud puddle in your neighbor’s driveway, please take the time to hit your local fly shop and support the folks who make this a living. For us it’s the Lexington Angler. For you it may be Little River Outfitters in Townsend TN or some shop in Montana. We’re a small guide service and we put our heart and soul into making it a darned good one. Local shops do the same. You can’t get what they offer at a big box store and you can’t get what we offer from a big box outfitter.
We wish all the best to you and yours on this Memorial Day weekend. Thanks to all of you for keeping this dream going for us at Cumberland Drifters.