A drifter looks at 40. It’s sad my friends but I’m turning 39 next week. This will be my last year as a 30 something. I have more hair growing on my face than on my head and I have ear hair. I thought plucking the occasional lengthy nose hair was painful but the ear, as it turns out, has quite the sensitive hair follicle. I remember making fun of my dad, grandfathers, and various uncles for making that noise I now make every time I get out of a chair or bend over to do basically anything. The Bible tells us that our body is a temple. I’ve treated mine like a Jeep. Unfortunately I’m stuck with it and the trade in value is worse than a Ford Pinto. The engine still runs but the tires are flat and there’s a smell coming out of the exhaust that can’t be explained. Here’s to rolling over another 100,000.
It’s winter in Kentucky and it’s pretty when the snow covers a field where thoroughbreds graze. There’s a peaceful quiet when you’re standing outside and watching the snow fall. There’s also an urge to get inside because you can’t feel your fingers and your kids have to pee and they’re wearing 16 layers of clothing.
Last weekend we had something called an “Indian Summer” as 60 degree temperatures graced the bluegrass. My friends and I are quite the opportunists so we jumped at the idea of getting some things done on the river. Fishing was on the to-do list but it took the back seat to some much needed property improvements on Mike and Chet’s river lots where we cleared brush, installed steps to the bonfire pit, stacked firewood, and celebrated our massive work effort. Beverages were served.
After taking a long pat on the back for our hard work we realized that we still had two hours of daylight and I had a driftboat hitched to my truck. We dumped the boat into the river and sat off for a twilight float on the Cumberland where we caught a few fish and were graced with a mature bald eagle circling overhead. Chet was so inspired that he screamed, “Yeah man! ’Merica! Freedom!” at the top of his lungs only to realize that four fishermen were standing right behind him.
Once off the water we joined our friend Bobby at his cabin and spent the next few hours playing guitars with Tim Goshorn. Tim is one of the founding members of The Pure Prairie League and has been a successful musician and songwriter since. It was really cool to play and sing with him. Tim if you’re reading this we’re looking forward to seeing you back at camp and getting you out on the water. I promise I won’t make you play Amie again.
As for fishing I have good news for my fellow Cumbinites…er Cumberlanders..Creelsboroans? Fishing is good when the water permits. With the low flows we had last week there were lots of massive fish caught. Unfortunately we didn’t land any of them on our short float on Saturday but the picture above was a 21″ brown caught by Kentucky’s own Whit Hiler just this past weekend. Whit is behind the magnificent Kentucky for Kentucky campaign. We have his stickers and T-Shirts and we recommend you do the same. www.kentuckyforkentucky.com He caught that fish while fishing with Gene from the Lexington Angler. Maybe you’ve heard of them. There’s a reason you need to shop there. Those guys fish and sometimes they work at the fly shop. Go see them and get hooked up with all things slimy and scaly in the bluegrass.
As for the river we’re seeing good flows on some days and bad flows on others. There’s really no pattern to it. The TVA and Corps of Engineers feed on fishermen’s misery like a lawyer at the scene of a car accident. They’re going to make money and you’re going to get hosed. They also don’t return your phone calls. They say they’ll call but they don’t. Jerks.
If you go make sure to be prepared for whatever they give you. Gene and Whit did really well on streamers while we did really well on nymphs. They caught bigger fish so I’d go with streamers right now. We caught them on zebra midges and copper johns. When fishing in winter bring lots of flies and change frequently. Find what they like and anchor up when you find feeding fish. The water is super cold and they’re not moving around if they don’t have to.
As always we thank you for checking us out, for sharing our reports on social media, for liking us on Facebook, and most importantly for spreading the love via word of mouth. We’ll be in a booth at the Buckeye United Fly Fishers show the weekend after the Super Bowl. Come on over and see us. In the meantime I’ll be sanding my old boat for another restoration job.
Cheers my friends,