Wow I’ve been lazy about keeping you guys and gals up to date lately. If this sounds repetitive please reference every report I’ve ever done. I’m terrible about keeping this blog up to date. Why you ask? Mostly laziness. After we moved we got rid of the home office. We now have a laptop and my severe ADD means that I have to sit in my chair and write while the television is on in the background. I have the attention span of a hamster on meth. Of course I could turn the TV off but I paid good money for that TV and if you haven’t seen Stranger Things on Netflix we can’t be friends anymore. So there.
So it’s been two months since I’ve posted and a lot has gone on in that time. We adopted a giant puppy, Tom Brady got to play football again, and a loud orange man with a strange hairdo said something about grabbing cats. I’m against grabbing cats. I’m more of a dog man myself. (Please don’t take this as a political statement. I can’t stand either of these people.)
An old friend and fellow guide once told me that there are two things you never bring up for conversation with new clients, religion and politics. Do you have any idea how hard it’s been this year to avoid a political conversation? Granted most of those conversations start with something along the lines of, “How did we wind up with these two?” To which I follow up with, “Hey man you need to mend.”
So I digress. Let’s talk fishing and of course tell a few fishing stories. No politics.
For those of you who’ve been lately or have checked the TVA website or mobile app you’ve probably noticed that they’re sluicing. That’s the giant plume of water you see at the base of the spillway below the dam. That’s not a water feature added for aesthetics. It basically serves the same purpose as the little bubbly thing in your aquarium. Then again you’re an adult and you don’t have an aquarium. If you do you should go upstairs and ask your mom if it’s still cool to keep that thing in her basement.
So here we are in October. Fleece jackets in the morning and short sleeves in the afternoon. The afternoon breeze fills the river banks with leaves that quickly turn your leader into an elementary school art project no matter how many times your guide says, “Hey you’ve got a leaf. Don’t cast just bring it in. Seriously stop casting it’s just getting worse. It won’t come off I promise. You have to physically take the leaf off. OK now it’s all knotted up. I’m dropping anchor.” This happens more than you can imagine.
Fishing has been good to amazing and there’s no explanation as to why it’s good one day and great the next. The flows have been pretty much the same for the past few weeks. Lake levels are low and there’s been very little rain. One day we catch a few, the next day we catch tons. Sure it varies with skill level so that’s a factor but I’ve had skilled anglers struggle and newbies spank fish. These kind of things makes this old guide scratch his almost hairless head. At the end of the day it’s fishing. Some days they’re more active than others. Luckily they’ve been active every day lately. Just more active some days than others.
Over the past two weekends I’ve had a lot of fun with some long time return clients. They’re more friends than clients now but since they still pay me I legally have to call them clients. At this point I’m more comfortable calling them friends. May, June, and October are usually booked with returns. They know to book early and these guys make sure to get in when the weather is amazing. (Most of the time) Last weekend I had my buddy Kyle on Saturday , Dwight and his dad on Sunday. Kyle had a great day on Saturday. Dwight and his dad put on a clinic on Sunday. This past weekend I had Paul and Henry. You’ve seen many pictures of them over the years because they book me more than anyone. I’m not really sure why. Saturday was a banner day and we ended with a 20 inch rainbow at the ramp. Sunday was a good day but we struggled from time to time. We still make a good day of it and landed plenty of fish. At one point Paul had a jumping rainbow on the line and he said, “He wants to jump in the boat”. 5 seconds later the fish literally landed on the fly line deck in the front while his dad was fighting another fish. It was hilarious. The weather was perfect. It was one of those days you could enjoy regardless of catching fish. Luckily we caught fish.
So what’s working? Red Copper Johns were the top fly last weekend. Prince nymphs have been good as well. Last weekend we fished a hopper with a red copper john dropper on a 78 fish day. We had a few on the hopper but the dropper was the fly. Pheasant Tails have worked really well. Of course midge patterns are still working as long as you drop them below a larger fly to get them down. Red is a great fall color on the Cumberland so make sure you use it on your trip. You’ll be glad you did. We’ve been seeing lots of fish rising on midges as they do in the fall. If you want to fish dries to pods of risers use some small parachute adams or griffiths gnats. They’ve done well for me in the past.
To all the guys who stopped by over the past few weeks to say hello on the river I’m humbled. It’s amazing to see you guys out there and to hear your kind words. Thanks for reading this. Thanks for supporting our local economy. Thanks for supporting the sport of fly fishing. You guys are awesome. Keep it up.
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See you on the water!