It’s officially been six months since I updated the site and I’m sorry about that. The last report was towards the end of the 2016 season and since then you could say I’ve been consumed with another weekend project that’s kept me off the water. I bought a cabin. OK not really, it’s a glorified storage shed. Now don’t get me wrong. In the world of the storage shed this thing is huge….but technically it’s a shed. It was delivered by a very nice Amish man with a very fancy work trailer. He parked it, leveled it, handed me the keys, and politely scurried off to leave the rest to me and my many friends who are looking for a place to crash and use a toilet on their upcoming summer fishing trips. We actually have been fishing recently so you’re probably curious about that. I actually got an email from a long time return client asking about my health. He was genuinely worried about me since I hadn’t posted a report. I’ll take that as a pretty serious hint that it’s been far too long. I’m doing just fine Mike. Calm down.
The river looks amazing for April. This time last year the water had the color of Ecto Cooler Kool Aid. 80’s kids will understand. It was a lime green color. Now it looks like it usually looks in May. It’s clear. That’s a good thing. Evidently we didn’t get a lot of runoff this spring. Every year is a craps shoot and this year we came out ahead. So leave the steelhead flies at home. The fish won’t have any trouble seeing your flies.
We tested the waters a couple of weekends ago and the water was higher than we like. Probably 3 feet above the normal low water mark where we like things to be. The fish were surprisingly active and were hitting the usual early spring stuff. Red Copper Johns and Frenchies were the best flies of the trip. Not many midges were hatching and it was obvious because we couldn’t buy a fish on a midge pattern.
The following weekend we had a two boater with a group of guys we could have sworn were old college buddies. We laughed a lot and caught plenty of fish on our half day float. It was supposed to be a full day but the TVA voted once again to not receive a Christmas Card from Cumberland Drifters. They cranked up the big water early so we were on at sunrise and off by lunchtime. That’s spring. If it’s cold in the morning and there’s a little extra water in the lake you can bet your sweet new Simms waders that they’ll be sending you home early. It’s ok. I’ve had my lunch sandwich in the truck on the way home plenty of times myself. It’s a sad lunch.
Mike was out the following day with a mother and son while me and a friend tried to finish up what had turned out to be the longest plumbing job in history. You could have plumbed the white house faster than we got this done. Why you ask? The nearest hardware store that’s open on a weekend is 50 minutes from my cabin. 50 MINUTES…ONE WAY!!!! Also I learned that there are three different types of PVC and none of the three types work with the other types. So if you get a three inch fitting after driving for two hours only to find that it doesn’t fit the type you have you tend to get angry. I put a lot of miles on the Tacoma that day my friends. The good news? Mike had a great day on the river and Caddis started hatching. The bad news…we suck at plumbing.
So over spring break we actually finished the plumbing and now I’m waiting on an inspection so I can insulate the shed/cabin. We stopped by Mike’s river lot on the way out and caddis were everywhere. Fish should be keying in on them by now and it looks like low water is on the horizon. If you go I’d take some elk hair caddis #14 and #16 along with some caddis pupae patterns to boot. Red Copper Johns are a great pattern to get your other fly down deep and fish are eating them. Don’t forget the Frenchie. That’s a great pattern that I pretty much forgot about until Mike kicked my butt all over the river with it last summer. You better believe I’m well stocked now.
With higher water in the spring make sure to pack some streamers. White buggers, Clousers in white and other colors, black leech patterns, and if the water is really high go big. I know you crazy folks have some good stuff for just the occasion.
Guys I apologize for not putting up a report. I’ve always been good about keeping you updated on fishing or at least my boring life when I’m not fishing. My girls are almost teenagers so that might be a source of my lack of effort on the website. Any of you with a kid in middle school will understand. Getting old isn’t easy but I’m not going down without a fight and I promise to do better to keep you folks in the loop so to speak. Thanks as always for your support. I can’t wait to see your smiling faces on the river this season. Let’s do this!