I think I missed summer. Somewhere between the cold nights camping in Montana and the August monsoon in Kentucky it passed me by. Maybe I’m getting older but….OK I know I’m getting older, but the summers just don’t seem to last as long anymore. From what I recall of it though it was a dandy. If you’re reading this there’s probably no doubt that you’ve seen the pictures we’ve posted over the course of the past few months. The big rainbows in the spring got your attention and now the brown trout are hearing the Pavlovian dinner bell and you’ve probably taken notice of that as well. We’ve seen more big browns this past August than we have seen in a very long time. Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come in October. Of course UK is undefeated in football as well. Let’s see which one fares better next month. I love my cats but as a UK student of the 90′s my money is on the fish. Let’s see Alabama grow trout like we do here in Kentucky. Didn’t think so. Your move Nick Saban.
The past few weeks have shown us that sleep isn’t as important as we once thought it was. The wonderful folks at the TVA have made sure that we wake up well before the chickens to get our day started on the river. Thanks guys. If there’s one thing I don’t want to do on the weekends it’s sleep. 3:00 A.M. is late enough for me. Also I don’t like steak, football, live music, Christmas, the Easter Bunny, or breakfast foods.
Regardless of the early dawn starts on the river, the fishing has been very consistent and for the most part very good. We’ve had a few off days here and there but that’s fishing. Hagan, Mike, Troy, and I have been on the water pretty much every day for the past three weeks. Some days have been fantastic while others were just so so. Hagan and Mike actually had a few fish eat big foam cicada patterns last week during heavy generation. That’s a bit odd considering you can’t find a cicada in Kentucky right now but hey, don’t complain. They’re eating big foamy stuff.
On Saturday I took my 10 year old daughter Ava out for a float for her birthday. I figured at this age she should have the attention span to last more than a couple of hours. It turns out she was good for a full day. Not only was she good for a full day but she kept asking if we could make it last longer. As a dad that’s about as good as it gets. She caught several fish on the fly and enjoyed a nice relaxing day seeing what her dad does on the weekends. Sorry folks but I’m going to be scheduling more time on the water with this kid and a few less days with you. She’s a fly fisher now. I kinda have to. Maybe you can hire her to row you down the river one of these days.
Like I said earler Mike, Hagan, and Troy have been on the water a lot lately so as a weekender I’ve been relying on them for my info. Thankfully they’ve kept me in the loop with what’s going on out there. As far as flies go a lot of the usual stuff is still working but the fish can be picky from day to day. Mike has had great success with flashy midge emerger patterns, rainbow warriors, and prince nymphs. Hagan has been doing well with some of the same as well as a standard pheasant tail when the prince wasn’t getting it done. I watched Troy’s guys slaying fish on a tandem streamer rig on Saturday. He was fishing white wooly buggers with a much smaller bugger as the trailer behind the first and the fish were nailing it. There’s a reason we nicknamed him “Streamer Troy”. The boy likes his streamers and he ain’t scared to make you sling ‘em. As for me the old prince nymph and midge duo got it done all Labor Day Weekend. The Quiot Biot was my personal favorite midge pattern but the zebra midge did a fine job as well. Don’t Google that pattern. It doesn’t exist. It’s just a name I gave to an old pattern that’s been passed down to me over the years. I may have given it my own personal touch but it certainly isn’t mine. Kinda like how people call Carl Richards’ mohair leech pattern “The Chicago Fly”. You can call it whatever you want. All that matters is that it catches fish.
I hope all of you got to wet a line on the last holiday weekend of the summer. Don’t let it be your last. September is young and October is…well let’s face it…gonna be awesome. We’re booking trips like crazy and it’s hard to believe the number of folks that are discovering the Cumberland River as a destination river, which it is. Come see for yourself.
As always we ask that if you’re in the Lexington area and you’re thinking about catching something on the fly or just looking for a cool gift for someone please see our friends at The Lexington Angler. They do a lot to keep us in business by supporting and promoting what we do….as crazy as that sounds. Go buy something. We really want to stay on their good side.
Until next time I hope your kids didn’t bring home some weird virus from their first week back at school. Go wash your hands. I’ll see you on the river.