OK I’ve been super lazy for the last three months. I’ve posted absolutely nothing on our website and for that I’m sorry. I guess I’m a fair weather blogger. I only come out to preach the good news when the news is good and frankly it’s been pretty bad for the past four months. The Cumberland River is a cruel temptress that offers her bounty in limited quantities. She’s basically a college cheerleader. She’ll make you feel great when the game is on but she’ll snub you at the fall dance and probably run off with that jerk in the Audi after you bought her tons of stuff. In our case it’s flies, fishing gear, and hotel reservations. She’s crazy. But that’s why we love her.
Our fall was pretty good considering the higher flows. Oxygen levels were lower than you would find in Keith Richards’ lungs so the Corps had to sluice. Sluicing saves the river from total oxygen starvation but it makes fishing tough. The lower oxygen levels left the fish sluggish. Like a wet sponge. But we had good days with big terrestrial patterns and nymphs underneath.
The low fall Oxygen problems were a direct result of the horrendous floods we received in July. We didn’t fish in July and that’s when everyone wants to go fishing. T’was a bad summer. We persevered.
Winter came in like a….like a…what’s the word here? A spring. Winter came in like a spring. It was 70 degrees through most of December. I only recently put my flip flops away. Unfortunately flows were still high as the Corps did their best to lower the lake to winter pool. Lake Cumberland is like a giant urinal for nature and she can only flush so much. Nature was on a bender in 2015. Hopefully she cuts back in 2016.
On a relief note you may have heard about the Hatchery Creek. She’s open to the public in 2016 and I must say it’s a masterpiece of trout water. The men who built this thing put their hearts and souls into it and it’s already paying off. Fish are already moving in to spawn. I don’t know about you but I’ll be there in May. We’ll be offering wade fishing trips. Fly fishing technical water for big trout sound fun? I think it does.
So here we are in 2016! It’s a new year and we’re ready. I haven’t tied the first fly for the spring season and I’m a bit stressed about that but I’ll be on the vise soon. We can’t wait to get out of the house and back on the river with you folks.
On a personal note and this one really hurts, I turn 40 in a few days. I started this thing when I was 26 years old. Mike was…well much younger as well, and loaned me his garage to build my boat. It all began there. We were thinner and had much more hair. It would be a couple of years before he bought a boat and started guiding himself but the dream started in that garage. Two idiots with nothing better to do than see if they could pull it off. Let’s see if we can be fishing guides. So we did. We had nothing to lose.
14 years later here we are. We never thought we would still be around. We’re older. I can’t say we’re wiser. That’s certainly up to speculation. But if we can sum it up in one word it’s this one. Lucky. We’re lucky to get paid to do something we love. We’re lucky to make new friends every week. We’re lucky to enjoy nature and call it a job. We’re lucky to get off the river and have so many friends waiting at the grill or campfire to share stories. Life is good.
From this soon to be 40 year old drifter, thanks for making us lucky. If you folks didn’t want to do this we’d be out of a job. We’re thankful for all of you. Keep supporting this sport. Keep supporting our friends and fellow guides. Whether it’s me, Mike, Troy (www.cumberlandtroutguide.com) or Hagan, whoever you fish with on the river we’re glad you’re out there. Support the river and the local economy.
Thank you all for your support over the years and we look forward to many more years on the water.
Cheers my friends,