Sunday, April 27, 2008

Annual Fairfield Glade Fishing Trip

For the past 5 years my cousin and I have gotten together for a weekend of fishing in Fairfield Glade. Originally, it was just the two of us, and it grew to include his wife, then my wife, and now his daughter. Typically, I am a catch and release fisherman, especially when trout fishing, but my wife loves to eat bass and bluegill. So I usually try to bring some home from this trip, and since we are fishing for food I will even use bait to keep her happy. On Friday, when we arrived the wind was howling and the conditions were not looking too good. Because of this, I chose to leave the fly rod in the car and break out the finesse worms. First cast, bam fish on. A 14" largemouth, that did a nice tail dance across the surface. It had been a while since I had used plastic worms, so I was quite surprised that I hooked up so quickly. Since there is a slot limit on the glade lakes, I had to release it. We continued to catch another dozen or so bass is the next couple of hours, all just inside the slot. We ended the day by getting some barbecue at Big Boys BBQ, which is always nice.

On Saturday we planned on targeting bluegill to fill the wife's request, and then we would have some fun with bass. Another day, and another bass on the first cast. A little different than I had planned, but still much welcome. I am looking into buying a 'toon, so my fishing buddy Scott let me borrow his to see what I thought. Since I was unfamiliar with it, I spent around 30 minutest putting it together, the finished product can be seen at right. The wind made controlling it a little difficult, but with an anchor it shouldn't be a problem. Also, it was nice being able to access water that is normally inaccessible to other. My primary use for a 'toon would be on some of the local tailwater, mostly the Clinch and Watauga. I had a few concerns/complaints about the casting deck/lean bar, but those should be remedied in the one I am looking at. North Fork Outdoors, Fish Cat, and Outcast make toons with sliding casting platforms and fold back lean bar. After taking it out and playing around in it for awhile, it was back to business.

We broke out the crickets and crawlers and continued to catch about a dozen slab sided bluegills before lunch. I am talking about rod bending, pan filling, hungry gills. At lunch we went back to the room to relax and replenish our bait supplies, and managed to snap this quick pick of a future fisherman.

We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening chasing bass, and catching up on one every so often. I think the approaching frontal system had put the lock jaw on the fish because previous patterns had became unproductive. We ended up calling it a day and spending the rest of the day hanging out just enjoying the evening. This time next year there will be two more added to the annual trip, my son and my cousin's baby. That should make for an interesting trip, but I am still looking forward to it. I am very thankful for the opportunity to take this trip every year, and I hope to keep this tradition alive for years to come.

Next up:
May 1st and 2nd camping trip to the South Holston. I have some private property access that allows us to camp, and the sulfurs are hatching. This will be my last camping trip for a few months, so I am going to make the most of it. Should be an exciting trip, and I hope to have lots of pics and stories to share.

God Bless and Tight Lines

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New South Holston Public Access

68 acres along the South Holston river have been purchased by The Conservation Fund to be used as public fishing access. The property is located on Big Springs Rd near the intersection with Hickory Tree, and encompasses approximately 3500 ft of river frontage. Current time frame for opening to the public is spring 2009. Details I have heard are that the property is located on the right side of Big Springs Rd at the point where the road first encounters the river. More details to come as I learn them.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Beautiful Day on the Hiwassee

Made it out to the Hiwassee on Friday, and it was a beautiful day. Took the day off work and made it to the river around 10:00. When we got there, it was about an hour until the pulse was scheduled to start. So we made our way across the water and into place. Saw quite a few BWO's and Hendricksons coming off, but no rising fish. So, we chose to start off with nymphs, so I started with a BHPT and a hare's ear nymph. Managed to catch 2 about 30 minutes into the morning, then things slowed once the pulse hit. However, as the water was just starting to come down the run I was fishing exploded. I caught 5 between 10 and 13 inches in about 30 minutes, the best of which can be seen to the left. Since I had to be back in Knoxville at 5:00, we started packing to leave around 3:00, the beginning of the best fishing time. As we were leaving, ran into 2 guys who said the day had been slow, but I believe they had been fishing dries most of the day. We caught no fish on dries today, and only saw a couple of small stockers rising to dries while on the river. The fly of choice today was a black bead head pheasant tail, as seen below. The black bead seemed to make a difference, since the action was much more consistent than when I had a gold bead on. I lost a good number of fish, most were stockers, but one was a decent sized rainbow.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Seeing Yellow

Made it out to Melton Hill tailwater today for some white and yellow bass fishing. Very Windy day today ahead of the front and storms moving in this evening. Fished for about an hour before the wind got too strong to cast, even with the 6-wt. Landed 3 yellow bass on a conehead white wooly bugger. No pics since no significant catches to speak of, but looking forward to getting out again with a sink tip line and trying for some white bass deeper and maybe even some skipjack on top in the coming weeks.

19" Clinch River Brown