Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Little Saturday R&R

I have been planning on heading to the Smokies for some fishing the past two Fridays. Well, both times outside factors have influenced my plans, and prevented me from going. Yesterday, I did manage to make it to the mountains with Amy and Trey, and I even brought along my rod for good measure. At one point, Trey was asleep and I crept out to do some fishing while Amy set with him. Just as I closed the door, I heard "Daaadaaa?". So, I got back in and carried on with our driving and sight-seeing. On the positive side, I did manage to see my first ever bear in the Smokies. Hard to believe that after making hundreds of trips camping, hiking, and fishing that I had never seen one until yesterday. No pics of the bears(my 50mm lens just didn't have the reach), but maybe I will post some other pics from that trip later. Enough talking about yesterday, this post is supposed to be about today's fishing adventure.

I have been really wanting to get back out to the Clinch again after the last few barn-burner trips. The previous trips I had fantastic days, and seemed that I could do nothing wrong. Not only was the fishing good, but the quality of fish was not bad either. So, I woke up this morning at 6:00 and headed out the door around 6:20 to get to the river. When I arrived at 7:00, I found the parking lot empty. PERFECT! That is what I like to see. I enjoy fishing with friends and offering advice to people usually, but sometimes I just enjoy the solitude of the river and the fish. After gearing up and walking about 1/2 mile downstream to my favorite areas I began fishing around 7:45. There was absolutely no surface activity when I got to the river, but that didn't affect my game plan. Today my plan was to work some deeper runs in an attempt to pick up some of the larger fish that broke me off last time. So, I put on my double nymph rig, set my indicator around 5', and started probing the deep runs. The water was still extremely high since TVA did not turn off two generators until 1AM, so the water level was still a bit tricky to navigate.

Private Driveway to River

Things started off a little slow, but I managed to bring my first fish to the net around 9:00. It was a very nice fish of around 17", not fat but long. As the day progressed I began to see some other people making their way into the river well upstream of me, and another older fella who came in below me. He was also hooking up frequently as well, and they all appeared to be the average 11 to 13" bows that this area is loaded with. During the next three hours I managed to land about 5 more fish, and had a couple more break me off in the tangle of log jams that cover the river bottom in this area. My numbers were off a little today, but the quality made up for the lack of quantity. I ended up landing 6 fish today, 2 of which being 17" and one pushing 16". The others were the standard sized bows and even a 10" brookie thrown in for good measure. I really tried catching a decent brown today, but it just wasn't meant to be.

First Fish - Skinny 17" Bow

Another Good Rainbow

Can't wait to get back out there, and hopefully TVA will offer up some better schedules to allow me to fish some on Friday afternoons. Hopefully all the rain this year will not lead to a poor spawning season due to high water flows. TVA has another couple months to get things to normal before that becomes a concern.

Until next time,
Tight Lines and God Bless

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A short hike along Porter's Creek

Today Jeff and I got a house pass from the wives and went to the Smokies for a little hike. We left the house around 8:30 and hit up the Cracker Barrel to fill up before the hike. We eventually came to our destination at 11:00, and found the parking lot almost empty. This is part of the reason we chose this trail for today, is due to it not being a very crowded trail and is paralleled for a long distance by Porter's Creek. This trail is in the Greenbrier area, and is most notably overshadowed by the Ramsey's Cascade trail less than a mile away. Ramsey's is also a beautiful trail that reaches it climax with a very tall set of cascades. Similar to Ramsey's Cascades, Porter's Creek is a much more enjoyable hike during seasons with significant rainfall. Luckily this is such a year.

For this trip, I left my fishing gear at home since I wanted to concentrate primarily on just enjoying the hike and doing some photography. Otherwise, I would be too distracted by each run and trying to spot every fish holding rock. However, this is definitely a stream I would like to take a rod back to and see what I can find hiding out behind the large rocks that dot the stream bed. Until that time, some of my photos will just work to fuel the anticipation of that trip.

Here are some photos from today's hike, I hope you enjoy them.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Nashville and Caney Weekend

This weekend Amy and I went to Nashville for our 4th anniversary. While there we enjoyed some peace and quiet while we left Trey at home with family. We had an amazing dinner on Friday night of fried green tomatoes w/ a corn and Jonah crab salsa, oysters bienville, and antelope steak over a bed of wild grains, tomatoes, and huckleberries. Absolutely outstanding. Saturday we basically spent the day relaxing and starting to really miss the tiny kid.

On the trip back to Knoxville Sunday we had made plans to meet David Knapp from the Trout Zone and do a little fishing. We got a late start and made it to the river around 9:30. I got in the water and found David in short order. This was my second trip to the river ever, and I have to say this time left a much better taste in my mouth than the first. The first trip was way over-crowded and the bait fishermen really got me agitated. Today, the river was surprisingly empty, and I saw some sizeable browns rising right in front of the boat ramp. I only got to fish for around an hour, but managed to land 2 and stuck one that was pretty nice as well. I am already planning out my next trip to the Caney, and hoping for a chance to connect with some of those larger browns I saw today.

Above is a sample video taken on the river. Nothing spectacular, just an idea of what the camcorder can do. This was taken in full auto, so it could be optimized if it had been taken in manual mode.

Until next time, tight lines and God bless.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Some new purchases

Yesterday I splurged and made quite a few impulse purchases. Interestingly they were all photo related. I bought an external flash for my D40, to be used primarily as a bounce flash while shooting indoor photos. I also bought a new camera sling bag that can carry my D40 with a long range zoom, 2 mid range lenses, external flash, all cords and accessories and it comes with a waterproof cover for those venturing outdoors. I hope to have a review of it after next Saturday when I take it on a hike in the Smokies. The final impulse buy was one my wife and I made together. We have been thinking about getting a digital comcorder for a while now, and broke down and bought one last night. We found a full HD digicam on clearance at HHGregg lastnight for 50% off. We couldn't help but snatch it up. This will be used 90% of the time to record the little man's progress, but I imagine it may make itself out to the river with us at some future destination.

Stay tuned for the reviews.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gear Review: Korkers Kling-On Soles

I recently purchased a pair of new soles for my Korkers wading boots. My previous pair of boots had studded felt soles, and I loved the secure footing they provided on the Clinch and South Holston rivers. When Daniel at LRO told me about the new soles being released, I just had to have a pair. The new soles have rubber grippy protrusions along with metal studs. This allows the boot to dig into the Didymo covered rocks and ledges and therefore provides better grip.

I wore these boots during my last outage on the Clinch, and my footing was much more positive than when I was using the traditional felt soles that come with the boots at the time of purchase. I was shoal hopping a couple of times since I typically fish in and around deeper water that most people ignore. My foot did not slip once on any of the rock snot covered rocks. Also, walking into the river requires scurrying down a muddy cow trampled bank, and the design of these soles allows for excellent grip outside of the water as well. I can see these soles coming in very handy for people who do a lot of hiking and fishing the Smokies.

I can't say enough about the Korkers products, and if you are looking for a new pair of wading boots give them a look.

Korkers Kling-On

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Typical Clinch Summer Duldrums......NOT!

Made it out to the river today for the first time in what seems like forever. I didn't really know what to expect, except for no sulfurs to be present. So, I tied up a bunch of midge patterns in an effort to restock my supply before going, and it is a good thing that I did. The fishing was excellent, and the catching was probably the best I have had all year. The fish were in their typical summer lies, but they were very aggressive. And not just the 11 - 12" bows, I am also talking about some of the big boys. I landed 3 that were in the 16 - 17" range, and numerous in the 12 - 15" range. I also had three break me off that I didn't even get a chance to see. It was like I hooked a freight train each time. One of them managed to peel nearly all of my fly line off before I even knew what happened, just to wrap me up in a log jam and break me off. The cool thing is that all 3 of those bruisers came from the same 25 yard section of water. I will be trying that section out again. I will stop talking and share some pics.

First Fish of the day - 11" Bow

Last Fish of the Day - A hefty 16" Brown

I used them today for the first time, so stay tuned for a product review of the Korkers Kling-On soles.

19" Clinch River Brown