Sunday, February 20, 2011

Smokies Report: Things are warming up....

WPLR at Laurel Creek Confluence

Made it out today after my fly tying demo at LRO for a few hours of fishing. Chose to focus my efforts on the smaller waters and tributaries of LR, hoping for less spooky fish and less pressure. Things started off a little slow with a heavy stonefly nymph (for weight) and a zebra midge. Then it happened.......

I saw a lone blue quill ascend from the surface of a pool just downstream from a riffle. So, I immediately switched over to a #16 flashback pheasant tail, and it was game on. In nearly every good looking run I would get a take. My landing-to-strike ratio was way too low, and I was probably close to 20% today.

Had one big fella take my nymph as I drifted it just inches from a rock wall, and he immediately rocketed downstream. Never even got a look at him, as he came unbuttoned pretty quickly. Never saw another blue quill or a single rise. Chose to not use a dry since the water I was fishing had quite a bit of current and would have been a nightmare to have kept afloat with the FBPT dropped 18" below it.

However, I hope this report helps to brighten the mood of some of you out there anxiously awaiting Spring. Here are a couple pics from the day:
My First Fish of the Day

Another shot of the first fish

Another - a little larger

And another

Great day to be out, can't wait to do it again.

Until next time, Tight Lines and god bless.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Early Season Skunk

Desperately needing some time on the water, I headed out to the Clinch this afternoon. I wanted to fish lower on the river, but the generation schedule was not very favorable for the early afternoon. So, I elected to start the afternoon up near the dam, and then migrate downstream around 4:00. There were a few midging fish below the dam, but none of the usual suspects were working. After a little while I made my way downstream to my regular fishing spot. Unfortunately the water was still higher than I am comfortable fishing so I just fished near the shore to prevent getting too far out into the swift current. There was quite a dramatic difference in the midge activity between the dam and lower river. Down low I didn't see a single bug floating above the surface, and therefore I saw no rising trout. Needless to say I picked up the skunk today, but hopefully I got it out of the way so I don't have to think about it again this year. Guess I will have to bite the bullet and go out on a Saturday with everybody else when TVA has a more favorable schedule.

One good thing about today is that I got to take the D90 out on the water. It is quite a significant step up from the D40, and am thrilled with the results. Can't wait to try and get some good fish shots this year with the new camera and good prime glass.

Here are two scenery shots from today.

19" Clinch River Brown