Quite a Weather Change….Fall is On the Way In…
Sun…Sept. 10, 2012…..Great to have a day off to enjoy with my family, enjoyed an afternoon off watching football with my two sons. Its cool, as I am sure you probably noticed when you went out this morning. A nice break from the summer heat, and a definite harbinger of a coming fall. Had a two day trip Friday and Saturday amidst some interesting weather changes, and did a day on the Holston on Friday and spent Saturday on the New. Here’s a recap of how our fishing was…
Guided Brian Thomas, Will Service,Raleigh, NC, TN South Holston,we had planned on smallmouth fishing on the New but rains on Wed. and Thurs forced us to change plans, we instead fished the SoHo and caught about a dozen to 15 fish, a mix of browns and rainbows…some of them on ants fished to the bank and the others on a caddis CDC dry with a 15″ dropper and a size 20 choco midge. Had a blue winged olive spinner fall and there were a good many sippers keying on it on one flat we fished and it was decent as well. For a short time nearly every fish in the river where Will and I were standing was up. We fished til about lunch time and until the water rise forced us to move down river. We fished a short stretch down river and caught probably 6 or 8 more fish, including two 15″ browns, we used dry/dropper rigs and ants to bank sippers. Not stellar, and certainly we didn’t kill them today, but 30 fish or so on a technical trout river like the South Holston where you are mostly fishing to wild, selective fish is a decent day….. maybe challenging /tough by some standards but considering a good many folks aren’t catching fish at all its pretty good. Certainly a good day in terms of being with two guys that were great to spend the day with and who are excellent anglers…. Day two was cool, cloudy to start and we had a strong cold front at our backdoor….so we expected challenging fishing and the threat of some thunderstorms/rain as the front passed through. We got a really early start due to the weather threat and also because I am a firm believer in a first light bite during warm weather. We fished the upper North Fork and caught I think 4 smallies and a ton of redbreast at the first spot we fished. One 11 inch bass and the other , the largest of the morning, was caught by Brian in a bank side eddy right off a very fast stretch of riffle water. It was about 14″ roughly, and a nice fish, what would turn out to be the nicest one of the day. We hit another spot, caught a couple small bass, a few redeyes, then took a quick break for lunch/snacks before hitting another stretch. The two spots we fished early the water was really stained…..well, very stained to be accurate. With the front fast approaching we moved to another spot and after a quick lunch/snack break, we headed down to the water again. We caught probably a half dozen smallmouth bass right away, with Will’s 13″ fish caught on an olive wooly bugger being the best one of that stretch. We caught a few redeyes, then moved again when another angler , the first fly angler I have ever seen on this stretch of river, came up on us. We decided to move too because a guy below him was in the edge of the river with an ATV, not exactly the quiet, peaceful area you are hoping for. They also spoiled a really great pool as well with all the noise and commotion. We decided to hit another stretch with the front bearing down on us. We got in, and started fishing again. The sky grew dark and wind picked up, we started catching smallmouth again, and managed probably 8 or 10 more in the first few hundred yards of the next stretch we fished. It started to rain lightly, and Brian hit a hotspot where he caught several bass in short order while Will and I were standing nearby and catching a couple as well. We continued to fish for another hour or so, and just as quickly as the fish turned on they turned off. The air temperature seemed to fall rather quickly,and soon we were all kind of shivering with the quick weather change and the unfamiliar chill in the air. Certainly felt like fall. It was another great day with two great anglers. We fished hard and it wasn’t the really bad weather we were expecting….and we did catch a fair number of bass with a few good ones. No huge ones, but considering we were expecting the day to be cut short potentially with bad weather or the possibility of fishing in less than good conditions, the day was better than expected. And that many bass on the fly is a good day no matter how you count them. We didn’t get a large fish in a few of the holes I thought we would, and we had a really good hole spoiled by someone being there before us. But all in all still a good day with two great anglers.
Will be heading out bright and early, I mean really early to be on the water at first light. I will be guiding Neal Mitchell, Greensboro, NC, and we’ll be on the South Holson. Will be expecting some dry fly fishing, particularly a blue wing olive spinner fall that has been building for the past few weeks. On some stretches of the river, there are a lot of fish up early in the am hours and sipping these #20 spinners. I have been finding them most on the small, gravel bottomed stretches of the river…which on this river often means the upper river around islands….
Have a great one, and a great coming week. Good fishing…!
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