Where Fly Fishing is a Professional Passion…..

No Time for Sleep….

Sun. July 9, 2017 ….That’s what its been like lately, been burning the candle at both ends as its been off the charts busy.  Also busy juggling the continued settling of my parents’ estate which is both time consuming and emotionally consuming, but its all gone very well.  Just things that must be done, and everyone at some point goes through that.  Fishing has been off the charts though, even if we’ve endured every possibility as it relates to storms, wind, rain, you name it.  The only thing it hasn’t done is snowed.

On 7-3-2017 I guided  Ryan Sexton, Matthews, NC, TN tailwaters, we did a short low water float and also a high water float, morning fishing was good we netted a good many fish, a mix of browns and rainbows, with two big browns on midges. We fished til the early pm pulse passed through and took the boat out and ran upriver to try to catch the sulphur hatch.

Hatch was good, a few rising fish early then it turned on and we got about 3 hours of solid dry fly fishing.  Ryan smoked them, it was fun, we caught several risers early in the float then moved on to my favorite…..sniping singles and two or three fish groups.  It was like….pull up, spot a head poking out, put a cast and drift over him…..got em.  I watched as Ryan did that to probably a dozen straight fish.  About as good a two hour stretch of casting to fish and catching them as I’ve had all year long.  It was stunning, and fun to watch.

We worked our way downstream and hit a riser here, riser there, and again, most of them hooked up on the first or second drift.  Caught several solid 13 to 16″ browns, and the largest was a 17″ brown.  It was great, getting them on some of my older patterns I have not used in a while.  It was great.  We floated to takeout as there was one large thunderstorm bearing down on us.  About a half mile from takeout the bottom fell out, dumping a quick one inch of rain on us.

After celebrating the July 4th holiday with a quiet day at home with my wife and the doggies I did a 7-5-2017 trip and guided Trip, Mike Workman, Nick Sweitzer, Thomasville, NC, TN tailwaters, South Holston.   We met bright and early, we got out early and did some wade fishing, caught several fish to start nymph fishing with midge and sulphur patterns .  We moved downriver to a flat tailout and caught a nice fish on a beetle that was sipping on a bank, then several on dries, then several sight fishing with nymphs.

 Had a couple of really large browns own that came off.  We fished til about 230pm and took a short break for lunch, then put the boat in for an afternoon float…..dry or die style.  That is, we committed to fishing dries and had a great afternoon and evening of dry fly fishing , with lots of nice browns and rainbows, probably 25 or more, and several really nice fish including one 21-21.5″ brown and several other large fish hooked that came off.

 It was great.  We had a pretty good thunderstorm threatening that broke apart , with some of it going south of us and some north, and only grazing us with some wind and light rain.  We got lucky.  Fished til 830pm and arrived at takeout at dusk.

Did another trip on 7-6-2017 and guided Trip, Ryan Sexton, Matthews, NC, TN tailwaters wade/float, another stellar day.  Ryan always books a couple of days in July while he is vacationing for a week with the family and it was great as usual, just like our past July trips.   We opted for a later start with the forecast for storms early am and rain, but they never came.

 We started down near where the South Holston enters Bluff City and spent several hours nymph fishing and put several quality fish in the net, some great browns and rainbows, probably a dozen or so, not as many numbers but quality without question…landed several quality fish up to the 16/18″ range.  Nymphed up two giants from one deep ledge, both fish well over 20″ that after two long blistering runs broke off.  One fish appeared to be in the 24 to 25″ range.  The other was smaller but close to that.

 I accidentally left the phone/camera in the truck so didn’t get many pics of the first few hours….and it was too far to walk back to get it.  We left that area and went upriver and fished one more spot I like that contains some deep ledges….its not an easy spot to get to or fish but we did well, nailing probably 4 more fish from there and one of the best browns of the day.

 We then took a lunch break at the diner in Bluff City and went up river to float the upper river and catch the sulphur hatch.  We got the hatch, caught a good many fish on dries, missed some, and had our daily downpours as usual.  We had some heavy rain but thankfully no severe weather….which was a significant concern when we were fishing. Turned out ok.  Another late arrival to the ramp though, we arrived right at dusk.  Great two days with Ryan this week, we caught a lot of fish and some good ones.

Finished up the week on 7-8-2017 with guiding a wade trip with Anthony Hipps, Lexington, NC, Adam Harman, Kernersville, NC, TN tailwaters, we got a minimum flow schedule and I opted to wade fish the guys today even though I knew it’d be crowded, and we’d see a lot of folks.  While there were a lot of folks wading, we never really fished in sight of many people and did very well.

Both float and wade fishing is excellent right now, and it should be.  We had an epic day, we picked off several top shelf browns nymphing some of my favorite deep ledge pools on the middle river…..several quality fish including some 20″ plus and one that was in the 23-25″ range that managed to break off after a pretty lengthy fight. We caught a bunch of quality fish, browns and rainbows, including a very nice solitary riser that Anthony picked off on a sulphur dry.

We put probably 30 or so in the net at our first stop, had a quick tailgate lunch streamside, then headed upstream to fish the pre pulse sulphurs and post pulse.  We got to the next spot and it was game on again, we managed to put probably another 30 to 35 fish in the net there, a solid mix of browns and rainbows.  We caught most of those fish sight fishing some of my sulphur nymph patterns (Lickety split nymph) and midges, with lots of fish eating both.  With everyone gone, we moved to one of my favorite spots in anticipation of the pulse and rigged up with dries.  It came off as advertised and exactly as I thought it would be….the fish started rising right after the pulse flow reached peak and continued to do so the entire time of about and hour and a half it was falling.

Adam and Anthony smoked them on dry flies, we netted probably another 25 or more fish, many of which were quality browns.  We fished til the pulse was over, caught a few more, then decided to call it a day.  If the guys didn’t hit 100 today they sure came close.  Im sure an epic spinner fall would have come later (near dusk) as it often does.  A lot of this goes unnoticed because everyone is gone for the day……anglers and guides alike.  I fish a lot til dusk or dark this time and observe this a lot…..by dusk most folks are gone.

Have another busy week ahead, Wyoming trip is coming upon us too.  This week I’ll be doing two smallmouth floats to start….one with Justin Iocona and my youngest son Josh….a second one two boat float trip with Chef Jim Noble and his crew from Charlotte, NC, including QC Exclusive Magazine editor JP Grice, then two tailwater South Holston and Watauga trips with clients Ted Linczak and Bob Schwirzke, and a Friday trip on the tailwaters with clients David Slaydon and Bob Stanford.  Should be a great week of fishing and reports.  Great terrestrial fishing is on right now as well as the topwater smallmouth bite.  Right now is the time to book a trip, for soon July is full and so will be August.

Have a great one….!

Jeff

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