New Week, Same Story, Big Water and Big Fish…..
Tuesday….Jan 8, 2019 ….. This week started off where last week left off. Big water, 3010 cfs…..and big fish. Multiple 20 inchers in the boat today. On Tuesday I did a guided float trip, with David Slaydon, of Reidsville, NC, and Bob Stanford, of Greensboro, NC. We have continued to have big flows as its continued wet patterns goes on ….but we had a few dry periods….even if we kept the ‘we got rained on ‘ mantra going into 2019. We did get a few periods of showers , enough to soak us and then it quit.
Bob and Dave and I did the entire South Holston to Bluff City, the ‘Long day’ so to speak. We floated the big water, 3010 cfs, as TVA still dumping lots of water to get the lake back to where it should be. Not a lot of folks on the water, we saw one boat and they were floating and duck hunting.
Fishing wise we had the whole river to ourselves. The weather was mild, cloudy, periods of rain, and we got some windy conditions later in the day as a potent front blew in late in the day. We caught a lot of fish early nymphing, we nymph fished the first third of the trip and caught some fine fish, the best one a fish of 22-23″ Bob landed on a Zebra midge.
Pretty impressive as we hooked up and pulled anchor and followed the fish downstream and netted it. Sometimes hard to keep large fish on lighter tippet in heavy flow with a smaller fly like that. But we got the fish in the boat and snapped a couple quick photos and released the fish. Halfway through the float we got out the big rods and decided to commit to streamer fishing the rest of the way.
As I usually say, put in the work and reap some rewards. That is exactly what it was…..the guys committed to it and hammered out a good afternoon throwing meat, and put several big fish in the boat. Some of the most epic streamer eats with fish hammering the fly in a boil a foot under the surface.
Had several like this, including a violent kill shot delivered by one of the best fish of the day, a gorgeous two footer that Dave got within 200 yds of our takeout. It was a crushing strike , or arm jolting eat, a move by a fish not going to be denied a great meal. We took a couple pics , released the fish and watched as it bolted away. We arrived at our takeout at dark. Great day, two great guys, its always a blast …. High water can be good to you if you let it be…..
This just further proves what I have been harping on for what now seems like an eternity. That is, you have to accept less than perfect conditions, put in the work, go anyway, and give it a full on effort. The past year has been, and the coming year will be too, one of those years where if you don’t go anyway and forget the weather causing issues then there’s a good chance you won’t be fishing. It rained on over 70% of my trips last year. That is, not drizzle, not showers, measurable rain. Downpours, thunderstorms, hurricanes, I mean flooding rains. Snow, wind, hail, you name it we fished in all of it this year. More is coming. This year won’t be any different. If you want to fish and catch fish, you are going to have to go anyway……I say that whether its on a guided trip with me or on your own.
We have been blessed with great fishing despite the weather. All these fish are just a few of the many that were landed when folks took my recommendation, forgot the forecast, mocked the weatherman, and went anyway. Proof is in the results….
Have some wade trips coming up and then a float at the end of the week if the upcoming winter snow doesn’t turn out too bad. Of course, we’ll probably take that one head on and keep fishing. The wade fishing is possible again now that our rivers have calmed down a bit.
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