Tuesday, October 30, 2012

South Holston Doghouse Trip

Went to the South Holston with the Lynchburg Fly Tying group Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  It was three days of fishing, good eating, and good times.  The lodge we stayed at was right on the river and was fairly nice.  It had 7 beds and we brought 11 people so it was a little cramped but not bad at all.  Fishing was by no means good but that was due to a crappy generation schedule and it being the first time I fish the SoHo.  Bill and Doug came as well and I'm very glad Bill brought his raft.  They were forecasting no generation for Saturday or Sunday and they ended up generating from 9 am to 5 pm on Sat due to a project healing water event going on there.  I guess they were teaching people how to use drift boats or something and got special permission to have TVA generate all day.  Sunday there was generation from 9 am to noon so besides some early morning fishing, we just packed up and left on Sunday.  I caught fish every day I was there so I can't complain, but it was still sub par fishing at best.  Friday was decent day fishing in the afternoon.  Sulphurs were hatching and managed to pull in a couple once I got zeroed in. Bill got to take his raft out for the first time on Saturday and it was a fish lacking float, but we learned a lot about the section we floated and we had a blast with Doug in the raft with us.  Managed to still pull in a few fish on Saturday with them generating so all was good.  Woke up Sunday morning and caught one pretty brown and decided to pack up to head back to the burg.  Wasn't feeling very good to fish due to the whole dog house thing that I will explain at the end.  Sorry it was so long winded but I am setting the story up and here are a few crappy pictures from the trip.
Cabin we stayed at.

Leaves sure feel like trout when first snagged.

First SoHo trout is an ugly stogger bow.

Finally a pretty colored up brown.

Nice way to cap off the evening.

Bill with his raft.

Last brown trout before leaving. Did catch one that was a bit bigger, but didn't have my camera on me at the time.

Now time for the reason why I titled this the doghouse trip.

Saturday we got done with the first float we were planning on doing around 1 and we were planning on doing the same float again since they were generating till 5.  We were loading the boat onto the trailer and the handle slipped my wedding ring off my hand when we dropped the boat to take a break.  I immediately felt this happen and the three of us began the search.  This happened on a slight slope in a field next to our lodge.  We searched, other guys searched as they rolled in from fishing, I researched several times throughout the day and even at night with a flashlight with no luck.  I have no idea why we couldn't find that ring.  A couple guys that were with us came up and asked what the ring looks like.  I told them "its a white gold, custom made ring with my wife's finger print going around the band."  Their eyes bugged out because they realized the serious trouble that I was in.  I felt bad I ruined Doug and Bill's fishing for the evening on Saturday but they are stand up guys and would fish with these two any day.  Doug even ran up with me to a house down the road to get a rake so we could comb the area.  Managed to come to an old local guy's house who was an interesting character.  He was the kind of guy you would want around the camp fire just to hear his stories.  He realized the soon to be wrath that I would surely face and lent out a rake.  When we returned the rake to no avail, he told us his son in law lived next door and had a metal detector, but was out of town.  On Sunday before we left we swung by his house to let him know we never found the ring and he said he'd get his son in law to try to find it with his metal detector whenever he gets back in town.  As we were pulling out of his drive way he flagged us down and went and got a rose from his garden.  He said "I have a feeling you’re going to need this when you get back home".

He was sure right.  My wife was upset, but it could be worst.  I did have a good time aside from losing the ring and had a good time with everyone who went.  The fishing wasn't great, but I've realized you don't need to catch fish to have a good time.  I probably won't be fishing for a while due to losing my wedding ring within four months of being married.....but you live and you learn.

P.S. also found out I have leaky waders during the trip.  Icying on the cake.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

More sulphurs

Tied a few more sulphurs for the trip this weekend. The anticipation is building......

Thursday, October 18, 2012

SoHo Fly Preparation

In about a week I will be on the SoHo casting to colored up browns.  Being a finicky tailwater that it is, I have been doing a lot of tying.  Size 16 Parachute Sulphurs.  Not the prettiest things in the world, but should get the job done. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Weekend Camping

My wife has been wanting to go out camping for a while now and with the fall colors starting to come in and the temperatures being pretty nice, we decided to camp Friday through Sunday afternoon.  My wife's requirements were clean bathrooms with a shower and running water at the camp site for cooking.  My requirements was a wild trout stream close by.  We managed to find a place that had vacancies and met all our requirements nicely.  This would be her first time camping in a tent and she surprisingly did well and she enjoyed it.  A couple things we learned is 1) setting up a campsite in the dark sucks. 2) Packing up in the rain sucks more. 3) Bring your own wood because the campground tries to rip you off.   Here are the pictures from this weekend.

As soon as the tent was up I had a fire going.

Wife's knee high socks.

Wife's definition of bike riding.

We ate good.

Snuck in a couple wild bows.

Biggest of the trip.

Big log = long fire

Wife's footie pajamas....for her defense it was cold, but still hilarious that she wore this in public.

Did I say we ate good?

Our campsite.

Local campground dog.

Fire was hot that night.  Thank goodness because it was in the low 40's.

Nothing better then sitting out by the fire until you run out of wood to burn.  It was a nice way to cap out the night.  If you noticed the big log is about gone in this picture.  Took 8 hours to burn down to this size.

Woke up Sunday morning to the sound of rain and came to the conclusion that packing up a tent in the rain is no fun.  I consider the camping trip a huge success and was pleased that my wife enjoyed her first tent camping experience.  I foresee that there will be plenty of more trips like this in the future.  Thanks for reading.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Getting Back.

I have not been out for wild trout in about a month and I have not been out for wild brook trout in about two months.....I was needing a fix.  After the rains from Monday and Tuesday I decided to run by a local stream by my apartment after work.  The stream I fished was almost back to normal water levels; which was very pleasing considering it was a trickle the last time I visited.  In an hour I caught 4 trout which was more then enough for me.  I was just glad to see the stream return back to normal levels.  No giants, but still wild trout and that is just what I needed.  It felt good to get back out on a tiny stream and cast a dry fly on a couple runs.

It was nice to get out and shake the rust off my 2 wt.  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The 10 Commandments of Small Stream Fly Fishing Pt. 1

1.  Thou Shall Not High Hole a Fellow Fisherman.

Nothing is worst then fishing a stream the size of a hallway on the side of a mountain and seeing someone walking along the stream, not say anything to you, and then hop into the stream 30 yards up and start fishing.  This is not only unethical, but should also be a flying drop kick worthy offense.  The proper thing to do would be go way downstream and fish up or if it is your friend and your leap frogging each other, you should go way upstream leaving your partner a long undisturbed section to fish.

2.  Thou Shall Not Use a Double Haul Cast Unless Necessary.

You may laugh at this one, but I have seriously seen this happen on a small stream.  I came upon a guy fishing a pool that was about 25 ft long and 10 ft wide.  It was a big pool for this stream and at the end of the pool was a guy casting.  At first I thought my eyes deceived me, but after watching a couple more cast, I saw I was correct at my first observation.  He was double haul casting this pool.  Lets not be that guy double haul casting just because they can.

3. Thou Shall Not Use Any Fly Rod Over a 4 wt.

If you are fishing for trout that are no longer then your wrist to finger tip, you should not be using a rod that is made for 40 inch browns and tarpon.  Now I say this because I was once a breaker of this commandment.  When I first started fly fishing all I had was an 8 wt.  I wanted to try my luck at brook trout fishing but didn't have an appropriate rod.  So instead of investing money into a small stream rod, I thought I'd try my 8 wt on them.  Lets just say there were several brook trout that earned lots of frequent flyer miles and after one trip I purchased a 3wt.  I still will see a guy hiking into the woods with what looks to be a 7, 8, or even 9 wt and I just small and remember my first trip.

4. Thou Shall Not Ask a Fellow Fly Fisherman Where He Caught that Trout.

It is a very tempting rule sometimes to keep, but it is one that should be abided by when in the presence of other blueliners.  This gets especially hard when they are showing pictures of 12 inch brook trout (When you get excited about 12 inch trout, you know you are addicted to the small streams).  This can take years to practice to break the habit of drooling and instinctively asking that dreaded question.  Surrounding yourself with friends that when asked "where did you catch that pig of a trout?" they just point right to there mouth and say "I hooked them right here" helps to break this habit.

5.  Thou Shall Never Say "that's too far of a hike"

When fishing small streams, one should know that the best streams are the ones that involve a little hiking.  The hike prevents all the sane people from fishing it.  The sane people say "I am not hiking 10 miles through the back country for 6 inch trout."  An insane person says "a 10 mile hike for 6 inch trout, when can we go?"  Now I never said a blueliner wouldn't complain during the hike, but they still wouldn't have it any other way(which all my fishing buddies know I have been known to complain, mainly on the hike out).

The rest of the 10 commandments to small stream fly fishing will be continued....