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By woolly bugger
#697132

lot of water over the damn dam...

2020 Resolutions:

1. More trout trips, different rivers -- number and blog them all

2. Get back to rowing 4/5 days a week on the WaterRower.

So I’ve rowed twice and here is the first TR

Drive time listening to TailerTrash podcast… I had planned to hit the SoHo on Saturday but my peeps quashed that idea with reports of heavy rains, probable shoulda gone anyway, but I regrouped and hit the lower local on Sunday instead.

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This must be the place

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I’ll start right here:

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The river was a little on the high side and I passed up some spots that I usually fish. I had a double stone rig and worked the seams. I caught a trout.

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Worked a lot of water and saw nothing else. Fished back up with a streamer and still saw no more fish.
Went up higher and continued without seeing any more fish,

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So I stopped and had a beer

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At that point, I had had enough abuse and called it quits.
User avatar
By fatman
#697138
:smile
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#697141
So, dad had bladder cancer, and surgery, that ended up with him in rehab for a while. He's back home now. Dementia isn't a pretty picture. I've bee looking after the folks and it's almost like a full-time job. Last Feburary there were 11 doctor / dentist visits between them. This month will be at least five. So all of that has cut down on free days to take off.

The other issue is that the damn dam on the local has undergone some changes, starting with an arc explosion that shut down the powerhouse for an extended period which caused water in the lower reaches to hit lethal levels and that fishery isn't what it used to be. Could be poachers, but more likely the thermal issues have caused a decline in the trout population.

I started fishing for carp in a local pond. They are a pain in the ass, but fun to catch. It's a hit or miss proposition. I manged to catch 19 of them last year, 50/50 mirror and common with one grassie.

Anyway here is a look back on '19.
2019 - The Year of the Carp for the WB - 19 -- not so much on the trout front -- need to up my game for 2020!
Feb-Dec, first year in a long time that I didn't get out in January.

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User avatar
By Lando
#697150
Anyone can catch trout. ANYONE.
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#697215

1-22-2020 - 2

Between five or six doctors’ visits, rain, cold, taking care of business, date nights and unreasonable generation schedules this month I finally found a window of opportunity on the South Holston with them stopping generation at noon and a sunny morning forecasted to bring the frigid overnight temperatures up into the high 40s and increasing clouds in the afternoon promising for the possibility of a bwo hatch on the upper portion of the river below the dam.

On the three hour drive up I listened to Tom Rosnenbauer’s podcast, “Storied Waters with author David Van Wie” It was quite interesting listening to David and Tom talk about the book and the connection of rivers to literature and the many great authors who wrote about them from Thoreau, Marinaro, to Cory Ford, Merwin, and Robert Travers and many others. It made me want to plan a 6-week road adventure to match his travels.

[html]<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Storied-Waters-F ... uage=en_US" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=0811738205&Format=_SL160_&ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=bluridflyfiss-20&language=en_US" ></a><img src="https://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir? ... 0811738205" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />[/html]


As I approached the river, I was tempted to stop in at the fly shop to hear about what was working on the river but skipped on down to the parking lot to get on the water without delay. The lot was mostly empty with only about half a dozen vehicles parked. One fisherman was working above the grates and another was casting below. I geared up and hit the trail, passing a few anglers along the way. I put into the water below a run where I saw some rising trout. I tied on a bwo puff daddy and after a few casts a rainbow took the fly and I thought that this was going to be a good day. The fish was brightly colored and was a fine-looking specimen.

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I wacked many browns and rainbows out of this run but they were mostly small. I was looking at a fish rising in a pocket just above and began to move in when this guy walks in and comes down to the water at the bottom of the run I just left, close enough to be in my backcast. I got the feeling that he was eyeing the water on the far side of the river and I made a move in that direction. The water below us was free of anglers as far as you could see but this asshole had to low hole me.
“Are you going to fish the far side?” he cried out!

“What the fuk!” I thought. “The river is wide open today!” I informed him hoping he would get a clue.

“Mind if I fish this run?” he asked.

“Go ahead, asshole!” I shouted out! Well the first two words anyway, I muttered the last one under my breath as I moved across the river to some freshwater and rising trout. I thinking, “what the fuck, with all this open water this fucker has to jump in where I was. Even the guy with spinning tackle moved around and down without crowing in on my water.

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On the far side, there were more small browns and rainbows crushing my flies and I got some satisfaction that the asshole wasn’t having much if any luck.

I spied a lone sulfur on the water and it was slow to take flight, I was able to snag it and got a couple of shots. The blue-winged olives were harder to catch.

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There were a number of blue herons taking advantage of the low water and feeding fish too. They squawked their prehistoric cry and flew up and down the river looking for easy prey. Here is one perched in the tree across from where I was fishing.

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Things began to slow down and the fish pretty much stopped rising where I was. I continued on with dry flies with some success. I refused to switch to nymphs on this section, but did entertain the idea of moving to some more familiar water where the nymphing might be better.

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I moved out to get my feet moving as they were becoming numb and I was thinking of leaving, or moving to another stretch of river, but as I was walking out I stopped and saw a pool full of risers and slipped into the water. They wouldn’t take the parachute, so I switched to an emerger and that was the ticket and I caught another dozen on the surface.

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The sun was setting and a chill was in the air when I left. Three hours of windshield time faced me before I would be home.
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#697447

6 doctor visits in Jan, 3 more in Feb

2-13-2020 #3



I thought it would be a good idea to hit the So Ho while they were still holding water back from the recent rains. I knew that Thomas Creek would be dumping some muddy water into the river, but as a drove down the dam road I realized that I severally underestimated the volume of water cascading down this tributary. And as I crossed the bridge and saw the empty parking lot, I began to doubt the wisdom of my decision. The mud was pushing half-way across the river and its effects were evident across the while river not too far below the bridge.

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It was warm, maybe 60 degrees, I didn’t bother with a jacket as I went for a walk to check out the river. I walked the two-thirds of a mile to the TVA boundary looking for bugs or risers along the way and glancing into the woods for mushrooms too. I found neither. On the way back, near the power lines I heard a fish rise and as I stopped to look another fish rose, then another. Then nothing. I waited and watched but didn’t see another rise.

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Back at the parking lot, I ran into a couple of anglers and they convinced me to gear up and give it a try. After all, I had just driven three hours to get here. I talked to the young guy, an App student who doesn’t have classes on Thursdays, as we donned our waders.

I decided to give those risers downstream a try. The muddy water made wading the river difficult. I dislike not being able to see the bottom. I worked the run for a while with an emerger to no avail. I thought about wading out further but the uneven ledges made me think otherwise.

Back up at the grates the ASU student was casting a nymph to a pod of punes. I walked out onto the grates for the first time ever and was deciding what to tie on when the older fisherman passed by and offered his advice of a #22 or #24 grey thread midge. He worked he way across the then up to the backside of the island. I’ve never fished there before either and I watched where he crossed.

I gave up on the grates and took a break up at the Osceola Island parking lot. I took a walk around the island stopping on the bridge to watch a pair of fly fishermen working the slow seam and catching some small browns on a bwo nymph. When I got to the far side of the island I ran into two anglers I had talked to before and the young guy was rigging up with some flies that the old guy had given him. I watched the old guy miss three o four fish in quick succession of his grey midge under his wool indicator. They convinced me that I should get my gear and come on back, which I did.

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The bottom here is soft, uneven, and deep. Deep enough that I began to feel all the holes in my waders as I got into position. The second cast I hooked a fish on my own setup, a purple and silver zebra midge. I hooked a couple more and then things got quiet. I checked the fly and saw the thread was unwinding and trailing. I clipped it clean and then began to worry that my cell phone in my pocket might be getting damp and the cold water was soaking into my jeans. I waded to shore, my right knee almost locked up from the cold.

The young guy didn’t like the bobber watching so he had switched to a white woolly bugger and was hauling in fish left and right, they weren’t big but he was having fun. I also gave up on the midge game and gave a slump buster a go. The wind has started to whip up and the temps were falling fast and I soon was seeking the warmth and shelter of the car.

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With my waders off I surveyed the extent of the leakage. Right calf, and knee to upper thigh. Left thigh and rear. At least my feet were warm. I searched the car for a spare pair of pants, and briefly entertained the idea of driving home in my underwear.

By the time I got to Abington my knee was complaining of the damp cold jeans, and I stopped in at the Walmart to get a new dry pair. That make the long drive home much better.



User avatar
By P-A
#697449
Looks like you are having good days on the water mate, that is need with the other thing happening in your life. Cheers P-A
User avatar
By woolly bugger
#698080

First of March dad had an event, he was totally nonresponsive but breathing, which resulted in a trip to the ER and a two-night stay. They found nothing wrong other than low sodium. He's back home and about back to normal as I post this (3/20)

03-08-2020 # 4

Perfect weather, perhaps too perfect. Bright skies and clear but high water on a warm afternoon took me to the lower river. I was surprised to find another NC tag in the parking lot. I went high instead of low and had the upper reach to myself. I had a couple of fish blow up on the streamer but nothing to hand. Still, that was encouraging. The other fisherman was wading upstream and was hitting all the good spots below. I worked my way around and he headed back on downstream. I had a fish that was all of two feet long chase down the streamer right in front of me, so damn close, but yet so far away, the fish turned at the last moment and headed back into the depths. The gauge read 420 cfs at 47 degrees. Caddis were coming off in great numbers and they were landing on my neck and ears but I was unable to capture these flittering critters for a photo. I thought the high hole would be difficult to fish so I turned back and headed out. I watched the other angler cast to a run without any success and we shouted greetings above the river and wind noise. He was heading back to the car also and we met on the bank for the walkout. He is a Virginia transplant now living in Burlington and this was his second time on the river. He had two on the day but I had a no-hitter.



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