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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.