August 22, 2020 #36
TN Fishing License $101/9 trips = $11.22/trip
Plan was to get to the dam as the morning pulse was receding. Stopped in at the SoHo Flyshop to check intel and pick up some comparaduns. Sign at the door says masks required and they were worn by shop rat and customers. I took my selection of four #16 flies and when they were rung up and the total was announced, I uttered, “Jesus” in exclamation on the $10.93 price.
Lot was looking packed but I found a spot, geared up, no waders, and headed on down the trail. Put in at an empty run and braced myself for the cold water. There would be no waist-deep wading today! Soon more and more angles staged up and down the river, hemming me into a short run. No bugs at first but eventually fish rose as little yaller bugs popped off.
I counted 27 anglers on the water from my spot in the river.
I had just caught several fish in quick order, and was retying a fly when a douche walks right into the far side of my run. “Really?” I blurted out to him. “I’m going down there,” he replied as he pointed to the run below. “I had fish rising right there!”, I informed him as I pointed my rod a him. He walked on down and right into the middle of the fish in his claimed spot. I wanted to yell at him that if you were planning on fishing down where why didn’t you walk in below me, but I bit my tongue and went back to fishing.
The hatch petered off the fishing slowed down. I hooked a couple of rainbows and one was pushing 16”, I was going to take a photo of that one but as I brought it close to net, it fought vigorously to get under a submerged branch and broke me off.
The warning sirens went off at three and I worked the now deserted river and made my way back up to the parking lot passing two women in small tube rafts. They were waiting on the dam water to ride downstream. When they asked if I caught any I replied, “of course!”
“Any keepers,” they inquired.
“I put them back,” I replied, and then added, “sort of like women!”
That had them laughing and I wished them a safe float.
Back up at the lot it was snack time.
I watched the rafts and drift boats stage up in the river and at the ramps. 14 in all, perhaps more would come along a bit later. Talking to the guides they lamented that the sulfur hatch this year was pretty sparse with the exception of some major bug activity down low on the river earlier in the spring. As we talked about their drift, a four hour float to Big Springs, I mentioned that the river isn't the same as it was 20 years ago, The guide got wide-eyed and said, "20 years ago? I was born 20 years ago!" Guess that makes me an old-timer..
I hope to avoid weekend clusters in the future...
Ready for the next trip with a 6, 3, and 4 wt…