Sunday, September 27, 2009

Clinch Again

After the deluge yesterday in the area, I knew the freestoners to be blown out. I headed to Clinch instead with my friend Neal. He had fished it friday with good success and I was eager to go. Well, Clinch humbled me today, as it can be that way sometimes. I had exactly one strike after almost four and a half hours of fishing. Neal had picked up several fish on zebra midges and other nymphs. I couldn't catch a fish for trying. I went back to the first run I fished in the morning and finally I was able to catch three bows and one brookie in fifteen minutes. I honestly thought I was going to get skunked. The day saved we decided to head home at about 1 pm. Air temp was nice in the mid seventies and clear blue skies. There were a lot of cream and tan midges coming off and sporadic tan caddis adults at high noon.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Two more films

I'm on a western binge right now. I watched Tombstone and Wyatt Earp this week. Tombstone is the one most people prefer and I feel it's Val Kilmer who plays Doc Holliday in this movie, who is the main attraction. He is doing an awesome job in portraying the ailing doc. Kurt Russel does an OK job as Wyatt but otherwise the movie is somewhat dragging. The other one, Wyatt Earp, is even more of a drag than the first one. Here Kevin Costner plays Wyatt and Randy Quaid plays Doc. This doc is not nearly as good as Val so does movie only get saved by Kevin Costner. Both movies are worth watching, but only if you are a western fan.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Clinch River Sunday September 20, 2009

My friend Neal called last night and was wondering if I wanted to got fishing in the morning. I told him that I might check out the Clinch since it's close to my house and rain was on its way. That way I didn't have a two hour drive home. I got to the river at 7:20 or so. Rigged up and began fishing by myself as Neal had yet to show up. I got a small brookie pretty much immediately on a BH Zebra Midge size 22. After another five minutes or so I hooked in to a bigger fish. I had him hooked but the fish wouldn't bulge. I tried to put some pressure on and in the process the hook came loose. Oh well. I waded upstream where I found a pod of feeding fish in the flats. I managed to catch a few more on the flats and then I saw Neal downstream. It had begun raining by now and I was getting soaked. Neal caught one and missed several fish while we talked. I managed to loose another brookie and picking up another one in the run. The rain accelerated and we decided to call it a day. I managed to catch fourbrookies and two bows all recent stockers in the 8 to 11 inch range. Nice to see the river again but the weather was miserable.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A few old movies revisited

I have been hurting real bad in my arm after my accident two weeks ago. I have been trying to rest my arm and since we are having all this rain I thought it would be a good idea to watch some old movies again. I watched Sergio Leone's "A Fistful of Dollars" as well as "For a Few Dollars More", both are the weaker siblings in the Leone "Spaghetti western trilogy". However, I do not by any means suggest that they are not good. They are just not as good as "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. If you like the genre and if you like some operatic filming you are in for a treat with these. Another movie which I had forgotten how good it is, is "The Ballad of Cable Hogue". Jason Robard's, and Stella Stevens are out of this world in this one. It's a tragic love story with comedy mixed in. If you can stand westerns, with some humor you would love this one. The humor is not on par with Leone's but still, Peckinpah knew his stuff.

As for reading, I am currently rereading Harry Middleton's "On the Spine of Time". I will report on it later. I also just finished a swedish novel by Kjell Eriksson. It's in the Ann Lindell series. This particular one "Den Jord Som Skälver", has not yet been released in the U.S. I never understand how the book labels reason. They publish books out of sequence from foreign authors most of the time. Go figure.

Fishing will be done tomorrow if the rain holds off.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bald River Gorge

Pete from Maryville and I decided to check out Big Snowbird Creek in NC at the Junction. We got there at about 8:15 am and rigged up to fish the immediate area. The water flow was great and the temp a cold 58. However, nothing seemed to stir. We fished for about an hour and then proceeded further down stream. The same thing there, no activity and a deserted feel to the whole place. We decided to come up with another plan. Plan B so to speak. After a long and slow climb back up on Stratton ridge along Big Santeetlah creek we came back to Tn. We stopped in Tellico Plains for lunch and made a decision to fish "Bald River Gorge". After a strenuous hike, for me anyway, we got to the river. Bald had a decent flow and the water temp was 64. I picked up three small bows on top and during the afternoon another three colorful bows on a nymph. Pete took a few on top. The fishing was not easy but the fish was strong and had decent weight to them. Bald river is definitely a quality stream to further investigate. I have only fished it in the nineties and then on very limited terms around Holly Flats area and just above the falls at the other end. I will be back on this one for sure.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Big Santeetlah Creek, NC

I was bored today and decided to drive down forest road 81 from Stratton Ridge down in to North Carolina and the head waters of Big Santeetlah Creek. I have never fished it or even been to it before. It is a very rugged and remote area and I ran in to only a handful of other vehicles. The water level was up and the temp a very good 60 degrees. I fished for an hour with only one small strike. I tried nymphs and soft hackles as well as dries. No luck. I can only guess that it is a tough stream this late in season. I was down at the stocked section and probably should have fished it higher up. Oh well. I decided to go back to TN and drive down North River. I fished for a couple of hours and caught 7 small bows, and then it happened. I took a misstep and fell. I put my hand down without thinking and bent my wrist pretty bad. It hurt like the dickens. It is pretty messed up today. I hope I can go to work tomorrow instead of the doctor. This fly fishing game can be dangerous. I have had more difficulties this year than most. Bear encounters, two accidents, broken rod you name it. Golf sounds more interesting by the day. NOT! Lol.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Rediscovered some old haunts

I used to fish and spend a lot of times down in the southern part of the Cherokee National Forest. Mainly in Monroe County and some times down on Hiwassee River and it's feeders in Polk County. I decided today to do a visit to Bald River at the Holly Flats area. I took a forest service road out of Coker Creek to get there from the back end. All went well and I got on the stream at about 1:30 pm. I fished for a while and hooked a small rainbow immediately. This fish was soot black. I figure from the silted environment it lives in. Bald river is somewhat milky to it's color and it is flat and level at the upper end of the gorge, where I was fishing. Fishing wasn't real good. I managed to catch six small bows before I decided it was time to try somewhere else. The most interesting thing though was this nice bear hound, who showed up stream side almost scaring the beejesus of of me. I tried to make it stay with me as it was obviously lost. It had a radio collar and id but I wasn't able to get close enough to read it. After about an hour or so it vanished and I quit fishing.

This poor fellow is looking for his master.

I decided to check out North river on my way home. I got to the section above North river campground at about 6:30 pm. It was a cloudy and dark afternoon and I think that was the explanation for what happened next. I tied on a yellow stimulator size 14 and flipped it upstream at the first "good looking pool". I had a couple of those pesky war paint shiners coming up and I lifted the fly for another cast. I swung it out again and bam! a fish sipped it. I lifted my rod and immediately felt a better sized fish burrowing down. I knew I had to hold my rod sideways to let the fish fight against the full muscle of my 5 wt. I was glad I had a somewhat heavier rod. The fish was a 13 inch Brown. My best wild brown from a mountain stream in the U.S. It took 15 years. I have caught bigger fish in tail waters and in my native Sweden, but it is a treat when you finally catch one in these infertile mountain streams. I do feel that North river is more fertile than some as well as Bald. I see numerous species of forage fish in both rivers.

Anyway, this turned out to be the only fish on North river today. Darkness came quick this cloudy evening and I headed home with a satisfied grin on my face.

A solid 13" wild brown from N. river, TN