Midging Trout on the Tailwaters and some Streamer Fishing

It’s only a short time before our spring guide season gets under way so we’re trying to get as much fishing in for ourselves as we can. While driving to a show about a month ago one of us said that we’re both on the river hundreds of days each year, but relatively few are with each other.

Charity helps our daughter Willow get the drift over a pod of risers

Charity helps our daughter Willow get the drift over a pod of risers

The weather has been pretty good and while the fishing hasn’t been drop dead awesome, it’s still been pretty good. We hitched up the drift boat yesterday and headed to the river. Fish were up midging almost everywhere. We can sometimes catch them on a variety of small dries, but not this time. A small midge pupa was the way to go and we caught most of our fish on that. We hung it under a #14 Parachute Adams so we didn’t feel like we were nymphing. A few fish did eat the Parachute. Most of the fish were about 10″ with a few smaller and a few larger. There were a couple around 14″.

Our three year old daughter Willow got in on the act too! She caught her first few trout last fall on our Yellowstone trip and wanted a few tries yesterday after watching Mom and Dad catch fish. She did about as well as some of our customers. (Not you! All the other customers.) We helped her cast to fish and set the hook. When she hooked one she immediately began to reel the wrong way. I got her to stop that and handed her the line to strip in the fish. She hung on for a second, then dropped the line and started reeling backwards again. Fortunately the fish was hooked solidly and we managed to finally get it in the net.

Daaaaad! Don't take your picture with my fish!

Daaaaad! Don't take your picture with my fish!

Later in the afternoon Charity and I decided to switch over to streamers. We turned a good number of fish and caught several, although none were exceptionally large. At one point I had hooked four or five fish and Charity asked when she could quit rowing and get to fish again. I told her that I kept holding on for a big one since she has this magical way of catching the fish of the day (or the year) within the first few casts of her turn.

True to form she caught a 18″ rainbow on the sixth cast. It shot up at the fly and rolled at it, then turned around and inhaled it. It was a beautiful fish with such a girth Charity couldn’t get two hands around it. She held it up for a picture, the fish squirmed and kicked itself into the air and went right back in the river. No picture this time, but we’ll get more next time!

Fly Fish on Hazel Creek with Us

We’re anxiously awaiting the first spring hatches in the Smokies. It was in the 60’s today and we’ve got some rain on the way. A warm rain might be what it takes to kick things in gear, but we’ve got some cool weather forecast for the early part of the week. We’ll let you know when the bugs show up.