“First Cold Day”
A cold front blew in yesterday evening and carried on through this morning with some rain and good cloud cover. I met my clients up at the fly shop for a day out on the river. We had a wade trip today starting at 9. There was an early morning pulse this morning on top of a 340 sluice to give a cool burst of water for the morning fishing. We arrived at the river with several layers packed on a piece. You know that first day that it really gets down cold, it seems much worse than even the coldest days of the year. We had rigged up blue wing nymphs and midges to start out. It didn’t take an hour before blue wing olives started pouring off. You could get away with a size #20 CDC comparadun or a simple cripple. For a little while there were sulphurs coming off as well in the mix when we had burst of sun. A good tandem rig ended up being a sulphur up top with a smaller olive simple cripple on down below. The blue wings continued hatching off strong all afternoon. Just about everywhere you looked there were fish popping blue wings on the surface. It was a dry fly fishing day for sure. I encourage everyone who’s considering taking a trip to the South Holston to spend some time out in the yard on some casting practice a few days before your trip. You really do have to bring your A-Game on casting. You really do need to be able to hit a pie plate at 35-40 feet consistently to put numbers on the board in the dry fly fishing game. The South Holston is definately if nothing else, a year round dry fly fishery. In the CDC dry fly game there is two products that every savvy Soho angler needs.
The first is some preen oil ( Pictured on the left). The preen oil is a pretreatment to use on your CDC flies. The second necessary evil is a few bottles of frogs fanny. Not all dry fly dust is created equal. Frogs Fanny is in my opinion a far superior product than any of the dry shakes or the like. You do need to take some time and really work the powder into the fly. Not only does it do a good job of getting your flies floating high again. But it also changes the color of the wing. It gives gets the color of the wing that natural light dun color like the naturals have making the patterns look even more realistic.
There was some good size fish out eating today. The rain kept a lot of fair weather fishers off the river. A good dry fly fisherman could have racked up today and cleaned some clocks. Everyone in the group had fun and caught their fair share of fish but admitted to needing some more casting practice. It was very cool to hang out with this group of long rodders. Everyone had their own 10 footer which is a perfect fishing tool on the big river.
As a reminder to those of you to fish the South Holston you’ve got a month before the the two spawning sections of the river will be closed. Now is the time to get out and have a chance at some good sized fish as they fatten up pre-spawn. I didn’t manage to take any pictures today as my finger weren’t up for the challenge of digging for the camera. A moose knuckle lanyard would be the perfect tool for a rainy fall day keeping all of your important tools at bay on top of your rain gear.
Until the Next Time
Josh McFadden – Contributor