Appalachian Angler

A page for fishing reports, guide ramblings, and angler folklore

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Appalachian Angler: February Sun


I guess you always have to add the first fish of the day right?

With warming temperatures and some time off (thank goodness) finally got a chance to head over to East Tennessee to the South Holston for some much needed fishing.  We arrived on the river with lots of size 18 blue wings flying all around with some midges mixed in.  Started the day with some dry fly fishing which turned out to be a pleasant surprise that after all this time (2 weeks) I could still actually execute good drifts and hook ups.

It can be very humbling to miss fish after fish when they are literally eating right in front of your face.....Fortunately today was not the case - got the chance to do some great dry fly fishing with as simple patterns as 18 olive adams...After about an hour of fishing the dries started to slow down so we went back to the stand-by: dry dropper.  We could see lots of fish eating nymphs and would naturally assume they were still eating the blue wing nymphs with the amount of adult duns on the surface - but after closer observation and trial-and-error we came to the conclusion that they were (as almost always) eating midges. With the amount of sun we experienced today - it was no huge surprise, as midges thrive on the sun.

The midges we fished were all in the 20-22 range with most of the urgent hits on the tungsten beaded midges.  Fishing three flies at once will always give you a good idea as to what the fish are keying in on, and while we still had a lot of eats on the blue wing nymphs (micromays, split-wings) - almost all of the fish were eating the midge.  At one point there was a few successive doubles in a row, with a total of around 30+ fish landed with some very respectable fish thrown in.
Only rainbow of the day - sight fished 16"
Epic battle - in a pool that is near and dear
Get the memo?

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