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Tater
06-20-2010, 10:27 PM
I went fishing today below Burgess Falls today near Cookeville. I had heard there were some smallies below the falls. I decided to give it a shot on my weekend off from work. I was walking the shoreline looking for a large rock that a small mouth would call home. When all of a sudden I saw an extremely large gar next a rock under an over hanging branch. I have caught gar before on a fly rod but I had never seen a gar that big before not even the reservoirs. I decided to give it a shot so I switched from my size brown crayfish looking wolly bugger to a white and red tarpon style fly on a 1/0 hook. I made a couple casts and I couldn't get the gar to move. Then finally I made a cast a little past the rock and the current swept under the rock and I started stripping the fly went past the gars mouth and is grabbed it. I stripped striked the as hard as I can before raising the rod to fight the fish. I couldn't move the fish just by using the rod tip to apply pressure. I remembered watching the film "Chasing Silver" with Andy Mills in that movie Andy demonstrates and stresses fighting the fish using the butt of the rod. I lowered the rod and applied pressure using the butt and the fish moved and then lunged out of the water. The fish looked even larger out of the water than it did in the water. After about a ten minute fight I was able to get the fish close enough to put a rope loop around its tail and land the giant gar. I preceded to take pictures and measured the gar at 57 inches in length and a girth of 20 inches. I plugged that in an online fish weight calculator when I got home and it estimated the long nose gars weight at about 34 pounds.

Tater


http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj90/taterflyflinger/DSC02862.jpg




http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj90/taterflyflinger/DSC02851.jpg




http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj90/taterflyflinger/DSC02845.jpg

psnapp
06-20-2010, 11:07 PM
Amazing catch! How was the hook removal chore?

MadisonBoats
06-21-2010, 10:59 AM
Wow! That is an interesting catch bud! I have read many posts about catching gar and it seems catching one on a fly/hook is a major challenge-considering their hard mouth structure and sharp teeth:biggrin:.

I bet that was a fun catch. Be careful down there; especially if you are by yourself!

Tater
06-21-2010, 06:27 PM
psnapp:
The hook removal was not that bad. The hook pretty much fell out after releasing the pressure when I roped her tail.

madisonboats:
Yeah they are a hard fish to hook. The mouth is extremely bony, narrow and full of teeth. I just strip strike as hard as i can, to bury that hook in their narrow snout. The hard thing is to get them bite your fly but lucky they are extremely aggressive and territorial.

Knik
06-21-2010, 08:33 PM
Nice!

Seems like I remember 15yrs. ago or so on channel 10, a short clip of a guy that fly fished for gar on Watts Bar. Don't think he used a hook either, instead he used the fly/streamer material to tangle their teeth in.

Great pics. Tater, thanks for sharing!

2weightfavorite
06-21-2010, 09:10 PM
Ive caught a couple by accident, never on purpose, but for anyone who wants to try, you should hit the little pigeon through sevierville, watch the shallow weed beds, Every time Ive gone there Ive seen quite a few..

psnapp
06-22-2010, 11:31 AM
Knik -- that was Dr Gary McCowan on the Heartland Series. I think he was actually using an old rag, kinda like a strip of wash cloth. Apparently when the gar hits it, their teeth become entangled in it and the fight is on!

gmreeves
06-22-2010, 03:50 PM
That gar looks sort of happy laying there on the rocks. They are an interesting fish. It seems if you pass it by their face at the right angle, they will almost always swipe at it. Great catch and pictures.

Middle TN Lee
06-24-2010, 05:17 AM
Knik -- that was Dr Gary McCowan on the Heartland Series. I think he was actually using an old rag, kinda like a strip of wash cloth. Apparently when the gar hits it, their teeth become entangled in it and the fight is on!

I was reading one of John Gierach's books "Even Brook Trout Get the Blues," and he was talking about this technique as well. I thought it was pretty neat.

Anyways, congrats on the catch. That is awesome. Really like the first pic ha.

-Lee