Originally I only planned to fish the Smokies while home. However, after a text message or two, I finalized plans with David Perry to float the Caney. We needed to be off the river by a reasonable hour since I needed to be home to celebrate my sister's birthday. Accordingly, we started fairly early in the hope that the generation would push us on down the river.
The early part of the float was encouraging but few fish showed to check out the streamers I was tossing. The water was crystal clear which was a blessing after the dirty sluice releases earlier this and other falls. After teasing up some smaller fish on streamers, the fish began to rise everywhere. After checking the time, we determined that the generator had shut off. It was time to get serious about catching fish.
Continuing down the river, we kept searching for that right combination. Finally things started to pick up as water levels continued to drop a bit. A few smaller fish came to the boat and then my indicator dove abruptly and I knew it was not the same little stocker. After a spirited fight, David P. slipped the net under the fish and I could finally relax. A couple of pictures later, the gorgeous rainbow bolted back to be caught another day.
Catching a good fish is the best way to earn a seat at the rower's bench so after switching, I eased the boat on down the river. We continued on, enjoying the late fall day. The sun was low in the sky and the river banks were almost glowing as a result. The reflection in the water was nice as well...
David P. eventually caught a nice little rainbow. Deciding to have some fun with the camera, I dipped the net down in the water and started shooting a few pictures. Suddenly I heard the rod set behind me again and I turned briefly to see what was going on. "Another fish?" I asked. I quickly let the little rainbow go to focus on my rowing duties and to net the next fish. However, the next fish wasn't coming in as easily. I settled down to follow the fish as it seemed like it might be headed all the way back up to the dam. Pulling hard on the oars, I seemed to be gaining ground when the fish suddenly turned and headed straight across the river. Literally rowing in circles at this point as the fish circled the boat, I got excited when it came to the surface and I got a glimpse of a big square tail. David P. got excited too right before I netted the fish. We celebrated with a couple of quick pictures and then got the beautiful brown back in the water.
It was a great last fishing day in TN and even better since it was unexpected until just a couple of days before we went. Can't wait to get back in late winter or early spring to throw some streamers!