With low water finally abounding, I've been on the Caney Fork several times over the past week or so. The river is getting really low on low water, probably because the leaks from the dam are getting repaired effectively. This means that you need to keep moving around until you find fish. Look in deeper water or in the faster riffles when the river is down to minimum flow
Floating has been the most effective way to stay on fish as the trout are really spread out throughout the river. The stocking truck has been reasonably generous so there are decent numbers of fish in the river. The average size will be the normal 10-12 inch stocker but if you work hard enough, there are some nicer holdovers around as well just waiting for your fly to drift by!
All of my floats recently have featured beginners on the boat and every time they have had a great time. My favorite trip was having my dad on the boat last week for a half day. He never fishes so it was great to finally get him out on the water. Once he settled into the routine and hooked a few, he caught on quickly and was soon reminding me how many fish he had caught. He finished with around 20 trout for the morning. Dad let me fish a little too on the trip, and I found a few willing trout. We also doubled up a couple of times when I anchored the boat and we both fished together.
A couple of days ago, I was fortunate to have a young man on the boat who was on leave from the Coast Guard. He had never fished before and wanted to try out fly fishing. I don't think I've seen anyone catch on any faster than he did. After missing his first 3-4 hits, he soon landed the first of the day and then went on to catch around 40 trout! Here are a few of my favorite pictures from his day.
Most of the fish lately are coming on a variety of subsurface patterns. On a couple of trips to fish for myself, I have messed around with some dry flies and terrestrials. As of right now, don't expect big numbers on either of those. If you want to catch fish on dries, the lower river is the place to be. A few caddis, sulfurs, and light cahills are around from time to time but access is difficult and floating is basically mandatory. Even down there, most fish will be caught down below. The middle and upper river are starting to get busy with recreational boating traffic and that will only get worse with the holiday weekend coming up and summer really getting kicked off.
I recommend fishing the river mid-week as traffic on the weekend will be just about too miserable to deal with.