Fly Fishing the Caney Fork

In August of 2016, a few buddies and myself decided to go check out the Caney Fork in Tennessee for some late summer tail water action. We had been in the dead of winter and the fishing was tough, so our expectations were low. Boy, were we in for a treat!

We arrived on location about 15-20 minutes after daylight, to our delight we were the second vehicle to park in the area. 

The day started off at a cool, crisp 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The high for the day was forecast to be 91 degrees Fahrenheit, and a beautiful bluebird sky. Sun not yet risen and a cool mist was rising off the surface of the water,things were shaping up nicely!

As we geared up, we spotted a doe and little two spotted fawns, a good sign. Once geared up, we slowly made our way to the waters edge, to be greeted with crystal clear water and a bald eagle soaring above. This was another good sign!

After carefully studying the water for a few minutes, subsurface trout activity was spotted! Quickly, we tied out flies and began presenting our offering. After a few casts, the lines went tight and the fight was on!

As the day wore on, more trout were caught, predominantly aggressive brown trout. Several chunky  rainbows were also in the bag.  The tandem rigs seemed to produce the best results, rigged with weighted fly on bottom and a non-weighted fly on the top. 

The rainbow in the photo above was one of the larger rainbows, measuring around 14 inches and gave an awesome display water acrobatics.

The brown trout fought strong and hard, I was very surprised in the strength of these little fellas.When the bag is mixed and the fish are healthy and strong, it makes for a fantastic day on the water! I was pleased with the clarity of the river and the health of the fish. TWRA and TVA are doing a fantastic job managing this tail water.

The gear of my choice is noted in the photo below. While I prefer to stick with all American Made, unfortunately that is simply not economically possible at the time being. Below is a list of my top gear:

  1. Smith Optics Guides Choice sunglasses
  2. Filson Tin Packer hat (Made in USA)
  3. Vedavoo Beast Sling (Made in USA)
  4. Cliffs Jr. Beast and  Bugger Barn (Made in USA)
  5. Orvis Boots and waders
  6. Abel Nippers (Made in USA)
  7. Yeti Tundra Roadie 20 (Made in USA)
  8. Temple Fork Outfitters Professional II 9′ 5wt rod
  9. Ross Reels CLA (Made in USA)
  10. Scientific Anglers WF 6F (Made in USA)


Be sure to check out the gear listed, I feel confident you will not be disappointed. Stay safe out there and have fun!



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