Despite Daylight Savings stealing an hour of sleep, we all made it up bright and early for breakfast, anxious to meet our guides and hit the water. Frost lined the boats as we loaded up in front of the lodge in anticipation of the first guided trip. When we arrived at the launch the water was high, and the guides set up out fishing rigs for big water. The first few hours were tough, but once the sun got over the ridge and the water warmed a few degrees, the bite picked up. We floated the first several miles down the South Holston with only the caravan of the three boats in the morning, leap frogging as guides stopped to net caught fish (or on occasional to re-rig a tangled rod!) as we glided through thick woods or broken farm land. Lunch was provided as we landed in front of the lodge, and we were able to compare and contrast the morning’s experience. Once we refueled, it was back on the water with the sun warming us nicely, and the fishing just got better. Five o’clock rolled around quickly, and it was back to the lodge for a quick shower. Jon, the lodge manager, took some time to teach us to tie the Zebra Midge and Frenchie flies, and then were fed like kings! Sleep will come easy tonight, and can’t wait for another adventure tomorrow.
We left school at around 8:45 to go to the airport. We were at the airport for about an hour. We got something to eat and some snacks for the plane. The plane left at 11 and then we got to another airport to get on our second flight. The second flight left at 3:45ish and was a quick flight. When we got to the airport we meet the people that were bringing us to the log and it was only about a 20 minute drive when we got there we looked around the long and it was vary nice. We got are rooms and had pizza for dinner. And then we just hung out for the rest of the night. – Joey
We started the day off with some nice relaxing fly tying with Mr. Sands. I was working on egg patterns and the table was chatting about the masterpieces they have made over the week. After tying for a while Mr. Lombardi put on some fly fishing movies and we had an option to watch or fly tie or both. We departed earlier for lunch today as we where to pack and prepare and we where also giving time after lunch. After lunch we went through our bags and made sure we are ready to go. Overall a great day filled with excitement for the following days. – Ben
Today we took a class trip to Cabelas, which is an outdoor adventure store. They had a small selection of fly fishing materials, but I still walked out of the store with new equipment. Mid day we ate the cafe in Cabelas which had good food, including some tasty fish and chips. I had a great time seeing all of the different flies and fly patterns that there are at Cabelas. – Ethan
Today we started the day off by watching an Orvis video on how to cast properly and positioning in the river. We learned about mending and casting. After that we tied some flies. Popular flies that were tied were Squirmy Worms and egg patterns. We then went to our rooms and started packing for the trip. After lunch we came back and worked on our casting again outside; today was more difficult because of the wind. We then did trout identification and learned about fishing rig setups for our trip. – Daniel
Today we went outside for the beginning of class, learning how to cast. In the beginning it was very difficult because it seemed very easy but it wasn’t, but after a little while I got it and it became a lot easier and it seems like I got a couple really good cast out there. We then came in and learn how to tie the Clinch Knot, Perfection Knot, and Double Surgeons Knots. Those were weirdly difficult. Next, we went and tied some flies and those were very difficult to do even though they seem very easy when Mr. Sands does them. – Wright
The day started by welcoming the students to Match the Hatch: Fly Fishing the Tennessee Valley Winterim. They patiently waited as we went over Winterim expectations, and then eagerly jumped to the unboxing of the new gear. We unpacked the leaders, tippet, flies and fly box, hemostats and nippers and packed the new bags ready to be used on the river.
Next we learned about the stages of the trout lifecycle, as well as their typical diet which includes caddis flies, mayflies, midges, terrestrials, leeches, sculpins and crayfish. We compared the typical flies associated with each forage, and went over some basic information about fly sizes.
After lunch we jumped in the van to head to the Burlington Trout Hatchery, which farms thousands of Brook Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Sea-run Trout and Survivor Strain Brown Trout (a special breed designed to withstand temperature changes better in our local Connecticut waters). Tomorrow we get to take the rods out for a practice run – can’t wait!