Caney Fork River @ Happy Hollow with No Generators Running


  • Generation: (0) Generators Running with TVA Downstream Water Elevation of 477 when I arrived and 475 when I left at 3pm.

  • Air Temp: 70 degrees (arrival) to 85 degrees (departure)

  • Water Temp: 62 degrees

  • Water Clarity: Clear

  • Boating Traffic: Horribly busy

  • Parking Lot: Filled to the brim at 11am, but mostly boaters. Plenty of room on the river.

Brief Report: Trout are looking up more and more. Some softly breach the surface, most likely feeding on emergers and other come completely out of the water eating adult stage flies. No luck fishing dry flies at this point (maybe I have the wrong dry flies?). Small browns and decent rainbow trout are hitting bead head nymphs such as the Hare’s Ear patterns.


When I arrived I used a pink wormlike fly with a bronze bead head, striping it in fast current to catch my first few fish. I used a stomach pump to see what was in the second (larger) rainbows stomach and this is what I found.


Despite what I saw here, I had been told that a red #22 midge had been working well for most so I switched to that. Plus there were ton’s of them float on top of the water! No luck. Catch one small fish after about 30 casts. So I switched to a Hare’s Ear Nymph pattern that worked well for me the last time.


I use New Zealand Wool for a stick indicator, about 5’ apart from the fly, and fishing the tail end of rippled waters…it was a shallow spot that dumped into a 4’ hole with some rocky bottoms. Worked like a charm.


I caught about ten in 30 mins and wanted to see what else they would hit. So, I used a few different flies before having decent luck with this fly (not sure what it’s called; another nymph). It looked like a small beetle with a red head…fished about 5’ under the strike indicator.

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Recently I purchased my first fly rod. My parents bought me a White River 7’, 3w outfit from Bass Pro for Christmas when I was 16 and I’ve used it every sense. I had some cash saved up to buy a motorcycle and decided to use it on a fly rod instead. I bought an Orvis Recon 9’, 5w with a Orvis Clearwater large arbor reel and I couldn’t be happier with my purchase. Definitely a HUGE step up and a definite recommendation if you’re in the market. It’s perfect for the size of the Caney Fork and the majority of the fish you’ll catch there.


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