I went to Nashville last week for my 20th high school reunion. That’s right, I graduated in 1989 when Milli Vanilli ruled the airwaves, and shoulder pads were such a source of power that they rivaled the potency of Samson’s hair. And while we’re on the topic of hair….apparently bigger was better back then. I wince to look at picture after picture of my bad 80′s bangs and giant perms.
So to delay the humiliation I actually flew into town a day early so I could sneak in some fishing. My buddy Steve Nix from Fly South had invited me to float the Caney Fork so I awakened early on Thursday and drove to meet him in Lebanon, TN. He was easy to spot, the only driftboat in the O’Charley’s parking lot at 6.45 am. We consolidated my gear into his truck, ignored the forecast of heavy rain and ventured forth to the Caney Fork.
The river had been un-fishable for the better part of eight weeks since they had been releasing so much water. We weren’t the only ones at the boat ramp trying to outrun the rain and chase some trout. But luckily we fanned out from other anglers and I was rewarded early with my very first Caney Fork fish.
My second fish of the day was my best fish of the day. In steady current on 6x this guy put a nice bend in the 4 wt.
Notice the bridge in the background? It was in the movie The Green Mile with Tom Hanks.
After a successful morning with teeny nymphs — and still no rain — we switched to streamers. I moved so many damn fish on that streamer but couldn’t seem to land many of them! It was mad, mad streamer mania for about an hour and it was so fun to watch them chase that fly. I did manage to catch a few of these bass.
You will be delighted to know that southern hospitality extends all the way to the banks of the river. Steve prepared one of the BEST streamside lunches I’ve ever had, replete with Nashville-brewed beer.
Still no rain throughout our delicious meal, in fact the sun actually peeked out and warmed things up. I was full and warm and lazy. A few of these exotic butterflies kept fluttering about.
But it was time to get back on the water where we had a stellar time catching lots of these all afternoon.
The rain held off, the fish played their role perfectly and it was a truly exceptional day on the water. The Caney Fork has won my heart and Steve was an absolute blast to fish with. Hell, I hope he invites me again just to see what he serves for lunch next time. Truly, I can’t wait to return the favor and am sending out a BIG THANK YOU to Steve for a great day of fishing.
The next day the weather turned. Black skies and torrential storms moved in. But it didn’t dampen the fun as I reconnected with my oldest girlfriends to reminisce about high school, gawk at old pictures and laugh hysterically.
Some evil-doer in our crowd had the brilliant idea to use our senior pictures as our nametags. So despite my best attempt to use fishing as a distraction, apparently I couldn’t outrun the stormy weather or my bad 80′s hair. Eventually they both caught up with me last weekend.
Really, what can I say about this hair? Well in the stolen words of Milli Vanilli, I’m just going to Blame It On The Rain.