Caney Fork Trout Fly Fishing - Caney Fork Trout Guide


Striper, Trout, Smallmouth, and Musky, guide trips in the Nashville area. Our home waters are Cumberland and Caney Fork River and our specialty is fly fishing for Trout and Stripers.

~Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish~

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went south...
« on: March 17, 2016, 07:37:55 PM »
but first, a bit of history. Between 2004-2006, I spent a fair bit of time working with a group of folks on diversity of native Mexican trout. I got distracted by cool fishes elsewhere, the mountains got way more dangerous, and time has a way of going by way too fast. Anyway, last winter we started talking about doing another trip down, and in late February, we all converged in El Paso, loaded a mountain of gear into a couple trucks, and drove south into the mountains of southern Chihuahua and northern Durango for a week in the sticks.

Our goals were to play around with a DJI quadcopter over some of the areas we’d found trout in before, to get some good video for a little movie that Joe Tomelleri is putting together, and to survey a couple parts of the upper Conchos that we’d meant to sample before but hadn’t. We were somewhat worried about the drone — would it attract attention from narcos? Would it crash at the bottom of the mile-deep canyons that form the western margin of the Sierra Madre Occidental? Would it get taken out by eagles? No worries, it performed brilliantly.

Joe spent quite a bit of time behind various cameras.

We spent a day on the upper Rio Fuerte, a Pacific Slope drainage that’s home to the only one of the native trout that’s been described to date, the Mexican Golden Trout (Oncorhynchus chrysogaster). I couldn’t resist the opportunity to flyfish a bit, and despite cold water temps, we managed to get a few fish.

Mexican goldens are spectacular fish; the lateral band gets very dark and looks bluish-black in the water.

The river was beautiful, and there were trout in every pocket.

The Rio Fuerte flows through some deep canyons, in some cases deeper than the Grand Canyon.


We also spent a fair bit of time trying to access some tributaries to the Rio Conchos, one of the largest tributaries to the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo. These contain two undescribed trout that are quite beautiful but very isolated and uncommon. 

This generally involved finding a local guide (mostly to avoid pot growing operations — while we were there before the planting season, some folks are still prepping fields and laying irrigation systems). We’d bounce around on bad logging roads until we got to the canyon rim…

load up with gear, and then try to find a way down that didn’t involve rappelling.

If we’d manage to make it to the bottom, there were other obstacles — particularly waterfalls and slot canyons. In this case, a pot grower ran an irrigation pipe through a pretty impressive slot canyon.

We found some cool fish in the Conchos, but no new trout populations. I spent a fair bit of time taking photos of everything we caught.

These are a couple of the coolest — Conchos shiner, Cyprinella panarcys

and Conchos chub, Gila pulchra

The locals know there are trout in the creeks, and use everything from nets to bleach to native plants to capture them (and suckers, and Gila, and anything else!). We found this weir on the mainstem upper Conchos.

The upper Rio Conchos is an amazing river, and certainly gets used by trout to seasonally migrate between some of the tributaries that maintain populations. 

It also has some of the best-shaped skipping rocks I’ve seen, which provided some well-earned down time fun.

I was looking forward to cool snakes and such, but we only found a few canyon tree frogs and a couple lizards. Despite the warm afternoons, nights were still very cold, well down into the 20s. 

The scenery was sublime, however.

Overall, it was a good trip, though way too short. The area remains dangerous, and I wouldn’t even think of venturing into this region during the growing season… but I already can’t wait to go back next winter.


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Re: went south...
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2016, 09:37:48 PM »

yep, scenery sucked ;D


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Re: went south...
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2016, 08:14:21 AM »
Yup I am with Grumpy, scenery sucked ;)


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Re: went south...
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2016, 10:43:35 PM »
Nice images and fish! Thanks for sharing.

Steve Howard

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Re: went south...
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2016, 10:25:05 AM »
Wow, what an amazing journey!! That was pretty epic Dave. Thanks for sharing with us.

And yes, the scenery sucked.  ;)
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Re: went south...
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2016, 08:59:36 PM »
Great scenery and beautiful trout.  Plus it's a bonus not getting bit by rattlesnakes or shot/robbed by the cartels.
We'll have to chase some backcountry Muskies soon...the same risks are there as well.


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Re: went south...
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2016, 06:10:43 PM »
How often do you look out and say, Damn I hate my office.

thanks for the trip,
"You see the fish, make the cast. Tic, tic, hit him, no not a trout set!!!!!! What are you doing?"

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Re: went south...
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2016, 05:09:55 PM »
Great post Dave. I'm very jealous.
It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly. ~Thoreau