Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wyoming Mule Deer


A couple of weeks ago I got to experience something I have never experienced in my life! A wilderness mule deer hunt, on horseback, way back into the Rocky Mountains just outside of Yellowstone National Park. I went on this 7 day hunt with my friend Mike Deming, of Sportsman's News the official publication of Sportsman's Warehouse. Our hunt was done with Justin Jarrett of Wapiti Ridge Outfitters, based out of Cody, WY. We packed in with 38 horses, 9 hunters, 4 guides, a wrangler, a cook, and 3 dogs (to keep the grizzlies out of camp at night).

Justin packing us in....


Our main camp was around 8500 feet but we hunted from 7000 to almost 11,000. That latter height did me in as I got altitude sickness and literally lost a day of hunting from it. I have not had such a horrible headache, or thrown up so much, in a long time! Altitude sickness is something that almost kicked my butt but Justin and Mike both stuck with me and encouraged me the rest of the hunt!

It goes without saying, the country was absolutely stunning and beautiful!!



On the fifth and final day of hunting, after seeing over 300 deer (all does and small bucks), I finally got a shot at a shooter buck. It wasn't as big as I had hoped for but it still scored about 130". The shot was at 255 yards so I was pretty excited when I saw him go down. The open flat area just to the right of center in the photo below is where he was when I took him. The photo was taken from the spot I took the shot from.

While not a giant, this is my first ever mule deer! A nice 4x4 that will look good on my wall beside my elk.

Unfortunately I was not able to get any fishing done but the Ishawooa Creek we crossed and paralleled looked awesome!! It is my hope, and plan, to go back and fish with Justin next summer as he has promised to put me on some giant cutthroat and brown trout! Justin not only offers guided hunts in the fall but he also offers guided fishing trips into the wilderness on horseback. I would highly recommend Justin, and his wife Amanda, as they run a truly outstanding operation with superb equipment and stock!! Visit Justin's website at and give him a call!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nothing new......

It is obvious from my lack of posts lately that I haven't been doing much fishing lately. With college football in full swing, and having season tickets to Miss State, I spend a lot of weekends on the road this time of year. Hopefully I'll soon get back on the water chasing trout.......

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Clinch River, TN (Aug 22-23, 2009)

I had the great fortune of fishing the Clinch River tailwater this past weekend and it was a weekend of firsts!! The trip, with two friends, was a float trip that lasted almost 7 hours. We got on the water about 7:00 a.m. and fished most of the day. With it being my first trip to the Clinch, I had done a little research on various internet forums and found that like a lot of southern waters, the fish liked stuff in the 18-22 size range. Unfortunately, the second day was a 1/2 day wading trip that didn't really produce the fish for me like the previous day had. The local guides had made comments about the water being off color and the weather changes affecting the fish. Not knowing the area, or the water, I took them at their word.

I wound up fishing a size 20 black/silver zebra midge and brought to net a total of 14 fish on Saturday. I lost a monster brown about 5 feet from the boat as I was getting ready to net him. Needless to say I was heartbroken! I was given one more shot at a trophy fish and this time I brought it to net......A beautiful 17" rainbow that is my largest trout ever caught to date!

On this trip I also caught my first ever brown trout and my first ever brook trout! If there is such a thing, I actually accomplished what I would call a "Clinch Slam" in that I caught at least one brown, one brook, one stocker rainbow, and one wild rainbow. I actually caught several of each but to catch all four species/types on my first ever trip will never be forgotten!

Equipment used was my 9' 5 wt TFO Pro Series flyrod, Okuma SLV reel, Rio Grand WF-5-F line, Rio 6x Floro tippet, size 20 zebra midge, Korker boots, and Dan Bailey waders.

On to the photos

The Clinch River

The Clinch winding through the Tennessee countryside

Me with a wild rainbow on the 2nd day

My 17" Rainbow

A nice 11 inch Brookie

A solid 12" Brown

Another pretty little Brown

My first ever Brown trout

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Posting this a few days after the fact but I fished my home tailwater this past Saturday and it was a madhouse. I got a late start and didn't arrive until about 10:30 a.m. Once I got down to the river and headed upstream to one of the areas I fish I discovered 6 folks fishing in about a 30 yd area. Two folks were on a guided trip and I overheard them say that they had caught/released 59 trout that morning.

I finally got some open space to fish and wound up sharing the hole with a very nice guy and his wife from Homewood, AL. I tried everything....nymphs, midges, EH caddis, black ant, etc. Nothing worked. After talking with my fellow fly fisherman, the trout seemed to be hitting a flashy green wooly bugger. I tried fishing what I had in my fly box, that had the most green flash (size 12), and fished it like a normal streamer. After about 15-20 minutes, and having only one hit, I decided to fish it nymph style under an indicator. I was slow drifting it with the current and I finally caught 6 trout in a 30 minute time span.

I wound up fishing close to 4 1/2 hours and caught 9. Most were in the 9" range but a couple were in the 11" range. A great way to end up what started out as a disheartening day.

I'm sorry for having no photos but I just didn't really have anything to take photos of on this trip. Perhaps this coming weekend will be a little better all the way around.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fishing 7/25/09

I got up at 4:00 a.m. and drove the hour to my favorite spot for trout fishing and found that I wasn't the only early bird. The morning was actually comfortable temp wise so I was hoping for a decent day of fishing.

After getting my rod and reel put together I decided to start off with a size 12 red San Juan worm I had purchased from It had a gold bead sex ring on it that I thought added a great touch of realism and flash to it. After fishing it for about 30 minutes with no takes, I decided to go dry. The dry fly, a parachute adams, didn't produce a hit so I decided to go back deep with a size 18 midge. Again, no luck. I wound up trying 5 different flies and only one produced a fish.

After almost 2 1/2 hours I went to a brown size 10 tan San Juan worm and finally hooked up. I had forgotten my net at home so as I was bringing him in to release him the rainbow finally threw the hook at my thigh. He was at least 12 inches long but what really surprised me was just how fat he was. This guy had a big thick back on him and appeared to have been eating well.

Fishing for 5 hours, and only catching one fish, I decided to head to the fly shop. I'd been looking for some warm water wading shoes and Brandon, at Riverside Fly Shop, had the Korkers Torrent shoes on clearance for $55 (normally a $100 shoe). These things are great! In fact, I highly recommend Korkers boots as they have the interchangeable soles. Their construction is superb and they wear like normal hiking boots and shoes.

No photos today as I forgot, along with my net, my memory card for my camera (Nikon D200). Finally, I'll admit that I made a mistake, slipped, and "cooled" myself down a little. Fortunately I had tightened by wader belt or I would have filled them up big time. Let me tell you, that 53 degree will take your breath away at 8:00 in the morning! :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Some friends and I got together a week ago for some warm water fishing and camping. While the fishing wasn't the greatest the menu sure was!! We had grilled elk steaks, smoked trout, grilled trout, baked beans, baked potato, and red velvet cake!

Here are a few photos from the adventure.....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

While not a trout, I finally received my 6x6 bull elk mount from the taxidermist today! This is my first ever elk and I took him in Colorado last Oct 13th! He isn't the biggest trophy but he is MY trophy and I'm quite proud of him.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A few weeks ago a friend and I ventured north to fish the Caney Fork tailwater in TN. The results were not as good as we would have liked but the trip, fishing, and just hanging out together was all worth it in my opinion. Earl was the only one to bring a trout net. I hooked two and lost both. The second slung my San Juan worm (that Earl had tied) just as he was grabbing the leader and within an inch of netting my fish.

It is close to a 4 hr drive (just under 300 miles) from Birmingham to the state park where we camped. I think we put right at 8 hrs on the water but according to some local guys, the TVA was burping the river and the short bursts of release have everything all screwed up. There are a LOT of fish in that river as we saw a lot of them while wading and paddling. Just couldn't get them to hit what we were presenting. I checked the rocks and we were fishing what we found. A day or two of more fishing would have probably helped us develop some patterns and a better idea on how to fish the river.

The fishery not only has rainbow but some rather nice Brown trout as well. Maybe I'll get back up that way before too long.

In the meantime, enjoy some photos from our trip.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Here is a typical Sipsey Fork rainbow. He was caught with a beadhead prince using a strike indicator. Some people don't like using indicators but I actually prefer them at this point in my development.

The trout on the Sipsey seem to like smaller presentations but others have been successful with size 12 woolly buggers. I've actually caught them on nymphs and midges of varying colors and size.


Welcome to my corner of the universe. My name is Scott Spencer and I am a fly fisherman from Alabama. I began fly fishing as a teenager but for whatever reasons I got away from it. Boy how things have changed in the fly fishing world over the past 30 years!! I've recently gotten back into fly fishing with a vengeance with four trips in the last 6 weeks. I'll be posting some photos and thoughts on those trips over the next few days.

Whoever is reading this is probably thinking, "Fly fishing in Alabama!?!?!?" Well, we actually have a tailwater in the State of Alabama that can support trout. The Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River is our little world for trout fishing. The downside is that we only have rainbow trout and the State G&F doesn't have any plans to allow the stocking of any other trout (brown, cutthroat, or brook). For information on the trout of the Sipsey Fork, see this