Regional Reports-South

Pickwick Lake

They're an odd pair, representing opposite ends of the sport-fishing spectrum. There's a fly rod, the paint brush of the most artistic of fishing forms, and there's a catfish, arguably the most low-down and dirtiest of the game fish. Combine the two in May on Pickwick Lake, and you've got terrific action beneath the rock bluffs on the Mississippi bank of the Tennessee River. "Pickwick is a great catfish lake, and catching cats there is no real challenge. Enter the fly rod," says guide Tony Green. Using a No. 8 or No. 9 fly rod, with a weight-forward No. 8 or No. 9 floating line, Green ties on a 6-foot leader of 14-pound monofilament, rigged with a BB-sized split shot, a small Styrofoam bobber and a No. 4 Eagle Claw live-bait hook. He uses half a night crawler for bait. "You can't fly-cast, because you'd throw the worm off every time," Green says. "You roll cast, with a roll and flip of the wrist." Cast properly, the line eases across the water until it is completely stretched and slowly settles the bait in the water. Green fishes water five or six feet deep on rock shelves along stone bluffs, concentrating on fissures that hold fish. Contact: Tony Green (662-680-5714; tgreen@dixie-net.com).