Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas (lights-out) Trout

Here is a tale of two trout trips. They take place on the same stream about a week apart, but are as dissimilar as Waffle House and a Japanese express food joint.  Ok, maybe thats a bad simile. Japanese Express and Waffle house food may be eerily alike.

It's the most wonderful time of the year… Christmas rain, Christmas lights, Christmas trout, and the reminder that Christ offered up an opportunity for all mankind to avoid eternal damnation. It's a stellar combo, the latter of which may bear slightly more importance.  This is the time of year that my schedule allows me more chances to get on the water, and it's also the time of year the Carolina skies tend to render copious doses of winter rain.  To boot, December temperatures in the Old North State can be down right bi-polar (not the North Pole-South Pole kinda of bi-polar, cause that would be just plum cold. The up-and-down-inconsistant-current-Tarheel-Basketball kind of bi-polar. Glad I could clear that up for you). Regardless of the the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde highs in the 70's and lows in the teens during the same week, I fish when my schedule allows, not when conditions are perfect. 

Matt navigating the gorge
Tuesday December 17 was partly cloudy, highs near 60, and the area streams had plenty of water after the previous week's rains. I chose to fish a new-to-me gorge section of a local stream. Best fishing decision in a while, because the fishing was lights out! I landed about 20 fish in 4 hours and I only fished hard the first 2 hours. Each good looking piece of water coughed up pre-spawn pink finned rainbows, some of which were well above average for WNC wild trout standards.  I had never fished this stretch of water before, and was stoked to find it only 45 minutes from home. I even hooked what was a 14-16 inch wild trout that spit the hook before I could get him to the net.  The black girdle bug and superman prince never needed to be changed from my line, and my thing-a-ma-bobber bounced frequently in the 47 degree water.

Pink pre-spawn fins on a wild rainbow

A week later on Christmas Day, I fished the section of gorge just below my previous trip, and it was a very different day.  The water was a bit higher and still falling after the recent rains.  The previous two nights had seen lows in the teens, and the Christmas Day high was a balmy 37.  Dreams of Tiny Tim offering "a Christmas trout... for EVERYONE" danced in my head on the way there, but I ended up with mostly coal in my creel on the crisp Christmas wade. 

I knew there were fish in the stream.  That was confirmed 8 days early. And after plying the depths of every run and pool, including the most productive hole from the previous week with nary a bite, I got the first strike of the day an hour and a half into the outing while swinging my girdle bug in to tie on a streamer.  It only reaffirmed my notion to swing a streamer in search of the fatty I had hooked and week early.  I tied on a Christmas Tree.  I really don't know what the fly is called, but it's just gold and copper flashabou with lead eyes.  It looks like tinsel, and it was Christmas day for crying out loud. It screamed out to me like Princess Leia desperately calling out to Obi Wan as "My only hope!" Three minutes later I was holding a ten inch, pale brown Christmas trout that would only have served as a snack for the optimistic tiny little Tim.

My Christmas Tree streamer
However, the fish that removeth the skunk need not be a behemoth to make the lander of said minnow an elated angler (wikipedia FACT).  It was the first brown I had ever caught from this stream, and the only fish of the day.  

The tale of two days on the stream helped remind me that you can't judge a stream by one trip.  The weather was different on the two days I was there, but it couldn't have impacted the water temps that drastically.  There are days when the bite is good, and you know why.  There are days when the bite is off for obviously reasons. But then there are all the rest of the days.  The majority of the days. Where the bite may be mediocre, stone cold, of red hot, and we may never truly know why. We can speculate and leave pleased with one Christmas trout, or leave floating on 20 pink wild rainbows.

The Christmas trout knocks the skunk off.  Merry Christmas to me!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Bows and Browns to you!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Fall Freeze Out

Whats cooler than cool? Ice cold.

It's been a pretty cold November here in North Carolina.  This morning when I stepped in the river around 8:30, it was 22 balmy degrees of guide icing cold. It helped concoct what would be a perplexing morning for me. I hoped the chill would keep the throngs off the Dirty D, but the wader clad army was full tilt on this Thanksgiving weekend.  I bypassed the crowds of the usual honey holes upstream of the bridge and near the parking lot, and walked a bit down stream to one of my favorite, and typically less visited, runs.

The water was flowing just over 100 cfs and had been as high as 1000 cfs a few days before after the rain and snow.  The "log hole" i was headed for needs at least 100 cfs to fish well, and seems to be getting shallower over the years as more water gets diverted to the other channel of the river. Upon arrival, I was pleased to see fish actively moving about and even rising regularly to sipp midges. I fished a three fly rig with a stone fly as my lead fly, then an egg, then a midge larvae.  I cycled through the normal midges, and changed eggs once.  I managed to get only one strike from a naive dink in two hours of persistent nymphing. I could smell a skunk. I hadn't been skunked trout fishing in … I can't remember the last time I was skunked.  At least 9 years. Hashtag humble.

I decided to move back to the crowded section near the parking lot and see what was crackin.  I had about on hour left to fish before I had to lay down my trout wrangling (or lack there of) for toddler wrangling. I slipped into to a familiar run, a piece of transition water at the head of a long slick.  The fish were visible, and not as seemingly active as the fish I had left. I still had my version of a Morris Stone as my lead fly, a carolina egg, and the trusty red midge on my 6x SA flouro tippet (buy one get one free at Davidson River Outfitters right now). In less than five minutes, I was into my first fish of the day. Red midge. Soon after I had my biggest fish of the day, a football of a rainbow that ate the stone fly.

A couple near me seemed excited, disappointed, and perplexed after I landed two fish rather quickly, so I struck up a nice conversation with the lady about the finicky Davidson River and my fly choices and tactics. I walked over to her,  showed her my flies, gave her my productive pieces of water, then proceeding to quickly pull 4 fish out of the piece of water she had been previously fishing with no success. I'd been lieing if I told you I didn't enjoy hearing her shout out "He caught another one!" a few times in a fashion uncouth of proper fly fishers. My ego is grateful for her uncouthness.

The 45 minutes of fishing near the couple from Atlanta/my-biggest-fishing-fan, was fantastic. Just before leaving I had that inner dialogue and self-pact that anglers often construct in their minds; "I'll leave as soon as I catch one more."  After I caught the next fish, I deemed him to small to count, so I caught another in about four cast, and then climbed the bank of rhododendron with a goofy smirk on my face. I felt like Babe Ruth calling his shot, except my accomplishment was way lamer and not as significant, and nothing at all like Babe calling his shot. Nonetheless, I left the river feeling like the Great Bambino, having called my own shot.  Thank you Asian Atlanta lady for adding to my delusions of grandeur.  If only I could leave the river like that every time.

As the kidz say on twitter, I left the river smh (shaking my head). Though grateful for the stellar 45 minutes of fishing bliss, why couldn't I get those fish in the log hole to play ball with me? The fish who did impale themselves on my hooks took the Morris Stone and red midge at almost an equal rate.  I stuck one on the carolina egg.  The fish in the first hole snubbed the myriad of my offerings. There were hardly any risers in the section I caught fish in, and plenty of rises in the stretch that kicked my glutes.  I suppose the risers down stream that heartlessly shunned me were dialed in on some emerging midge. The stone fly I was using as a lead fly must have been getting my midge trailer lower than the film trapped midges the fish must have been keying on. STILL… you think in my buffet offering of midge larvae, a few troots would have eaten my midge even if it was lower in the water column. The water was pretty shallow, so it wasn't as if my flies were floating under the fish. A buddy suggested a greased leader, size 26 fly, and hook sets on any visible rise near the area I suspected my fly to be in could have cracked the case of selective sippers.  I'm not sure I'm compelled to fish in that technical of manner yet. I'll just move and find some more willing fishes to fall prey to my current arsenal of tactics… and an excitably city lady with more fly savvy than her hubz to cheer me on.  Until then, see y'all in the funny pages.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Into the Wild

It was one of those days when the stars aligned.  I had a Monday slated to fish, a remote section of river had rare flows that made it accessible and fishable the same Monday, and the October weather was going to be in the low 60's and overcast. I had only fished this gorge section once in my life... and I got skunked.  It had been 8 or 9 years since I made the trek into the gorge one hot mid-summer day, and the legends of big browns never came to fruition. Heck, dink rainbows never came to fruition. I felt like this October trip would at least serve as a litmus test for the fishery.

The hike in started with a waist high stream crossing to get to the trail, and subsequently, the next trek up the gorge in waders quickly became a wader-sweat-fest, despite temps in the mid 50's. 30 minutes later, we hop in the stream and I begin to work it with a Bill's Provider and CDC pheasant tail dropper. Less than 15 minutes later, I'm holding a gem of a 10 inch bow and I began to wonder if legends will prove true.  At least I can verify that there are fish in the river.

Scrambling up house sized boulders, sliding down the other side and trying not to break my stick or my neck was half the adventure. If my buddy Sam hadn't tagged along I wouldn't have fished this section of river due to the remote sketchiness of gorge.  Sam saw a big fish chase his streamer after I directed him to pull it under a overhanging rock. I then miss a few fish, and 2 hours later it seemed to slow down and disappoint.

I then walk up to a long run with a big tail out that looks promising. This run was 5 or 6 feet deep instead or 10 plus feet like a lot of the other holes.  I switched to a Kevin's Stonefly with a size 18 BWO emerger. The olives were come off pretty good by hatch standards for Western North Carolina.  Second or third cast, I hook the biggest fish of the day to that point, and when I play it in close to my feet another large trout is chasing it! I think it was a brown around 18 inches.  The fish I have on spits the hook right at my feet, so I'll guess he was 12 inches or so. Moments later I'm into a fish that has my click pawl screaming.  I had to play it for five minutes.  I was certain it would be every bit of 18 inches. Turned out it was a generous 14 inch rainbow, but it was a great wild NC trout that fought like mad.

I caught a couple more, then felt compelled to take Sam to a DH stream near buy and get him on some trout.  It was his first time fly fishing, and the wild trout were a little too quick for him.  Even thought the fishing seemed to be picking up the further we got from the trail head, and it looked like a long stretches rock pile before the next big hole and a good time to bush whack our way back to the trail. It left me wanting to go back and walk in a little further before hopping in the stream.  Don't worry, this remote stream still had some unsavory visitors out in the rugged wilderness.

old night crawler container in a artificial lure zone

Sam caught his first trout on a fly rod about an hour and a half later, rounding it out to be a great day. Can't wait to get back to this gorge, but who knows how long it will be into the stars align again. I am confident those plunge pools hold some brutes. I arrived home to find the latest Drake had arrived in the mail.  It was a solid day.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

South Holston River Float

South Holston River
I got a call on Thursday morning from my friend John, and when I finally listened to the message early Thursday afternoon, it was an invitation to stay at the Watauga River Lodge Thursday night and float the river the next day.  For free.  Check your voice mail folks, you never know what you might be missing.  Low and behold, the stars aligned, and my calendar allowed me to skip a meeting on Friday and make it work. After helping feed the kids, rubber meet asphalt and I was headed east towards Johnson City, Tennessee (insert Old Crow Medicine Show tune here) with visions of drift boats and brood browns in my head.

Upon arrival at the lodge I moseyed over to the fire ring, got a jolly greeting from John Barker (a.k.a Smokey and the Bandit), met some new folks, and enjoyed the fall chill in the air with a Sweetwater Pale and sea salt and pepper kettle chips. After swapping some stories, we hit the hay at the lodge. Good pillows and good toilet paper.  I think that covers the bases to let you know Brownie Liles of the Watauga River Lodge isn't trying to cut corners. Great, great place.

We hit up a down-home-greasy-spoon-dive-of-an-East-Tennessee-diner for breakfast, then met our guides for the day, Ollie Smith and Evan Dowdy, around 8 am. Both Ollie and Evan own their own guide services, but are contracted out by Brownie when they are available and Brownie has more clients than his full time staff can handle. Ollie actually taught me to tie flies back in 1998 while I was at Appalachian State University, and I have kept up with him a bit through story and legend since, so it was great to see him.  As the guides met their four fisherman for the day, they suggested we hit the S. Holston instead of the Watauga. I grew even giddier at this suggestion! The S. Holston is the "dream stream" of TN.  6,000 fish per mile. My new acquaintance Dave and I hopped in Evan's ride, and John and Mark hopped in Ollie's rig and we were off to the put-in at the weir damn.

Put in on North side of the river. One on South bank too.
 I had never fished out of a drift boat, and I was itching to get on the freakin' water. #Stoked. When we arrived at the put in, it was a bit of a circus.  I don't know, I guess about A MILLION boats and trailers were there. Seriously, I would assume 15-20 drifts boats launched from the weir dam that morning. Rivers that are congested are usually congested for a reason.

Evan rigged us up in the parking lot, dropped his Hyde drift boat in the gin clear cold waters, and we were dead drifting 3 nymphs under an indicator before you could say tungsten bead head.  A bunch of boats were anchored up near the put-in, presumably trying to put clients on the less savvy stocked rainbows, but we drifted quickly below the barrage of boats because we were floating the entire 7 miles of tailwater and were more interested in the wild browns than crowds. 15 minutes in, Dave was hooked into a 18" rainbow that spit the hook after a decent fight. 20 minutes in, I boated our first fish, a feisty 10 inch stocker bow.

another drift boat in the passing lane

The fishing was never hot. We picked up a fish every 20 or 30 minutes on average. After 7 hours on the water we boated about 20 fish between Dave and I.  Dave, the engineer out fished me.  Freakin' engineer brains gave him the edge. I bet I landed 7 or 8 of our 20ish fish. Evan worked hard on the oars, changing flies, eyeing indicators with us, and untangling my embarrassing triple nymph bird's nests. My pride would like to blame my tangles on longer cast than usual with a bigger indicator than usual.  Casting 3 flies at a time is always a little tricky, but I looked like a rookie at times.  Evan was patient and servant hearted all day long though.

typical 12" wild brown from the bowels of the SoHo
I didn't take many fish pics. I kept waiting for that picture worthy fish. My biggest was a 14 inch brown.  You could tell that everyone out was really having to work for their fish and the it was a tough bite that day. We saw a random sulpher or two, got into some Blue Winged Olive spinners a few times, and a few BWO duns near the end of the day.  I saw some big ol' browns in that crystal clear 45 degree water. We mostly blind casted towards grass lines, seams, and other feeding lanes, dead drifting our nymph riggs. The underwater grass was vibrant green and beautiful. We picked up the majority of our fish on scud imitations. Evan commented that they were taking the flies with reservation instead of nailing them, and often fish would come unbuttoned in the water or as soon as they were in the net.  A steady eye and quick hook set were the fisherman's friend. Evan's watchful eye helped me hook into a number of strikes I would have missed otherwise.

Valet parking at our lunch spot

Maybe the biggest surprise of the day was lunch. It was top shelf stuff. Evan and Ollie set up tables on an island and broke out fried chicken, pimento cheese, crisp apples, home made "Bossy Sauce" fruit dip, pickled okra, assorted cheeses, pepperoni, summer sausage, chips, and water.  Ollie had also closely protected some thin, crispy-chewy, caramelized oatmeal raisin cookies that tasted double good with bossy sauce. I've been promised a "great lunch" stream-side before, but this was truly great.  After a slow morning of fishing, the good eats and soft chair literally put fuel in my tank and lifted my spirits.  If you ever need a guide for East Tennessee, I highly recommend Evan, Ollie, or booking through Watauge River Lodge. We got Grade A performance and professionalism during a day when the bite was never really on.

The day ended much like it started.  When you only get a bite every 10 or fifteen minutes and your blind casting, it gets easy to get sloppy, loose focus, and miss strikes during conditions where strikes are too precious to screw up.  Close to the take out I had a heavy strike, solid hook set, and a bend deep in my rod.  Seconds later a fat 16-18 inch female brown exploded a foot above the water's surface, head shaking, and successfully spitting the hook. I was grateful to at least feel one of the browns the SoHo is known for, even if only for a moment.  Then much like the circus at the put in, we watched a hilarious, yet painfully long process, of a pontoon boat trying to trailer at the take out. After chuckling and repeatedly looking at our watches for 15 minutes, the bottom of the drift boat touched the concrete of the boat ramp, and the return to North Carolina began. To steal a Clooney quote from Oh Brother Where Art Thou, I feel like one float on the SoHo will only "arouse my appetite without fully bedding it back down again."

Big shout-out to John Barker for always caring for me, and making this day happen. You da man. 10-4, over-and-out good buddy.

My boy Mills celebrated his first birthday the following day. This is his brown trout cake I decorated, in honor of one of my favorite streams and his name's sake, the Mills River.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

North Carolina's State Game Fish - Red Fish

redfish left to rot in a NC gill net

Redfish, puppy drum, red drum, and spot tails are all the same creature. The Red Drum is the state game fish of NC, and dang are they fun to catch on the fly.  Gill netting in still practiced in NC, and some people are fighting to get it stopped.  Read this article on Captain Gordan's Blog, Redfish Rendezvous to get a better idea of the implications of gill netting.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Costa Del Mar Fisch 580 Revies

About 3 years ago I was fishing with my buddy Ryan. He often has the latest, more expensive gear.  He let me try on his Costas with the 580 lenses.  My jaw dropped.  Looking into a popular slick on the Davidson River, the water seemed to disappear and the trout seemed to be hovering above the seemingly waterless river bottom.  I was sold.  However, when I looked up the prices on the 580 lenses, and realized they were all well above $200, I chuckled and kissed the idea of the magic glasses goodbye.

Around christmas that same year, I suggested I wanted some Costas to my wife.  I had tried a few pair on, and really liked the way the Fisch frames fit my head. While looking on EBay for the less expensive lenses, we stumbled upon a new pair a Fische 580 silver mirrored sun glasses and scored them for about $120.  That was about $140 LESS than retail.  Merry Christmas to me.

Since, I have really loved my glasses, and their performance is top shelf. When I was without them for a couple of weeks, sight fishing for carp with out them seemed impossible with out them.  They really give you x-ray vision into the water.  Here is a quick list of pros and cons.

-THE BEST polarized lens out there
-Silver mirrored lenses are recommended for fresh water fishing
-Very sturdy frames
-Rubber grips on frame keep glasses very secure above your years
-Great case to store them in

-The rubber on the bottom started separating but Costa fixed it for free
-If there isn't a breeze (like in the woods fly fishing in NC) the lenses can fog up on hot humid days here in the NC mountains.  If I slip the glasses down my nose a fraction of in inch, they clear up.
- I stepped on them one day and it cost $100 to replace the broken lens.

I hope this helps if you are thinking about buying a pair.  I am convinced that the 580 lens is the best fishing lens out there.  Worth $260? Thats up to you to decide.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Red Spread

Deserted old flat bed in a North Carolina marsh flat

Last Wednesday I was netting the 18 inch rainbow in Western North Carolina after one of the best fights I've encountered with a trout.  This week, I really understood what kind of power a fish can put out while landing my first redfish on a fly on the other end of our great state.  North Carolina is truly unbelievable.

Red Fish pull. Period. After at least 7 short outings in Charleston, I was surprised to land my first red on a North Carolina marsh flat where no one in the area seemed to talk about fishing flats, much less know anyone who fly fished. Essentially, most of this experienced played out far different than I ever imagined, while other parts where spot on.  I knew I had two limited chances to chase reds on our family vacation, and my first outing was mostly wandering through the marsh trying to figure out where to concentrate my efforts.  It turned out to be super windy at this 5.0 high tide, and when a found a tailing red, I blew two cast in the wind, had two decent casts, then had a third cast wrap around spartina grass right on top of the tailer. Fail.

The following day seemed to be to much of a Drake article set up to expect to catch a fish. A last-chance-for-who-knows-how-long kind of scenario.  Here is a list of ways it went different than I had invisioned while day dreaming about red fish.

1. Red fish fight way harder then any one has ever told me.  Way harder. Stinkin' awesome.

2. I was convinced all the waked and fin tips I was seeing on this day were mullet, and didn't even cast at them until this guy ate my fly. The fins looked gray, not orange.  I think the cloud cover kept the fins from lighting up "red."Later I realized all the "mullet" I let swim through the trough I was watching were all decent sized reds.

3. I didn't see a single tailing fish. Saw some fins pushing through the shallow trough to get into the flat, but no tailors.

4. I lead a wake with a good fly, and strip directly back to me when I got the eat.

5. I don't even remember thinking about the hook set. I just happened.

6. If it took me four minutes to land the fish, than three minutes and 50 seconds were spent wondering if it was a red fish.  Some one had told me bonnet sharks can get in the flat and chase bait, and I was thinking it was probably a bonnet. When it was at my feet, I finally realized I had caught a good red fish.

7. I didn't get any epic pics of my first red fish. Standing knee deep in a marsh, no dry land near by, with an i-phone, fish, and fly rod in hand is the equivalent of texting and flossing while driving a stick shift; it's awkward and you need another arm or two.

thought i had the whole fish in the frame

Beautiful spot tail (way out of focus)
Some other things went as hoped, invisioned, and planned.

1. My cyber scouting with google maps was great. FOund access and flats from satellites.

2. I had always wanted to take my first red on a more traditional pattern, and not a spoon fly. After some calls, I decided to go with a copper head variant. Got 'em.

3.  The tide was supposed to be around 5.5 on this day, which should lead to more fish in the flat, and it did. They cam piling through about 45 minutes before high tide (i just thought they were big mullet).

4. Without the wind from the day before, I was able to watch for wakes in the smooth water much better, and here crashing and splashing in the spartina grass far easier.

5.  I caught one in the bottom of the 9th. Thats how it happens in the story books, and thats how it happened this time.  It had been 2 years since my last shot, and I hoped that would have been a walk off home run situation.  But I left empty handed after four attempts int he Charleston marsh.

I think my carp fishing earlier this summer helped with my presentation for reds, but red fight way harder than carp. The tug is the drug, and reds pull hard and fast. I walked out of the spartina that day a little early. There was an impending storm, but even with the chance of catching more, my first red had me walking light and grinnin' like a fool.

sunset over the inter coastal waterway

Friday, August 2, 2013

Summer Trout, Summer Not.

On the second annual classic trails-to-trout trip. Matt Sloan and I were equally unsuccessful at "slayin' 'em."  Late last July we ventured into the bowels of Pisgah Forrest to find unpressured trout heaven. We wound up with a great memory, good times by a camp fire, and a few puny trout. Late July and August may be one of the toughest times to trout fish in the south, even above 3,000 feet in elevation.  Low, warm water inevitably leads to stressed, spooky fish. With all the rain this summer, water levels are up and water temps are down.  I hoped our late July trip would fish more like early June.

We didn't venture as far off the beaten path this time, but the conditions seemed perfect.  Good flows, water temps below 60, and we never saw another fisherman on the river or walking by our campsite.  Results... dink city.  We caught a few tiny rainbows.  I hooked and didn't land one MONSTER of a 12 incher.  He did have a super wide red strip on his side though.  Beautiful.

I've officially blamed the poor fishing on the full moon.  "Dem fishes had full bellies from the nocturnal night light of Mr. MoonFace and the Stone Fly Buffet," I told myself and Matt.  Speculation (However, let it be known, if I ever have a bluegrass band, we will be called Mr. MoonFace and the Stonfely Buffet). It was pretty scenery, better company, and a great time in the woods.  The fishing was marginal.  North Carolina dog days just seem tough on trout.

However, the fishing is about to be on fire out West (no morbid wildfire pun intended).  Hopper time.

August Rainbow on the Fraser River in Colorado

Monday, July 15, 2013

Carp Vid from the Local (Big Cicada Dry Flies)

This short was stolen from S.C.O.F.'s latest release. Ryan of Bent Rod Media frequents the local and does a stellar job fishing and making videos.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

All Gold Err'thang (carp)

After  probably 15 outings and more than years worth of moons, I finally intentionally landed a carp on the fly (This excludes the  carp I  unintentionally landed on a squirmy wormy on the "dream stream" section of the S. Platte pictured in my blog's background.  It was my first fish on the "dream stream" which felt like a dream at first tug, and more like a scene from a hypnotist's comedy routine once I realized my twenty inch trout was a stinking carp).  One change of locations completely changed my luck.  Same lake, but a different spot than I had visited the last 12 times.  It only took two trips, totaling 3 hours cumulatively, two put my first two carp-on-the-fly on the board with a blue channel cat to boot.  The first location that I thrashed for the previous 14 months held carp, but required wading super skinny water, which inevitably lead to spooked carp, which shut down the hole with pheromone alerts.  I hooked two in the old mud flat, with one spit hook and one broken hook.

The new locale is boss. It allows me to walk manicured shoreline, all the while dodging copious amounts of goose excrement,  for about a quarter of a mile without ever seriously spooking fish. Aside from never disturbing the water with my feet, I stand 2 feet above the water instead of knee deep in the water, giving me better perspective for sight fishing. My first common was small, but my second was a slimey five pounds that put a good bend in the 7 weight. I'm stoked to have a honey hole 15 minutes from the house for a quick trip to scratch my itch when I can't haul it up to the mountains for troots. I don't always fish, but when I do I prefer trout...nonetheless, count me in for carp.

I caught three more this week. Here are some more pics.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Big Fish, Big Bugs, North Georgia

Green Drake, N. Georgia in June

My blog post are about as frequent as my Green Drake sightings.  I was fortunate to fish a green drake hatch on the Nantahala 2 years ago, but my closest experience with an actual specimen was during a Tuesday night Hee Haw style hoe down in Georgia the second week of June this summer.

I had the privilege of spending 3 weeks near Jasper Georgia from May 24 to June 16, and the little creek running through the property there didn't disappoint.  I probably only had a total of 3 hours on the water in my three weeks there, but every night I was given a free entomology class walking to and from events on the property as bugs would show themselves from dusk on.

Sulpher Mayfly

Little Yellow Sallie

Goldne Stone

Goldne Stones and a Caddis

Green Drake

Huge Green Drake

 The fishing wasn't too bad either.

I think the bigger guys were hold over stockers from the lake below, but I'll take a surprise 16 plus inch  trout in Georgia any time.  I was still real surprised to find wild fish in the 12 inch range in the tiny creek.  Stimulators took them on top, and Kevin's Stonefly for the big boys underneath. Blessed.  

The Hoe Down That The Green Drake Crashed