Friday, February 12, 2016

On the Vise: Modified Shuler

I tied this one up last night - inspired by Shuler's Midge.  Hopefully I'll be able to test it out this evening.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Toccoa DH Fishing Report

I was able to find a few hours to fish the Toccoa DH this weekend.  The water is still a little high for "safe" wading, but I know the river well enough to pick and choose the spots that are safe.  On Saturday, I started out by stopping at a popular spot on the lower stretch. I let my boys make a few casts with a spinning rod. They each caught a nice bow. We then went for a hike. It was obvious to me based on the ease by which my boys each caught fish that a stocking had taken place very recently.  Late that afternoon I returned to the river and fished for about an hour in the lower section. There were quite a few folks floating and fishing. Surprisingly, my streamer patterns were unproductive.  After about 30 minutes a huge hatch came off. I'm not sure what they were, but they looked like caddis. I've never seen a hatch on the Toccoa like what I saw on Saturday afternoon.  I put on a small frenchie and caught a good number of bows.  The wind picked up, so I started fishing a large pattern (size 8) I developed for DH fishing.  It worked on the swing pretty well, but surprising, it worked with great effect by high sticking.  I lost the fly towards the end of the day, but not before I had caught and landed a large number of fish.
I woke up Sunday morning and sat down at the bench to tie two more of a fly I'm going to call "The Ultimate Warrior."  I went up to the middle section of the DH on Sunday.  I put in at a favorite spot and proceeded to catch about a dozen in short order. The fish were very good fighters. I then moved up to the power lines and made my way across the river.  Wading across the river was extremely difficult, and I don't recommend it.  After landing a few more I worked my way downstream trying to figure out how I was going to get back across the river.  I worked my way about 1/4 mile downstream and used tree branches near shore to help me through the heavy current and on to the shore.  I managed to fish The Ultimate Warrior the whole time - which was about two hours.  I spoke to another guy who was doing well on a big prince.  I think just about anything will work right now on the Toccoa DH.  I still can't quite figure out why the buggers didn't work for me.  My only guess is that because the current is a little heavy, and the buggers I tied were very light and bushy, the flies were not getting into the feeding lane.  The key is to get the flies deep.  Despite nice hatches on both days, I saw very few fish rising.  The fish are obviously fresh but hanging out deep.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Ty Wheel

I just started tying flies a couple of weeks ago, and I'm hooked!  I happened to come across something called a TyWheel.  It looks awesome.  Check it out: TyWheel

Monday, January 18, 2016

Blue Ridge Report

It was a cold weekend.  I spent some time tying flies and decided to try a few of my patterns out on the water. I had low expectations. The Toccoa DH is still too high to fish.  I hopped in the truck and made my way towards Noontootla; however, on the drive up I spotted a small stream I've always wondered about.   I knew there was a little bit of forest service land on this creek, so I parked just off the road and rigged up.  The water was high and I wasn't sure if there were trout in this stream.  Much to my surprise, my flies worked and I caught a handful of very small wild bows.  The creek was beautiful, and because it's not more than 10 minutes from my cabin, I'm sure I'll be back.
The next day I drove up to Noontootla. It had snowed a little bit the night before, so it was cold.  I spent an hour or so on the creek, but only managed two small bows.  I guess there's a reason some folks don't fish when the temps are around freezing.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed my time on the water.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Come Hell or High Water

I had to start the new year out right, but the weather was not really cooperating.  Granted, the actual weather was fine, but the huge amounts of rain in the week or two prior to the New Year had flooded the area around Blue Ridge.  The Toccoa at Dial (the DH area) reached somewhere close to 10,000 cfs just a few days prior.  Normal wading is around 400 cfs.  The river was running close to 3000 on New Years, but I thought I'd stop by and check it out. I tied on a little bugger and threw some line out.  I caught a decent trout on my 5th cast. 

That one bow was enough for me on the delayed harvest of the Toccoa River.  I wanted to fish Noontootla where the water might be a little lower.  I drove up the FS road and was surprised to see some other people fishing, and a fair number of campers. I ended up fishing near 3 forks, a little higher up than I normally fish.  The water was raging pretty good, but still wadeable.    
I rigged up a couple of heavy flies and started highsticking. I immediately hooked into a nice small bow.  Then I moved on down stream and caught a nicer wild bow.  Beautiful fish! 

I fished a little while longer, but only ended up with a couple to hand. Still, it was a wonderful trip considering the circumstances. That evening, I decided to tie my first fly. What a challenge. It didn't turn out very good, but you have to start somewhere!