Friday, November 25, 2016

Hayesville, NC: Fires Creek and Hiwassee River

I met up with John at the McDonald's in Murphy, and then drove on up to Fires Creek.  We parked at the bottom and scouted for a few minutes. The water was extremely low, and there were tons of visible fish.  I started out with a big red soft hackle type of fly I had tied the night before and got into a few fish. I moved up to a pool that John was fishing. No movement to the water, and a lot of fish, but they were tough to catch.  John caught a nice brown, and then I moved up stream.  Although we saw a lot of fish, they were easily spooked.  We caught about 10 between the two of us - which is far fewer than we should have caught.
We then grabbed lunch and headed down to the Hiwassee. I was excited to try to catch some wild fish.  We fished for an hour or two and did pretty well. I love those wild fish (see first pic above).

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Tuck DH Report

Saturday morning John and I decided to try out the new DH section of the Tuck at Bryson City.  Our cabin was just five minutes away, so we hit the water and had the whole river to ourselves.  I quickly made my way downstream fishing a big rubber leg stone fly.  I didn't have much luck, so I tied on 6x tippet and put on a lightning PT, that I had tied not long ago.  I got in to a few fish rather quickly, high sticking some runs.  I then started swinging the fly at the tail-outs and began hooking up more frequently. Then I caught the above brookie, which is the best looking brookie I've caught in a DH stream.  Sure, I've caught bigger, but none so pretty.  I moved to the next run and started catching fish on about every cast.  I caught about 30 fish and suddenly the river was flooded with anglers, including a bunch of drift boats.   I got out of the river.  30 fish in two hours, and I was ready to call it a day!  John had made his way down to the area where I caught the big brookie. I pointed out the spot where the fish were holding, while I took a seat on the bank.  John started hooking fish on just about every cast.  Then, he got into a nice fish.  I played guide and netted the fish for him. Ugly as heck, but a brute:
We had caught about 50 fish between the two of us in 2.5 hours, and it was getting rather crowded.  We jumped in the truck and headed to the fly shop in Bryson City.  I got some new fly line, a cup of really good coffee, and we decided to try a spot on an island near town.  We got there and the good water was taken.  We went as far away as we could get.  Once again, the fish were thick in the shallow riffles.  We fished for another two hours, and caught at least another 50 fish.  We then went to the local brewery and watched football and drank beer.  The beer was great.
We didn't have to fish anymore, but we decided to regardlesst. This time we went all the way to the top of the DH. It was getting dark, and the fishing slowed down significantly.  I caught a nice brown and a large rainbow, and we called it a day.  A wonderful day of fishing!


Friday, November 11, 2016

Big Snowbird DH Report

I drove up to meet some folks at Big Snowbird on Friday morning.  The fires were burning all over, but we figured it wouldn't be quite as bad around Big Snowbird.  I got there around 10:30 a.m. and went straight to a pool that has always produced. Sure enough I spotted a big Brookie. I tied on 6x tippet and a size 18 rainbow warrior and got the big guy on my first cast. It took me a while to bring him in, but I got him to hand.  Somewhere around 18-20 inches.  I then worked downstream - picking up some fish here and there.  I got to another good pool where the fish were stacked up, and landed a variety of fish using the warrior.  A guy showed up and started fishing about 20 feet from me, so I moved down stream, and picked up a few more bows and brookies.  Around 1:00 I went back to the truck and drank a beer and ate a banana.  I had caught at least 20 fish, and was pretty much done. I went to find the other guys I was with, and as I was walking on the road, I noticed a run full of fish.  I stood on the bank and highsticked the run, catching 11 fish in 11 casts.  I don't have any idea how many fish I caught during the rest of the day, but it was a significant number. Snowbird has never let me down this time of year.



Saturday, November 5, 2016

Toccoa DH - fishing report

I just couldn't resist - I knew the Toccoa DH had been stocked a few days prior.  The weather was perfect.  The flow was low, but I knew it wasn't too crowded because I went to the river with one of my kids to have a look earlier in the day. I snuck out around 3:00 p.m. and stringed up the 10 foot 4 weight with a PT style nymph.  It started a little slow.  I picked up a couple, and then lost a really nice one. I made my way downstream, catching a few here and there, but still not as hot as I thought it would be.  I got below an island and hooked into a nice fish. I had just changed to a Patrick's Rubber Legs, and this fish (shown above) put up a pretty good fight on the 4 weight.  I worked by way down about 1/2 a mile, and caught a few more. Then I walked back upstream and put in at an area that always holds fish.  I saw trout all over in the shallow water - they were stacked up and scattering like they didn't know they belonged in a river. I caught a couple more, and then got out of the river due to a prior engagement.  All in all, a good day on the water.  Over a dozen nice fish in less than two hours.  I sure hope we get some rain, though, because these fish probably won't last long in the low water conditions.

Lightning PT


Friday, October 28, 2016

Smith Optics: Amazing Customer Service!

I wrote a post about three years ago concerning some bad experiences I had with Costa Sunglasses.  About a year ago I switched to Smith Optics, and wrote a review here.  Basically, I was quite happy with the performance and fit on the Smith Polarized glasses.  A few weeks ago I was forced to submit a warranty claim with Smith Optics due to an issue with the nose pad.  Smith Optics handled my claim within a few days, and I couldn't be happier with their customer service.  Smith Optics clearly stands behind their products.