Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fishing "non-trout" water

Doc and I took a day off on December 23rd to try to get one more trip in before the end of the year.  We had plenty of options, but we decided to take this opportunity to try to fish some different water.  In particular, we were looking at a tailwater in N.C. that is not designated trout water and does not receive stocking.  Hours of preliminary research resulted in very little information.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chattooga Part 3 - Nov. 21, 2010

We hiked back to the parking lot on day 3, said farewell to KG and JZ, and decided to hit the lower DH section for a few minutes before traveling back to Chattanooga. 
The lower DH seemed quite different than the upper section.  It was certainly not as appealing to the eye.  Nevertheless, there were a few fish in the area.  Doc caught a couple, I landed about five, and EZ caught more than both of us combined, including a beautiful rainbow in a shallow run near the bank of the river.  We left the river after an hour or two of fishing, and as is the custom, stopped by a Mexican restaurant.  A great trip had come to an end.  For additional photographs,  click here: More Photos

Chattooga Part 2 - Nov. 20, 2010

The 2nd day was better than the first!  We have many tales to tell regarding that second day, but I'll leave the stories for another day, and let the photographs do the talking.  Highlights of day 2: Doc got the slam; EZ caught two fish at the same time; and The Gubna caught a personal best 40 fish in one day.   Here are the pics:

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chattooga Part 1 - Nov. 19th 2010

The three of us met at EZ's house downtown and embarked on a 3 hour trip to Highway 28 at the Georgia and South Carolina state line: the Chattooga DH.  With our hearts and minds set on a great trip, we arrived at our destination by car, and hiked a few miles by trail to set up camp at the junction of Reed Creek and the Chattooga. 

Chattooga Nov. 2010 - More Pics

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bypassing the Tellico DH

It has been awhile since I have posted a meaningful trip report after moving the family into a new pad. The Gubna and myself convinced our better halves to let us sneak off this past Sat evening for a quick overnight trip to the Tellico. We had read several reports about the DH and none of them sounded too promising.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rough Month

It's been a rough month for The Crew.  I went with Doc to the Elk twice, and we came away with less than 10 fish total between us over the course of the two trips.  The Elk is full of fish, but we couldn't determine what they were eating; other than worms.  Bait fishermen had their stringers full.  I think fine long tippet and size 20 or smaller flies is probably the ticket on the Elk right now.  We didn't have the right tools for the job.  I fished the HI for just a few minutes this week and caught a couple of small browns, but not a lot of activity.  Rob took a group of 3 people on a float down the HI a few weeks ago and the fishing was awful - about 6 fish total.  I hear the Tellico has been difficult as well.  And finally, the Toccoa has apparently been wiped out by the dam draw-down and high temps.  Hopefully rain and some cooler weather will arrive shortly so we can enjoy some good fishing.  The only quality fishing I've had this summer has been on wild streams at high elevation.  I think that trend will probably continue for the next few months.  Brown trout are apparently taking over a lot of mountain streams in North Georgia, and this offers some exciting possibilities.  DH in the area has started or will start, so those will be good options as well. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Smokies

Since fishing in Alaska a few months ago, my subsequent trips to local tailwaters have been rather disappointing.  I guess a trip to Alaska will do that to a guy.  A last minute family trip to the Smokies last weekend revived the passion.  /s The Gubna! 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Southeast Alaska on the Fly - The Slam!

I was able to fish a handful of additional creeks/lakes over the final week of my trip.  The third day of fishing began with about a 22 mile boat trip to an old abandoned mine site near Sea Level Creek.  

Friday, July 2, 2010

Southeast Alaska on the Fly - Day Two

A 25 mile boat ride to a relatively inaccessible river with my Dad and Ken Duckett.  Mr. Duckett likes trout for breakfast so we kept a few, and he ended up catching arguably the largest fish.  My Dad and Mr. Duckett brought spinning rods just in case the fishing was tough.  Turns out, the spinning rods never touched the water.  My dad caught the rich colored bow pictured above on my 3 weight rod.  He didn't have waders, so I put him on a spot where I thought he could wade with his knee high boots and I went further upstream.  I worked my way down stream about an hour later and saw him waist deep in water fighting a fish for about 10 minutes.  I had tied on a size 12 parachute Adams for him.  Sure enough, my dad caught a 15 plus inch bow on the 3 weight.  He had ditched the boots and was wading barefoot up to his waist in long johns.  I was shocked, but my dad acted like it wasn't a big deal - he wasn't even cold despite being soaked and the 50 degree temperatures.
I caught a couple of 14-15 inch bows - real fighters.  Saw some that were 20 plus inches.  Then I got into some cutthroats.  I didn't even realize what they were until about a handful later I noticed the red slashes under the chin.  I ended up with over 20 bows and cutts in about 1.5 hours of fishing.  My Dad and Mr. Duckett had a great day as well. A heck of a day! /s/ The Gubna!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Southeast Alaska on the Fly - Day One

Ketchikan is an island town in Southeast Alaska.  Located in the Tongass National Forest, the area receives a significant amount of rain, and has a prolific Salmon run.   Once a logging and fishing town, the loggers have long since disappeared, being replaced by the thousands of tourists that flood the small city every day in the summer.  I was born and raised in this area, and a lot has changed.  I guess I'm getting old, because I long for the days when the town was a little more rough and authentic.  The town is one thing, and the area is another.  A person would be hard pressed to find a more beautiful area.  My folks live on Pennock Island; a place some would call "no-where Alaska."  There are no roads, fishermen are their neighbors, and they still live in a small rustic house more akin to a cabin.  I could talk at length about the area, but I guess I better talk about fishing....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Caney Fork on Father's Day

I drove the kids to Cookeville on Saturday night to spend the night with my Sister. I was able to get away on Sunday morning for a couple of hours to fish the Caney Fork below Center Hill dam. The Caney is known for having really large brown's, but the recent flood in Nashville has really put a dent in the trout population. I did some reading before I left and the only thing people were catching are "stocker brats"......6-8 inch fish. There were also reports of catching stocked brookie's.  

Monday, June 14, 2010

Deep contusions on the HI

I met The Big EZ and The Gubna at 6:30am  in the parking lot at Big Bend. TVA was going to start pulsing 1 at 8am then 2 starting at 11. The Gubna wanted to take me into the Quality Zone on this trip so we hiked downstream to an area called the Stair Steps. The delima I was facing was whether or not I should take my 8 1/2 ft 5wt or just the Tenkara. I decided to just take the Tenkara since I still haven't figured out a good method to carry my normal fly rod. I really need a 4 piece rod. We hiked down about 1/4 of a mile then waded out just above the Stair Steps. The Gubna caught a decent bow within 5 minutes. I tied on a Teds Stone, the current wet fly of the month, at landed a 10 inch bow on my 3rd cast. He put up a really nice fight for a little stocker.....

Friday, June 4, 2010

Toonin the HI

A last minute trip came together and by 2:00 p.m. on Friday we set out from the boat launch in Rob's Toon. It started out slow.  But after about 30 minutes, Ted's Stone fly started producing for me.  Soon Rob got a couple, and just below Snake Island, MP3 found the right combination and dialed in on a handful of nice bows.  We all caught bows that were in excess of 12 inches.  The quality of fish on the HI has improved drastically from a year ago. I lost one that was at least 15 inches, and MP3 lost one that size as well.  MP3 jumped out at Big Bend....

Below the "stairsteps" we dropped anchor and waited for the sulfur hatch. Although the hatch was a little disappointing, the fish were quite active and Rob and I both landed numerous bows on a dry sulfur. Another 1/4 mile down we found a nice run and landed a couple of more bows on sulfurs. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Toccoa Report

I was able to find a few hours for fishing on Memorial Day. I left the house at around noon, and had a decision to make: where to go. The HI was pushing 2 generators. The Elk was an option, but it's not my favorite river. I settled on the Toccoa hoping to catch a brown. After a rather long drive, I got to Horseshoe Bend and discovered that the river looked like chocolate milk. I drove on up to Curtis Switch. The water was a little better, but not much. I had driven too far not to fish

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Doc & Gubna on the HI

The Gubna and I met at 7am in front of the Reliance Fly Shop. A strong cell had passed through the area last night and the forecast was for more thunderstorms today. TVA was scheduled to pulse 1 generator starting at 7 and then ending at 8am. We were a few miles downstream and the Gubna said we had time to get into position before the water coming downstream would make it more difficult.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hazel Creek and Bone Valley

It is a sunny friday afternoon. Mayflies are hatching and fish are rising on Bone Valley Creek in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Patrick, Eric, and I met at the WalMart parking lot at 5:15am that morning to embark on a weekend fly fishing trip to Bone Valley backcountry campsite 83, which is a major tributary to Hazel Creek. We caught the 9am shuttle from Fontana Village Marina, then hiked 6 miles upstream along Hazel Creek until we arrived at site 83.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hiwassee River

We decided to get out of Chattanooga for an evening so we used a raincheck and booked a night at Bear Cove Lodge near Reliance. Being a family trip, I realized I would have very little time to wet a line, but I was excited to fish an area of the river I had never fished before. The river-front property at Bear Cove Lodge, while not the prettiest section of the river, presented a plethora of fishing opportunities. I suited up and tied on my trusty bugger at about 5:00 p.m. The water was down. As I was wading towards a nice run, there was an amazing hatch and fish rising all around me. I tried a few different dry flies without success, and although I thought it was a little early, I ended up trying a size 14 Sulphur that a friend had loaned me this time last year while fishing the Toccoa. Despite the fact that I didn't think sulphur's were hatching, it proved to be the ticket. It seemed like very cast resulted in a strike - even on the drag/emerged. I missed the first 10 strikes. I was frustrated at my slow hook set, so I was determined to set quick on my next cast. Sure enough, a 2 o'clock cast, a 1:30 hit, and a quick tug - suddenly, a 9 inch rainbow is flying about 30 feet through the air right at me. He landed about two feet in front of me! I continued fishing the Sulfhur for another 45 minutes, landing about a dozen SNIT before retiring to the Lodge.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tenkara fly fishing in the GSMNP

Sometimes life throws you a bone, which is why I am able to write this trip report. The spring hatch is peaking and my job is sending me to Gatlinburg for a couple of days. Of course I was able to get away for a little fishing while I was there. The Quill Gordon hatch was almost over, but I thought that I could still pick up some fish on the pattern. An old friend from high school caught a couple of 16+ inch browns on the Little River in the GSMNP this past fall. I thought that would be a good place to start. I waded out above Metcalf Bottoms using a size 12 Quill Gordon with a 14 soft hackle hair's ear off the back. It was one of those days that was so beautiful that it almost didnt matter if I caught anything.....then a couple of hours go by without a bump and all the scenery starts to fade. It's time to catch a damn fish. I took off the dry and added some weight to the SH Hairs Ear. I immediately missed 2 fish....or maybe the same one twice. Then I caught my first fish n the GSMNP and first fish on my new Tenkara rod. It was a little 6in rainbow.
I will write a post exclusively about the Tenkara Rod later. I fished for another hour with very little action so on the advice of the salesman at Little River Outfitters, I decided to drive over to the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River, which will now be known as WPLPR. It was about 3pm and I had to be back in Gatlinburg at 5pm so I didn't have much time. I found a small pull off of HWY 441 and tied the Quill Gordon back on. The next 45 minutes was the best fishing I have ever experienced in my very limited years of fishing. I caught or missed a fish on almost every cast. I ended up with 8 fish to hand with at least 5 LDRs. All the fish were rainbows with the largest being a 10in and last fish of the day.

Note: I figured out that the key to setting the hook with the Tenkara rod is to not try and set the hook. If you keep the line off the water and the rod tip high, then the fish will set the hook themselves.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Floating the Toccoa

For the past several weeks the Gubna has been sending me pictures he found surfing the internet of monster trout being caught on the Toccoa River in Blue Ridge GA. It was the day before Good Friday and he said Rob had a new pontoon catamaran and they were looking for a third person to float down the Hiwassee. This was a tempting offer, but I had already planned to fish the Conasauga River in the Cohutta Wilderness. I was pretty sure that Quill Gordons were hatching and that the wild rainbows would be taking dry flies. Another email came in a few minutes later; the Hiwassee would not be floatable so they were going to drive to the Toccoa. I was sold. Less than 24 hours later I was in the back seat of an incredible boat made for the sole purpose of pampering a fly fisherman. We had just put the boat in the water below the Blue Ridge dam, approximately 45 seconds later the Gubna was reeling in a 10 inch rainbow. I thought we were going to be in for a great day of fishing, which we were, just not in the way I anticipated.