Tuesday, February 15, 2011

First two Weeks of February: HiLoUpTocElk

 It's been a tough 10 days for the hometeam.  I managed to fish the Hiwassee, the Toccoa tailwater, the upper Toccoa DH, and the Elk river over the last ten days. "Fishing" is the key word, as there was very little catching.  The following is a short summary for each river:

The Hiwassee:  I managed to fish the HI for an hour or two on Sunday (2/5). They were pushing two generators when I arrived, dropping down to one after about 45 minutes.  I fished a new area, hiking up the tracks from Reliance to the confluence of Big Lost Creek.  A great looking area to fish with one generator.  I had luck with Ted's Stone Fly, soft hackle nymph, and a white bugger.  However, the fish were lethargic, lacked color, and did not require a net due to lack of size.
Toccoa:  EZ and I went to the Toccoa on Sunday (2/13) hoping to catch a few browns.  When we got there, they were pushing about double the normal flow, making wading very difficult.  We fished Curtis Switch for about 30 minutes, and then left.  We spoke with a number of folks who were floating the river.  Apparently, it was pretty slow.
Upper Toccoa DH:  With the Toccoa tailwater being a little too heavy, we drove to the upper Toccoa to try the lower section of the DH.  My first cast resulted in a nice fish.  A few minutes later, I had another.  We moved up to the middle of the DH and tried our luck.  EZ managed to land a few on a small BWO.  While we were there, we witnessed a hatch of what appeared to be caddis.  The hatch was only a few minutes, but was rather impressive considering the time of year.  Apparently, the fish on the Toccoa DH are stacked up near the canoe launch.  The people we spoke with at the lower section were not catching fish; but the canoe launch was producing absurd numbers of fish.  I'm guessing they recently stocked at the canoe launch.  Despite few fish, EZ and I had a great time fishing a truly beautiful stretch of water.
Elk River: I met up with Streamer Rob in Winchester Tuesday afternoon (2/15).  We started at the dam, which was surprisingly crowded.  We fished for about an hour or two without any luck whatsoever.  We spoke with three other fishermen, who had totaled 2 fish between them.  Apparently, the fish were feeding on a very small grey midge, and we simply didn't have the pattern to match-it.  We did, however, manage to find a trail down to the switchback runs. These runs constitute what I consider to be the only decent water on the Elk.  We fished said area for about an hour, and neither of us even got a bite.  We hiked back to the dam and it was getting dark.  We both put on absurdly large streamers/buggers hoping for a brown.  I got one vicious strike, but it didn't take the hook.  I don't think I've been skunked fly fishing except maybe 2-3 times in the last 3 years, but that's what it was: a big skunk for both of us.  Although frustrated, the trip was well worth the effort, and the big strike on the streamer has me itching to return for some night fishing!