Sunday, November 23, 2014

Blue Ridge Trip - Day 2

The Gubna!
We woke up Saturday morning and drove to Curtis Switch on the Toccoa Tailwater to meet Doc, who was driving over from Chattanooga.  We then went to the dam and started our float.  The weather was shaping up nicely.  The flow was a little lower than I remember, but not too bad.  I caught a nice brookie about a mile downstream from the Dam.  A pleasant surprise.  The Rod was fishing a huge articulated.  He fished as we floated, and had two huge rainbows chase his fly, only to turn at the last minute. A mile or two into the float we stopped at a nice run.  I rigged up a huge rubber legged stonefly that I picked up in Montana and found a nice run below the riffles. After a few casts I saw a fish rise. I thought it was probably a small brown sipping a midge, but I chucked the fly above the rise and within a few seconds I got tug.  I could tell it was a good fish immediately. I put the line on the reel and yelled at The Rod to get the boat downstream to help me land the fish.  I ended up being able to land it without a net.  The fish was 18-20 inches, and probably the best bow I've landed in the last year.  Absolutely beautiful!
The Rod landed a nice bow about an hour later (see image on left).  Doc missed a number of fish - probably close to 10 total.  Strangely enough we only managed 3 fish between the three of us. However, one good fish is all I wanted, and thus, it was an outstanding trip. The weather was great, and we all had a good time. 
That night Brown Trout Zilen made an appearance and we shut down the town.  Stories will be told about this trip for years to come....

Friday, November 21, 2014

Blue Ridge Trip - Day 1

The Rod met me in Blue Ridge on Friday morning. We had his 3 man toon, but with only two of us, we figured why not pick up another solo toon and float down the upper toccoa. I made a gross miscalculation in distance and drove over five miles above the DH section of the upper toccoa. We put in around 12:30 and after four hours we finally reached the DH. There was little sign of trout during our float, and we realized rather quickly that we were burning daylight. When we finaly reached the DH we discovered there was some sort of fly fishing competition taking place. As a result, every good run was occupied on the DH. It didn't really matter because it was getting cold and dark. I fished for a few minutes and picked up a small bow. We packed up the toons. Although we did very little fishing, it was actually quite a bit of fun rowing the toons during the 7 mile float and along the way, telling each other lies. We went downtown for a good ribeye. A good day on the water, regardless of the fishing, capped off by some whisky, beer, and a good steak - doesn't get much better!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

North Carolina DH Trip -

After suffering from the crowds on the Tuck three of us drove up the mountains to another DH stream that generally is not crowded.  The fishing was sick.  I put in and immediately caught about 20 fish. I then spotted a 16 inch brookie in shallow water.  After 30 minutes I got him to hand. I moved up stream and sited 4 pigs in a slow deep pool.  I spent the next hour fishing low profile from the bank with a 15 foot leader. I ended up with 5 fish between 16 and 20 inches.  I didn't have a net, so getting pictures was tough.  I managed a couple of photographs as evidence of the epic fishing:
Big Fish on a Small Fly

North Carolina DH Trip - Tuck

Woke up Saturday morning to a cool 32 degree morning.  Our cabin was right on the river.  Three of us started fishing in front of the cabin, while another went down stream.  The crowd was incredible - overwhelming. I found a good spot and started catching a few fish.  As I was changing flies a guy stepped 30 feet in front of me and took my spot.  I've never had someone do that before.  I crossed the river and went and sat on the bank.  I was ready to go somewhere else.  After about an hour I got back in the river and picked up another dozen fish.  Nothing big.  Tons of fish. I don't know that I'll be back to the Tuck - at least not during a weekend.  Other folks in our group caught a lot of fish, and some big fish as well.  Nevertheless, it was simply too crowded for my taste.

Friday, November 7, 2014

North Carolina DH Trip - Nanty

Drove up Friday morning and met a buddy at the Nanty.  They were stocking, and surprisingly, the fishing wasn't very good.  I  managed a couple of nice fish, but not much in terms of numbers.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Upper Toccoa

I had about an hour to fish Friday late-afternoon. The closest place was the upper toccoa. I decided that if nothing else I could at least throw some line. I rigged up my 6 weight with a large rubber legs fly I had picked up in Montana and started stripping it like a big streamer.  Within a few minutes I missed a fish, which kind of surprised me.  I didn't think there would be any fish this time of year in the lower reaches of upper toccoa - it's usually too warm. I managed a 1/2 dozen bows in the hour of fishing.  Nothing big . . . . 10-12 inch bows, with at least one that looked like a wild fish. I saw a lot of fingerlings swimming around, which was surprising. I guess the relatively cool summer has managed to keep a few of these trout alive. Should make for a great Fall!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Lamson Guru: Review

Before I went to Yellowstone I was in a local fly shop looking for a few last minute supplies.  I had been using a small arbor Orvis reel on my 10 foot 4 weight.   I asked the guy working the shop if he had any good deals on a reel that he would recommend for my rod. He showed me a Lamson Guru Special Edition Black.  The reel looked perfect and I couldn't resist.  I own two other Lamson reels, so I knew I would be getting a quality reel. I put the reel to extensive use in Yellowstone.  Although the Guru is the cheapest of the Lamson reels that I use, it is now my favorite.  The reel provides excellent balance on the 10 foot 4 weight rod.  The retrieval speed is good, and the best part, it seems to spool perfectly on the retrieve.  I've had issues with almost every other reel that I've owned with the line spooling unevenly. With the Guru, I've yet to have a problem.  A great product at a great price! 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Travel Fly Fishing Bag: Review

If you fly fish, you know that it can be expensive.  It doesn't have to be, but for some reason it is.  And going on a trip seems to be an excuse to buy things you really don't need.  My trip to Yellowstone proved to be one of those trips.  The actual trip was inexpensive, but of course, I had to get a new reel and something to safely transport my gear for the flight.  I spent weeks trying to find a solution.  Naturally, there are options that don't require much cost.  You can carry your rods and reels on the flight, and put your gear in a regular suitcase or duffel bag.  I've done it that way for years. Still, I wanted something specific for this trip and future trips.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Chucking meat on the Gibbon

Armed with a Zoo Cougar, the guys dropped me off on the lower Gibbon River.  I rigged up my 6 weight and started chucking meat. I immediately had a huge bow chase the meat from under the bank, but he turned at the last minute.  After a few more chase and rejections, a few hungry meat eaters came out for dinner!

Firehole River - Fountain Flats: Redemption

 We returned to Fountain Flats, which had skunked me a few nights prior.  This time I decided to head down river and change my tactics - no more messing around with dry flies!  I got to a big bend and saw the above bird chilling on the bank.  I arrived at the confluence of Nez Perce Creek and started with a caddis bh emerger.  I caught a couple of nice fish.  I moved a little down stream and decided to high stick and dead drift a size 14 lighting bug: I managed to catch more than a dozen fish in about an hour, including a bow over 12 inches and a couple of nice browns. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Madison River - $3 Bridge

We fished the Madison at $3 bridge for a few hours on June 26th and 27th.  The first evening I headed downstream on the far bank all the way down to the private property.  The wading was very tough: slippery rocks, heavy water, and lots of wind. Unfortunately, I didn't change my leader when I started - I had an old leader tied down to 6X tippet with a big girdle bug.  I paid the price for not paying attention to details. I hooked into a very large bow - probably 21 inches.  I had him on for a few minutes. He jumped 3 times, demonstrating his power and size. I was determined to keep him out of the middle of the river, so I held the rod sideways towards the bank and man handled him to the slower water.  He was withing 20 feet of me after a few minutes when he decided to bolt out towards the middle of the stream.  The 6x was simply not enough for this fish: he snapped the line.  Oh well - it was a lot of fun fighting that fish. I worked my way down stream and picked up a few 10 inch browns.
We returned to $3 the following afternoon.  The weather was rough and there were very few flyfishers on the river.  I went downstream again, but stayed on the parking lot side.  I concentrated on the heavy flow; swinging a large girdle bug through the heavy current. I managed a nice bow that took quite a bit of time to land.  This time, though, I had 3x tippet, and got him to hand.  I worked my way down to the large house on the hill and picked up another brown for my effort.  We finished both days with dinner at the Grizzly, which was awesome. Good food and good service.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Yellowstone: Firehole River Brown

We went back to the Firehole today. I worked my way down from the old iron bridge towards muleshoe bend.  Right after the first big bend there is an island that splits the river.  I saw fish rising, but the hatch was sporadic. I managed to land the above pictured brown, in addition to a 14 inch bow.  I ended up catching 15 or so fish.  The brown shown above was my best fish of the day.  Once I got to muleshoe it was crowded, but I caught a number of rising fish before working my way back up stream.  I was amazed at the geiser shooting water right in front of some fishermen tossing dry flies in the mist.  I also saw a raven and osprey fighting over a fish in a mid-air battle that continued back and forth through the bend for at least five minutes - remarkable.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Yellowstone - Firehole/Gibbon/Firehole

When I put away my waders last night I realized I was a little wet.  We stopped by the fly shop, where I purchased some aquaseal and fastcure.  We then drove up to the area near muleshoe bend.  I figured I would repair my waders and watch the other guys fish.  After about an hour, I rigged up my 4 weight and tried fishing a dry from the bank.  I quickly caught 3 nice browns above the old iron bridge.  I then waded down a little ways towards muleshoe.  Two guys from our group were fishing a nice run on the opposite bank.  The wind picked up and started blowing directly towards me, so I switched to a two bit hooked.  I immediately hooked a large bow that snapped my 5x tippet.  Even after he broke off, the fish continued to jump very high in the air for the next couple of minutes, apparently trying to spit the hook he had stolen from me. I tied on a lightening bug and highsticked my way to a dozen fish, with the majority being browns.  Most were in the 9-12 inch range.
We then drove over to the Gibbon below the falls.  Our group of four split up.  I eventually headed downstream, wading the middle of the river and chucking a red ass caddis to each bank.  I hooked a nice brown, but couldn't keep him on the line.   I managed to catch a half dozen or more fish over the course of the next hour.  We then had a couple of beers and decided to check out the evening hatch at the meadow on the Firehole.  Up and until this point, I had experienced a really good day.  I had landed well over 20 fish, and I thought I had it figured out. Boy was I wrong. When we got on the river the most prolific hatch of caddis I've ever seen was in full bloom.  Fish were rising everywhere, sometimes within a few feet of where I was wading.  I spent the next two hours trying 15 or more flies trying to get it dialed in, but without any success.  Of the four of us, three of us were skunked.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Madison and Firehold River in the Park

 We arrived in West Yellowstone late Tuesday afternoon.  We checked into our rather small room and drove into the park to fish the Madison at 8 mile for evening caddis.  The fishing was pretty tough.  I caught a couple, but nothing impressive.  After a heavy rain we drove up to the meadow on the firehole river.  After catching 3 browns on a white caddis it was dark and time to had back to West Yellowstone. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Real Fishermen Drink Good Coffee!

Check out Mayfly Coffee - Doc hasn't been on the water much lately, but he's been roasting some outstanding coffee.  Check it out!  Mayfly Roasting

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


I'm less than a week from flying to West Yellowstone to spend almost a full week fishing the park.  Can't wait.  I'll post some reports if I catch fish, and maybe even if I don't! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

A few minutes on Gore and Eagle

I got a yardpass for a few hours of fishing on our recent trip to Colorado.  I didn't think I'd have much luck considering the weather and the reports of tough fishing on Gore creek, but I managed to stick a couple of nice fish, including this beautiful brown:
 The next day the wife agreed to ride the city bus down to a spot on Eagle River and let me fish for  a few minutes.  The weather was outstanding.
 I waded my way upstream and found a great run.  I caught a couple, but had and missed a number of very large fish.  The water was clear on both days, so I spent all of my time site fishing.  On the Eagle, I had on a 20 plus inch fish, and just couldn't keep him on the line.  I had a number of 16 plus inch trout chase my streamer, but couldn't get solid hook-ups.  I could have spent days fishing, but I knew the wife was ready to go, and this was an anniversary trip, so I had to put the flyrod away.  Until another time....

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hiwassee Feb. 2014

I met up with Streamer Rob and Goto for a float down the Hiwassee in Reliance. Originally, we were counting on two generators, but TVA decided to pulse this weekend. We decided to give it a go regardless.  It worked out pretty well.  We put in at the launch at the 10 a.m. pulse and made our way slowly down stream.  The fishing was slow for the 3-4 hours.  The 2nd pulse came on around 2 p.m. and we decided to take a break and eat lunch.  We then drifted our way down a little further and found a nice set of runs.  The highlight of the trip was at the end, when a nice hatch came off, and we started getting into fish on dry flies, nymphs, and streamers.  I hooked a large bow that spit the hook about 5 seconds into the fight - I saw the fish, probably 18-20 inches.  I managed a nice 15 inch bow to hand, but the one that got away was painful. We didn't catch a ton of fish, but it was a really good day to be on the water. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

No Fire on Fires Creek

 I met up with Doc in Ducktown.  We had decided to spend a few hours fishing Fires Creek.  The weather was great, but the fishing was rough.  I guess when the creek is full of ice that should be a good sign that the fish probably won't be moving too much.  A good trip nonetheless.  Surprisingly, there was a small hatch of blue wings, and I found a stonefly walking on the ice (see pic below).