Unicoi Outfitters is north Georgia's premier guide service and fly fishing outfitter, located on the Chattahoochee River near alpine Helen. Look for fishing reports, gear and book reviews, and general musings here from our staff and guides.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gone Fishin'-4-Days

The last two weeks I got the chance to spend four days with Bill Crowell, his son Pierce, and his friend Jeff. We spent one day floating the river and the other three at Noontootla Creek Farms - (It's hard to pass up Size #8 and #10 dry fly action). Fish at the farm are still looking up, some of them explode on a dry just out of nowhere, and others, it's like they are in slow motion. The ones that are so slow are the worst, as you anxiously sit and watch that big dry drift its way downstream, sometimes you can actually see those big fish start their move up from the depths. Usually about the time you think "there should be a fish right there" you will see that move, then is when the patience comes in. You have to sit, almost as if time is standing still, and wait as it approaches. Eventually, if you wait long enough, you will see that head break the surface, and your fly disappear and after what seems like a eternity, then you set the hook.

The guys caught fish on top and on the bottom, but as exciting as the dry fly takes are, the craziest thing happened nymph fishing. Mr. Crowell made a good cast to the top of a run with a big dry and had a good size fish roll at it, but no take. When all else fails get out the nymph rig, he made a cast or two back to the spot with no take. I think it was the third cast, after a short drift, the indicator twitched and he set, right away we knew it was not what we were looking for. As Mr. Crowell stripped it in, we saw that it was maybe a 6" horny head, not what had rolled at the dry. About the time the line got close enough for me to grab, things turned for the better. Suddenly, a sizeable rainbow shot up out of the hole, and after about three or four swipes (about three or four feet in front of me), it inhaled the catch. I could see just the tail of the horny head sticking out of its mouth as it dissapeared off into the hole. For about 30 - 45 seconds Mr. Crowell fought the fish all around the pool just as if it had taken the fly. When it started to calm down, and got close enough for me to see again, it still had the tail hanging out of its mouth. In pretty much the same spot as the ambush happened, the fish turned, opened its mouth and out came the horny head with the fly still hooked and the rainbow dissapeared into the hole. Not too often that you have to worry about something stealing your catch on a trout stream, but it's a blast to fish for trout that are big enough to eat like that. To sum it up, I enjoyed four days on the water, so thanks guys.