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, November 23, 2010

Just Another Day on the Stream

One of our Foothills TU Chapter members, Bob Lux, recently went back home to New York for a little deer hunting and took a break to squeeze in a day of steelhead fishing...here's how it went:

After 7 days of deer hunting between Ohio and New York, I was in need of a break. Thankfully, it turned out to be a big rain day here in Western New York, so my friend Andy and I decided that we should hit Cattaraugus Creek before the rain washed it out. When we showed up in the morning, there was not a soul at the parking lot which was very odd for this time of year. With deer season opening this past weekend, most guys were hunting and let's be honest, it was Monday and the normal people of the world were at work. We are not normal and we need to catch some fish! 

We headed downstream to our spot that we discovered about 17 years ago during our initial journey into steelhead lore and legend. After the long walk, Andy jumped in ready to fish. Being a traveler of the world, my setup was not ready to go yet, so I had to rig up. I stepped into the river and made about 5 casts before getting the depth I wanted. The spot we fish is a seam in an area of rapids that drops into a long pool. Both sides of the seam are moving pretty good, but if you stay in the seam then you will catch fish. Andy has remained in the Buffalo area yet he has slackened in his steelhead ways, so I was telling him where to keep his indicator (when you fish a spot for close to 20 years, you know where the fish are). On about my 5th cast, the indicator dove down and I set the hook. The clay colored water of the Catt exploded as a chrome steelhead reached for the stars. I was a little nervous because this fish was large and I was kicking it with 6lb tippet (why I don't know since I immediately changed to 10lb after the battle). I fought the fish for 15 minutes as it made 9 long runs, each time seeming to only get stronger or maybe I was just getting more tired than the fish. My buddy Andy was finally able to get the net around the chrome steel and we got it to shore. The fished measured out at 30 inches and was released unharmed (except for the sore mouth). 

I instructed where Andy needed to get his fly as I was re-arming with heavier line. Before I knew it, Andy is yelling the call of the Catt "Fish On"! After a short battle I had the 25" steelhead in the net and ready to pose for its cover page photo shoot. With this challenge being matched by Andy, I was ready to step up. 

The next two hours yielded 10 more hookups and 3 more fish landed by me with the last one I hooke being a fish that had been in the river for some time and stared getting that mean looking hook jaw. I missed that fish 3 times before finally getting into it. Once hooked, this fish was ready to put on a show as it had me into my backing in 10 seconds. I chased him downstream and fought him for another 10 minutes before bringing him to the net. That fished ranked as one of my better steelhead on the Catt and we estimated him at 12 lbs. 

The rain began to fall harder and felt the call to go do a little duck hunting before dark, so I was reluctantly convinced into leaving, but not after one more cast. I made one more cast into my seam and the indicator dropped. I set the hook only to have the fish spit the hook and give me a little porpoise show by coming up out of the water after he got loose just to give my a goodbye wave. All in all, not a bad way to spend two hours in the pouring rain. Final score Bob = 4, Andy = 1. By the way, my four fish were on a #14 Y2K. Gotta love that fly!

1 comment:

  1. I was up there last week and managed a few as well; they were all of the silvery color...like yours in the 2nd and 3rd photo...what is the difference between those and the other/darker colored steelhead like in your first photo? Different strains of steelhead or simply a function of being in the rivers longer?