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, December 6, 2011

Abel Nippers

50 bucks for nippers?  Yes, it's extravagant - but an affordable extravagance!  Great for a stocking stuffer!

Click here to buy Abel Nippers.

Check out this review:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tie 1 On--Merry Christmas

Looking for a rewarding hobby--want to fish your own flies--how about just being around some other folks that enjoy sharing their "fly fishing" passion as much as you do!

If either of these interest you, then you are welcome to join us Tues. Dec. 6 at our fly tying session. We will meet in the Sautee valley at Nacoochee Methodist Church (located off Hwy 17) at 6:00 PM. If you don't have your own, Unicoi will provide vises, tools, and material--thanks.

We always have snacks and drinks--yea, and always great fish stories.

Steve Hudson from Alpaharetta will be with us for this Dec. session and will show us how to tie some of his delayed harvest flies--what great timing. We welcome Steve and anyone else who has an interest in fly tying.

See you in church,


Saturday, December 3, 2011

For A Brief Moment, I Was the Heron!

My friend Jeff Durniak is fond of telling anglers new to the sport that, to be successful, they need to observe the best angler on the river and "Be the heron."  In other words, assume a stealth mode when approaching the area you intend to fish.  It's something most experienced anglers do instinctively...most of the time.  

On Friday, Alan Juncker and I hit the Chattooga DH around mid-day, hoping the sun would have warmed things up enough to trigger some feeding activity.  Unfortunately, after a long afternoon of changing flies, adding split shot, adjusting strike indicators, lengthening leaders, resting on the bank in a small dot of sun-warmed sand and moss, but little catching, I decided the warmth and comfort of my Tahoe was more appealing than watching the sun drop behind the ridge.

Crossing the river back over to the South Carolina side, I glanced downstream to where I had begun the day; that nice deep run below a steep, shallow riffle.  I had struck out there right before lunch.  Was it due to the 43 degree water temperature?  Who knows but it's worth one more try.  Stepping into the top of the riffle, I stop to study the run from above.  Almost instantly I notice a splashy commotion in the riffle.  Some kind of fish is working it's way through the shallows like a spawning salmon.  Standing dead still, I watch as it squiggles through the cobblestones...right to my feet!  As it rested in the small eddy of my right leg, I looked down on a big, brightly colored male brookie.  Does he even see me?  Is he blind?  

For at least five minutes, I stand frozen looking down on the beautiful white-tipped fins, the classic vermiculated worm patterns on his back and his huge toothy kype jaw methodically opening and closing. Everything goes through my mind.  I think I can reach down and grab him.  No, grappling for trout is illegal. If I had my net, I could just dip him up.  But I think seining is illegal also and, besides, I didn't bring a net. This is too weird not to try something.  All this time, my rod is hanging in the crook of my left elbow, reel to the front, rod behind me.  I wonder what would happen if I could drop my fly in front of him?  But how do I get in position without scaring him?  Slowly I unhook my fly from the guide and grasp the handle of my rod in my left hand.  Picture this; rod tip pointing upstream across the back of my shoulders with the leader and flies hanging in the current below my right knee.  Still watching the fish hanging at my feet.  Getting a fly to go where you want it in moving water while pointing the rod in the opposite direction ain't as easy as it sounds.  The little hares ear nymph dropper fly keeps rising to the surface and the brookie apparently never sees it.

Now I'm looking around to see if any other anglers have spotted me.  My contorted body must look like I'm suffering a seizure right in the middle of the river.  Would they realize I'm being the heron?  Whew!  No one in sight.  I'm going to be more aggressive. Slowly I take a step backwards, then another.  The fish, likewise, slowly moves the same distance away from me.  We're about a rod length apart now and I've got more options.  Since he obviously knows I'm not a mid-stream rock, I'm confident he won't take my fly.   What the heck, I'll put it in front of him anyhow.  Holding my rod out horizontally, I watch only my olive woolly bugger drift down in the crystal clear water to within 6 inches of the big mouth.  Like a puppy snapping at a Milk Bone biscuit, he surges forward and  crushes the fly!  Whoa!  Now he's fully aware of my intentions and does not want any part of it.  Only minutes earlier we were the closest of companions, my right boot provided respite from the exhausting path through the riffle. Now we're battling in the current; strong fat-bodied fish against nine feet of bent graphite and 5X tippet.  I give just enough to let him swing out into a calm area where he doesn't have the help of rushing water.  From there I ease the big fish into a puddle of water bounded by humps of golden grass and release the pressure. He's safe and resting comfortably in the small pocket so I dig out my cell phone for a couple of quick photos.  A gentle belly rub and I release him carefully to resume his journey.  What a bizarre vignette in an afternoon on the most beautiful wild river in Georgia.  I think I'll be back again soon.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tradition Starter and Memory Maker!!

Mark Nosacka and his son JP fished with me on Saturday, doing an instructional half day at Nacoochee Bend.  Mark, having done a little fly fishing before, was wanting to get his son JP started off on the right foot.  I'll tell you, JP was a great student.  He listened well and tried hard to carry out my instructions.  He asked great questions and had a smile on his face all day....  especially when he realized that he had caught more fish than his dad !  Both he and his dad hooked fought and lost a "Nacoochee Toad".  You guys will just have to come back and put those fish in the net next time!! 
Rex Gudgel
FFF Master Certified Casting Instructor 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Courtney Williams Floats the Toccoa River - 11/25/11

Butch Martin had a nice float on the Toccoa and sends this along:

Courtney Williams and his father floated with me on the Toccoa the Friday after Thanksgiving and caught these two nice fish:  A couple of nice rainbows:  22" and 24"!  The Toccoa River floats are becoming very productive with 30 - 40 fish days and chances to catch some really memorable fish - come join us!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Never Too Old to "Tie 1 On"

What a great Thanksgiving--I really enjoy this time of year--we have so much to be thankful for!
I'm so grateful that I had the opportunity to fish with 93 year young "Mr. Bob" Still. It's hard to pick out which one he is in the picture, but he's the young looking guy in the middle. It was a joy and privilege to fish with and spend time with all of the Still family--David, Charlotte, and "Mr. Bob". Of course, he caught the largest fish, even though he took a "spill" in the process. He recovered well and brought the fish to net.
What a great day--thanks for sharing your time on the water with me, "Mr. Bob", and thanks for fishing with Unicoi--you are an inspiration.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Holiday Sale!!

Great deals on Orvis Clearwater II, Access, and Helios Outfits
Now through Dec. 24th.
Visit shoponline.unicoioutfitters.com or click the pics below to go straight to the deals.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Abel - A "Reel" Work of Art

In recent years the fly fishing industry has provided us with more and more choices when it comes to gear. Each tool for the job can be had in nearly any size, shape, color and even price. I think it is great that someone getting started in the sport can get an entry level outfit that will outperform top level technology of years past, all at a fraction of the cost. The other side to that, when fly fishing becomes a passion, there are companies such as Abel that provide the opportunity to own and fish with a functioning work of art. You don't need expensive gear to enjoy fly fishing, I just think it is great that there are people out there that love the sport enough to put this much effort and dedication into it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blue Ridge Tying Night!

Hey Guys and Gals the Unicoi Outfitters Fly Shop in Blue Ridge is having its monthly fly tying night this Thursday Nov. 17th at 6:30pm til 8:30pm. So far they've been well attended and lots of fun. So bring your tying stuff or they'll be free equipment and materials to use if you don't have something. Art and Larry will be heading up the meeting so they'll be plenty of shooting the bull time and fishing stories told. And Best of all it's free!

Steelies, Bows & Browns

After an unsuccesful week of deer hunting in Ohio, I headed up to New York for a mix of whitetail and steelhead. A friend of mine from North Carolina was up in NY chasing some steel and asked me to join him, so I headed to the creek on Saturday morning. The wind was gusting up to 30 mph, but down in the low area of the creek it was fairly pleasant. The water has been low on the Great Lake tributaries and this creek was one of the few that got some rain and had a decent number of fish. We had a lot of hookups and between the three of us we landed 10-12 chunky steelies. I brought 3 to hand with many LDRs on the day. All in all it was a good day.
On Sunday, the winds were up howling again, so I decided to hit one of my old haunts that I grew up fishing on for inland trout. I decided that I needed to knock the rust off of my comp fishing, so I rigged up the 10.5ft 3wt to give it a go. That day's recipe called for a size 8 Walt's Worm for an anchor and a size 14 hot spot Frenchie for the top offering. On the third cast, a had fiesty wild rainbow smash my anchor fly. The next cast called up another rainbow. The rust was knocked clear off the rod and my confidence was high, only to be smashed back down to reality as I spent the next 45 minutes fishing with only 2 more bows to show, but I did have a couple of LDRs.

Feeling a little low, I hopped in the truck and headed downstream a few miles to some honey holes that has been known to hold some spawning browns. I only had an hour to fish as I had an engagement to attend, so the pressure was on (kind of like fishing a comp). I worked a bunch of holes with feverish speed and missed a couple of nice fish. I got to the top hole and yanked out two nice size wild bows for the effort. I decided to call it a day and headed back for the truck. I stopped at the deep hole down by the truck and started making a few "last casts", knowing full well that I have never caught a fish out of this hole. This hole is about 10 feet deep and I was all the way at the bottom just churning my flies when the line got tighter than it should be. Knowing this is either the mother of all snags or a beast, I laid into the rod throwing caution and my 6x tippet to the wind. What happened on the other end of my line was something that reminded me of a Northern Pike head thrash. From the depths of the abyss, I could see a massive head just shaking wildly. The fought upstream and down, all the while staying at the bottom of the hole. I tried twice to take me into the log jam, but I leaned back on the rod and with the help of 10.5 feet, I was able to steer him back. After a ten minute battle and many choice words with myself for leaving the net in the truck, I beached the beast from the depths. The was truly a trophy wild brown that will rank up there as my best brown trout I have ever caught. It was not the biggest nor was it a Great Lake run fish, but it was a wild fish that I caught on my home water. You have to love those "last casts".
Story and photos by Foothills TU Newsletter Editor Bob Lux

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Great Time to Learn to Fly Fish

Friday, before the onslaught of the Gold Rush Tournament, I had the opportunity to take Joanne and Jasmine out on one of our Gilligan Specials at Nacoochee Bend. The 3 hour adventure started as usual, fitting boots and waders, putting rods together, tying on leaders, casting lessons and I said to myself, "Self,... why don't you get tired of this or at least get a little bored?" And I answered myself, "Self, because I make new friends every time, my efforts are always appreciated and rewarded, and I just love being a part of someone putting all of this together and catching their first fish on a fly rod!" Good reasons ! Thanks for the laughs and appreciation you two , I had a great afternoon!

Rex Gudgel
FFF Master Certified Casting Instructor

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tying for DH with Steve Hudson

This past weekend, we had Steve Hudson at the shop tying various fly patterns he created specifically for fishing the Delayed Harvest regulated streams in Georgia. Steve also did a "DH Fly Tying" clinic at the NGTO fall fling on Saturday. His patterns can be found in his book "Tying Flies for Stocked Trout" which is available for purchase at Unicoi Outfitters, online at geargiafishingbooks.com, or through Steve himself.

- Trent Sizemore

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Record Georgia Walleye?

"Yesterday, we collected probably the largest walleye anybody has ever seen in Georgia waters (picture attached).  The behemoth walleye was 30-inches long and exceeded the capacity of our certified scales that weighs up to 12 lb.  Using a Boga grip, the giant walleye weighed a hair over 12 lbs.  In the spring, this huge female walleye will probably weigh 15 pounds!  The fish was released unharmed and swam away with no apparent side effects from her ordeal.

"This is the second 12 lb fish we have collected from Lake Seed.  The first one was caught a couple of years ago during the spring spawning run.  The fish was caught within 400 yards of dam and was situated in a downed tree top.  Walleye love those downed trees!"

Anthony Rabern
Senior Fisheries Biologist
Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Lake Burton Hatchery
3695 Highway 197 North
Clarkesville, GA  30523
706/947-1507 (office)
404/695-7816 (cell)

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Well, it's Sat. afternoon, and I'm watching the Ga.-Fla. game. If the dawgs go for 1 more field goal, I think I'll be about ready to "tie 1 on". Well enough of that--let's get back to something that's more relaxing and easier on my nerves--fly fishing and fly tying.

I'm really looking forward to our fly tying session Tues., Nov. 1. We will be meeting at 6:00 PM at Nacoochee Methodist Church located off Highway 17 in Sautee. Three of our fellow tyers will show us how to tie one of their favorites. Anyone interested in tying their own flies is welcome.

If you're wanting to learn how, this is a good place to start. All material and equipment will be supplied, along with some great coffee and a good time talking fishing. At this meeting, we'll also be planning a fishing trip or 2.

I would also like to remind all veterans and active military personnel not to forget to sign up for a free guided fishing trip with Unicoi. Just go by the shop and drop your name in the minnow bucket--the drawing for the trip will be on Vet. Day--Nov. 11. Thanks Unicoi for recognizing all our service

men and women--past and present. What a blessing they are to our country and to each of us--thank all of you for your sacrifices.

See you in church.



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mountaintown Creek

Unicoi Outfitters guide James Bradley had a nice trip yesterday on Mountaintown Creek with Randy and Wynn Jones:

Randy just had bypass surgery 8 weeks ago!  Time for a couple of brothers to get out and have some fun.  Decided on Mountaintown Creek for some great fall scenery, especially along this mountain stream...not to mention the "hot bite" going on!  Too many fish to count.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nacoochee Bend

The fishing is great at Nacoochee Bend - here's a report from Rex Gudgel:

This past Saturday Louis Sawyer and Joe Mayfield fished with me at Nacoochee Bend. The weather was wonderful, the scenery was sensational, the comraderie was comical, and the fishing was fabulous! How's that for adjectives and alliteration? These are just some of the reasons you need to come out and fish with us.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Beautiful Golden "Brown" Day at NCF

I was really looking forward to this fishing trip.

I had not fished Noontootla Creek Farms for quite a while and it is definitely one of my favorite streams to fish. I met Larnx Allebrink at the shop in Blue Ridge and we were in the water after a short drive. Larnx now lives in Tampa, but was born and raised in Sweden.

After just a short time in the water, Larnx hooked and landed a nice red-sided rainbow--what a gorgeous fish--I could tell it was going to be a special day. In between hooking fish, we talked about fishing in Sweden--which was really interesting to me. I guess fishing in it's own way is an international language to all those who enjoy it, although Larnx did ask me to repeat myself a couple of times--that North Ga. "redneck" accent I guess.

We had a great time. We hooked several large fish that got off, but Larnx was never discouraged. I think we both knew that it was just a matter of time. He hooked and landed this beautiful brown on a rl stonefly--what else. He told me that it was larger and maybe even more stunning than any brown he had caught in Sweden.

Thanks, Larnx, for a great day and thanks for fishing with Unicoi.

I believe there's no better place than North Ga in the fall, especially if you're knee deep in a trout stream.



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blue Ridge Fly Tying Night Oct. 20th!!!

Hey folks we are having the second fly tiers night this Thursday Oct.20th at Unicoi Outfitters in Blue Ridge! The festivities will begin at 6:30pm and the fly of the night is the good old Hares Ear Nymph. Both a beaded version and a non beaded version will be on the agenda. Or we'll work on anything you want to.
Bring your own stuff or we'll have plenty of tools and materials for you to use at no charge. Drop by even if you don't tie and just shoot the bull a while. Art and Larry will be there to head it up so giving them a hard time will be greatly appreciated. Normally we'll end up in a couple of hours. See ya'll there!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Are You Sharp Enough?

Man, this weather has got me frisky as a newborn colt.  I can't wait to get off work and hit the river for a couple of hours in the afternoon.  Yesterday I grabbed Kathy's kayak and headed to the Chattahoochee for some topwater shoal bass fishing.  What a great crisp afternoon it was, just cool enough to warrant waders at dark.  I paddled upstream for about a quarter mile and beached the kayak below a beautiful set of shoals.  I was determined to fish on top with my old standby, a white Stealth Bomber, and nothing else.  Twenty minutes later I had long distance released 4 nice shoalies and was trying to figure out why.  I recalled that this same fly had resulted in a couple of similar disengagements Sunday afternoon when the old Edison incandescent went off in my little pea brain and suggested I check my hook for sharpness.  Sure enough, the only Stealth Bomber I had with me was dull as a hammer and I had nothing to sharpen it with.  To add insult to injury, the first fish I lost was probably the largest shoal bass I have tied into this year.  I had thrown my fly right into a turbulent frothy mix of currents coming over a ledge.  The fly floated maybe two feet when this guy exploded on it from beneath the whitewater.  Chalking it up to bad luck, I kept fishing and proceded to lose three more nice fish in the next twenty yards.  The bite was definitely on but I was ignorantly unprepared.  Checked the hook on my thumbnail and it slid right off.  A big no-no!  When I'm trout fishing, I always have some kind of sharpener on me but not last night going for bass.  And it cost me big time.  Make yourself a note and tape it to your fly rod; "Check Hooks for Sharpness, Dummy!"

I did manage to land at least as many as I lost before dark-thirty set in and I floated back downstream to my truck.  Largest one was probably 12 inches; nothing like the first brute that threw my fly back in my face.  I'm already planning a rematch.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Do You Know the Difference?

These two river bass were caught this past weekend by the Dredger; one dredging and one on top.  Can you identify the species?  The topwater fly that you can see in the photo on the left was the trusty White Stealth Bomber.  The subsurface fly in the other photo was a Hipps Hell Craw.  Both flies are excellent bass catchers and should be in your arsenal when wading into the warmer waters of the region.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tie 1 On

The Outdoor Adventure Day at Unicoi was great. All the remarks about the event that I have heard are very good. The fly tying tent was the busiest I have seen it--kids everywhere. It looked like the fly casters stayed busy and the stream was really crowded with fisherman--what a great time. Thanks to all the folks at Ga. DNR--you did an outstanding job. Thanks also to all those from TU and "Tie 1 On" that helped out.

We will meet this Tues--Oct 4--at 6:00 PM at Nacoochee Methodist Church for our monthly fly tying session. We will be tying some mayfly nymphs this month. Everyone--experts and beginners--are all invited. For those who don't own vises, we will provide them, and all the material for tying the flies.

Sorry about the late notice--see you in church!



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Outdoor Adventure Day 9/24

10th Annual Outdoor Adventure Day at Unicoi State Park!
By Ken Riddleberger, Northeast Georgia Game Management Supervisor

            Looking for a fun-filled day of outdoor activities for the whole family?   We have just the ticket!   The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is hosting Outdoor Adventure Day on September 24th at Unicoi State Park near Helen.  

            The event will be from 10:00am to 4:00pm, weather permitting, in the large field along Smith Creek downstream from Unicoi Lake Dam.   Activities geared for kids and adults of all ages include canoeing, camping, hiking, trout fishing, fly tying and casting, airgun shooting, archery and skeet shooting.  There will be live wildlife shows with birds of prey, snakes, and other Georgia wildlife.  Smith Creek will be stocked with trout during the day and will be open to fishing.   September 24th is a free-fishing day, so Georgia residents can fish without a license.   Bring your fishing poles and some bait or lures.   Crickets and worms are good choices for live bait.   If you don’t have a pole, but want to try trout fishing, don’t worry.   Loaner poles, tackle, bait, and even some streamside helpers will be available.  Just drop by the fishing tent to get set up.

            Did you ever wish you could try fly-fishing, but never had the time?   Now’s your chance!   Experts in fly-fishing from Trout Unlimited and Unicoi Outfitters will be on hand to provide instructions on fly-casting using their equipment.   You can also try your hand at fly tying and, with help from North Georgia Trout Online members, go home with a “woolly bugger” you created.

            Tired of fishing? Let’s try some shooting sports.  You can start on the archery range.   Volunteers with the Traditional Bowhunters of Georgia will coach you shooting bows at a variety of 3-D targets.   Adjacent to the archery range, DNR staff and volunteers will teach basic shooting skills using airguns.   You’ll be hitting bull’s-eyes before you leave.
            Next, graduate up to skeet shooting.   A skeet range will be in action all day.   DNR and US Forest Service instructors will be with you to guarantee you break some skeet.   Shotguns, ammo and everything else you need are provided.

            Need a break?  Check out the live animals.   Live animal shows will be ongoing throughout the day.   See a variety of live reptiles and live hawks used in the sport of falconry.  Talk with experts from Smithgall Woods Conservation Center.  Interested in camping and hiking?  Members of the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club will be on hand to give you tips on making your outdoor adventure enjoyable.

            If you prefer a relaxing time on the lake, sign up to paddle a canoe on beautiful Unicoi Lake.  Instructors will teach you the basics and you can take a canoe trip around the lake on your own.  Experts from Unicoi State Park will be there as instructors.

            Although the activities are outdoors, you don’t have to “rough it”.  Restroom facilities will be available and a vendor will have lunch items on-site for you to purchase.  Should you want to take a break from walking, hop on the hay wagon which will be running all day in a continuous loop to get you from one location to the next.   If that’s not enough, there will be a free raffle for some neat hunting and fishing prizes. 

            This event celebrates National Hunting and Fishing Day and National Public Lands Day.  The Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the nonprofit group “Friends of Unicoi State Park” will co-sponsor the Outdoor Adventure Day.  A Georgia ParkPass ($5/day) is required for each vehicle and can be purchased upon arrival.

            Directions to the event are easy.   Take GA Hwy 75 North through Helen, then turn right on GA Hwy 356 in Robertstown.   Go over the Unicoi Lake Dam and past the entrance to Unicoi Lodge for two-tenths of a mile.   Turn right at the brown sign for the trout stream and tennis courts and you are there!  Make plans now to come celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day with Georgia’s Conservation Community.  For information about other National Hunting and Fishing Day events, visit the Wildlife Resources Division website at www.georgiawildlife.com or call 770-535-5498.

How to Become an Expert

Our good friend Craig Riendeau is one of the best river bass fly anglers we know.  He also happens to be one of the most innovative bass fly designers in the country; a talent he has parlayed into some notoriety via Rainy's Flies.  He's written for Fly Tyer Magazine and is a member of the FlyWranglersTV.com team.  When I received this email from Craig yesterday, my immediate thought was  to get this information on our blog.  So, if you've ever wondered how the experts actually become an expert, take note; it's the power of observation!

Craig's 4 lb. 13 oz. Shoal Bass

"Jimmy, I found a new way to catch shoal bass, dry fly fish for them.  OK, it's not your usual dry fly fishing but the principles are the same.  I fished one of my favorite rivers yesterday and the water was extremely low and clear.  You could actually see the bass if you looked hard enough (and they weren't under a ledge).  It was tough going till I accidentally drop a popper in the river.  As I watched it float away, a good bass came up and ate it.  The power of observation!  OK, so I put on another popper and cast it out there and just let it drift, bang, fish on.  I ended the day with a dozen bass, half over two pounds plus a bonus 4 lb. 13 oz. pig , all caught this way.  So you're going to have to start stocking #4 chartreuse rubber legged poppers with the dry flies.  Funny thing is that two years ago I caught a 4 lb. 12 oz. shoalie by accident dead drifting a popper but just took it as a fluke.  I was standing on a rock surveying the river ahead with the popper trailing behind me when he hit.  New technique?  I'm going to look into it for sure."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Blue Ridge Fly Tyers Night

Hey Ya'll we are holding a fly tyers night this Thursday from 6:30pm till 8:30pm at the Blue Ridge Unicoi Outfitters Fly Shop. Tyers of all experience levels are welcome, and the best part is that it is free! Coffee and donuts are provided. This is scheduled to go on every 3rd Thursday of the month. Bring your equipment if you've got it. If not we'll have all the stuff for you to use no charge. It's a great opportunity to have some fun and to also maybe learn a new technique or two. Midges will be the main focus, but we'll tie San Juans if you want too. Give us a call at the shop at 706-632-1880 and let us know if you are coming so we'll have enough grub!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

2011 Gold Cup Fly Fishing Team Challenge



Team Dead Drift, Frog Hollow and Unicoi Outfitters are pleased to announce the 3rd annual “Gold Cup Fly Fishing Team Challenge”. You are invited to attend or to participate in this two-day fly-fishing event to be held at Frog Hollow on the beautiful and picturesque waters of the Chestatee River in Dahlonega Georgia and Unicoi Outfitters the famous and beautiful Chattahoochee River south of Helen, Georgia. 

First Round
Saturday November 12th 2011 8:00a.m. - 5:30p.m.

Final Round
Sunday November 13th 2011 8:00a.m. - 5:30p.m.

Entry Fee Per Team $175.00
 Registration deadline November 1st, 2011

To view this event is free and open to the public.

The Gold Cup Team Challenge is an annual two-day event, which will permit a two-person team to match their skills against other teams, to earn a $1,000 grand prize, plus, one full day fishing and one night lodging at Frog Hollow. Team awards will be given for 2nd, and 3rd place. Best Angler award will be given for the most total points by one angler.
Registration to compete is open to the general public, on a first come basis.

A maximum of 20 teams will be permitted; a minimum of 10, two-angler teams must be registered for the event to take place.

A non-refundable registration and entry fee for each team is required. 

In the event an insufficient number of participants register for this event, all funds for individuals will be returned.

A 6:00 p.m. kick-off dinner will be hosted at Frog Hollow on the Friday evening before the Challenge.

This is a two-day two-person team event and will be conducted according to Trout Legend competition standards, FIPS MOUCHE rules, and Tournament Committee member rules and regulations.  Further details on the event, as well as a detailed listing of the rules are posted on the following websites:

A portion of the proceeds from this event will go to Gold Rush Chapter Trout Unlimited, a 501 (C)(3), non-profit organization.

Volunteers, sponsorship, exhibitors, donations and prizes welcome.

The goal of the Gold Cup Challenge Committee was to coordinate an event with a prestigious fly fishing award with the benefits and intent to promote, educate and inform the public about the joy of fly-fishing.

Team Dead Drift:
The Georgia Fly Fishing Team is a group of anglers who compete in local and national fly fishing tournaments.  The team is excited as it makes strides to collectively participate and encourage in the sport of competitive fly-fishing. Those interested to follow the progress of the team as we make steps toward our goals, please feel free to follow and support us!

Team Dead Drift Mission Statement:
Team Dead Drift is dedicated to developing a competitive fly-fishing team to participate in regional, national, and international events.  The Team will strive to assist in educational efforts aimed at teaching the art of fly fishing.  It will also endeavor to participate in conservation efforts (in coordination with other organizations) to protect and preserve the diverse cold water and warm water fisheries throughout the state of Georgia and the southeast.

This press release revised September 2nd 2010

Kenny Simmons
Gold Rush Cup Challenge Director

Ben VanDevender
Team Dead Drift Captain

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tie 1 On

Thought I would let all the "fly tyers" and "want to be fly tyers" know that we will meet this Tues.( Sept 6th) at 6:00 PM at Nacoochee Methodist Church on Highway 17 in Sautee. This month we will be using dubbing loops to tie some basic flies that catch fish--if there are any left after this hot summer. Everyone is invited and tools and material will be provided. Hope to see you in church.



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Flies for Delayed Harvest Streams

We received this from Steve Hudson

Hi folks!

Just a quick note to let you know that I'll be speaking on "Tying Flies for Delayed Harvest and Stocked Trout" at the monthly meeting of the Tailwater Trout Unlimited Chapter on Thursday, Sept. 1. The group meets at Tanner's at the corner of Peachtree Industrial Blvd. and Suwanee Dam Road in Suwanee.

I'll be talking about selecting, tying and using different flies that are effective for delayed harvest streams -- not just at the beginning of the season but also as the fish adjust from recent stockers to veteran holdovers. The opening of the delayed harvest seasons in Georgia and North Carolina are fast approaching, and this should be a great way to get you started on getting your fly box ready for some truly great trout fishing!

The meeting starts at 6:30 but we may meet a bit earlier to           do a bit of tying.  Hope to see you there!



Monday, August 29, 2011

Down In The Arkansas

Our good friend Al Money just returned from a trip to Colorado and sends us this fishing report:

Ronnie Gibson and I got a chance to do some fishing on the Arkansas River in Colorado last week.  We were about 3 hours southwest of Denver near the towns of Salida and Buena Vista.  We hired a guide (Abe) through Arkanglers Fly Shop for a half day just to show us the tricks of the local water. 

It didn't take Ronnie long to hook up with a nice Rainbow but I guess I am just a slow learner because we were several hours into the day before I got my first Brown to the net.  

We both had two pretty fantastic days once we learned the trick of fishing tiny flies over shallow but fast riffles with no lead and absolutely drag free drift.  Most of the fish we caught were holding in about 6 inches of fast moving water over a rocky bottom.  They blended in so well with the bottom that you really couldn't spot them until one took the fly.  The Rainbows are stocked but all of the Browns in this river are wild fish.  Here are a few pictures, hope you enjoy.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

This Is A Cool Fly Fishing Video

Without all the hyperbole, head-banging music and dramatic editing, our friends at Drake Magazine give you a really cool video on trout and mayflies.

Hatch // Drake Fly Fishing Magazine

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

John Gierach is a Master at Spinning Tales, Reels

We think this is a very good article on one of flyfishing's most noted icons.  Written for the mainstream readers of the Denver Post, Scott Willoughby gives a different perspective of Gierach than we normally get from flyfishing periodicals.

LYONS — Ask John Gierach a question, and he's likely to tell you a story. Odds are it will be about fly-fishing.

After all, that's what Gierach does. Over the course of some 35 years now, the 64-year-old Lyons local has spun enough yarn to fill 16 books on the topic, ranging from guides to fishing small streams and high-country lakes to the iconic fish stories of "Trout Bum," "Sex, Death and Fly-Fishing" and his most recent title, "No Shortage of Good Days."

"I love them all and I'm proud of them all," Gierach said. "But I tend to think my last book is my best book, if for no other reason than you're supposed to get better with age."

It has been 25 years since "Trout Bum," and the white-bearded poet-turned-outdoors writer from middle America is still pursuing his literary artistry with the same dedication required of his favorite pastime.

"The two are inseparable at this point," he said.

On a recent day when high water made for tricky fishing on his local St. Vrain Creek stomping grounds, Gierach took time between casts to tell a few more tales.

Q: Is it really possible to be as one-dimensional as you portray yourself in print?

A: Nobody really thinks of themselves as one-dimensional, right? So probably not. I mean, I have an actual life. I do think about things besides fly-fishing. But, you know, I've been doing this writing about fly-fishing professionally for like 35 years, so it definitely colors who you are after a while, really sets the tone and direction of your life. But, I do have other interests and on book tours, people — well, women — ask, "Do you do anything else?"

Read more:John Gierach is a master at spinning tales, reels - The Denver Post

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tie 1 On

What a beautiful brown trout that took a sulfur on the South Holston river this past week--1 of a few that I actually had the skill to catch--I need to fish more dries. Sulfurs & pheasant tails are the flies we will be tying during this month's tying session which will take place Tues Aug. 2. at 6:00 PM.

We will change locations this month to Nacoochee Methodist Church on Hwy. 17 about a mile or so past the Indian Mound on the left. Enter on Rabun Rd. and park behind the church.

Beginners & experienced fly tyers are both invited to join us. Hope to see you there.



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shark Fishing with a Dropper Rig

 One of our fearless leaders proves why he's fearless...not necessarily for the squeamish...

Shark Fishing with a Dropper Rig – Don’t Do It!!!


David Dockery

During a recent trip to St. Simons Island, I took the opportunity to get in a little inshore fishing.  Since it had been a number of years since I had fished the Georgia Coast and not knowing the tidal creeks and rivers around Brunswick very well, I decided that shark fishing would provide my best chance for success.  Twenty years ago when I was in graduate school at UGA, Jim Music, who used to work at the Coastal Resources Division of DNR in Brunswick, took me and a few friends fishing for sharks in Jekyll Creek, behind Jekyll Island.  We were very successful that day, so, here all these years later, I felt like I could pull off the same kind of success on sharks.

I rigged dead bonito with 2 hooks, because I didn’t want to risk losing half a baitfish to a short striker.  Time being of the essence, my 2-hook rigs were hardly in accordance with IGFA standards and I wasn’t too concerned about the possibility of landing a new world record.

After we anchored, it was only about 10 minutes until we had our first fish on.  As my fishing partner, Chris, brought what appeared to be a 30 pound sandbar shark to the boat, I grabbed the wire leader and began working on removing the “stinger” hook from the shark’s mouth with a pair of pliers.  Things seemed to be going well until the pliers slipped off the hook and the fish yanked the other dangling hook (which I had been largely ignoring) through my left hand.  The fun for me ended at this point.

Thank goodness he was only 30 pounds!  I quickly pulled the fish back to the boat and started using the wire cutters to cut loose everything in sight.  My only thoughts were, “It’s going to be a long grueling trip back to the launch ramp.”  Chris let me drive the boat to keep me occupied, while he navigated with the GPS and monitored my state of consciousness.  It took about an hour to get to the launch ramp, and load the boat on the trailer.  It took another half hour to find and get to the closest hospital.

In the Emergency Room, I tried to be as nonchalant as possible, while walking around with a 12/0 hook sticking out of my hand.  Not wanting to freak out the other patients in the ER, the receptionist quickly scuttled me back to the triage area.

The triage nurse didn’t immediately notice my problem, as she started working on getting my vital signs.  When she asked me what my problem was, I gestured towards my hand.  I think her comforting words to me were “Oh God” or something to that effect when she saw my issue.  She told me they take hooks out of people about once a week, but she had never seen a hook that big in anyone.  She then ask me if she could take this picture:

The Physician’s Assistant who treated me was from Kenya and spoke English with a heavy accent.  He did provide me with an opportunity to ask “Unasema Kiswahili?” which is not something I’ve used very much since learning the language skills necessary to be an African professional big game hunter at White County High School in 1982.  He told me that he expected it would take quite a while to SAW!!! through the hook sticking out of my hand.

After his initial assessment, a nurse brought in a syringe the size of a turkey baster full of Novocain and laid it gently on the stainless steel tray in front of me.  (Oh Boy!)

The PA came back in a few minutes and began using the syringe with reckless abandon.  The impalement by the hook was nothing compared to being worked over by that syringe.  My hand literally blew up like a balloon with all the Novocain under my skin.  As my Kenyan friend left the room, I sat there with cold sweat beaded up on my balding forehead, waiting for his return.

When he came back a few minutes later, he carried in his hands something akin to a battery powered Dremel tool with a diamond saw blade attachment.  He worked about 5 minutes carefully cutting through the hook above the barb.  He then rounded the rough edges and backed the hook out of my hand.  Finally, I was free!

The nurse then produced another huge syringe full of Betadine (thankfully without a needle this time).  My PA squirted the equivalent of several shot glasses full of the reddish brown liquid through the back of my hand until it ran out my palm.  He blotted everything off, gave me a most lovely Tetanus shot, and prescriptions of antibiotics and pain killers.  He told me not to bandage the hand, unless I risked getting it dirty, because he wanted it to “weep”. 

Despite my description of the events in the ER, the staff at the Brunswick Campus of the Southeast Georgia Health System all did an excellent job.  My poor attempts at making light of the situation were all anxiety and shock induced.  Thanks to their efforts, I was able to pick up where I left off without missing a thing.  I spent the next 3 days masking my hand and walking around with a pocket full of surgical gauze.

Despite a swollen hand, I felt good enough the evening of the next day to try it again.  We didn’t catch any fish, but I did learn that SeaTow charges $300/hr. to come and get you when your boat breaks down.  That’s another story for another day. 

In the meantime, if you would like for me to take you shark fishing on the Georgia coast, please give me a call!