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.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Just Another Day In Paradise

If you'll recall my post last week on fishing the Chattooga River New Years' Day, reference was made to the old saying that whatever you do on the first day of the year is what you'll do most often throughout that year.  Not one to trifle with folklore, and certainly not one to pass on a 60 degree day with 30% chance of rain, I gave in to a plea from my friend Alan to fish it again this past Saturday.  Am I seeing a pattern develop here?

Neither of us wanted to fish until dark-thirty because of family and football obligations.  After a bacon & egg biscuit (3 eggs & a half pound of bacon) at Shore's in Baldwin, we left Cornelia at 8:15 headed north.  The plan was to fish the upper end of the DH so we made the 30 minute hike in on the Georgia side.  This helps us avoid the temptation to stop at every good looking spot and fish plus gets your heart pumping hard enough to move the colesterol that biscuit was dumping into my blood stream.

We pop out on the river bank at one of my favorite holes only to find someone beat us there.  We could have stepped in just below him with at least 50 yards between us but lately I seem to have become hyper sensitive to a lack of stream etiquette so we went downstream a good quarter mile before hopping in.  The water temp as we stepped in was a balmy 40 degrees and the sun wasn't hitting the river directly yet so we would probably be doing more casting than catching for a while.  Or maybe not!

As I sat on the bank rigging up, Alan stepped into the riffles where I had caught the big brown last Sunday.  A few minutes later he had the first fish of the day; a pretty 9" rainbow.  This is a great stretch of river, beautiful with perfect water to hold fish.  As I begin working the lower end of the run, Alan hooks into a nicer fish.  Could it be the big 'un?  Sure giving his 4 wt. a workout.  After a couple of minutes, he brings a beautiful brown to the net.  Beautiful but not the ONE!

Observing his success with the basic Y2K Bug, my superior skills and intellect kick in and I replace my stonefly dropper with a Y2K Bug.  Before I could even cast it, Alan was whooping it up as his rod bent double with his third fish.  "Nice fish!" Alan yelled as I pitched my rod up on the bank and worked my way upstream to watch the struggle.  Indeed, it was the big brown again; all 18 inches measured with a tape this time to confirm the size.  Absolutely gorgeous fish with big spots.  Nice to see you again, Babe.  Now stay away from those Y2K Bugs.

The thought runs through my head, "Can I fish now?"  Not really, but it could have in a lesser man.  Retrieve the rod, cast upstream of that one dark area and let it drift through.  Bam! Fish on!  Y2K Bug to the rescue.  Another brown, albeit a 10-incher.  A few casts later my indicator makes a sharp jerk upstream and I gently set the hook on a 17" brown.  What a great way to start the day!

As we began working our way upstream toward the now vacant pool, you couldn't help but be thankful for being where we were, doing what we were doing.  Such a magnificent place.  What a tremendous resource in our backyard.  The fishing continued to yield a few more browns and a small rainbow now and then until we took a lunch break.  We spied some truly huge fish but all we could get was a follow or two from them.  I did manage to hook into one more big brown that was probably in the 15" - 16" range but it straightened the hook on my Y2K.  Again, the afternoon turned slow as it had last Sunday but you won't hear any complaints from either of us.  A day on the Chattooga is good for the soul.

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