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.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Trout By any Other Name

A Trout By Any Other Name
submitted by Mark Whitney

This past weekend, while the weather was right and the fishing reports even better, I thought I’d try my hand at fly fishing for trout; spotted sea trout, that is.  It was my first foray into salt water with a fly rod so I didn’t have high expectations for my chances.  But, with a buddy who has a house on the Gulf, another who generously loaned me a stand-up kayak, yet another who gave me a box of flies, and having purchased a brand new 8 weight, how could I possibly go wrong?  I got to my destination on Thursday evening and the local Sheriff’s deputy, who happens to be a fishing buddy, told me the trout were biting and the fishing had been good the last few days.  The local weather called for calm clear skies through the weekend, plenty of sun and mild temperatures.  Yep, things were looking up!
Friday morning, the sky was clear, the temps were mild and the wind was howling like a dog with its tail caught in a closed car door.  These are not prime casting conditions for someone who fishes creeks in north Georgia and generally only sees the first 12 feet of his fly line.  After wearing my arm out back casting into a gale, I pulled out my trusty spinning rod and laid waste to those toothy critters using an electric chicken salt water assassin.  There’s more than one way to fill the skillet!  At about 2:00 in the afternoon and 6 hours of fishing, the wind quit being mad and went away.  Fortunately the bite was still on, the tide was low, the trout were huddled up in the deep holes and I hadn’t noticed how sunburned my legs were yet.  I went back to the fly rod, tied on a white and pink clouser minnow and called myself a fly fisherman once again.
I finished up the day with 5 trout using my fly rod and 3 lady fish.  The lady fish were the most fun, running, jumping and trying to shake my flies.  They certainly earned their reputation as the poor man’s miniature tarpon.
Saturday broke a little cooler and the wind was mostly a non-factor.  I stuck with my fly rod most of the day and was happy to have the chance.  I ended up with more trout than I could keep and caught another 5 lady fish.  Again, most were caught on a clouser, but a couple were caught on a fly tied by a friend of mine.  I’d tell you what it looks like, but then he’d have to kill me (his words, not mine).
I have spent many days fishing for spotted sea trout and redfish in the bay near my friend’s house on the Gulf.  It’s not too far from Steinhatchee and this time of year the fishing is always good.  Usually, I’m a little more efficient and proficient using a spinning rod, but I have never had as much fun as I did using my new fly rod.  I highly recommend it!  And I know I will be going back as often as I can.  Trout in north Georgia hold a special place in my heart, but trout on the Gulf Coast hold a special place in my imagination!
I hope to see you on the water some time.


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