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, December 14, 2012

Chattooga DH Report 12/13

Our friend Doug Brown submitted this Chattooga DH report:

     December 13 was a clear, mild day.  Reid Brown, Ron Nagao and I drove to the Highway 28 bridge that crosses the Chattooga River at the Georgia/South Carolina state line.  We stopped by the Chattooga River fly Shop and talked with Karl.  He said by now (six weeks into the Delayed Harvest) that the trout were distributed though out the three mile dh section above 28 bridge.  He suggested #16 black stone emerger.
Jeff Durniak swinging soft hackles on Chattooga DH
    The three of us hiked up stream on the Georgia side to the crossing.  I saw two takes on the surface and tied on a rusty spinner and then a BWO and I saw one trout rise and refuse the BWO.  We spread out and I went to a favorite piece of water and continued to cast dries and nothing rose.  I tied on a barbless #16 bh black soft hackle and began to land rainbows from this run.  I walked up stream above the rock chairs and tried a short cut and became tangled in briers and honeysuckle so I backed out and found a trail to the river.  I fished a long run that hugs the South Carolina bank.  I cast near and then to the far side and hooked rainbows on the down swing.  I’d let the line straighten downstream, hesitated and lifted the tip up which brings the nymph toward the surface, like an emerger, and the trout nailed the soft hackle fly. 
    The air temperature began to warm up considerably by 2:00pm and I walked down stream and found a fine piece of dry fly water.  There was a good trout rising near a rock.  He swirled under the fly.  I rested the water and he began to feed again and I cast and nothing.  Other fish began to rise and sip, there were many midges and what appeared to be #18 mahogany mayflies in the air and around the water where the sun lit the surface.  I had no luck fishing dries.  I met up with Ron and Reid.  They had each landed trout.  Reid landed his on size #24 black midge.  Ron landed his on soft hackle nymphs of various body colors.  Reid and I walked back to the crossing.  I continued my downstream drift with the black soft hackle and hooked and landed a 20” brown.  This was a fine, thick and powerful fish who refused to come to the net.  I did not want to exhaust this trout in order to land him so I asked Reid to net the brown for me. 
    Were the fish scattered throughout the river?  I don’t know.   But today was the first day of this season that I saw anglers throughout the river’s course.   

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