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, May 20, 2013

Landon's Latest Wild Trout Report

A couple of days ago I hit a wild trout stream up in Rabun Co. with the intention of targeting the wild browns. Clouds hung in the sky for most of the afternoon, making for the perfect opportunity to target these wily critters. Water temperatures were very comfortable in the mid to upper 50’s, making wet wading enjoyable.  Numbers of fish were very good for this stream and the wet winter and spring we've had showed in the health of the fish.

It seems that the fish were more congregated in the good looking pieces of holding water, perhaps due to the lower numbers of “slow” areas where browns usually hold. As long as I maintained a stealthy profile, I could sometimes catch multiple fish per pool, which was really cool for a brown trout stream. I even managed a couple of wash down brook trout that are normally miles upstream as well as a few rainbows down towards the parking area further downstream.
There were a couple of consistent trends. I fished a dry-dropper rig with a yellow stimulator and a #14 tungsten bead hares ear below it. In fast pockets shallower than 3 feet, fish responded to both flies. However the fish seemed a little bit skittish of the stimulator in calmer or deeper pools and I’d have to go with a more natural fly to catch them, a size 14 Light Cahill parachute.  I had a hard time getting any fish in really deep pools to come up at all for dry flies. Reluctantly I went down deep to them with big and ugly flies in a couple of pools. Dredging was the way I caught the big fish of the day, a chunky 13-inch brown that doubled over the three weight and even took a little drag! There were a ton of different bugs flying around, but “yellow” was the consistent color with #12-16 Light Cahills and Sulphurs seen as well as #16 Yellow Sallies and Big Golden Stones as well.

We have the best water conditions Georgia has seen in several years so get out and enjoy the streams while the water levels are still great and the fish are hungry.  You never know what is around the next bend.

Landon Williams

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Cast From The Past: Pflueger

Recently while going through some old family items, my wife came across a 1956 issue of Argosy magazine.  Now, you've got to be near or beyond retirement age to even remember Argosy so, if you're younger than that, it was a popular mens' magazine that began publication in 1882.  It finally went the way of the Dodo bird in 1978.  If you do a little research on it, you'll find that over the years the magazine has had some well-known writer's stories.  Horatio Alger, Upton Sinclair, Zane Grey and Edgar Rice Burroughs are among the more notable contributors.

What piqued my interest as I flipped through the aging pages wasn't the stories of Russian cold war defectors or the dangers of hunting wild water buffalo in Brazil.  The thing that got my attention were the ads for outdoor gear.  Mitchell Model 300 spinning reels with extra spool, a new fangled fiberglass rod, rod sack and aluminum tube for only $34.70.  If you didn't have $34.70 to spare, just send them $2.00 as a down payment and take 6 months to pay the balance.

Stevens Model 77 pump shotguns at $49.95.  Genuine Paratrooper Boots for $14.87, postpaid in the U.S.A.  A Smith & Wesson .38 Revolver, WW II issue, for $24.95.  And my favorite of all time, Shrunken Heads straight from the Amazon for only a buck fifty ppd.

The best ad in the magazine that got every angler's attention, however, had to be the one for Pflueger Reels.  The good old Medalist was selling for $8.50.  In today's dollars, that translates to $70.82.  I've always been enamored with the Medalist.  The smooth hefty feel and that sound.  Man, that solid "click, click, click" is as distinctive as the old two-cylinder "Poppin Johnny" John Deere tractor.  Some things just conjure up images of the past and a Pflueger Medalist is one of them.