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, June 28, 2021

Prime Lies

We’re glad everyone liked last Friday’s brief headwater video with this inquiry: “Where would you cast your caddis dry to tempt the best resident in this reach of a cold Hooch tributary?

Thanks for your answers on Instagram and Facebook. We also had the question, “where would YOU cast?” So here’s my answer.  First, let’s remember: there’s no one “right” way to fish. Find your own way and have some fun!

For me, my path is influenced by 3 decades as a state fish biologist and 5 as a fly flinger. I think of two factors for a chunky trout’s prosperity: shelter and food. They first need shelter from predators now and floods after a big rain. And they need food delivered efficiently, so their calories consumed exceed their energy spent to get it.

I’d start out downstream, do my heron-creep upstream, and crouch down just below that pool below the big log (pic 1). I’d first toss 1-2 casts to the tailout on the far side of the main current. Sometimes big fish or sentinel fish will slide back down there for an easy meal.

After that, I’d aim for that inside “elbow” of softer water along the far side of the main current, just below the log. The main current and the back eddy coming upstream from the far bank provide two “fast food” lanes, while the depth and log cover provide shelter. If I’m lucky and sneaky , an 8-9 inch wild trout will inhale my dry right on that current seam.

After that I’d hit the undercut on the far bank, under the tree roots (pic 2),  and hope for a 7-incher.  Depth limits the suitability of that spot. After that, I’d wade upstream slowly and hunt the next good niche with the winning combo of “ shelter and food”, and toss my dry 2-3 times. If no looks, then keep moving upstream in my hunt for prime niches.

Hope you enjoyed your blueline trip with Dredger. Let’s do it again, soon!

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