Sunday, July 11, 2010

Boulders anyone???

Back country fishing is hands down my favorite kind of fly fishing. I have a cool story about the first time I tried it, but I'll save that for a rainy day post. Yesterday I drove to north GA and fished in the National Forest. I was fishing a creek that I've never fished before, but I found it on a map and it looked really good. The fall back plan was a short 3 mile drive over the next mountain and down into a valley. Lucky for me I didn't need to use plan B. I left the city limits at about 6:30 and just shy of 2 hours later I was in the mountains! The highways got smaller and smaller until I was on a back country road, and then a right hand turn put me on a compacted dirt road. About 15 or 20 minutes on the dirt road and I found my parking lot. After a short walk down a trail I got my first sight of the steam. All I saw was boulders and the water was running around, over, under, and through them. It was a wonderful sight, it almost took my breath away looking up and seeing a wonderful tangle of trees, rocks and water. I knew from my first sight that the fish were there and it would only be a matter of fishing them out.

It was all rocks all day long.

This is a bad self portrait, but at least you'll see what I tend to carry on a back country trip. What do you think do I look the part?

The first of what turned out to be a great day for catching trout on this stream. I normally keep a count unless the fishing is just amazing, in that case I just fish. So today I caught over 25 fish, but there is no official count. Mainly trout, but also got a rock bass early on in a deep hole that isn't pictured because I was targeting trout so I only wanted pictures of trout. I also got some small pumpkin sunnies, black nosed dace, and 3 tips of chub.

This is the low end of the spot I fished. I fished the top quarter of a mile in the morning, and then by early afternoon I was over run by people swimming. Here is a shot from a bridge that I fished after lunch, I pulled about 7 out of here on elk haired caddis. It was all about hitting the shaded edges anything in the sun was a no go but if it was in the shade the fish would rise then strike fast and hard.

This was the top part that I fished early on. The stream dropped a lot in elevation up here and so there was a lot of big boulders and deep holes to fish. All these boulders and rocks were slippery and my butt, knees, shins, and pride took a beating all day long. The hole pictured here produced a lot of the fish I caught, I spend the most time here on my way up stream. This was the smaller of 2 major water falls of the day. I climbed this one to the left out of the frame of the shot and it was a lot of fun. Part of the reason I love the back country is the adventures the terrain provides for you.

Love the spot pattern on this fish.

This was the hog of the day, it was about 2 and a half inches bigger then any others I landed and had shoulders too. It gave two good pulls and took the slack line from my hand, the only fish I used the reel on all day. He took an elk haired caddis, but unlike some others he was in the current and as the fly passed the rock he was hiding by he turned ran down stream to swipe the fly. It was amazing on the fish's part and I was just happy to get the hook set, but once I set the hook I knew I had a chance to bringing this hog to hand.

This was lunch time, and in the back country no matter how hot it is outside I like to have something real to eat. I took this soup because it's in a sealed package which made it more water proof then most lunches. It was cooked in my tea pot, which is going to make it on the gear page very very soon. Also notice the Esbit fuel stove it too will make the gear page.

A couple more fish shots. I love how there wasn't two alike all day.

Well this might be the longest post I've had so far, but I did fish for 8 hours and the whole trip was a little over 12 hours total. The long and shot of it is I will most likely go back to this spot, but there are so many mountain streams where I was that I want to try another one sometime soon. It looks like next Saturday there is a chance I'll be able to go north again, so there could be another post about the north GA mountains next weekend. This trip only makes me hungrier for the remote streams. It was a ton of work, but totally worth every minute I spent sneaking, slipping, and falling. I think I want to do an over night trip, hike in and spend a weekend set up a base camp and fish a stream or river in the back country.

I'm still thinking of a good tag line so for now just do the best you can this week.....


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