I have made a few trips recently on parts of the Toccoa River above the lake. I was able to really take advantage of the full DH section with the last trip starting way upstream a few miles above VanZandt’s Store by using the little 12′ Stealthcraft driftboat. My first two outings were for two to three hours on Saturday and Sunday about three weeks ago. It was only my second time to use the boat while fishing, so there were still some learning experiences…all passed safely and with no YouTube evidence. Both days I managed to catch quite a few rainbows, brooks and a few browns. Despite it being a weekend with many other waders, I was able to hit less wading accessible waters AND NOT hit any waders. I admit, I did have visions of my hitting waders like bowling pins as I ineptly floated at the mercy of the river. But I managed pretty well only bumping a submerged rock once or twice each day.
But the best day came last Thursday, March 28th. Rob Kissel drive down a day early for his pending Chile fishing trip and met me in Blue Ridge. The guys in the rod and flyshops suggested that with my little boat, the flows were sufficient to put in above VanZandt’s and take out at Sandy Bottom Canoe Launch. After Rob spent some time with Bill Oyster “test” casting Bill’s new bamboo proto-type (a HOLLOW bamboo rod), we finally left for the river. Rob Kissel
As the guys said, the water above the DH held and/or produced fewer fish, but it would have opportunities for perhaps bigger fish. The DH section would have numbers of fish. When Rob would occasionally have to re-tie, I would pull out my 6wt sink tip and dredge the deep channels. This rainbow was 21″. Rob managed this nice one just a bit later. THEN he hooked into a fish I told him he couldn’t land because he didn’t have a salmon tag. Unfortunately as he tried to get it to the net boatside, it broke off. It had to be at least four or five inches bigger than mine. After that he kept saying, “This was fun. We gotta do this again.” True to the guys’ words, we didn’t get very many above the DH, but they were some hosses. The wind picked up, the clock spun fast, and we ended up rowing through a lot of water to get to the DH section in good light. Strangely, as warm as it was we never saw rising fish. Next time!
The Atlanta Fly Fishing Club Mentoring Program was started by JD Forrester, a long time member of the club with the purpose of introducing new members to veteran members while also providing fly fishing expertise on local rivers like the Chattahoochee River. Our club is all about education and camaraderie and each of these new members are paired with a mentor that they can reach out to for advice in the future.
Members of the Atlanta Fly Fishing Club got together March 2nd at Paces Mill along the Chattahoochee River for a mentoring day. Even though the weather was cold and cloudy with snow flurries we had an excellent turn out for our Mentor Day on the Hooch. Thanks to JD Forrester for organizing a great day.
Members of the Atlanta Fly Fishing Club taken while at a February 2013 mentoring day. The club runs educational events for new members of the club to introduce them to new members while also providing fly fishing expertise on local rives like the Chattahoochee River
Following is his account:
“We were greeted with cold temps and spitting snow, but that did not keep the intrepid AFFC mentors and mentees from meeting. I think the session was a success with many things being learned and even some fish were caught.
Jim and Linda Harrington in perfect camouflage gear. Who is the guy in the white hat?
I want to thank John Jenkins, Jimbo Jim McKean, Steve Miller, Jim Harrington, Linda Harrington, Ken Louko, David Nixon, Tom Shillock, Holly Shikano, and Terry Shikano for being great mentees. A special thanks to Dwight Thomas, Eric Davies, Ed Chamberlain, Milton Sams, Tyson Reed, Mike Williams and Bob Hansell for being great mentors!”
Steven Miller watching Eric Davies.
Jimbo Jim McKean rigging up as Tyson “Muley” Reed looks on.
Uncle Miltie Sams (mentor?) being taught spey casting by Ken Louko.
Ed Chamberlain working on casting with Holly Shikano, and Linda and Jim Harrington.
September is prime dry fly time on the Frying Pan River but the fishing is great year around.
For those of you who could not come to the last meeting to see Cameron Cipponeri‘s presentation, below will give you a basic idea of cost as well as a link to the presentation.
Air fare to Denver is about $200 and depending on the number going will dictate rental car/van cost.
The Taylor Creek Cabins have a mile of private water with another mile of public water that is seldom fished.
I have fished the “Pan” for twelve years, September is dry fly time. The average fish is 16″ but much larger Trout lurk through the river.
You can get up early and the two miles of river at Taylor Creek Cabins is yours to fish free then do your guide trip the remainder of the day.
This a large Power Point file. Click on this link, GWFF Share Page, look down to New Folder, then frying pan then right to download. Depending on your internet may take ten or more minutes. The presentation is available now for viewing at this link Frying Pan Club Presentation
I was very pleasantly surprised at the turn out for the AFFC club trip from Jones Bridge to Holcomb Bridge this Saturday. I wish the fishing had been as good as the participation. The club generally has a local club trip the weekend following club meetings. The purpose of these trips are to help introduce new members to other club members.
Eric, Dwight, Mark, Ed, Korey, and Greg waded. From what I heard the best catching from a wader was around 5 and it went down to 2 or 3. Pretty tough fishing. But we did have some significant events. Eric did really well after his hip replacement-a bit sore, but hung in there and the future is bright. And speaking of a bright fly fishing future, Korey got his first trout on a fly rod-way to go Korey!
Phil, Ron, Milton, Mike, Steve, and JD floated and the catching was not much better. The most we got was around 10 and it went down to 5 or 6. Again tough fishing. But I think everybody had a great time and it was good to be out on the water.
Join us next time for an AFFC trip.
This pictures are from a trip to South Andros in the Bahamas last week with Louis Cahill and Kent Klewein. http://www.ginkandgasoline.com/ I met Louis at the Atlanta Fly fishing club meeting last summer and shortly after signed up for the trip. I am so happy that I did.
Despite some wind the fishing was great but what made the trip one of the best I have ever had was the information that I received. Each evening they walked us in detail through topics like advanced casting techniques, bonefishing 101, tying bonefish flies and photography.
The South Andros Lodge had great guides and was hosted by a friendly and helpful staff.
As many of you know, I enjoy fishing the Provo River, especially in the winter. For this trip, I asked Michael Orr to tie a number of flies for me as I was short the typical fly patterns for winter fishing.
This is a great time of year to be fishing western streams as the crowds are much lower and you catch large fish with the only downside being a little cold weather. There are some amazing midge hatches this time of year which I’ve experienced in the past as being fantastic in the middle of snow flurries. Your best bet during winter fishing on the Provo river is to fish size 20-24 adults and emergers with a light rod. Fish feed on adult midges in the afternoon hours and so its not unusual in March to have so many Buffalo midges on the surface that the trout can’t find your fly. Sparse midge, baetis, and sow bug nymph patterns have been taking some great fish throughout the entire river, as well as soft hackles. Streamer fishing has been productive during the low light hour, early mornings on both the Weber and Provo rivers.
Flows in March are at about 150 cfs out of Jordanelle Reservoir Dam which should continue at this low flow until spring. Wading the river at this flow is very easy; accessing both sides of the river is a breeze! The Middle Provo fishes very much like a spring creek at these flows, which can make for some technical and highly rewarding fishing. Using Flourocarbon leaders and tippet in 5X or even 6X makes a huge difference when nymphing. I suggest fishing small dry flies on a 9-12′ leader with 6X or 7X Supple-Flex tippet.
Now this is where Michael Orr comes in. I asked Michael to put a box of both adult and emerging midges and baetis flies together for me. I contacted one of my guide friends out west who gave me a list of local patterns. Many of you may see Michael off in the corner at our club meetings selling flies, but I would like to encourage you to use him for outfitting a box of flies for any of your trips this summer. The quality of his flies are amazing. You can reach Michael at Michael Orr Flies
See this month’s photo album for more pictures. These flies were tied by Michael Orr.
Most of you have read 98% of a trout’s diet is subsurface and most serious fly anglers will agree. If you want to catch trout consistently day in day out you must nymph. If you think about deeper water is a much safer place for a trout to feed rather then the exposed surface and not to mention most aquatic based invertebrates life history takes place underwater.
Unless there is an active hatch occurring where adult aquatics are readily available on the surface trout tend to hang near the river substrate again where it is safe and all those larvae reside.
Some of the most common complaints about nymphing I hear is that anglers lose too many flies and spend more time hanging up on the bottom trying to retrieve valuable flies.My suggestion is to start out simply by looking at the piece of water your fishing with polarized sunglasses and determine whether you can see the detail of the riverbed. If you can see substrate you are likely in 4ft or less depth from surface to the stream floor. If you do not see bottom or what we call green water it is likely 4plus feet or deeper. Be conservative on your guess of the estimated depth and try to adjust your indicator so your nymphs are suspended half the average depth of the run you are working. Attempt half a dozen drifts without strikes or hanging bottom then move your indicator up your leader away from your flies just 6inches and try it again. Repeat this process until you either get a strike or snag the riverbed. As a rule you should hang your nymphs on the bottom every dozen cast/drifts so at least you know your are consistently near the stream floor. We also say your not nymphing properly unless you lose a few flies now and then. Tweaking your fly suspension system whether it is a dry dropper rig or an actual strike indicator lean towards a conservative depth adjustment initially and you will spend more time fishing less time losing flies!
Most trout anglers realize the importance of a “dead-drift” or “natural-drift” where your flies are allowed to drift the exact same speed as the current in the stream. There have been many books and manuals written on how to present the fly to the fish and then on how to manipulate your line with an upstream mend in order to maintain a natural drift. The term “mend” can make this technique confusing for newbies to the sport and quite honestly many novice anglers as well. The word mend means to repair or the term “on the mend” means to get better.
Most fly lines are designed to float but with this quality we must contend with the current of the stream flow in order to keep a direct connection with the fly and to maintain your drift. Typically when casting a floating fly line any direction on the river you will notice that the fly line will drift faster then the leader, tippet and fly in most situations. The Majority of casts and drifts the fly line will be swept downstream forming a downstream belly or bow in the line. To prevent the fly from dragging unnaturally and to keep connected to the drifting fly we must mend upstream again in the majority of situations.
What happens if our fly line bows upstream causing unwanted drag? The upstream “belly” occurs less frequently and is commonly caused by the varied contour of the riverbed. Whether it is a log or rock structure these underwater features influence the current by obstructing the flow causing eddies or slack water and sometimes an upstream current. We are creatures of habit so let’s break the common “upstream mend” habit and try mending downstream! You may just increase your catch rate.
Tight lines! Chris Scalley (email@example.com)