Basalt Colorado fly fishing with Cameron Cipponeri

While there may still be some fishing tomorrow–cutthroat in Maroon Bells/Aspen area, private water here on the Frying Pan, or further upstream where we’ve fished twice–we have had a good and interesting three days of fishing.

Day one was supposed to be a full day float on the Roaring Fork.  But recent rains…yes, I know, what a shock!…made the better option to full day wade the Frying Pan first with Cameron Cipponeri of Frying Pan Anglers–the speaker at the club meeting in April.  What a great guy and a very good guide.  Sadly I am the most experienced of the three anglers with one guy being a fairly recent interestee in flyfishing.  So he needed and got lots of one on one time with Cameron.  We all managed to catch some nice fish.  I probably caught 12-15 fish.  A nice 15-16″ rainbow.  But the “one that got away” was really big.  I managed to hook it in a small pool Cameron pointed out.  He said to try that pool for a bit then left to help the other two that were 30 and 40 yards downstream.  (We have been spread apart several times because all other waters usually fished by those in Denver and Vail have been blown out, so they have to travel here to fish.) Within a few minutes I got the big’un to take a BWO on my 4wt Sage ZXL (Great rod rec, JD!).  I fought the fish in the 30 feet of river around me for 4-5 minutes while hollering downstream for them to send Cameron up with the net.  That’s when the real fight started.  That fish began making runs nearly into backing–once barely into it–downriver.  I had to start stumbling downriver.  That fish and I covered 40 or 50 yards of river before it wrapped on a stick…within arms reach of Cameron with the net.  Gone.  I was devastated.  I had fought that fish for almost ten minutes only to lose it at the guide’s net.  In his defense he had to run upstream about 20 yards after hearing my dilemma relayed by the middle fisher.  He saw it up close and declared it to be in excess of 24″.

Day two was a 14 mile float on the Roaring Fork.  Again Cameron took on the least experienced fisher while Rick Conner and I fished with Eddie Deison–who also guides at Matlacha, FL (Bonus find!).  I had apparently impressed upon him how much I enjoy streamer fishing because with the exception of only two short episodes of nymphing like the others did all day, I threw streamers on my 6wt all day.  Thought my arm and right shoulder were going to fail.  I wasn’t chucking and ducking like on the PM, but the weight of those two ridiculous (but mostly effective) streamers was something.  One of them is best described as a black multi, plastic beaded zonker strip bugger with a spinner blade at the front.  I probably only caught a dozen fish all day–no real notables.  Rick only caught two Kissel-fish–uh, I mean whitefish–all day.  The “newbie” managed three or four, I think.  Lots of fishers again due to flooded waters elsewhere.

Today we half day waded with Cameron on the Pan.  The weather started off chilly but real nice…then got colder and windier.  Despite that we managed to catch fish.  I pretty much stayed with dries (Drake and BWO mostly) all afternoon and managed 8-10 fish…maybe a few more.  Then we finished the day further downriver playing around with rising behemoths (18″-36″, no kidding) just above Bass Pro Johnny Morris’ private section.  The wind was hellish.  I managed to land only four or so there, but no big’uns.  I did hook two or three, but yipped my way out of landing them.  Rob S, I caught a few 14-15″-ers on the little Hardy 3wt even.
While it did rain lightly and briefly a little today, the wind was the monster…until dinnertime.  It began to SNOW.  It actually lightened up and quit as we drove back into Basalt for dinner.  Since our steak minded appetite could not be satisfied in Basalt, we drove another 25 minutes to Aspen.  It began to snow pretty good on the way there and a few flurries on and off while we were eating at Jimmy’s ($ome famou$ place).  But five minutes into the return trip about 8:30 local, it turned into a full fledged snowstorm…a la Duck Lake!  We drove back all but the first five minutes in a blizzard…road coating, hypnotic driving big flakes…at 20-25 mph.  Crazy.  So our plans for tomorrow depend on what we find in the morning after tonight’s 32 degree freeze warning with rain/snow in the forecast.

I highly recommend staying here at Taylor Creek Cabins.  And I would probably put Cameron in the top five guides I have used.  He kept needlessly apologizing for the conditions which kept us out of the “real experience.”  But I am completely satisfied with what we’ve had.  Lots of fish, big fish, fish on dries.  Just a really good trip even if tomorrow is a bust.

I don’t have many photos–only a few on my iPhone which I have not hooked up and transferred.  Wifi here at the cabin but not good enough for the iPhone to transmit and no cell service until you get close to town.  We’ll send Tom some later that Larry took.

Tyson Reed
AFFC Membership Chairman


Club Fly Fishing Day at Gregg’s bass pond

Good day, everyone.  I would like to take a moment to say that I appreciate your coming out to to fly fish and ride kayaks.  The weather was good and the fish were biting!  Rob Stroupe was giving fly casting clinics (Meredith had a great time).  Tom caught 5 bass on one of Michael Orr’s flies.

I caught two more (a bluegill and a bass) after ya’ll left.  One other person showed up after lunch.  She got several bites but lost them on the reel-in.  Bummer.

Feel free to fish the pond any time you wish.  I need not be present for you to come.  In the rare possibility someone confronts you about fishing there, simply tell them you are “Gregg’s guest.”  They know who I am.

In the meantime, be safe and tight lines!!

Take care,


Greg, Meredith, Rob


2013 Flows on the Chattahoochee

Spring fishing season is upon us with hints of honey suckle in the air and mountain laurel along with trout lillies in full bloom. As one of our clients exclaimed, “Chris, the fish are just the the gravy, it’s beautiful out here!” We are excited about the new spring season with a better prevelence of stone, may and caddis flies throughout the tailwater despite the recent high flows from Buford Dam for the May recharge of Lake Eufalia or better know as Walter F. George . As water tables normalize downstream in Alabama and Florida the Army Corps will appease peak power demand when every household airconditioner kicks on mid day with the advent of warmer weather. Lake Lanier elevation is 1.48feet above summer pool  and surface temps at Lake Lanier are at 50F with a uniform water temp of 49F gushing from the depths at  the Buford Dam penstocks making for copious amounts of  “winter-stored water” perfect for trout for nearly 40 miles of river. Since Lanier hit full pool by mid April we are optimistic that many trout will thrive even into the Delayed Harvest area near 285 at CRNRA mile marker 300 well into Atlanta City limits. June will be quite productive even during the week days once the lake reaches the normal summer “rule curve” of 1071 feet above sea level.  We have  had frequent sitings of birds of prey most notably the “fish hawk” or osprey.

Wild browns have been targeted matching the subsurface hatch imitating large stone and crane fly nymph patterns. We always keep one or even two dry fly rods loaded in case of a may or caddis fly hatch usually short lived but fleeting sparse hatches means less selective fish. Dead drifting nymphs is the rule but if anglers are willing to strip crawfish or baby trout streamer patterns can score big on trophy fish.  We are excited about our new web site with different fishing packages targeting larger and less pressured fish off the beaten path. For some folks who want to see lots of  scenic river mileage common on South American and Western US rivers these remote areas even in Gwinnett county or Dunwoody GA yeild bragging sized trout.

It is time to plan ahead now to schedule a trophy striper and shoal bass trip in June below Morgan Falls Dam when warmer water temps bring new migrant Linesides and local Shoallies to the “big net”. The violent strikes and breathtaking runs of these fish can get your heart pumping for sure! Even if your not equipped for salt water species we can provide quality rods and reels with ample backing.  Book a half day before or after work during low light conditions or drift a remote reach of the river for a full day from Morgan Falls to Standing Peachtree Creek.

Another true adventure is our guided carp angling trips on acres and acres mud  flats above Morgan Falls Dam where these skittish leviathans cruize all summer and early fall. We use boats equipped with poling platforms with clients alternating shifts on the casting deck. This trip resembles the intensity of a guided saltwater trip similar to redfish or even bonefish angling. This is a great way to get yourself prepared to site fish before you travel to the tidal salt water flats. Our guides are homesick salt water guys who get their “salt-fix” right here on the Chattahoochee.

On-stream monthly group classes or private classes? Yes we offer the ONLY on-stream classes for wade anglers on the CRNRA with veteran  guides as your instructors. Learn to target trout, shoal and striped bass. Also learn fly selection, presentation, line/fly manipulation, reading water, fish habitat,river safety. Check out our new web site for class schedules and pricing.

chris scalley
River Through Atlanta
Please visit our new web site at

Fishing Report on the Tuck

June 1st, 2013

This past Wednesday and Thursday Eric Davis and I went up to the ‘Tuck with NASCAR. The generation schedule was supposed to be favorable and the DH is drawing to a close. On Wednesday we were greeted with pretty high water, which kept the dry fly action down (although we heard that around dust it was great).

Eric got 4 on a dry (Eric calls it 3 and 1/2 because one was a chub). Nascar did pretty good with 20 something. I worked hard to get a dozen. The lightning bug, small black stonefly, and soft hackle hare’s ear were the flies to have. The next day we were disappointed to find the generation schedule had changed and we were fighting high water all day. Slow fishing but I did manage 9-10. Both Eric and Nascar caught fish, and again the soft hackle hare’s ear, lightning bug and small black stone fly were the flies to have.

The fishing was so slow on the ‘Tuck that Seahunt and I hit Buford Dam on Saturday. It started out as slow as the ‘Tuck but really picked up in the afternoon. I know we had numbers in the high 20’s and the flies to have were again the soft-hackled hare’s ear and the copperhead soft hackle. I fished dry-dropper all day and even got a couple on the Stimi Caddis Hopper. There were enough risers that I think if you had targeted them with a dry, you would have gotten some action.


Bob “NASCAR” Chambliss called Ed Chamberlain and I and asked us to go fishing this past Friday (3/23). The phone conversation with NASCAR went about the same with both Ed and I.

NASCAR (excited)-Hello, lets go fishing on Friday.
ED-That sounds good, how about we go to the Chattooga? I have heard that the dry fly action has been picking up on the
NASCAR (a bit petulant)-Chattooga? But that is so far away.
Ed-NASCAR, it is not that far.
NASCAR (a bit whiny)-But the Soque has bigger fish.
Ed-Yes, but you can get wild fish on the Chattooga.
NASCAR (a bit whiny)-But the Soque has bigger fish.
Ed-But NASCAR, I hear the March Browns and Quill Gordons are coming off on the Chattooga.
NASCAR (a bit whiny)-But the Soque has bigger fish.

Needless to say, the conversation continued the same way and it resulted with Ed Chamberlain, Mike “Copperhead” Williams, Phil “Seahunt” Seheuk, and I traveling to the Chattooga while NASCAR went to the Soque-I think.

Mike Williams Brown Trout on the Chatooga River

We walked into the Chattooga hoping for a warming, nice day to encourage dry fly activity but no-it felt pretty raw and cold and even had some rain. I was discouraged especially since I was focused on dry fly fishing. My interest peaked when I saw Copperhead fishing the Railroad Hole and I saw him hook what looked like a big one. As I watched it really was a big one and I stopped to see him fight and land it. I was not disappointed (nor was Copperhead) when he landed a 20 inch bow big boy on a Sawyer PT. It was an impressive fish and was worth Ed taking several pictures of it.

I headed up to the Camping Hole and found Seahunt fishing it. He was having a good day with 10 or more fish on including a 15-16 inch fish. He was having most of his success on a y2k. I was struggling at this time due to the fact I was being stubborn and fishing dries, even though I was freezing-it is Spring doggone it!

I headed up the the Bank and all of a sudden, they started hitting the dry and it was sweet. Got some nice fish in the 14 to 15 inch range. It had me laughing to myself. After having a great day catching fish on a dry (I guess 22-24 fish) I headed back downstream and met Ed and Copperhead and got some more big fish stories.

Ed was fishing this hole (you will understand why I will not name it) when a huge rainbow hit his Sawyer PT. Ed estimated it as around 25 inches and he knew the size of the fish because it jumped. But due to the size of the fish, 6x tippet, not bowing when it jumped, or it broke the tippet on rock, Ed lost the fish. But it was a wonderful experience and the biggest trout Ed has ever hooked. Ed’s feeling were not too hurt by the big fish because he had a good day with several fish in the 14-16 inch range. And the big fish stories do not end there. Copperhead was fishing above Ed when he hooked a brown that was the equal or bigger to the 20 inch bow he landed. Unfortunately the big boy got away. But Copperhead was walking upstream he saw a true monster making a wake in the water. If you have ever seen a big brown chasing a fish to eat it, you will not forget it, and this is what Copperhead saw.

All in all, it was a magical day, the kind of day you remember and chuckle about for no particular reason other that it was one of those “one of the best days ever”. Maybe not as big a fish on the Soque, but pretty close!

Fly recommendation-As for nymphs, the y2k and Sawyer PT were great. As Ed put it-I got the smaller stockers on the y2k and the bigger wild or hold-over fish on the Sawyer PT. As for dries-the March Brown was great and I also would try a Quill Gordon and tan caddis. I must mention a new fly that I am extremely impressed with-the low rider nymph. This is a Jason Borger fly that is fished like a dry. Have you seen rises but no matter what you put on, you can’t get a hit? The low rider is an imitation of a nymph, but a nymph that is on surface about to transform. This fly has become a go-to fly for me, especially when I want to use dries to fish.


You guys REALLY know how to hurt a guy! Glad you had a great trip. I have been promising for two years I would take this guy in my church to the Soque and when he called to say he was free Friday I couldn’t say no. I really owed him as he was the one who, as a former Delta guy, contacted a Delta VP who finally (it took a week!) got my luggage to me in Nova Scotia last year. Before JD’s report I was thinking I am getting too old for a one day trip to the Chattooga. I am definitely rethinking that!!!! Attached is a brief video of Cody on the Soque. I’M READY FOR THE CHATTOOGA!!!!!

Mike Williams Brown Trout on the Chatooga River

Mike Williams Brown Trout on the Chatooga River

South Mills – Fly Fishing Western NC

Type: Wild Trout, Open Year Round

Access: Follow US 276 West thru Pisgah National Forest, approximately 12 miles, go past Cradle of Forestry and the Pink Beds.  Take Headwaters roads to the right off US 276 West for approximately 2.5 miles.  When the roads fork, take the right fork and continue to the parking lot.  Follow trail to stream.

Description: Small stream is headwaters of Mills River.  Excellent fishing with many pockets and runs.  Well worth the effort.

Flies: Standard patterns

Pressure: Medium fishing pressure on weekends.

For more information:

GoPro Fishing

Had a minute to check emails on the road stopping at a Barnes & Noble (nearly finished current read with days to go plus all week next week vacationing with Katie at the Crater of Diamonds!).  Saw the latest Midcurrent.  I am never interested in all their topics, but I scan them for articles of potential interest.

I will admit to generally passing over video references.  I am not big into watching films of someone doing what I WISH I were doing instead of reading about or watching it.  But with my latest acquisition of the GoPro…so I can, you know, take videos knowing that everyone else in the flyfishing world wants to see mine, of course…I backed up and decided to take a look at the flyfishing film techniques article.

I figured I would look through it to see if there were any videography tips I could incorporate to make my first efforts more creditable.  I should have known when I opened it and read the by line of Hank Patterson that I should skip it and get back on the road.  But the guy is just too funny.  I had to watch it.  If there isn’t one already, I am considering starting the “Crazy Reese” Fan Club.  These guys crack me up.

Tyson Reed

Midcurrent Hank Patterson on Fly Fishing 101

White Top Laurel

Several club members attended the recent trip led by our notorious Trip Leader JD Forrester.  Milton Sams, Ed Chamberlin, Phil Sehenuk, Dave Lash and I traveled to far southwest Virginia in search of good times, good fishing and good food.  Luckily, none were in short supply.  We planned on being there from April 22nd through the 28th.  While not all folks were able to be there the whole week, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  Time makes its demands on us all (some un-retired folks more than our retired brothers…) so we were fortunate to have as many as we did for as long as we did.  This is especially true given the distance by car.  It took most of us 5 ½ to 6 hours to get there.  Believe me when I say, it was worth the trip.

White Laurel JD Forrester

The primary fishing location was White Top Laurel Creek in Virginia.  The creek flows into Tennessee and all areas fished well.  By fishing well, I mean that a 15 fish day was about as slow as it got.  There were certainly several folks that exceeded twice that.  Having said that, the river was not giving up her fish easily.  The mornings were generally cold (upper 30’s to low 40’s) and the afternoons would get into the 60’s and 70’s.  You all know what that means…  The mornings were spent either straight nymphing or using a dry dropper combination.  While you can’t call the catching active, everyone caught fish before lunch.  On several afternoon sessions, risers were seen and switching to dry flies proved effective.  As far as nymphs go, the Hare’s Ear, a BH prince, and a soft hackle seemed to work consistently well.  Light Cahill’s, Adam’s and March Browns were good flies for the afternoons.   Highlight fish of the trip were JD’s 18 inch Brown caught on a Hare’s Ear and my 15 inch Rainbow on a Light Cahill.  The majority of the fish in this creek were in the 9-12” range.  JD got the Smokey Mountain Slam on Friday with Brook/Brown/Bow.  That was the only Brookie I heard about being caught on the trip.  Other fishing opportunities awaited on the Beaver Dam, Laurel Creek and the Middle or South Fork of the Holsten.  There is so much un-crowded water that we never left the White Top Laurel.

White Laurel JD Forrester

Let me take a minute to describe the river we fished.  By Blue Ridge/Smokey Mountain standards the White Top Laurel is big.  Many places were 30 to 40 feet across with lots of pocket water, long deep runs and lots of riffles.  The banks of both sides of the river are dense with Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel.  We were probably a couple of weeks away from full bloom, but I can imagine that would be quite a sight to see at the right time in the Spring.  Along one side of the river was the Virginia Creeper Trail which is a highly successful Rails to Trails project that coincidentally was land donated by my employer.  The trail is gorgeous and gave easy access to the river while making for comfortable hiking as well.  Dave brought his bike so he was covering a lot of ground in a short time.  While there is a lot of overhang that provided good shade to much of the river, it wasn’t so much that it made casting a nightmare.  I will say that JD was not unhappy that everyone was losing flies at a 6-8 per day rate.  I know he will get an order for replacements from me.  The Appalachian Trail came through much of the areas we fished so we ran into a lot of outdoorsmen.  The closest town, Damascus VA is known for its support of the trail and the hikers that walk it.  As a result, there were some decent places to eat, and good outfitters.  Despite anything JD may say, there is a well stocked fly shop close to Abingdon called the Virginia Creeper Fly Shop.  The proprietor, Bruce is both knowledgeable and a genuine pleasure to talk to.

I believe these trips are one of the major things that separates our club from so many others like it.  To say the least it can be difficult to throw together individuals with divergent backgrounds and tastes and expect then to get along well.  Without exception, every trip I have been fortunate enough to go on has been a real pleasure.  This trip was just like that.  Everyone pitched in on the cooking, cleaning and the most important part, stories and drinks around the campfire.

Special thanks to JD for pulling the trip together in the first place and ensuring we had more delicious breakfast than we could possibly eat.  No thanks to Seahunt for the hamburger he didn’t cook Ed and I just because of a little rain.  Nothing like processed ham on a piece of bread when your mouth is watering for a burger grilled in the woods…  Thanks to Ed for the scrumptious Red Beans and Rice with Keilbasa we had on Tuesday.  No thanks to Kubota for making me drag an extra tent all the way to Virginia on the chance that he might join us (we missed you dude!).  Dave, Thanks for the Thai Shrimp Stir Fry.  We ate like kings.

Do yourself a favor and get on one of these trips.  You will have a blast and possibly make some new friends, learn some new fishing tricks and store some long term good memories.

Michael W. Greene

First of all I want to thank Mike “MGD” Greene for the great write up. He was completely true in what he said except for the fly shop. I must warn you that if MGD or Ed Chamberlain go searching for a fly shop, it would be best for you to go another way!

We had a fantastic time together and White Top Laurel did nothing to change my mind as the best wild trout stream in the Southeast. In fact, I think we were 2 to 3 weeks too early or it would have been mostly a dry fly time. Still it was a great time on the stream. For example, you see a large rock in the middle of the stream and it looks like good holding water is on the right. If I can just put the fly above the rock and get a 12 inch drift beside the rock, then maybe something would give the fly a look. Luckily for me I got a good drift and bam, got a 14 inch brown. It doesn’t get any better than that!

The only thing wrong with the trip wrong with the trip is we did not have more people. (Kubota, where for art thou? Are you alive?) You are really missing out on fun by not going on one of these trips.


May is a good time for mayflies on the Chattahoochee?

While mayflies hatch year-round on the Chattahoochee the month of May is when anglers can expect to see the first great emergence of larger mayflies like Light Cahills, Quill Gordons and Hendricksons to name a few. These three species occur in better numbers  on the lower river downstream of Morgan Falls Dam but do also exist in sparse  population densities extending upstream on the 35miles north to Buford Dam.

From Morgan Fall Dam  down to Paces Mill anglers should be prepared to imitate adults with dry flies as the hatch cranks up with trout often keying in on one size and one color. On the upper reach it is best to imitate the nymph stage with larger pheasant tail nymphs in #12 down to #16 hook sizes.

The Chattahoochee River tail-water has approximately twelve species of mayflies which include all four behavior types or styles of this species in the larval stage which include burrowers, crawlers, clingers and swimmers. These behavior types will help anglers narrow down their selection process while choosing the right nymph and fly fishing tactic. Matching the Hatch by Ernest G. Schwiebert, Jr. is an excellent guide to mayfly hatches and tactics in North America.

As a good general rule of thumb if you see mayflies on the surface but no fish rising it is best to try to match as close to the size of those adults with a nymph imitation with an initial “dead-drift” then a final swing or “Leisenring Lift” as your fly quarters downstream . When fish begin rising you will likely see these larger more visible mayflies actually get eaten by the fish which will allow you to make an obvious choice to switch to dry flies.

Tight lines, Chris Scalley