Holcomb Bridge Report

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 is Korey’s first Trout

Korey_First_Trout.jpeg

JD

South Andros Club Trip Report

Hello,

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.

Thank you,
Scott R. MacKenzie

Scott_Mackenzie_South_Andros1.jpg
Scott_Mackenzie_South_Andros2.jpg

The right flies for fishing the Provo River in Winter

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.

Michael_Orr_Flies (11 of 15).jpg

Box of midges

Michael_Orr_Flies (7 of 15).jpg

Fly Fishing Tips from Chris Scalley

Tweaking Bite Indicators?

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!

Dead Drift

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 (chrisscalley@bellsouth.net)

Chattahoochee Winter Trout Fishing

This 2013 winter fishing season could prove to be some of the best angling ever on the Chattahoochee River tail-water! Many anglers have been disappointed this past 2012 during the fall through Christmas time frame because of the high flows released from Buford Dam making fishing and access almost impossible. These excessive flows were badly needed down-stream in the ACF watershed to help replenish water-tables with the 100 year drought conditions.

The good news is that Lake Lanier is extremely low and it will likely take months for the Army Corp of Engineers to fill the lake to Winter & Spring-rule curve levels. This means Buford Dam will release primarily minimum flows about 650 Cubic Feet per Second(CFS)** for the remainder of this winter making for mostly ideal and safe fishing conditions on the entire 48 miles of trout water.  Please note that the Corps will release or “burp” the lake with the occasional one to three hour releases which will cause dramatic fluctuations (5 – 9feet water level rise and fall) during this time. Please visit www.Atlantaflyfishingclub.org  for a river safety flow chart.

Anglers should call Buford (770) 945-1466 or Morgan Falls (404) 329-1455  dam release schedules and visit their web site http://water.sam.usace.army.mil  Also, anglers should note that excessive rain events will cause high muddy flows from storm-water run-off and may need to migrate upstream to find low clear water above blown-out tributaries. A good plan “B” or “C” is to go to Buford Dam where the water is always clear but anglers MUST wear a PFD from the Buford DAM to GA Hwy-20 Bridge. For a free hatch chart for selecting the right fly for winter angling go to www.chattahoocheefoodwebs.org

**Cubic Feet Per Second (CFS) – a rate of the flow, in streams and rivers, for example. It is equal to a volume of water one foot high and one foot wide flowing a distance of one foot in one second. One “CFS” is equal to 7.48 gallons of water flowing each second. For example, if your car’s gas tank is 2 feet by 1 foot by 1 foot (2 cubic feet), then gas flowing at a rate of 1 cubic foot/second would fill the tank in two seconds.

Tight Lines,

Chris Scalley

Float the ‘Hooch

We will have a float trip Saturday (1/12) from Jones Bridge to Holcomb Bridge. Be at the Fulton County side at 9:30am sharp. Bring your float tube, pontoons, etc. Jones Bridge also has plenty of water to wade for those who don’t want to float.

As an added bonus, Ed Chamberlain (FFF master caster and AFFC casting guru) will be giving casting lessons starting at 8:30am (Jones Bridge, Fulton County side also). Come early for casting instruction and stay to fish! What more can you want?

Since turnover has just ended, I would venture to guess that some of the flies that might work are y2k’s, zebra midge, copperhead soft hackles, Sawyer pheasant tails (and regular pheasant tails), blue assassins, lightning bugs, princes, hare’s ear, and maybe-adams and october caddis.

Hang around after the trip is over. We will go out for some vittles!
JD

The ‘Tuck is Hot!!!

This past Monday and Tuesday I was lucky enough to be invited by Bob “NASCAR” Chambless to fish the ‘Tuck. What a great two days. We had at least 80 each but it was not the number that was the great attraction, it was the number of fish on a dry and the size of the fish.

About half the fish I caught were on a dry (Adams). The first day NASCAR got a couple of nice 18-19 inch fish and I got a big boy ‘bow of 21-21 inches-on a dry! The next day NASCAR got two in the 20 inch range and I got one about the same plus a nice 17-18 in brown. NASCAR had never gotten fish this big this time of year on the ‘Tuck.

I recommend having some October caddis, Adams, black zebra midges, Sawyer pt’s, Cousin Pat’s secret fly, blue assassin, and the PB midge.

JD

Jackpot on the Saluda River!

Hey Guys, I trust you all had a safe, meaningful, and enjoyable holiday season.  My time off was made more special by the trout I caught on a guided fishing trip with Michael Frank, again.  I was home (Columbia, SC) for the Christmas, so I hired Mike to take me and  buddy out on the Lower Saluda River (below the Lake Murray Dam).  In short, JACKPOT!  I landed a 22″, 4 lbs 10 oz. brown trout.  It was the bigges trout known by the guide to be taken from the Lower Saluda.  It actually broke his record of a 21″ brown.


I caught several rainbows, too.  Two were tagged by the SC DNR.  I plan to submit the tag numbers to the DNR for accoutability purposes (as requested by the DNR).  Plus, I caught one bow on one of Craig Reindau’s chartreuse Wee Willie Wigglers.  I included two pics of it, too.

See you next Wednesday.  Happy 2013!

Take care,

Gregg