After several weeks of, essentially, not getting my weekly fix of fishing in I made up my mind this past weekend to find me some water to fish. Now, I'm not one to complain about rain, particularly during the hot summer months, but the recent pattern of thunderstorms every afternoon have put a serious cramp in my style. Muddy waters in the Chattahoochee downstream from Helen have made shoal bass fishing tough to accomplish. The Jekyll and Hyde personality of the Little Tennessee River make trips to North Carolina a poor odds game. If someone in Franklin spits in the Little T, you can't fish it for three or four days until the mud clears. Even redeye fishing on the lower Chattooga has been curtailed due to high water conditions. My lovely wife has threatened to fill the bath tub with water just so I can get some casting in. It's a serious psychological issue at my house when I don't get to fish.
|Jake with a nice rainbow|
So this past Friday I conned Jake and my friend Chris Borders into floating the Toccoa. Our plan was to get on the water by 9 AM, float from Curtis Switch to McCaysville, riding the generation wave out the last few miles. It worked perfectly! Lounging in the shade eating a great shore lunch prepared by Chris, the water caught us at 2:45. Our success had been so-so up until that point, mostly because we were too hard headed to switch from dries to nymphs. Well, you know how it is; when you've got your heart set on chocolate pie and you're served strawberry, you're just a little disappointed.
|A nice 'bow (lower left center) diving|
back to the depths
We were also suffering a little bit from Bill Kelly syndrome. My late friend, Bill was famous for having quoted to everyone within hearing distance, "If I ain't gonna catch em, I'd just as soon not catch em on dry flies!". This was our mind set Friday. When we did dredge deep with lead and indicators, we caught fish just "bam, bam". Mostly Rainbow Warriors and Pheasant Tails but a couple were caught on a Lime Juice bream fly bouncing the bottom.
|Mark on unnamed stream|
On Saturday, I succumbed to the pressures of another of my fishing buddies, Mark Whitney, and drove to the Smokies for some wild trout fishing. What a magnificent day! I don't think the air temperature ever got above 73 or 74 degrees. Water conditions were perfect and we had the stream to ourselves. Although Mark was hard headed about fishing dries only, I did give in and fish a dry dropper most of the day. Big Royal Trudes, Elk Hair Caddis and even a Rubber Legged Tarantula brought them to the top. The biggest fish of the day, Mark's 14" rainbow, actually took the Tarantula. Looked too good to pass up.
When you can spend time casually taking photos mixed in with a little fishing and a good fried chicken lunch, you can't ask for much more. I understand it was hot, muggy and raining down here in Georgia on Saturday. No, you don't mess with Mother Nature but you can sneak one by her now and then if you need to preserve your sanity.