A couple of days ago I hit a wild trout stream up in Rabun Co. with the intention of targeting the wild browns. Clouds hung in the sky for most of the afternoon, making for the perfect opportunity to target these wily critters. Water temperatures were very comfortable in the mid to upper 50’s, making wet wading enjoyable. Numbers of fish were very good for this stream and the wet winter and spring we've had showed in the health of the fish.
It seems that the fish were more congregated in the good looking pieces of holding water, perhaps due to the lower numbers of “slow” areas where browns usually hold. As long as I maintained a stealthy profile, I could sometimes catch multiple fish per pool, which was really cool for a brown trout stream. I even managed a couple of wash down brook trout that are normally miles upstream as well as a few rainbows down towards the parking area further downstream.
There were a couple of consistent trends. I fished a dry-dropper rig with a yellow stimulator and a #14 tungsten bead hares ear below it. In fast pockets shallower than 3 feet, fish responded to both flies. However the fish seemed a little bit skittish of the stimulator in calmer or deeper pools and I’d have to go with a more natural fly to catch them, a size 14 Light Cahill parachute. I had a hard time getting any fish in really deep pools to come up at all for dry flies. Reluctantly I went down deep to them with big and ugly flies in a couple of pools. Dredging was the way I caught the big fish of the day, a chunky 13-inch brown that doubled over the three weight and even took a little drag! There were a ton of different bugs flying around, but “yellow” was the consistent color with #12-16 Light Cahills and Sulphurs seen as well as #16 Yellow Sallies and Big Golden Stones as well.
We have the best water conditions Georgia has seen in several years so get out and enjoy the streams while the water levels are still great and the fish are hungry. You never know what is around the next bend.