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I am planning to do some fishing in the Helen area the end of March and beginning of April and want to tie some flies over the winter. I would appreciate and suggestions of a couple of good flies (and sizes) which may be good to use during that time. Also ones that aren't too difficult to tie since I am just getting into the tying part. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks
Bruce -- The Helen area offers a great variety of fishing spots and the time you've picked will be right at the start of the season so the seasonal streams will be open.
I'd suggest trying the Hootch in the part of Helen and upstream from there. It will still be too early for rafters and there are several nice fools right in town that ought to produce some decent holdovers since fishing is pretty light during the summers due to all the rafting activity.
At that time, the upper Hootch above alternate 75 will also be open with a lot of great water all the way up and into the national forest -- most of it easy access.
This area is normally pretty crowded during the summer, but ought to be great during the period you've picked.
Duke's Creek is also nearby. It's a C&R stream but everybody says the fishing is great and the fish are large.
Try Smith's Creek downstream from Anna Ruby Falls to the Unicoi State Park Lake. Below the dam on Smith's Creek is the new delayed harvest area and fishing reports indicate some really nice sized fish. Not sure when the harvest period opens but you can C&R if it's not.
There are also several private fee fishing areas near Helen. Check at Unicoi outfitters north of Helen for details.
As for flies, you'll get a variety of opinions. Personally, my favorite is a Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear both beaded and unbeaded. They're easy to tie and are usually productive. Wooly Buggers and Prince Nymphs are also popular with the folks on the board.
I fish almost exclusively with nymphs and a strike indicator of hot pink wool yarn looped into my leader about three feet above the fly. Started using a strike indicator two years ago and productivity increased enormously.
Noted the commdentary on San Juan worms. They're also easy to tie and ought to be worth a try.
Hope this helps.
Great advise from Mr T, Hare's ear nymphs are easy to tie and always productive, woolies are also easy to tie and a great fly my personel favorite is the Prince nymph its a little harder to tie than the other two but well worth the effort and a beautiful fly by any standard (trout seem to find them attractive too).
I haven't seen any heavy hatches, but check out this site for guidance on flies to tie.
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