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  • Cherokee Trophy Section

    Hello NGTO,

    As I have become more accustomed to the Hooch and catching larger fish, I naturally began to itch for a fish over 20" on the end of my line. It seemed like an appropriate transition as those who have read my reports from the beginning know I started off as a bluelining junkie, ecstatic at the thought of hooking into 6 inch fish. Then I moved on to larger fish in the Hooch, but I have never actually done any type of trophy trout fishing in my short fly fishing career with my largest being in the 16-17" range. Not Surprisingly, around a month ago ChaChung and I decided to make plans to head up to Cherokee Tribal Waters in hopes of hooking into some slabs. After stalking weather forecasts and a tropical storm, it was not looking good, but the big guy upstairs decided to give us a break and the forecast did clear up the night before our trip

    Turning off the alarm 10 minutes before it was set to go off, I hopped out of bed and began the fisherman's routine of setting up in the faint twilight. The excitement that restricted me to only 3 hours of sleep was still coursing through my veins and the thought of netting an absolute hog dissolved any trace of grogginess. Having squared away everything I needed, I scrolled through my post on NGTO for tips and tricks at Cherokee (Special thanks to Zeeee, iso, FlyBerney, halh68, and Raven15 for replying to the thread, and Mattd for the PM!!) before ChaChung arrived to begin the two and a half hour trek.

    Before getting to the river, Charles and I hit up REO due to many suggestions to get some recent intel on the river. It may have been due to the fact that it was so early, or the person working had a bad day, but we left in 10 minutes after getting short cookie cutter answers. "What flies have been working?" "Try the pheasant tail". "Where are some good spots with less pressure?" "Everywhere is good" Now, don't get me wrong, I know these aren't wrong answers, but they are stereotypical answers that don't impart any knowledge. Maybe we should have said we are on NGTO... regardless I am not bashing REO as everyone else had a great experience there and Joey (Raven15) sure seems like a knowledgeable and helpful guy. Thankfully, mattd filled me in on some of the better spots in the area and Charles and I started there first.

    Wading into the frigid waters of Raven's Fork, I quickly lobbed my double nymph rig into a shallow run. Lightly stained water provided a good contrast for my strike indicator and within the first five casts it hesitated for a slight second. Sensing something was off with the drift, I set the hook and was greeted with some vicious headshakes. Shouting to ChaChung that I had one on, I fumbled for my net while cursing as the end of the line began bolting for the stronger, deeper current. Finally getting its head above the water, I realized I got a wild Brown! Not exactly what I was looking for, but very much appreciated.




    After that Brown, we did not have much luck as we wanted, but I think the drizzling rain contributed to that. Working downstream, Charles and I reached the confluence between Ravens and the Luftee where a downed log was looking like the juice. Perfect flow, depth, and structure for one of those stocker piggies that I dreamed about the night before. Rather than getting below the target and casting up to it, as I had been doing, I decided to try a downstream presentation. First cast... nothing. Second cast.... a twitch? I set the hook and didn't feel anything. The third cast was when the whole indicator ducked underwater and you're into the wrong sport if you don't know what that could mean Feeling the unmoving pressure on the end of my line, I thought it was a snag. It was only until my line began moving side to side that I knew I had a big one on! After what felt like an hour, I beheld a beautiful large rainbow.



    It was after this that Charles got his streak of fish while I only caught a small wild bow. With the limited knowledge we had of the stream, we made it a point to quickly fish the whole stretch of trophy water, then come back and work the spots that looked best. This proved to the best technique and both Charles and I began landing some slabs. At one point, we were fishing less than 100 yards away from some elk eating leaves while in the middle of the river, even if we hadn't caught any fish, that site would have made it worth it! Unfortunately, I did not take a picture. Here are a few pictures of the fish I ran into, and a cowlick that I inevitably didn't notice until I saw the pictures at the end of the day











    And a photo where Charles didn't get the fish in frame jk it wasn't his fault, I failed gripping the trout on the way out of the net for the picture and he swam off. I swear those fish have an instinct of waiting for you to take them out of the net before giving you hell, they have plenty of practice since it is a C&R stream haha.



    Overall both Charles and I had a great day of fishing and I finally checked off fishing a trophy stream off my fly fishing bucket list. Charles did unfortunately lose his shades after a fish became unbuttoned and the slingshotting tungsten bead knocked them off his hat. I must say, fighting large fish on 5x tippet can make things a little dicey, but I managed only 2 break offs throughout the whole day. Hopefully Charles can post some of the fish and pictures that he captured as I'm only showing my half of the story. Thank you guys for reading and, as always, Tight Lines!

    -John

  • #2
    Great post John. It was definitely a trip to remember.

    A couple of pics from the day.

    The elk....


    My biggest catch.


    My ugliest catch.




    The numbers weren't great for me... like 7-8 fish while fishing 9 hrs. But the quality was definitely was there. Hoping to go back sometime.
    Hi my name is Charles and I'm a fishaholic.

    Some days I'm the hook and some days I'm the fish.

    Instagram @charles_the_toothsmith

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    • #3
      Awesome post!

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      • #4
        Great post


        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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        • #5
          Those are nice fish and beautiful photos.
          Then Peter said, "I'm going fishing." The disciples replied, we're going too, and they got in the boat..." John 21:3a

          And now, I pray thee, take thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field and hunt me venison. Genesis 27:3

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          • #6
            Thank You Guys for the kind words. It was a great time and Charles that Chub is by far the ugliest fish I've ever seen, still makes me laugh though

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            • #7
              Nice report, If you are looking to hook up with a 20+ inch bow. Check out Riverside Trout Farm on the Soque River. I did a few guide trips there before moving to Alaska. Bear Sutton is a great guy, you will need a guide and about $250.00. It is well worth the money. If you decide to go ask for Jason Garrett to guide you. He is the best guide in N.Georgia area. Dukes Creek is also a great option. take a lot of juke flies, eg. orange and lime green squirmies.

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              • #8
                Great post man, nice to see you guys getting into some great fish. I'm slowly making may way through NC so I hope to get up there really soon.
                "Releasing a fish is that much sweeter, letting go of the ephemeral back into the void, to return to where it, and our dreams, can grow." - Jason Tucker

                Instagram @_big_wurm

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Natefish21 View Post
                  Nice report, If you are looking to hook up with a 20+ inch bow. Check out Riverside Trout Farm on the Soque River. I did a few guide trips there before moving to Alaska. Bear Sutton is a great guy, you will need a guide and about $250.00. It is well worth the money. If you decide to go ask for Jason Garrett to guide you. He is the best guide in N.Georgia area. Dukes Creek is also a great option. take a lot of juke flies, eg. orange and lime green squirmies.
                  Thanks Natefish21 for the great info! I'll be sure to check them out but first I gotta budget my cruise and a music festival within all this for the upcoming year haha. I have a reservation for Dukes on the 24th of January and I'll be sure to post a report. It'll be my first time so I'm expecting that I'll have to "pay my dues" first before catching them Hope you're killing it in Alaska, looks like prime water and fish are all around you!

                  Great post man, nice to see you guys getting into some great fish. I'm slowly making may way through NC so I hope to get up there really soon.
                  Thank you Budwick! If you do PM me and I'll send you some info from what Charles and I learned while we were there... Granted, it was our first time and during the summer so things probably have changed

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                  • #10
                    Before getting to the river, Charles and I hit up REO due to many suggestions to get some recent intel on the river. It may have been due to the fact that it was so early, or the person working had a bad day, but we left in 10 minutes after getting short cookie cutter answers. "What flies have been working?" "Try the pheasant tail". "Where are some good spots with less pressure?" "Everywhere is good" Now, don't get me wrong, I know these aren't wrong answers, but they are stereotypical answers that don't impart any knowledge. Maybe we should have said we are on NGTO
                    not sure why i'm just now seeing this..but first of all, let me apologize. that's not how we treat our customers and clients. i've been in shops like that and never really felt welcome. that's not what we are all about. i'm not sure who that was in the shop that day, but i can promise you it'll be dealt with.
                    secondly, sounds like you guys had a great trip! the trophy section isn't normally about numbers.. quality over quantity, typically. getting a visit from some of the local wildlife is always a bonus!
                    finally, shoot me an email (joey@flyshopnc.com) anytime you're headed this way or have questions. i'll be more then happy to help anyway i can. if i can sneak away, i might can even go fish with you or show you some spots.
                    really appreciate your business!
                    -joey
                    Joey Walraven
                    River's Edge Outfitters
                    Cherokee, NC
                    828-497-9300
                    https://www.wncfishing.com/

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                    • #11
                      Awesome Post! So glad that my post was so helpful to you.
                      I don't beleive in Skunks. This might be why it finds me so often.

                      FlyBerneyFly

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                      • #12
                        Nice post, nice pics.. Congrats.

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                        • #13
                          It's a few months late to respond, but I'm gonna join in and do it any way.

                          Ya done good! Beautiful fishies in a beautiful environment. There is no way to improve upon the original post.

                          Keep catchin' 'em, an' keep postin' photos. This is what all of us who have been skunked lately need to see!
                          If you have difficulty understanding the post above, read it out loud and it should make sense. This NGTO member is known for his poor hill-billy upbringing and his affinity for all things from Louisiana (particularly if it relates to LSU). It makes for a poor mix of accents and much difficulty in translation. He was doing well for so long, but now seems to have regressed.

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                          • #14
                            Nicely done and great post.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks Joey for the reply! It was a while ago and there were no harsh feelings just a bit disheartening haha. I will definitely head back to the shop whenever I'm in the area! I will take you up on that offer and be sure to send you an email as well, would love to fish with someone who has extensive knowledge of the area. I've been eyeing the Davidson DH for a while now....

                              Thanks to everyone else too, I'm glad y'all enjoyed the report. It was one of the best fly fishing experiences I've had of yet.


                              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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