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Richie Rich and The Skunky Bunch Take on Dukes Creek

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  • Richie Rich and The Skunky Bunch Take on Dukes Creek

    WARNING: This is a long post, even for my standards

    Today was unplanned and unexpected in every possible way; just like how most good days of fishing happen. Yesterday, Richard (WPrich) brought up in the Group chat that there were some possible spots open at Dukes Creek for today, and asked if Erik (Erikclymore) or I wanted to come along. Of course we said yes. It's been a few months since we got together to put a hurting on some trout. Though this isn't the whole squad of Richie Rich and the Skunky Bunch, I guess you could call this contingent the United Nations

    Immersed in the early dew of a mountain morning, we all met up on the meandering stream with some of Richard's Teammates from Team Georgia. Joe, Jennifer, and Stuart I believe were their names, and they were a pleasure to meet & fish with. They gave us valuable knowledge of some good spots on Dukes and let us know what patterns usually worked for them. As we all know, Dukes doesn't provide enough space for 6 people to fish comfortably along one stretch, so we soon broke up into groups of 3 to further our chances. Erik, Richard, and I covered a 100 yard stretch, slowly working upstream until we reached the end of the public section, and started working our way downstream. We each caught our fair share of small, wild bows that were a nice touch, but not what we were searching for. Due to the recent rains, the creek was higher than normal, but the turbidity was still negligible. Here are a few of those wild gems:
















    At a certain point, I caught up to Erik, and we walked down the trail to scope out our next spot. Just as we turned a bend, we saw it. Overhanging tree, deep run with a boulder to the side to create a highly riffled surface bordered by an emerald green pool....A fisherman's dream. Stopping simultaneously, we looked at each other, "Oh yeah". We did not care that the descent was a good 40 foot drop with a sharp incline. Obviously, we both spotted the hole at the same time so we handled the dilemma as gentlemen. Without a coin, a spool of Tippet was produced from Erik's Chest pack. "Heads" I proclaimed, but inevitably, the white backing of the sticker gleamed from the ground. Erik won the rights to the head of the run and along with it, the section underneath the overhanging tree. This was perfectly fine though, as I had that ambush point behind the boulder where the safety of the deep pool met the swiftly moving conveyor belt of food.

    Assuming our positions at our respective areas, Erik began chucking his flies underneath the overhanging limb with casts that only a seasoned tightliner could pull off. It's one thing to cast a mono rig with any amount of distance, but to be accurate with it as well and avoiding open loops that would snag on eager branches... that is skill. Although, from what Erik tells me, his regular cast with a fly line is God Awful, but I have my doubts.

    Beginning my angling career as a blueliner, I worked this section like I always do. Entering and casting toward the very end of the tail out first, and then slowly moving forward to maximize my efficiency and stealthiness. It's a problem I see many times on larger river anglers, where they stomp all the way up to the "juicy" head of the run without giving much thought. Anyways, using this expert method, I didn't catch a single trout. Guess they saw me on my way in as there was only one path down the ledge, and it fully blew my cover.

    Reaching the top of the pool, I gravitated to the boulder as it was the only place I could achieve a long, good drift. I tied on a super heavy, jigged, micro leech (4mm Tungsten bead, .025 lead free wire along the whole shank) as the anchor and a tungsten beaded, salmon colored glo bug/egg up on the tag. It'd be safe to say that this rig could sink the Titanic. This weight was necessary, and I kept lobbing it into the riffles, occasionally jigging it to avoid catching on the debris and crevices below.

    At one point, my line became taught and I set the hook. Up came a small tree branch from the depths, "Great... at least it didn't get fully snagged" I sighed, mostly out of frustration that I wasn't producing at such a prime spot. zzz...zzzZZZZZZT !!! In a fraction of a second, all hell broke loose. My rod instantly doubled over, while my reel shrieked, immediately conceding defeat and desperately attempting to spin off my rod rather than trying to pacify whatever was at the end of my line. I could not even move the monster, but the tiny tree branch served as a visual indicator of the beast's movements. Hollering frantically for Erik's help, he scrambled over the treacherous terrain in record time, net at hand, ready to take it head on. I attempted to steer the behemoth to the tailout, in shallower water where he would have to fight the current rather than chilling out on the bottom, and I was initially successful. This was when I saw it. A Crimson Streak that rivaled any Florida Sunset flashed beneath the water, instantaneously followed by a submarine figure that I only attributed to Alaskan Salmon. Once I got him where I wanted, I too moved in that direction, but noticing the slight amount of slack, the Bow immediately shot like a torpedo into the depths of the pool.

    It was at that moment... I knew... I messed up.

    SNAP. And with that heart wrenching sound, I felt everything drain from me. I stood motionless for quite a bit, then came out a river of expletives that could have created a tributary to Dukes by itself. This was short lived though, and I soon regained composure to a sense of disbelief. Erik chuckled, "its better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all" thanks man

    As if on cue, Richard appeared from downstream of the tail out, methodically drifting his nymphs through preplanned quadrants... pure clockwork. It's no secret that Richard is an awesome tightline fisherman. Asking us what the commotion was, I told him about the recent tragedy. Needing to re-rig, I asked if he wanted to fish the pool to possibly give me some redemption... And the rest of the story can be told in this highly unedited, unrefined, but absolutely genuine video.




    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58UGvW-uehY




    What are the chances? Either way, I've never had a better day on the water with genuine friends/fishermen to share it with. Furthermore, I'm glad that I can share this epic moment with y'all.

    Now, I wish I could say after this moment we were all inspired and used such motivation to land more pigs, but Dukes had other plans. We all caught small wild rainbows for the rest of the day, and everyone on the creek was experiencing the same result. Regardless, I'd record this as a success in the annals of Richie Rich and the Skunky Bunch (We really need a better name), and another unforgettable day on the water. Thanks for reading guys, and as always, Tight Lines!




















    -Sighter
    Last edited by Sighter; 03-25-18, 11:50 PM.

  • #2
    Holy moly now that's a beautiful rainbow! I'm surprised he wanted a round 2! Looks like you guys had an awesome time!

    I'm going to have to fish this place one day. When I know what I'm doing

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    • #3
      Great post.
      Great post!


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Lumis View Post
        Holy moly now that's a beautiful rainbow! I'm surprised he wanted a round 2! Looks like you guys had an awesome time!

        I'm going to have to fish this place one day. When I know what I'm doing
        It was even more stunning in person Lumis! Yeah, I guess he was just hungry for eggs that morning, didn't matter if they were sunny side up or scrambled haha. You can fish it at anytime! It's a lot about being at the right place at the right time and making sure you're stealthy.

        Great post.
        Great post!
        Thank you Steve! Your rainbow was just as beautiful and it was all natural!

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        • #5
          Dukes creek redemption!!!

          Love your reclamation of our day man, and yea we definitely need to rename ourselves we're not the skunky bunch anymore that's for sure!

          Where do I start......My first trip to Dukes was on 1/14 this year, it was 15į when we arrived, my boots and guides had ice on them, and it was my first time fly fishing a small stream. I struggled and got my first skunk since I got semi confident in my nymphing, lost around 20 flies to trees, and the few bites I got weren't landed because I couldn't set the hook at the short distances with all the brush. It was a day I wanted to forget, but at the same time knew I'd have to return to redeem myself.

          Well today was that day, I tied flies on my off days and knew already I couldn't do any worse than I had done on my first trip so I was confident. I arrive and after some chatting with my fellow teammates and friends in the lot, we hit the creek and I jump into a hole that looks good and start fishing and pull 3 out in first 10 minutes. Great no skunk today so I continue fishing here and there picking a few more before it slows down. Later on I see my buddy Sighter and he's pissed that he lost a fish over 20 inches, after all the smaller ones I've caught I figure he's losing his sight. So I start fishing up behind him hitting the tail out first to see if he left anything behind as I move up toward where he met his demise earlier. I fish the area for about 5 minutes or so drifting my nymphs thru when all of a sudden I get a solid thump and knew it was a big one. Fought it for awhile patiently trying to use the tips I've learned from my teachers and after about 8 minutes I finally land him on 6X tippet. Gotta give props to my 2 net men(Sighter and Erikclymore) who positioned themselves on both ends of the tail out to net the pig for me, a solid 22+ inch kype jawed bow. After that I landed quite a few small bows under 5 inches with a few 8-10 inchers sprinkled in. Ended the day with over 20 landed with most of them being sub 5 inchers along with the pig bow. Great fun, great companionship, and definitely better than my last trip to Dukes!!!

          Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sighter View Post
            You can fish it at anytime! It's a lot about being at the right place at the right time and making sure you're stealthy.
            This was important alot of places I was on my knees fishing up to my target to not spook them.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Lumis View Post
              Holy moly now that's a beautiful rainbow! I'm surprised he wanted a round 2! Looks like you guys had an awesome time!

              I'm going to have to fish this place one day. When I know what I'm doing
              It was truly a gorgeous bow, and yes I was REALLY surprised when that fish bit again so soon. When John allowed me to fish that spot to get his fly back, I honestly didn't think Id really have the oppurtunity to do it for him.

              Don't worry you'll get it Lumis, soon everything is going to align for you believe me. Time on the water and fishing with more experienced anglers will definitely help progress you, and you seem to definitely be on the water and making friends!

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              • #8
                It was an amazing day indeed! I swear, had that fish not still had Johnís egg in his mouth I wouldnít have believed it was the same one. That fish had two solid fights back to back and never did give up easy.

                I did surprisingly well. I caught a lot more wild bows than I expected especially since the small streams Iíve hit could be counted on one hand. I would have liked to have gotten a pig. I did lose one nice one after maybe a 15 second fight to a bad hookset in real tight quarters, but after a day of catching ~5Ē bows ďniceĒ couldíve been anything. I never saw him, so Iíll never know...
                Iím so glad I went against my gut and didnít cancel to go fish JB instead.
                I might have won the award for smallest bow of the Bunch!



                Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                Fly tying instagram @erikclymore

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                • #9
                  Great story - glad you guys got out and met up with a big one. Just FYI, high water and nasty weather are the best of all possible Dukes days....
                  RScott

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                  • #10
                    I almost forgot!
                    There is only one way to properly end a fishing trip of this magnitude and it looks something like this.



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                    Fly tying instagram @erikclymore

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by erikclymore View Post
                      I almost forgot!
                      There is only one way to properly end a fishing trip of this magnitude and it looks something like this.



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                      Man that looks excellent, a perfect way to end a great day. I hope it tasted as good as it looks because it has my mouth watering!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RScott View Post
                        Great story - glad you guys got out and met up with a big one. Just FYI, high water and nasty weather are the best of all possible Dukes days....
                        Thanks RScott, I'm starting to figure that out!

                        Rich, you sure got back at Dukes and won out!

                        Erik, I agree, that is the perfect way to end such an eventful yet cold day. I settled for way less, but scarfed down my Zaxby's in .2 seconds

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                        • #13
                          Brochino, next time there's food on the grill drop a few invites....

                          Seriously, looks like y'all had an epic day.
                          Ihave sorta sworn off Dukes as the creek that would never be for me, but now I have hope... I might be back.

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                          • #14
                            That run is a great little run. Water looked great. Glad you guys stuck a piggy.
                            I am officially upgrading Gatorbyte from "fly in my ointment" to "thorn in my side". If he happens to elevate himself to "pain in my a$$" I'm gonna blame it on RScott.

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                            • #15
                              Awesome report, youíve got a way with words Sighter. Beautiful fish you landed. I was at dukes Saturday and caught a bunch of those little bows you mentioned.


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