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Old 06-08-18, 10:04 PM   #1
fishteeth
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Default Wild Slam. My first

This is my first real fishing report. I usually squeeze 2-3 hours in per week, blueling mostly, and then back to being a dad. I've become a small stream fanatic the last few years.

My plan was to drive up to the mountains Thursday night after work and spend all day Friday chasing wild fish. I had all day and wanted to go for a wild slam in the same drainage. I knew it could be done. I fish this area often and have caught all 3 species there but never in one outing. And the species are all separated by a lot of water and very rugged terrain.

Well, my plans got thwarted. My job is somewhat emergency based and I got pulled into an obligation Friday morning. Ugh. I ended up leaving Atlanta around 9:00AM and made it to my cabin around 11:00. I changed my ambitious plan. Instead of an all day exploration, I would explore part of that same drainage I've never fished but I knew to hold brown trout. That part of the creek is in a steep gorge. I've never been able to get to it. I figured the only real way to do it would be to get in the water and move upstream, and I figured it would take a lot of time.

I assumed there were some deep pools in this area, so I planned on nymphing and hopefully finding some bigger fish, even though I'm a dry-dropper guy 90% of the time. I had just read Dylar's post about trying a big girdle bug on small streams. I would have never thought of that. I found a few in my big river fly box right before leaving and brought them along. That proved to be the ticket today. Thank you Dylar!

I got into browns pretty quickly. The last guy was particularly pretty.

I did more bushwhacking and boulder hopping than actual fishing, but the gorge and stream were beautiful. I was sad to see signs of other humans there. I found a fly in a tree where my flies got hung. I saw some mono in some rhodo overhanging a perfect pool. I considered this gorge to be too difficult for anyone to trouble with, so I figured it would be just mine. Not the case. Oh well.
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Old 06-08-18, 10:10 PM   #2
fishteeth
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Default

On this trip I was worried about a lot of thingsÖ more so than usual. Ticks are out now and I found one on me 2 weeks ago fishing the same drainage. A kid got bit by a copperhead near here a few weeks ago. He lived, but had to be lifeflighted to Atlanta. How does that work when you are over an hour hike away from cell reception? I was worried about breaking a leg down in that gorge. No one could get to me, and Iíd be spending the night out there. While these things were on my mind, I ran across this scat on a rock next to the stream. Great, now another thing to worry about!

I made it through and out of the gorge. I considered keep moving upstream where the terrain is more manageable. I knew the water upstream was good there and had a nice population on healthy browns. Realizing I had come out of the gorge earlier than I anticipated, I considered hiking out around the gorge, hit the lower part of the drainage where rainbows lived. Then maybe, just maybe, Iíd have enough time to go for a brookie.

I had an apple and a small flask of Makers, so I figured what the hell! Letís go for it.

I stopped by the rough and tumble water that holds lots of rainbows. I caught a rainbow really quickly (girdle bug).

I hiked the rest of the way out and considered my known brookie stream options. I decided my best bet was to go to the headwaters of the same drainage. Easiest way to access that was to take a FS road up and round and then hike a few miles back in to the stream. Letís do it. When I finally got to the stream, the sun was above the mountain but not by much. I didnít have much time considered I had to hike back out again.

And then it happened. I decided to fish a deep pool first, so I kept my wet flies on. First cast, my indicator twitched, I set the hook. Nothing. No resistance. I pulled my flies out of the pool and saw a small leaf on my bottom fly. I brought the flies close to me to remove the leaf, and i realized it was a fish! A brookie to be exact! I had completed my wild slam. Haha!

Hoping for a more respectable brookie to finish the slam, I hit a few more runs that I knew held fish. I got a few rises to my EHC from respectable brookies, but I couldnít connect. It was time. I had to go. The sun was behind the mountain and it was starting to darken. I had a few miles hike in front of me, and this is NOT a place I want to be after dark. As I was walking out, I saw a flat nondescript piece of water that I have overlooked before. In it, there is a rock with a tail run about 2 feet deep. I knew there had to be a fish there. I downstream drifted my EHC and and this guy took it. That felt better.

When I got back to my truck, it was getting fairly dark. Good day.
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Old 06-08-18, 11:15 PM   #3
Fish or Fiddle
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Default re: your first Wild Slam

Well done fishteeth. You are a stud. I like your strategy of going after the browns first. I'm curious... at what point did you hit the Makers?
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Old 06-08-18, 11:18 PM   #4
splatek16
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Great post!
That first brook trout had no spots?



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Old 06-09-18, 01:46 AM   #5
Dylar
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I'm glad that girdle bug worked out for you. It's a wonderfully impressionistic fly that is so intrinsically buggy that it gets eaten even if it doesn't really look like anything in particular. Those are very nice small stream browns, that first hen fish is a real fatty. You can really tell how hard she's been feeding up in the high water. That's the kind of creek I like to keep an eye on, when I scout bluelines. Those 10-11" fish—especially if they're butterball fat—on a first run through a creek are a good sign. At that size, the potential food sources they can exploit expands considerably, so streams that can grow 'em that big can and will grow them bigger.

Last edited by Dylar; 06-09-18 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 06-09-18, 08:09 AM   #6
fishteeth
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Thanks guys.

Fiddle, browns seem to be the hardest to find and most inconsistent for me. The Makers came out mid afternoon.

Splatek, I enjoy your small stream posts and am jealous of all the time you get on the water. And your numbers.... I'm not that good. Are you saying you don't think the little guy is a brookie?

Dylar, your fish instincts are truly impressive. I've learned some things from you. Please keep your posts going. I love them. The browns I've caught in this stream (both sections) have been healthy. Most are fat with broad shoulders for such a small piece of water. I had hoped to get into something bigger this trip. I found 5 big, deep, slow pools like that one. My first cast into one of those pools, my indicator paused. I set. Solid. I thought I'd hooked bottom or a submerged limb. Then I felt the head shake. It was bigger than what I've caught there. Had it on for a moment. Then my 5x knot on my bottom fly gave way. Line went limp. Perhaps I should go 4x next time I go there? Or just learn to tie knots better!
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Old 06-09-18, 09:10 AM   #7
Swamp Angel
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Great report, fishteeth! Beautiful scenery and beautiful fishies! That sounds like the outing was as much a workout for the legs as for the casting arm. Those mountain streams look so much more inviting in the summertime than the boiling cauldron known as Lake Lanier on these days of high releases and limited trout fishing.

Keep the reports coming!
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