It’s late December which means it’s time for the annual year-end review, so let’s look back at the posts of 2016 – click each pic to see more:
Fishing-wise 2016 wasn’t a bad one, I took some nice trips, fished a lot of new water, and had plenty of run-ins with some big redfish. Outside of fishing it was tough here in Baton Rouge and for that I’m ready to see 2016 go. I already know 2017 is going to be better as my wife and I are expecting our second child in January. I’m excited to see what being a dad of two is all about. Things may slow down here at the blog, but trips are still in the works and I’m sure I’ll continue to find a good balance between family, friends, and fishing. I want to wish everyone who reads a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and hope you’ll find your way back next year.
We didn’t do a whole lot of fishing that Saturday, choosing to fish the morning at the cabin and then spend the afternoon watching football and sampling the rest of the beer we brought. Little did we know it would be Les Miles’ last game, but I couldn’t have imagined a more fitting way for him to go out.
The fishing was still tough at the cabin, probably one of the least productive trips we’ve ever had there, but all it takes is one good fish to make a day, and lucky for me that fish crushed a woolly bugger I was swimming through a normally productive run.
It wasn’t a typical cabin trip, but we still had a blast. It felt good to get out and hit some smaller water this time and remind myself why that was a big part of our trips in years past. I do enjoy kayak fishing, especially sightfishing redfish, but there is something about small stream wade fishing that makes it my absolute favorite type of fishing.
Made the annual northeastern migration over Memorial Day weekend to my parent’s place in the North Georgia mountains. The weather couldn’t have been better as every day brought blue skies and mild temps. It was even a chilly 47 degrees upon waking up Friday morning. The fishing was pretty darn good, most fish fell for stonefly imitations, but a few came on streamers and dries. Day 1 yielded the best results with the action tapering off throughout the weekend- no doubt the fish were getting tired of seeing the same thing by day 3. For the second year in a row I caught the biggest brown trout that I’ve ever caught and it could actually be the same fish that I caught last year – click the link, you be the judge. Besides the brown, there are some real monsters in that little creek, I moved a few fish on streamers that would give that brown a run for the money. I just wish I could have gotten them to eat just to see if my 7wt would have held up. These trips are a lot of fun and I wish I could get that way more often. Big thanks to my parents for having me over for a few days. What they have there is really special and I know a lot of hard work gets put into it. I truly appreciate every opportunity I’m given to enjoy it.
The big brown
We took our time getting out on the stream on Tuesday, I’m not even sure if we made it out before noon. Whenever we did make it out, the fish were still there and they were still biting. Numbers were down for me on the final day, but I still managed to at least hook and fight a fish in every hole. I think we did our job and educated a fair amount of trout over the past two days.
We made it to a spot on the creek we hadn’t hit the past two days and had a small flurry of activity there catching a few fish on dries, which is always a kick, especially considering the size of the dries we were throwing(locust size hopper patterns). Blake even ended up catching a redhorse on the dropper, right on the top of his snout. Beautiful fish, you rarely get an up close look at them even though you see them stacked up in the riffles, they hardly ever take a fly though.
We headed back toward the cabin for supper then Amanda and I decided to take Marin on a ride in the UTV. We caught up with my mom at a bend to see how she was doing and on cue she catches a nice rainbow. We got in the water for a photo op – I think Marin was impressed. Mom caught some nice fish over the weekend too, we weren’t the only ones there harassing the fish in the creek.
We made another evening fish after supper but all I could muster were a few hookups. No trout were landed for me in the evening, which made for a bittersweet end to our trip. We still had another great time at the cabin though. The fishing at the cabin seems to get better every year – a big thanks to Dad, Jim, Dan and the rest of the folks who look after the stream. They have created a tremendous resource for anyone that gets a chance to fish it. We never made it to a small stream on this trip and it didn’t even bother me. The cabin fishing was too good to leave. A big thanks to my parents for being gracious hosts to us, again.
This Memorial Day trip has become tradition and I look forward to it every year. It happens to be a great time to fish for trout in the North Georgia mountains and with the extra day off of work it just makes sense to head that way. Of course none of this would be possible if it weren’t for our freedom. I am very thankful to the men and women who serve to protect this great country and honor those who have died while doing so.
We had originally planned on Monday to fish for shoal bass and stripers in a different flow about an hour from the cabin, but with the rain we had overnight my buddy we were going to float the river with suggested that it may not be the best idea with the water rising and stained. I was a little bummed because I was looking forward to fishing somewhere different and it seems like every time I try to make plans to fish for shoal bass the weather has other ideas. At the same time I wasn’t too bummed because the creek was fishing better than ever and it wasn’t that bad of a backup plan.
We made it out to the stream a bit later than on Sunday and picked up where we left off. I was having a pretty slow morning that quickly turned around when I caught back-to-back rainbows on dries. Unfortunately on my next cast the tip of my rod decided to break off and go for a ride with the fly line. I’m not sure how it happened, but it was on one of my favorite rods, a discontinued TiCr 7wt that I won in the CCA STAR raffle. I’m not sure that TFO still has replacement tips for that rod, we’ll see what happens when I send it off. I went back up to the cabin, grabbed a couple beers and the backup 6wt.
By the time I got back down to the creek Blake had made it to the spot where I had just taken two rainbows on dries. Wouldn’t ya know that he soon caught one of the same fish I had caught. We could tell by a black spot(looked like mole) that was on the left side of his head. The merits of catch and release played out in a matter of 30-45 minutes. We moved upstream to another spot that has been productive to us and after getting a crazy aerial fight from a tail hooked fish with my dropper Blake connected with a nice brown – dubbed “Cooter Brown” as that is what I was drinking at the time. Dad had brought up a bunch of Jekyll beer from Alpharetta, pretty good stuff from my suburban homeland.
After that brown we headed up to the cabin for a Memorial Day feast as prepared by my parents – bacon wrapped scallops, shrimp kabobs, wings, and potato salad – we ate well the entire weekend. We then drove over to a nearby waterfall for a short hike with the kiddos. This was probably the highlight of the trip for Blake’s little toddler – he could have stayed for hours just throwing rocks in the water.
After the hike we had time for an evening fish. Hoping to imitate the success of Sunday we headed back to the same spot and began nymphing our dry-dropper rig through the runs. Just like the day before I hooked with a fish on one of the first few drifts. It was a little football rainbow, short and fat with a nice kyped jaw. It took a tiny rainbow warrior nymph.
Blake got in on the action with a kyped jaw rainbow of his own. As he was fighting his fish I hooked up with my own solid rainbow. We didn’t realize it at the time but it ended up being the rainbow that Blake had caught the night before. Jim pointed this out to us as I was sharing pics with the group who regularly fishes the creek. Another big fish and another catch and release success story.