Sunday, October 19, 2014

My First Brown Trout: Upper Chattahoochee WMA

Mornin' Folks,
  I wanted to share a few pictures I took while fishing the Upper Chattahoochee WMA last weekend. Its a really beautiful area up there, and it seems to be quite popular. My time was limited, so I didn't want to venture too far from the road and the car, so it was actually a bit difficult to find a spot that wasn't already occupied. There had been some pretty good storms in the area the night before and it had been raining most of the morning while I was there. I try not to let weather keep me from fishing, if I get an opportunity to go I try to take it. I thought the rain might improve the conditions as there had been some pretty low water up there. 
  I went armed with the TFO Finesse Half Weight and the Galvan Brookie fly reel to get some more testing in for their upcoming reviews. I was very happy with the performance of each and look forward to the next trip with them. I fished a few different flies, but I seemed to get the most interest from a size 14 Elk Hair Caddis. When it comes to trout, I'm still very much a beginner. I'm pretty certain I missed a lot of strikes. Trout tend not to be as aggressive on the take as the bluegill I usually fish for! At least not in my experience thus far. 
  After a few hours with as many splashy refusals, I was fishing around a large pool catching nothing but raindrops. I started working some large rocks and finally got a good take!  I landed a beautiful little rainbow!  He was a feisty little guy! And, fishing a half weight, it was a ball to hook up on this little trout!  With the acrobatics he performed, I don't think he had any idea that he was only 6" long!  
  I returned him to his pool and hiked back up to the car to seek out another spot. It was already after noon, and carrying the one-trout-per-trip curse, I was starting to consider heading home. I absolutely love spending time in the woods, especially in the north Georgia mountains, so I was reluctant to leave. I found another spot that just had a "fishy" look to me ( Thanks to Tom Rosenbauer, I have a better idea of what that looks like now!). There was a parking area with a staircase down to the water, I tend to shy away from those places because I figure they're pretty heavily pressured, so I crossed the road and headed upstream a ways. I don't have any waders yet, so I tend to bushwhack along the bank until I find a spot to fish. I got in the water and started fishing, working the rocks and riffles as I made my way back down toward the car. 
  The car was back in view and I'd been fishing way longer than I intended (the Little Girl was on her way home from being away for the weekend and I like to be there when she gets in). After about 20 "one-last-casts", I got my caddis caught in some submerged branches. When I tried to break my tippet in frustration I felt the line move. A lot more than it should've being hung on a stick! When I got my first glimpse I couldn't believe my eyes! Not only was it not a stick, it was a trout! And a brown one at that!  I had to work to get him around all the rocks and branches to bring him to hand, but I sure was happy when I did. This was my largest trout to date, it was my first brown trout ( a stunningly beautiful fish) and I caught it on a five foot long, half weight rod! I wish I could've gotten some better photos, but I like to return fish to the water as quickly as possible. 
  I had a great day fishing the Upper Chattahoochee WMA and definitely plan on returning. Next time I want to do some more exploring of the smaller streams. The TFO Finesse Half Weight and Galvan Brookie both did a great job and a shorter rod made fighting through the brush so much easier!  
  I hope you're all doing well,
    Tight lines and dry feet!

I wonder if there are any trout holding pools upstream?
Fantastic combo! TFO Finesse Half Weight and Galvan Brookie. 
Stunning colors on these little rainbows!
Steady rain. 
My first brown! What a beauty!
Gorgeous scenery in the Upper Chattahoochee WMA. Fall color is just beginning. 

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