My brother and I fished in the Helen Ga area last week. The Upper 'Hooch, Smith's, Dukes, and Wildcat Creeks. Plenty of good clear water everywhere even after significant rainfall mid week.
Smiths creek below Unicoi State park was slow...plenty of big fish seen early in the week, only a few 10-12" 'Bows brought to hand. DH ended on Wednesday and the locals opened up a can (of niblets that is)...so endeth the valiant efforts of a few dedicated loop throwers...why would you eat the package, when the steak is dangling in front of you? Those we caught prior to the massacre were on 18-20 dark nymphs and small (black) beadhead pheasant Tails.
Dukes Creek at Smithgall was everything it is made out to be. Our failure was ours alone being first timers and not much of Nymph fisherman. That was a brutal learning curve. There are fish the size of aircraft carriers in that creek, that obviously didn't grow to that size by being stupid. I fooled a couple of smaller 10" to 12"rs out, but nearly got ran over by the big boys getting out of my way. Did manage to land a nice 16" Brownie in the morning on Section 1 with a Bead Head Pheasant tail nymph 18 in some fast water, but not much else. I will know better next time. Some of the regulars had a better day, one landed a nice fat 22"r on the same in a different color. What a BEAUTIFULLY well managed operation that is. I plan on getting there as often as possible.
The WMA Streams, Upper Chatt, Wildcat, etc...were productive yeilding quite a few nice stockers...as long as you could dodge the corn being flung around. One guy even complained at me for releasing a 10" Bow, said if that was what I was going to do I should move along up stream! I said I just let him go and that he was headed in his direction and that he was welcome to catch him again...do your own work!
I had been with a complete group of Gentlemen Strangers the day prior at Dukes, waited my turn, was waited on, and had a GREAT experience...I don't deny that everyone has the right to fish, but some of these Niblet boys have got some nerve.
Regardless of the A**holes..we had a great time. Most importantly we became better fishermen (having been taken to school numerous times by some Monsters) But they will be there next time!
One final note: We met a couple of Guys who had just finished the Rod building Class put on by Bill Oyster down in Gainesville, GA...These guys were fishing with some of the most beautiful 'Boo rods I have ever seen! Soon as I win the lottery I think I'll be putting in a call to Mr. Oyster. He does magnificent work, and demands excellent work from his students, their rods built under his instructions were phenominal. These guys broke their new boo in on Unicoi's private water and came back with grins that wrapped around their head!