Turner Creek

Stream Location: White County

Wild Trout: None

Stocked: Rainbow Tout and Brown Trout

Other Species of Note:

Gear:

Dry Flies: Adams, Caddis, Royal Wulff, Terrestrials 

Nymphs: Caddis Puppa, Pheasant Tail, Prince, Hares, Stone, Squirmy Wormy, Mop, and Perdigon 

Streamers: Minnows, and Wooly Buggers

Waders: Yes

Net: Yes

Wading Stick: Yes

Casting: Overhead Tuck, Bow and Arrow, and Roll

About:

I am seriously feeling deja vu as I write this stream write up, it really seems that Georgia has a lot of creeks are set up for spin fishermen, or for those that really just want to take some fish home with them. Turner Creek is a very, very small creek that has very limited access, if I ever find a new access point to it that is on public land I will update you readers. 

Turner creek is a spring creek that has a freestone bottom, it looks a lot like a certain spring creek in Virginia that I love to fish. However there is very limited access to this stream. I would use everything in my arsenal to hammer these fish. Keep close to banks and also fish deep in the section where water flows over a grated sections. Just be warned; there is not a lot of creek to fish and getting into this area is a bit sketchy. I wouldn’t right off this creek if you are looking for some fish to take home, again fish it deep and be very thorough.

Directions:

Waters Creek

Stream Location: Chestatee WMA

Wild Trout: Unknown, but they are there

Stocked Unknown, however the state does stock this stream once a year

Other Species of Note:

Gear:

Dry Flies: Adams, Caddis, Royal Wulff, Terrestrials 

Nymphs: Caddis Puppa, Pheasant Tail, Prince, Hares, Stone, Squirmy Wormy, Mop, and Perdigon 

Streamers: None

Waders: Yes

Net: Yes

Wading Stick: Yes

Casting: Tuck, Overhead, and Roll

About:

Waters Creek… Bless it’s heart, it means well. That right there pretty much sums of Waters Creek, everything about it just screams I AM A TROUT STREAM, but sadly this is far from the truth. With that being said, work on Waters Creek is still on going so that it has a chance to become a wild trophy trout stream.

Waters Creek, which is a tributary to Dicks Creek, located in Lumpkin County, is a beautiful sandy/gravel bottom stream that is clean and cold. Trout Unlimited and the State of Georgia have done a lot of work on this stream, even making it one of the few streams that you can only fish on certain days of the week, signing in at the lodge located at the beginning of the stream. Honestly the possibilities are there for this stream to be completely refurbished and wild trout to flourish here, however it will cost a lot of money to get it there and to maintain it.

I have been to Waters Creek area several times on the days that fishing is not allowed on Waters Creek, the parking area for Dicks Creek is also used for Waters Creek, and I have seen fishermen coming off the trail to Waters Creek back to their vehicles, obviously the regulations are not being enforced like they are on Waters Creek sister regulated stream Dukes Creek, and anglers are going into this area at their leisure. Also I am seeing a lot of signs that the special regulations for artificial lures only on Waters Creek are also being ignored by the signs of power bait and worm containers that I see on the sides of the stream. This leads me to a highly educated guess that the locals or careless anglers that are in the know are coming to Waters Creek and fishing it out before the fish can even establish themselves.

Realistically if the State of Georgia wants to see this stream take off then they are going to have to set it up like Dukes Creek; gate it off, have Wardens on site daily, and realistically only  open it from October to May. Also they need to gate off the stream so that the fish that are stocked in Waters Creek do not swim downstream and get into Dicks Creek. If not, I see any money and restoration put into Waters Creek being wasted.

Honestly I loathe being negative about a stream, especially one that is gorgeous and has such possibilities, I really love the area that Waters Creek and Dicks Creek are in, however I promised myself years ago when I started this site to tell the truth and that’s what I am doing. As far as how to fish Waters Creek I have no clue, I have only seen one fish in the stream and I have been skunked every time I have fished this stream. The only pointers I can really give you is about the gear you take; during the summer you can easily wet wade this area, just make sure your sandals have some studs in them. During the winter: waders that come down to your hip should be fine. As far as styles of fly fishing: there is plenty of room in places to dry fly fish, in other areas I can see where nymph fishing would be prime, and also I have seen areas that streamers should work. But like I mentioned above, I honestly have no clue what will definitely work – all I can do right now is guess. If by chance I do figure out Waters Creek I will update this section immediately. Also I will update this stream as stream restoration goes forward.

***Update***

As I was going to get photos for this writeup I noticed that the stream has a lot of wild fingerlings in it. I am unsure of what type, they looked to be brook trout, so now I know this stream definitely has some wild fish in it, or some stocked fingerlings. With any hope these fish will grow up unscathed by natural predation and become big and strong. They are literally everywhere throughout the stream. Also it looks like some people have cleaned up the park tremendously. However the park still needs a lot of work and they need a Warden onsite, they only have a sign in sheet. What I did find hilarious was that someone was soo disgusted with the stream that they wrote, “What a f@#king joke of a creek GADNR,” in the guest sign in sheet.

Again I can only hope that this stream will get better as the years go by.

Directions:

Jones Creek

Stream Location: Lumpkin County (Special Regulation Water)

Wild Trout: Brown

Stocked Trout: None

Other Species of Note:

Dry Flies: Adams, Caddis, Royal Wulff, Terrestrials 

Nymphs: Caddis Puppa, Pheasant Tail, Prince, Hares, Stone, Squirmy Wormy, Mop, and Perdigon 

Streamers: Small Minnow 

Waders: Yes

Net: Yes

Wading Stick: Yes

Casting: Tuck, Overhead, and Roll

About:

If you want a stream that is very beautiful, very technical, full of waterfalls, stealthy approaches, and very cold, clean water – then Jones Creek is the creek for you. Forming out of a natural spring in the mountains, the stream slowly meanders down from its head waters, gaining faster water as it hits several waterfalls below the Jones Creek Campground. There has been a lot of restoration efforts by the State of Georgia and Trout Unlimited to make this a wonderful wild brown trout stream. However these efforts are still in the works and have not totally taken a foot hold as of yet.

Imagine a stream that has some pretty significant pools, fast runs, and a lot of structure to hide in – not to mention a large amount of gravel beds that a brown trout can spawn in, this is Jones Creek. The bad part as I have mentioned earlier, is that this stream is just in the beginning stages of restoration, it might take twenty years to see this stream grow into what it could become. So with that, don’t take what I am about to say with a grain salt, Jones Creek is not going to be a trophy stream for years to come, it is not an easy stream to fish, you must be very stealthy (I would suggest wearing camo and felt boots) using long leaders or a euro leader setup, and I definitely wouldn’t fish heavy nymphs or streamers unless the stream was very high (ie after week of rain).

The main thing an angler that comes here must realize is that this stream is meant to be a “wild brown trout” stream, brown trout are known for being very easily spooked and they love to hide in undercuts. Because of this you might not even see a trout, thinking that it is a dead stream, and you will more than likely get skunked. Jones Creek is definitely not for those anglers that are wanting to catch trophy sized brown trout… yet.

However, if you are still reading this and you still want to fish this stream because you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the other trophy wild brown trout streams (Dukes Creek, the Chattahoochee River, or any of the other tail waters in Georgia) then you need to heed my advice. Be as sneaky as you can! Seriously; sneaky, sneaky, sneaky! Do not wear bright colored clothing, wear camo or something very drab, also I would suggest felt boots or sole less moccasins. Also take the bare minimum with you, rod, one or two fly boxes, tippet, and floatant. Realistically you will want to be able to carry everything you need in the pockets of your jeans or pants, you really don’t want to carry a bag with you when you are fishing Jones Creek. It’s all about stealth on this creek. Realistically treat Jones Creek as if you were fishing for brook trout. Be prepared to not see a fish, if you do see one be prepared to never catch it, be prepared to be skunked on a regular basis here, and if by some miracle you do catch one of the gems of this creek treasure it like it is gold!

When it comes to casting: make very few false casts, be very accurate to hit right on the edges of rocks and logs, start from the bottom of the pools and work your way up to its mouth. If you are nymph fishing: start fishing a line very close to you and work your way out from there, again its worth mention that you should use a euro nymph setup on this stream or a very buggy indicator (New Zeland Strike Indicators). As for fishing streamers, don’t! Not unless there has been a very significant rain and the creek is raging, this will be the only time that you could sneak a small streamer into this creek. Finally it is worth mentioning that if you are into Tenkara fly fishing, then this stream would be a very good stream to use a Tenkara rod on.

Directions:

Noontootla Creek

Stream Location: Blue Ridge WMA (Special Regulation Water)

Wild Trout: Rainbow, Brown, and Brook

Stocked Trout: None

Other Species of Note:

Dry Flies: Adams, Caddis, Royal Wulff, Terrestrials 

Nymphs: Caddis Puppa, Pheasant Tail, Prince, Hares, Stone, Squirmy Wormy, Mop, and Perdigon 

Streamers: Small Minnow 

Waders: Yes

Net: Yes

Wading Stick: Yes

Casting: Tuck, Overhead, and Roll

About:

Noontootla Creek is an extremely technical stream to fish – if you want a beautiful stream to fish, one that is literally in what seems like a very big gorge, a stream that is shaded by massive and ancient trees, but also a stream that is liable to skunk you… then Noontootla Creek is the creek for you. Simply put Noontootla Creek is an ass kicking waiting to happen, I hate to be so blunt but it is what it is.

Because of serious angler pressure Noontootla’s wild trout have become very suspicious of everything that flows through this creek, to be honest I am surprised that they just do not starve to death. I have been there several times and have been skunked almost all of those times. Honestly it might be harder to fish here than in any water in that I have fished to date. If I hadn’t caught and seen a trout there I would honestly write this off as a barren stream, one that the state of Georgia has lied about. However to my astonishment there are trout in this stream, they are just very intelligent because of the pressure they receive daily… yes daily. I have never been to Noontootla Creek and been the only angler there. Besides dealing with anglers also know that you will have to deal with campers, bikers, hikers, and hunters year round.

Besides being one of the toughest streams I have ever fished, Noontootla Creek might also be one of the prettiest stream that I have seen, not to mention it has everything that an trout angler would want in a stream. There are tons of big boulders, fast runs, deep drop offs, deep holes, small holes, long pools, long riffles, and a lot of room to cast. Granted some areas are infested with my nemesis, Laurels, but for the most part You can overhead cast with ease, you can tuck and roll cast to anywhere in this stream. Noontootla is also a great spot to euro nymph fish, actually I would almost dare to say that euro nymph fishing or dry fly fishing is the best way to catch fish in this stream. However, if you are not dry fly fishing or euro nymph fishing, then stick to a very small strike indicator, like a New Zealand Strike Indicator, that does not cause a lot surface commotion that would spook trout. Also I would suggest using a slightly longer leader, like a 12 foot leader, instead of the traditional 9 foot leader. This way a majority of your fly line is out of the water and not spooking fish.

Realistically I cannot stress enough that you must be very sneaky and stealthy when you fish this creek. You don’t necessarily have to go fish this stream in camo, or be so stealthy that you are not enjoying yourself, but understand that fishing here is like fishing for brook trout at all times, which are also in this creek at its head waters (nod, nod, wink, wink).

Remember that you are in bear country, that you will not have a lot (if any) cell phone service, and you will be miles from the nearest doctor’s office. Take appropriate precautions before going to fish here. Use the pull off spaces that are available, trying to stay out of camping spots if you are not going to be camping there. Also since there are a lot of people that visit this area I would lock up your vehicle while you are gone, do not leave anything in it that a person could possibly steal. I have heard of several vehicles that had windows smashed and several hundreds of dollars’ worth of equipment being taken. Finally, just reemphasizing that you are in bear country,  I would say that you should also carry, or at the very least have a bell on you as you walk this stream, you can never be too careful when you are in the backwoods.

Directions:

Nimblewill Creek

Stream Location: Chestatee WMA

Wild Trout: None

Stocked Trout: Brown, and Rainbow

Other Species of Note:

Gear: Smaller Sized Rods

Dry Flies: Adams, Caddis, Royal Wulff, Terrestrials 

Nymphs: Caddis Puppa, Pheasant Tail, Prince, Hares, Stone, Squirmy Wormy, Mop, and Perdigon 

Streamers: Small Minnow 

Waders: Yes

Net: Yes

Wading Stick: Yes

Casting: Tuck, Overhead, and Roll

About:

Nimblewill is a marvelous cute freestone/clay bed stream, that is in the middle of nowhere. If you are wanting to go fishing for stocked trout and want absolute seclusion then this stream is a must. The only downside to fishing here is that it is in a primitive campground area, so there are the occasional campers and fishermen that you will have to deal with. If you don’t mind this then Nimblewill is a lot of fun. Actually the first time I explored here I had more on the road to Nimblewill then I did actually fishing there, the stream crosses the stream several times before you get to a good fishing area so you in up with a very wet and muddy vehicle before leaving.

Realistically this stream is not the best stream for trout, because of very weak water flow. During the summer and fall, unless an angler was to fish after a thunderstorm, the stream is very shallow in almost all areas. There are only a few large holes that can hold trout, providing them with the oxygen that they need. However there are a couple fast riffles here and there that keep the stocked trout going. Aim towards fishing these larger holes and riffles.

Usually, and what makes Nimblewill a very nice spot to fish, the stocked trout tend to school together and you can catch ten to twenty fish in just one hole. It is absolutely one of the best places for a beginner fly fishermen to hone their skills on; they will catch fish, they can practice almost every cast, and there is very little pressure. Just don’t expect any size in the fish that you catch. It is also a perfect place to take a person on a date on if they are interested in learning to fly fish, like I said before it is just a great place to learn and it will you 

Directions:

Dicks Creek

Stream Location: Chestatee WMA

Wild Trout: None

Stocked Trout: Brown, and Rainbow

Other Species of Note:

Gear:

Dry Flies: Adams, Caddis, Royal Wulff, Terrestrials 

Nymphs: Caddis Puppa, Pheasant Tail, Prince, Hares, Stone, Squirmy Wormy, Mop, and Perdigon 

Streamers: Small Minnow 

Waders: Yes

Net: Yes

Wading Stick: Yes

Casting: Tuck, Overhead, and Roll

About:

Besides mostly being on private property the sections that are open to the public make Dicks creek one of the prettiest gems of the Northern Georgia trout streams. Nested in one of the gorges that run through Northern Georgia, Dicks creek is a major limestone creek that every angler should visit at least once. What makes Dicks creek such a wonderful place to go to is it’s monstrous waterfalls, yes I am very much a sucker for waterfalls. But the fishing here is also brilliant, above and below the falls. However one could easily be discouraged by Dicks creek by seeing all of the water that is located on private property, that water just screams “fish are in these waters.”

Even though the prettiest parts of Dicks creek are in private waters, the rest of the stream is a delightful place to fish for all skill levels. I mainly focus on the waters below the falls down to the “No Trespassing” sign and the waters from the parking area, located at the trail of Waters Creek, down to the head of the waterfalls. These waters are moving very fast in certain sections, and in others they are dropping down to form enormous deep holes. I am almost certain that there are holdover trout in these waters that are becoming giants. However I am also certain that a majority of the holdover trout are getting into the waters below the “No Trespassing” sign and probably spawning.

When fishing these waters use a two nymph dropper system and make sure you are fishing them very deep. The fish here also love squirmmies, mop flies, and Pat’s stoneflies. I would not bother fishing dry flies at all, well not unless you see fish hitting the surface on a regular basis. Also I would not recommend using streamers here, the reason I say this is that I have seen too many spin fishermen here that have constantly gotten skunked using spinning flies while I am catching fish, using nymphs, on every other cast. 

Above the parking area at Waters creek trail head the water here are very slow and meandering. Occasionally you will find a good deep hole, but for the most part this area is a slow riffle area. In this area I recommend using a single nymph set up or using a streamer, casting the streamer to the other bank and quickly moving it back across to yourself.

Directions:

Roanoke River – Salem

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Stream Category: Category A – stocked 8 times between October 1 and May 31.

Stocked Trout: Rainbow and Brook

Wild Trout: Rainbow, Brook, and Brown ( Although there are holdovers from previous DGIF stockings, wild trout, especially brown trout, can be seen throughout the entire Roanoke River.)

Other Species of Note: Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Sunfish, and Carp

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Gear:

  • Dry Flies: Adams, Midges, Caddis, and Terrestrials
  • Nymphs: Pheasant Tails, Hares Ear, Prince Nymphs, Zebras, Caddis Pupae, Grub Worms, Squirmy Wormies, and Mop Flies
  • Streamers: Kreelax, Leeches, Sculpins, Wooley Buggers, and Minnow Patterns
  • Rod: 9-10’ 5-7 weight (depending on what species of fish you are targeting) Also Switch and Spey rods can be used on most sections.
  • Waders: Chest or Convertible Chest ( During late Spring, Summer, and early fall you can wet wade in shorts and river sandals. During late Fall, Winter, and early Spring waders will be needed)
  • Net: Big fish can be caught throughout the Roanoke River, it is highly recommended to bring a trout catch and release net wherever you are on the Roanoke. Additionally when fishing for Carp a larger fish net is recommended.
  • Additional Gear: Wading Staff

Casting: Overhead, Side, Tuck, and Roll.

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About:

Located in the City of Salem from Woodbridge Trailhead of the Roanoke River Greenway to Colorado St Bridge, the Salem stocked section of the Roanoke River gives anglers the perfect opportunity to experience freestone river fishing without having to go to bigger rivers like the Jackson and Smith River. VA DGIF does an excellent job with the stocking in the section, several citation Rainbow and Brook have been caught on this section of the Roanoke River. On occasion you will also find large brown trout lurking under down trees and in deep pools. Also this section is excellent for smallmouth, bass, largemouth bass, and carp.

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Depending on what species you are targeting will have an impact on what gear to bring. If fishing for trout use nymph and streamer patterns. The brook trout in this section love meaty streamers and mop flies, while the big rainbows love zebra midges, prince nymphs, and squirmy wormies. When it comes to dry fly fishing make sure you are using a dry/dropper rig if you are wanting to catch fish in this section. Very few stocked trout will rise to a dry fly.

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Additional Notes:

Make sure you are keeping a close eye on the VDGIF stockings page when you want to fish this section for trout, this section gets fished out quickly. Make sure you are fishing areas where spin fishermen usually over look. Parking will be roadside pull offs and the occasional parking lot, please be respectful of property owners so that anglers can continue to use these areas.

 

Directions

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Roanoke River – Green Hill Park

Stream Category: Delayed Harvest

From October 1 through May 31, fishing on the following waters is permitted under the following regulations only:

1 Only artificial lures may be used.

2 No trout may be in possession (catch and release only) while fishing these waters.

3 No bait may be in possession while fishing these waters.

4 Trout license required October 1-June 15.

Note: During the period of June 1 through September 30 restrictions 1. through 3. above will not apply and these waters are like any other designated stocked trout.

Stocked Trout: Rainbow and Brook

Wild Trout: Rainbow, Brook, and Brown ( Although there are holdovers from previous DGIF stockings, wild trout, especially brown trout, can be seen throughout the entire Roanoke River.)

Other Species of Note: Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Sunfish, and Carp

Gear:

  • Dry Flies: Adams, Midges, Caddis, and Terrestrials
  • Nymphs: Pheasant Tails, Hares Ear, Prince Nymphs, Zebras, Caddis Pupae, Grub Worms, Squirmy Wormies, and Mop Flies
  • Streamers: Kreelax, Leeches, Sculpins, Wooley Buggers, and Minnow Patterns
  • Rod: 9-10’ 5-7 weight (depending on what species of fish you are targeting) Also Switch and Spey rods can be used on most sections.
  • Waders: Chest or Convertible Chest ( During late Spring, Summer, and early fall you can wet wade in shorts and river sandals. During late Fall, Winter, and early Spring waders will be needed)
  • Net: Big fish can be caught throughout the Roanoke River, it is highly recommended to bring a trout catch and release net wherever you are on the Roanoke River. Additionally when fishing for Carp, a larger fish net is recommended.
  • Additional Gear: Wading Staff

Casting: Overhead, Side, Tuck, and Roll.

 

About:

Located on the outskirts of the City of Salem, Green Hill Park is a family/pet friendly area that appeals to everyone that loves the outside. Because of several Non-profit groups diligent help in maintaining and upgrading Green Hill Park, the park appeals to anglers of all ages and to those anglers that are disabled. Green Hill Park is also the starting point for the Roanoke River Greenway in Salem, Virginia. The Roanoke River Greenway, which began as a small initiative in 1993, is a greenway that extends almost 30 miles from Salem to Roanoke, following its namesake the Roanoke River.

The Delayed Harvest Section of the Roanoke river in Green Hill Park stretches from the Route 760 Bridge (Diguids Lane) upstream 1 mile to a sign posted at the upper end of the park. Due to the park being a delayed harvest section the state of Virginia only stocks these waters 3 times per year, however Trout Unlimited does secret stockings throughout this section to keep it a prime location for trout fishermen.

The entire Roanoke River is a freestone stream that has a plethora of insect activity, fast runs that flow into elongated pools, and plenty of tree line for fish to hide under. Treating this river as you would any other mountain stream is good way to find where the fish are holding. Look for fast runs that are followed by long pools, any large rocks in flat areas, and cover that fish could use to hide in. When fishing the numerous runs and long pools make sure you are fishing the entire area from beginning to end.

When it comes to flies; gear towards weighted nymphs and streamers, the weight will make sure you are getting to the depth that you will need in order to catch fish in the Roanoke River. If you haven’t use squirmy wormies or mop flies look these flies up (mop and glo and squirmy wormies) they are deadly on the Roanoke river.

Dry fly fishing is tedious throughout the Roanoke River, not just the Green Hill Section, very few stocked trout will rise to eat topwater flies. However if you want to be successful at dry fly fishing on the Roanoke river take a few minutes to observe what flies are hatching along the bank and see what nymphs are under the rocks, from there use a dry-dropper rig that matches the flies you have seen. Your dropper nymph should be slightly weighted and you should use a long section of tippet between your dry and dropper nymph.

Additional Notes:

When fishing at Green Hill Park use the parking provided by the park. The handicapped section of river is located at the second to last parking area inside the park, it will be visible from the road. Be mindful that the Roanoke River is a river and not a stream, the river can be very deep in spots so wade carefully.  Check weather conditions for the Salem/Roanoke, VA area, heavy rains and snow melts can quickly flood the river.

When fishing for any other species besides trout remember that this is a delayed harvest section between October 1 – June 15 and even though you are fishing for other species the delayed harvest restrictions still apply.

Directions

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Carp Time is the Right Time!

It is apparent by looking at social media that Carp Time is the Right Time! For once I am totally in agreement with social media, fly fishing for carp is by far one of the most excited and most rewarding experiences a fly fisherman can have. For everyone that thinks that carp are a trash fish, not worth your time, please continue to think this so that I can fish them in your stead. But for those that already know how fun these fish are let’s take a moment and all agree that when you set the hook on a carp they sound like R2-D2 screaming. Ok, so they don’t literally make that sound, but I swear in my head, that is sound I always imagine them making when I set the hook.

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Disclaimer: I am not expert on fishing for carp, I am a novice!

Here are some of the challenges you will experience if you have never fly fished for carp:

  1. Not using the proper rod can be disastrous.
  2. Not using the proper leader can be disastrous.
  3. Not using the proper tippet can be disastrous.
  4. They are easily spooked.
  5. They can see you coming.
  6. They can hear you coming.
  7. They put off a pheromone to warn other carp around them that there is danger.
  8. They stink.
  9. They will slim you.
  10. You must be able to cast to them accurately.
  11. They always swallow your fly; you will need forceps or barbless flies.
  12. You’ll never truly know what fly they are feeding on; they eat everything.
  13. You will get skunked fishing for carp.

So why are they so much fun?

Remember the biggest brown trout or small mouth bass that you ever caught; remember the fight that they put up. Remember how your line reel screamed as that fish tried to muscle towards its freedom.  Now remember that pure joy when you finally netted that beast. This, my friend, is why carp on the fly has been getting so much attention. Carp are powerhouse fish- even the smallest will probably take you to your backing like a big trout or bass will do- you will have to fight them every step of the way to shore/boat. These fish get big, really big! Good luck if you are using a traditional trout net, because these fish will probably not fit into one of those.

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Okay, okay, so maybe you are one of those that do not care for the fight that these fish display, nor how big they really can get. Instead you are more of technical fly fisherman; you dream of the perfect stalk, then the perfect cast, followed by a perfect mend, then a tight line, finished by the perfect take! Well carp do not suffer fools; they require all of the action and precision that a technical fly fisherman love about the sport and more.

Going back to the disclaimer; I am a novice when it comes to fly fishing for carp, but I am not a novice when it comes to fly fishing in general.  Fly fishing for carp is a very humbling experience to say the least. You will have to be able to read water, stalk carp, and be very sneaky; the slightest noise or shadow will send these fish racing away. Also of note: carp often feed in packs and let out a pheromone when they sense danger warning the other carp nearby. If you scare one you scare the whole pod away as well. Well shit! Yep, even if you are good at reading, stalking, and being sneaky, you will have to choose the perfect fly, be able to sight cast with precision (within one foot in front of the fish), then you will have to slowly get your line tight, and patiently wait on the slightest tug (unless you are using a strike indicator, which can also be disastrous if it spooks the carp). Well SHIT! Like I said, these fish are a technical fly fisherman’s dream come true. Ultimately if your fly line, leader, or tippet touch these fish, if your fly line or fly makes too much noise hitting the water’s surface, if you are lazy, impatient, and do not respond to the slightest take all of the carp you were fishing for will disappear into a big cloud of mud. WELL SHIT!

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Honestly it blows my mind when someone one (spin fisherman and/or fly fisherman) says they wouldn’t fish for carp. I always hear, “ugh, I wouldn’t eat them; why are you fishing for those fish?” Who the hell cares if they are not desirable to eat! When was the last time you went fishing solely for the purpose of catching to keep?  Let’s be honest, you never went to catch to keep, you went fishing to catch fish- to experience the fight. If you want fish to eat, save yourself money on a fishing license and go buy a fish at the local supermarket.  Carp fishing will not only humble you; it will make you into a better technical angler, rewarding you with the fight of a life time-that you earned- every time you hook into a carp.

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P.S. If you are still not impressed with carp, please continue to not fish for them. It makes fishing a heck of a lot easier when I am not elbow to elbow with people.

P.P.S If you are interested in carp on the fly then I suggest you read/buy this book: Carp on the Fly: A flyfishing guide by Barry Reynolds, John Berryman, and Brad Befus

 

Game Plan for Summer 2017

Oh the changing of the seasons, I cannot explain to you how eager I have been for summer weather. To hell with Fall, Winter, and Spring! This past trout season has been one of my worst; from very crowded streams, to piss poor stocking by the VDGIF, and snapping the tip off of my Recon rod, I am very ready for warm water fishing. I haven’t given up on trout altogether, but there is some remarkable feeling about being out on a kayak in the middle of the river, fishing for various fish, that I have been missing since last Fall.

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Luckily here in the Roanoke Valley the capability for kayak fishing and warm water fishing is outstanding. Not only do we have the Roanoke River right in our back yard, but we also have the New River, the James River, Smith Mountain Lake, Claytor Lake, Carvins Cove, and several large streams within a reasonable driving range, that hold a large variety of warm water fish. I am stoked to say the least.

This summer I am dedicating my time to knocking out as many warm water “Trophy-sized fish” as I can in order to get my Master Angler award from the state of Virginia. If you have never checked out this program that the state of Virginia is offering you should, it seems like an exceptional way to get Virginian’s fishermen, which are in a set selection of fish, to fish for other species around the state. The only rule that I am imposing on myself for this goal is that I can only achieve this award by using fly fishing gear only. Sorry spin fishermen I will never go back to the dark side of fishing again.

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After studying the criteria for Virginia’s “Trophy-sized fish” I came to the realization that several levels of the Master Angler Award can definitely be achieved by a fisherman here in the Roanoke Valley with very little travel involved. The only exception will probably be trout; more than likely a person will have to travel to a spring creek or a mountain river (Jackson River or North River) in order to find a large trout during the summer months.

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So here are my ideas (feel free to correct me if I am wrong or if I am missing anything):

Smallmouth Bass: New River or the James River

Largemouth Bass: Local Ponds, Claytor Lake, and Smith Mountain Lake

Striped Bass: Smith Mountain Lake and Roanoke River

Hybrid Striped Bass: Claytor Lake

Rock Bass: New River, the James River, Smith Mountain Lake, and Claytor Lake

White Bass: Smith Mountain Lake

Chain Pickerel: Pandapas Pond and maybe Carvins Cove (I will need to research Carvins Cove more)

Crappie: the New River and the James River

Musky: New River or the James River (this I will have to watch because of water temps, I don’t want to kill them)

Sunfish: Any stream or river around Roanoke

Carp: Any river or lake around Roanoke

Walleye: the New River, the James River, the Staunton River (the Staunton River is 1 hour 40 mins away from Roanoke)

Brook Trout: holed up, big brookies stocked in the Roanoke River. Also any state fee fishing area (i.e. Crooked Creek or Wilson Creek)

Brown Trout: Mossy Creek and the North River in Harrisburg. Any river that might have hold overs in it, and also any state fee fishing area (i.e. Crooked Creek or Wilson Creek)

Rainbow Trout: Mossy Creek and any stream/river that might have hold overs. Also any state fee fishing area (i.e. Crooked Creek or Wilson Creek).

Hopefully by the end of the Summer I will have achieved at least one level, maybe even two. Even if I do not achieve any levels this summer, I am going to fun, challenge myself, and better my current knowledge as a fisherman here in Virginia and I implore each of my readers to do the same this summer. If you do not currently live here in Virginia check your current state’s programs, hopefully they will have something similar to this program.

 

Master Angler Program

Trophy Fish Size Chart