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  • Writer's pictureDavid Hulsey

Let the Games Begin! Fly Fishing in October

October is viewed as the beginning of the fly fishing season by a lot of anglers. Gone are the sweltering sunny days of summer along with yellow jackets and snakes. Tubers and kayakers are pretty much absent so having to answer the question “are you catching anything?’’ every five minutes or so is not to be heard again until next summer. Only a few hatches are coming off such as big October Caddis, Blue Winged Olives and a few Midges. Sporadic at best, these emergences can provide some short lived entertainment for the dry fly fisher. The days of dredging are here and that’s cool too. Nymph and streamer fishing will reign until about April then the spring surface playground will begin again. Some of the better places to get numbers of trout to the net in the fall and winter are the delayed harvest streams in North Georgia and Western North Carolina. Great numbers of fish are stocked and with the catch and release regulations, the trout will survive for several months. Good sport will be had until the slaughter begins again in the late spring. The Upper Toccoa River delayed harvest near Blue Ridge Georgia starts November 1st and runs until May 15th. The river is large here and provides some nice big holes and runs to fish for the careful wader. If the water flow is around 300 cfs you can wade pretty well but anything over that you better be watching your step or floating. The section here is about a mile and a half long and very beautiful. General purpose nymphs and wooly buggers will usually keep you busy. Trout Spey is great here too and the long rod opens up a whole new world for fly fishers not wanting to risk a watery fate by wading heavy current. We do introductory classes, spey classes, guided wade trips and float trips here.

Fires Creek near Hayesville North Carolina is another great delayed harvest destination for a fall or winter jaunt on the stream. The season runs from October 1st until June and is only about an hour drive from Blue Ridge, Georgia. The creek is fairly small here and unintimidating. Trout are pretty much everywhere they should be. Leatherwood Falls picnic area is a good place to start with a nice short paved trail making access extremely easy on old knees and hips. The section here is about two miles long with a trail running the full length. Again, you don’t have to get fancy with fly patterns. Hare’s Ear, Prince, and Pheasant Tail nymphs will normally work anytime. The creek’s size can also be fished well with shorter rods and close range casts. We run half and full day wade trips here in addition to a Trout Trek, where we spend 3 hours on Fires Creek and then fish 3 hours on the wonderful waters of the Nantahala River. If you are interested in exploring these waters this fall and winter check out our awesome website! See you on the river!

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