Deliverance… Toccoa River, GA

18 May

It seems that we have been blessed with an infinite amount of rain, which has reeked havoc on our local waters. This includes our tail-waters. So, in a desperate attempt to find floatable water I looked South to the great state of Georgia for some relief.

I knew they had been pounded by rain, but the TVA wasn’t flooding the Georgia rivers as bad as they were those of East Tenn. So after a phone call to the crew at Unicoi Outfitters to check river conditions and shuttle options, Chris and I were headin’  South by Southwest bound for Georgia. That was after I slept off the hangover from the King George concert the night before.

We  showed up around noonish Sat, skiff in tow and gathered the remaining info needed to launch our assault on the Toccoa River.

Several attempts were made to locate a shuttle, but it seemed no one wanted to answer the phone. So we said F’it, lets float and hitch hike back. So off to the Blue Ridge Dam to launch the X-13 off one of the sketchiest launches I have used yet.

After dragging the skiff across rocks and mud, she was in the water, and we quickly set out to get ahead of the impending generation.

The water was clear and cold. Chris, my fishing amigo, and relative of the Hobbit, began sticking fish immediately on streamers. Now they were on the small side, but they were wild trout. The day progressed nicely, with fish being picked up in every run and riffle. As we approached the trestle I was lucky enough to tangle with a nice 18 inch piece of chrome that put on a acrobatic display for all to see. Shortly after she was caught and released, I hooked the SS Fat Chick, but after two aerial assaults the behemoth spit my fly and left me with the fishing version of “blue balls”.


OK back to the story, so we floated through the sketchiest trestle I have ever seen. Not to mention I had to pull the oars in completely. So here is my quote for the day, “Never Says I, will I float this section on generation”.

I would sink the skiff for sure. So once we slid through the pylons, we met a feeder creek dumping tons of chocolate milk into the river. Needless to say fishing slowed for the day. We eventually made the take out and was happy to find some locals loading their canoes. After a bribe and some beers they offered me a ride to the dam, which was what I was hoping for. Although I kept hearing banjo music and the one guy kept referring to a pig squealing, I made it to the truck in one piece.

Day two came early, and after locating a shuttle the Hobbit and I were off down the river. The fishing was slow that morning and the fish seemed lethargic. We made our way to the trestle with just a few fish to boat. I was kinda bummed, knowing the rest of the river would be mucked up. But to my surprise, it wasn’t. now it wasn’t gin clear like the upper section, but it was clear enough to see the bottom.

So like usual, Chris slammed the banks and cuts with a streamer as I rowed the river. At one point Chris began screaming that he just missed a pig, so naturally I start cursing him for his premature Bill Dance style hook set. Then he says the fish never took, so again I start screaming throw it back, quick quick, throw it back! He did, and “bam”, a slab of a bow inhaled the bugger. This fish was so fat that it could hardly make it out of the water. So after a match of “tug-a-war”, and “lets dodge the net”, she was brought to hand. She was estimated to be around 21 inches and 5 lbs. Not exact, but a close guess. Thats my story and I am sticking to it !

Ok, so like I mentioned before the fishing had been slow. It was cold, windy, and raining. We made it to an area similar to the ledges on the Watauga. Low and behold an epic Sulphur hatch was taking place. The wind was blowing them everywhere, it looked like thousands of little sailboats. Fish were rising as I sat there with my mouth open. I mean this is BWO weather, this isn’t suppose to happen on days like today. But it was, and it looked like snout soup in the riffles and runs.

So, the dries came out and the rest of the day was spent racking up double digit fish counts. It was the day of days. Even though we made it to the take out 45 minutes late, where “Gunny” was waiting. Gunny is an older fellow who provides shuttles to us river bums.


Now a tid bit about my skiff. This some of the shallowest water I have ever run it in, and man did she perform. I was expecting to have to drag her over numerous shoals. Only once did I have to set foot out of the boat to drag. We were drafting in 3 inches of water loaded, and 2 inches with our fat arses out of the boat. I watched canoes get hung in areas we breezed through. So, my hat is off to Royce at Premier for a “Super Bad Azz Skiff”.

Ryan

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2 Responses to “Deliverance… Toccoa River, GA”

  1. wookie May 18, 2009 at 6:09 PM #

    NICEly DONE RAUL!!!

  2. Nathan May 18, 2011 at 3:27 PM #

    Sounds like a great trip, check out our website for cabins on some really nice trout water for a sweet little base camp.

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