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Fly Fishing in the Southeastern US
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 Post subject: Helton Creek, Dec. 31, 2013
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:05 pm 
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Brown Trout
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Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:30 pm
Posts: 1464
I caught up with Anthony Hipps on Tuesday, Dec 31, and we went up to Helton Creek to check out the action. Recent rains caused the stream to run about 6" high, but the color was good with just a bit of a greenish tinge. The day was cold and blustry with a high temperature in the mid 30's and wind gusts between 20mph and 30mph.

There were times when all I could do was just stand in place and hold onto my hat to keep it from blowing away. The wind put such a bend in my rod that it looked like I was into a good fish! There was no way to cast until it died down a bit. Fortunately, gusts like that were infrequent.

The water was also pretty cold. Although I never put my stream thermometer into it, I could tell I didn't want to fall in. Anthony estimated the water to be in the upper 30's. I won't argue to point. After an hour of wading, my toes were numb. Throughout the day, it was necessary to take a break, every half hour or so, and get out of the water to warm up. My hands proved to be the biggest problem. Every time I got any water on them, the biting wind ripped the heat out leaving my finger numb and burning with cold.

So, with all the challenges, how was the fishing? Actually, not bad. I did make a tactical error, in that I brought my favorite 7'6" 4wt. It's great for dry flies, but for derdging bottom all, it was the wrong weapon. Even with a long leader, I didn't have enough reach to keep the fly line off the water. I still managed to catch 2 nice rainbows, and missed several more hits.
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Anthony was better rigged with a 9' rod, and was able to high-stick through the various runs. For those who remember that he was having a lot of neck and shoulder pain, this time last year, that has largely been corrected, although I'm sure he's feeling it a bit this morning.

The key to fishing Tuesday was a long leader with lots of weight. For the day, Anthony managed to bring 10 to hand, the biggest around 15", and tagged a dozen more. The "fly" of the day was a pink squirmy wormy.

The fish were well distributed throughout the sections we fished. We started near highway 16, and worked our way up to the church hole, obviously skipping a lot of water in between. Wading was a bit tricky, and a wading staff a must. We only saw 2 other fishermen the whole day.

Good company, pretty fair fishing, OK weather. All in all, not a bad way to finish 2013.


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 Post subject: Re: Helton Creek, Dec. 31, 2013
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:26 pm 
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Brown Trout
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:54 pm
Posts: 1248
Location: Statesboro, GA
Good to see y'all get out and catch some...

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You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him -- Robert A. Heinlein.


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 Post subject: Re: Helton Creek, Dec. 31, 2013
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:28 pm 
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Brown Trout
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:19 am
Posts: 2295
Location: Holston Mountain, Tenn
Nice

The water here is terribly cold also. Snow melt water is damn tough to catch fish out of. I say that Yawl did well considering the conditions

JT

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Bluegill are good for drunks --- They don't get up early
The last throw I made with a Zug Bug was into the trash can.
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 Post subject: Re: Helton Creek, Dec. 31, 2013
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:59 pm 
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Brown Trout

Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:12 pm
Posts: 1761
Good work in bad conditions, Phg. I need to get out soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Helton Creek, Dec. 31, 2013
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:29 am 
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Brown Trout
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Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:30 pm
Posts: 1464
Hey, they call us Psychos for a reason....


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 Post subject: Re: Helton Creek, Dec. 31, 2013
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:19 am 
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Brown Trout
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:18 am
Posts: 679
Location: Culpeper, VA
Good for you Paul to get out and catch a few! Try a pair of latex gloves under your fingerless gloves. They seem to help and still have the ability to tie knots.
TC


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