by Jimmy Harris
Now the fun begins! Dry fly heaven is upon us and even here in the Deep South we forego the split shot and the strike indicator of our winter fishing trips, tie on a new 9 foot, 5X leader, check the level of floatant in our bottle and walk off into the woods in search of the perfect pool and rising trout. Our vest, shoulder or waist pack is lighter or maybe even hung on a nail in the garage as we downsize everything to the point where we could literally stick our gear in our pocket and go. We grab a 4 wt. rod, possibly a 3, and shake it just like a neophyte testing their first fly rod. It just feels nice in our hand. It’s a whole different ballgame than what we’ve been playing all winter. You can’t help but smile as you imagine stalking rising fish on the Chattooga River.
Things don’t need any complications now. Here are five flies you should have in your box during April in Georgia:
- Blue Quill in sizes 16 & 18. Drop an 18 Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail off the back for good luck.
- Quill Gordon in sizes 12 & 14.
- Cream Caddis in 14’s but have some 12’s with you. If the fish aren’t taking it on a dead drift, try lifting your rod tip and skittering it across the surface. This can be some of the most exciting fly fishing you will ever try.
- Little Yellow Stonefly in 16’s. A Yellow Elk Hair Caddis works well also.
- Griffith’s Gnat in sizes 18 – 22 for the ubiquitous midge hatches we depend upon so often throughout the year.
The best hatch chart for northeast Georgia trout is kept up on the Rabun Trout Unlimited website at http://www.rabuntu.org. Go to the “Tight Lines” newsletter for the month of April for more details on times of day and month when you can expect hatches to match these flies.
One last thing you’ve heard me say many times. If at all possible, plan your day so you can be fishing at dark thirty in the evening. The last 30 or 45 minutes of daylight can be magical and even epic. Take a good flashlight for the walk out. See you on the river!