By Jacob Milholland
These days, if you ask any guide or lifetime angler, they will all harp upon the “good ol’ days” on their local water. There aren’t too many fisheries that people will claim are in their heyday. There is always a reason for this, and the finger can almost always be pointed at ourselves. I was raised with the belief that conservation is something you do every day; if you’re not giving back to the resource, you’re taking from it!
While we would all like to participate in big conservation efforts, one of the little things you can do while you’re on the water is to carry a trash bag. All of our guides stuff their packs full of trash they find on the river. Line trimmings are litter! Keep a cup or bag on the boat or in your wading pack to dispose of line trimmings. Another form of litter that we see too often is line and flies in trees. While flies can be unrecoverable if they’re too high in a tree, I try to clean up any line or flies that I find on the river. It also never hurts your pocketbook to recover a few flies both from yourself and others. It might not seem like much, but if we all take the time to do a few minutes of clean up every time we go out, I think we would all be amazed at our collective results.
No one wants to see a blatant act of abuse of a natural resource. If you see poaching, report it! We’re coming up on Delayed Harvest season this fall – I have witnessed poachers keeping fish during Delayed Harvest season on some of our trout streams. No one wants to be “that guy,” but it’s just as important to do our part to protect our resources! Georgia’s ranger hotline is 1-800-241-4113.
For those that trout fish this month, get out early and finish up before the heat of the day. It is paramount to handle fish properly! Use heavier tippet and fish as quickly as possible, get them in the net and keep them in the water! IF you want to take a picture, do your best to keep air exposure to a minimum. Take as much time as needed to release fish properly. Keep a stream thermometer on you as take water temperatures before you start your day. Water that is 67 degrees or warmer is not conducive to trout fishing and you run the risk of injuring or killing fish regardless of how quickly you land them.
We’re looking forward to college football, fall colors, and another busy season here in Blue Ridge! If you want to come to our neck of the woods, the next month of October kicks off the best trout fishing of the year! Call us whether you’re just looking for a fishing report or you want to get on the water and book a guide trip – we’re happy to help in any way we can!
Cohutta Fishing Company is located in the heart of downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia. We carry a large assortment of guide-tested fly fishing equipment and proven fly patterns, as well as having a knowledgeable and friendly staff. Come by and see us! 490 East Main Street Blue Ridge, GA 30513. (706) 946-3044