September in the Appalachians

By James Bradley

Here in the southern Appalachiana, the month of September is one of transition. What I mean by this is there are several things taking place. Rain is seldom seen during the month of September. Most streams are running at their lowest levels of the year. Water temperatures are in the upper echelon of being too warm on many streams and most will be extremely clear. So, what does this mean for the fly angler?

For those of you willing to head up high into the mountains, here are a few things to keep in mind: stealth, observation, and cover.

You simply cannot catch a trout that you have spooked. Low water conditions require tactics like stealth in your approach. Clumsiness, stumbling, stepping on a limb that breaks underwater, or even up on the bank prior to entering the stream, wading too fast, talking too loudly, allowing studded boots to slip causing the grinding effect, or allowing rod guides to reflect sunlight off them during a cast – these are just the little things that handicap the fly angler. Keep in mind that trout have superior senses like eyesight, inner ear for hearing and even a lateral line for sensing vibration.

Observation is a key component to know what is going on and where the trout are. Having a good pair of polarized glasses can help in seeing a trout’s behavior. Observe the stream from a high bank by staying low to the ground or from behind an obstacle like a tree to hide your presence. Take five minutes to inspect the stream for insects, rising trout and your approach. It is much easier to learn what is going on at this time than while fishing. Be observant, it will pay dividends in the long run.

Use cover for your benefit. Use any large boulder, shade, or even a log to help hide your presence. Most of our mountain streams descend quickly leaving white water to our front as we move upstream. Use the white water for your advantage as cover. These little things should increase your hookups.

Keep in mind that Labor Day will bring the last of the State’s put and take stockings for the year on most streams. We help anglers of all ages catch their personal best, or a trout of a lifetime! If you are a beginner wanting to learn how to fly fish, we have a great staff of instructors who are schooled in the art of fly fishing. One of the best ways to learn about fly fishing is to spend time with those of us who are professional full-time guides. Don’t forget to ask us about our float trips. Currently, we are doing floats on the Toccoa Tailwater. She has been producing well on our early morning trips.

We are the only Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Service in North Georgia’s Historic High-Country region. Reel Em In has been offering their services to fly anglers since 2001. They have permits for guiding in North Georgia and North Carolina, offering over 6 miles of private trophy waters across Georgia, and operate drift boat trips on the Toccoa River in GA and the Tuckasegee River in NC.

James Bradley is an Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide. Call him at (706) 273-0764 or look him up at www.ReelEmInGuideService.com. Reel ‘Em In Guide Service operates as an Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Outfitter in North Georgia’s Historic High-Country region. They have been offering their services to fly anglers since 2001. They have permits for guiding in North Georgia and North Carolina, offer over 7 miles of private trophy waters across Georgia, and operate float trips on the Toccoa River in GA and the Tuckasegee River in NC.

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