Last weekend brought what appeared to be some actual winter weather to Upstate SC. This trip was primarily a scouting mission, but there’s no sense in checking out new streams with no fly rod.
East Fork of the Chattooga. Looks fishy.
I hit a short section of the East Fork Chattooga on Friday afternoon, and was met with frozen line guides and inactive fish. I’ll call them inactive, however since I really didn’t even see one, its hard say they were completely inactive. The afternoon brought mostly frozen line guides, and once the reel started freezing up, I decided to pack it in for the day.
I have fished a few different sections of the East Fork, but the portion picture above was new to me. Saturday brought about a little expedition to totally new water over in the Lake Jocassee watershed on the west side of the lake. This stream, Limber Pole Creek, was a real gem of a find. It was a larger stream than I had anticipated at the point I made entry.
Limber Pole Creek. Looking upstream from the trail crossing, Limber Pole forks right while an unspecified stream forks left.
I worked downstream from this location, as was really surprised to find that it wasn’t nearly as rhododendron choked as I had envisioned, on the way down. With that being the case, I was able to parallel the creek from the bank, and cherry pick a few of the better looking holes. There was no shortage of potential snags, and traditional fly casting was off limits for the most part, but not fighting through rhodo thickets was a nice change. Still nothing doing in the catching department, but there were definitely several places I want to go back to when the time is right to drift a little parachute Adams.
Small falls on the Limber Pole
On the bright side, freezing line and reels weren’t an issue on Saturday. I seem to struggle to catch fish anytime those freezing type conditions prevail. The wild trout especially, appear to really shut down during those times, but it was nice to get in some water and give them a shot at least.
There are several more streams in that general area that require some scouting in the future. Hopefully the catching part will improve as Spring approaches. If nothing else, as a consolation both Saturday and Sunday were excellent days to be outside. Still a little chilly, but tolerable for sure. I fished mostly a #16 hare’s ear nymph with a small Copper John or an Owl Jones zebra midge dropped behind it.
On the bright side, Saturday was about as Bluebird a day as you could ask for.