Friday, January 8, 2016

Less Traveled Waters

I admit that I tend to gravitate toward delayed harvest trout waters this time of year. Because of heavy stockings and the catch-and-release requirement, the fish are normally there, and sections of several rivers are sufficiently familiar that it's easy to set a plan. I'm far from alone in that, though, and those same waters get a lot of attention.

Yesterday Asher and decided to fish well upstream of the delayed harvest section of the Chattooga River, mostly because the river was still quite high from this winter's rains, and I felt like the character of the upstream section was better suited for wading along the edges. It's also a section that holds a lot of brown trout that are typically tough to catch, and I thought that high flows on a dark January day might make the browns a little feistier than normal.

Both things turned out to be true, which of course is a good thing, but an added benefit was that we never saw anyone else in the river. Once pair of backpacking anglers were unloading their car when we were, and we saw their campsite and passed them on the trail once. We also greeted one solo angler who was gearing up as we walked from the car to the river. No one in the river, though, and we worked about a mile upstream and fished for probably six hours.

I guess I can't say this for certain because I wasn't there, but I'll bet it wasn't that way in the DH section, even with the high flows. I wasn't really thinking about getting away from crowds when I picked our spots, but I have to say that it was refreshing, and I'm going to be more intentional about thinking about some of those "other waters" for future cool-season outings.

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