Monday, January 9, 2017

Monday Morning Coffee- January 9, 2017

Hhheerrrrgggggppphhhttt!Yawn, stretch, scratch, repeat- it's Monday once again, so let's have some coffee.

Well, I woke up to a leaky faucet this morning that flooded part of the kitchen floor and cabinets. Not a huge deal, just a result of running the tap all night. One of those times you wished things just worked. The connections are tight, and it didn't freeze up. It's just a crappy faucet with leaky seals. Lesson learned.

Other than that we survived the Blizzard of '17. We had a dusting of snow here at Daisy Hill Farm, but they got more at higher elevations in Georgia. Schools are closed today because of the cold and threat of black ice. If you're from further north it's easy to chuckle about this, but they don't get enough snow here to warrant a fleet of plow/salt trucks, kids don't have warm enough coats to stand outside waiting on a bus, and buildings are designed with cooling in mind and not heating, so I guess I'll cut the Southerners some slack for what can seem like an over-reaction to a little weather.

I did get to go fishing Friday with Louis Cahill of Gink and Gasoline. Any time I get out fishing with him is a good time, and Friday did not disappoint. We caught lots of fish and had fun. I really needed the outing. Louis took what I assumed were great pics only to discover halfway through the day that he hadn't put a card in the camera. Rookie.

We may have stumbled on a new pattern for a good day. What you need is cold weather, a recent fish stocking, and a winter storm coming in that evening. The stocking means you'll catch fish at the obvious spots, the cold weather means that resident and wild fish will be out and about, and the incoming storm means that all the locals and would be anglers are at the store buying bread and milk. You will have the river all to yourselves like we did. We both caught our Stocker Slam in short order. Louis caught at least one brown of about 15 inches, and I caught two 12 inch brook trout courtesy of South Carolina Fish and Game. It's a good thing my beat up Stimulators resemble pellets.

Louis laying out a nice cast

I don't mean to sound dismissive of the fishing, as it really was a lot of fun, and we caught a number of fish with clean fins, beautiful colors and no marking, meaning they are either resident or wild fish, which always makes my day. Even if every fish was a stocker, it's such a beautiful stream that you can't hate being there, and with such good company we had a great time. When the snow started falling we decided we had better make good our escape, and so we hiked the thirty minutes back out, and by the time we got back to Clayton the snow was starting to stick. I had a mundane drive home, but Louis had to brave the Atlanta traffic, a far more chilling prospect than a little snow and ice. The cold is only supposed to last another day, and by Friday it's supposed to be 70 degrees again.

Well, my coffee is done, I need some breakfast, and one of my pups has turned into an escape artist, so I have to brave the cold and rebuild a fence. Have a great week, tie some flies or wet a line if you get the chance.

Let's get after it.

buried to the rafters
Gratuitous fish pic
how I started my day

Monday, January 2, 2017

Monday Morning Coffee- Brett Watson Edition

Aaauuuggghhhppppptttt!!! Yawn, stretch, scratch, repeat! It is Monday once again, so let's have some coffee.

As you may have noted, this post is dedicated to my good friend Brett Watson who is stuck in a hospital near Detroit and told me he'd better get some Monday Morning Coffee in lieu of a visit, so here it is. I've only been stuck in a hospital bed overnight once in my life, and it wasn't very restful, so you have my sympathy buddy. Whatever is ailing you (I won't reveal medical info here) I hope you get it licked soon so you can get back out there.

Brett is one of my best friends and fishing buds, and just a great guy to be around. He somehow balances a family, career, business on the side, at one time was prez of his rather large TU chapter, ties awesome flies, and still manages to sneak in what seems to be a disproportionate amount of fishing time.

I met Brett back in 2012. He was part of the 2012 Isle Royale Coaster brook trout trip. We hit it off and have been compadres ever since. I lived Up North, and he lived in Metro Detroit area, but his in-laws have a place about five miles from mine, so he was up to visit a lot.

Brett with a monster

I always liked Brett because it was like fishing with an action figure- Brett Watson, Fly Fisher. Not only does he look good on camera, but he has some chops to go with it. He's a good caster and he out-fishes almost everyone. He is one of those people who is driven to be excellent, and it shows in his flies, his casting, and his catching.

I love it when we get into the boat with our buddy Chris Reister. Chris is always trying to put us on top of the fish, and Brett will always speak up and say "Leave it right here, bud, I think I can make it" and then he'll make some impossible cast and drift and catch the fish. He's also one of those irritating guys who is always posting a pic of a 30" brown trout he caught out of some ditch no one else thought to fish.


Brett is the driving force behind Confluence Boatworks which makes two and three person rafts for fly fishing, and has since become part of the Stealthcraft line of boats. I've fished quite a bit out of them and love them. They are very carefully designed by someone who fishes a lot and it shows. I'm not really trying to write an infomercial here; I can just say that they are good boats, and an example of what happens when a driven, busy person puts his or her mind to something.

the three amigos

Well, I got out yesterday to check out the fire damage on the upper Tallulah, and Coleman rivers. It was nice to get out and hike. Yes, everything burned, and it cleared out most of the understory, but the bigger trees are intact and even a lot of the rhododendrons are still alive. Still, it was sobering to see the moss burned off of the rocks, and the burned out husks of dead standing timber. The rivers don't seem to care and the fish are still there. Fire doesn't bother nature nearly as much as mankind. I feel bad for the people of Gatlinburg and others who lost life and property in the fires, but nature will be just fine.

Well hopefully I'll get out and fish at least once this week and have something to share. Brett- speedy recovery to you my friend. There's a bunch of steelhead out there with your name on them. That time we went out for a Hex hatch that didn't, and I stepped into the river and floated my hat- we'll keep that between us.

I'm out of coffee and it's time to get some things done.

Let's get after it. I'll leave you with some pics from the Coleman fire.