Not a cloud in the sky on a beautifully crisp Friday afternoon in Blue Ridge. All fueled up from an awesome lunch at Angelina’s Deli and now we’re headed out of town and off to the mountains. It’s going to be about a 20-minute drive, so kick back and enjoy the nostalgic scenery as we travel to the heart of the Aska Adventure Area. Normally, this would be a window’s down type of ride, but not so much today as it’s in the mid 40’s. Click here for current Blue Ridge weather. We’ve come prepared, though, as our wardrobe has us looking and feeling like true mountain adventurers. Don’t forget to double up your socks or use wool, waders & water boots only help so much once you step foot in these crystal clear winter waters.
As we roll past sprawling farms full of grazing deer, geese, and other lively animals that are guest to the livestock who normally roam these fields, you realize how quickly you’ve been submersed into the all-natural way of life the locals are accustomed to. You might want to go ahead and send that last text message right about now because Mother Nature is about to turn your phone off for you. It’s almost as if she knows. This isn’t the time to have your face buried in your phone!
We finally come cruising up to our destination, Fly Fishing North Georgia! You’ve probably been too busy gawking out of the window at the “as pretty as a picture” scenery the North Georgia Mountains offer. The place doesn’t look like much upon first sight, but believe me, don’t second guess yourself! If you’re used to city living, at this point, you might be a little nervous not knowing what to expect. You’re about to meet some of the friendliest guides to ever grace the Noontootla Creek. We were greeted on the front porch quickly by Hunter, owner and guide, (probably because he heard us pull into the gravel parking lot), our guide for the day, with a big smile and a welcoming hand shake. As soon as we opened the door to their “office”, my senses were pleasantly surprised by a surge of hot off the wood stove potatoes and venison cooked on a cast iron skillet. We unknowingly interrupted lunch which was no problem at all, as we were offered to get us a plate of our own. After a quick waiver release and some small talk, we were on our way to the “honey holes”.
Now, I’m not going to lie to you. I live here and even I was pretty nervous. I’ve never been an avid fisherman although I really like it. But this is fly fishing and everything I thought I knew about it painted a pretty challenging picture. Hunter had already arranged everything! “What size boot do you wear?” “91/2” “Put these on” along with the waders they let you use. “Here you go Nic, you’ll be using this fly rod today” (the fly was pink). So there I was. About to presumably embarrass myself in front of Hunter, a 30-year experienced veteran, and my boss. Hey, a bad day fishing is better than a day at work, right? We started off down the path to the Noontootla Creek while the brisk mountain air filled my soul. As we get closer, you can hear the cascading waters rolling over the rocks. There’s just something about moving water that makes you feel soothed and stress free from the fast-paced life we’re used to racing. Hunter picks out our first spot, and we head in!
Within a few minutes of Hunter’s guidance and showing me the ins and outs of fly fishing, I was casting my first line. This isn’t so bad, I thought. He could methodically predict my next mistake and had me take corrective action on the spot as if he had been doing this for years. I have to say, this isn’t nearly as difficult as I anticipated it to be. Matter of fact, I was thoroughly enjoying myself from the get-go! Hunter was very encouraging, and never showed any signs of frustration when repeatedly having to show me the correct rod starting position (11 o’clock Nic!!). I’m still not cold and already having a great time learning this new and exciting sport! So far, no luck on The Kraken, so we decide to move downstream and try another location.
The sun is still glistening beautifully off the ever-flowing creek as we head in again. Hunter continues to work with me, perfecting my cast and “mending” skills. I’m feeling like a natural at this point, letting loose some pretty confident cast. That’s where our guide steps in and slows my roll, as I was subliminally starting to create a bad habit. His insight and experience are impeccable as he notices even the slightest variations in the motions. I guarantee Fly Fishing North GA guides can make an angler out of anyone! We’re starting to get some bites, but still no cigar. Time move again! (Still not cold!)
As the late afternoon blue sky takes on a new blue hue, we head to one of the final locations hunting The Big One. Hunter points out where our best shot will be, and we head in again. This time, Hunter stays back and supervises from afar. I find myself engrossed in deep thought, casting over and over again, thinking to myself how nice this has been being able to be one with nature in the Appalachian Mountains fishing for a prized trophy rainbow trout. YANK! WHOA! “HUNTER I THINK I….” got one on the line. Here we go. My heart starts beating out of my chest as Hunter comes rushing up to help direct how to land this bad boy. He quickly starts guiding me what to do, as the fish tugs and bolts in all directions, but he certainly isn’t going to help me catch it. I’m on my own in that department. I start to see the “flashes” of the fish as it comes near the surface.
It’s a big one. I’m trying to stay calm while simultaneously listening to instructions. 5 minutes in, heart beating, heavy breathing, hands shaking, still no luck. It’s a big fight and at this point I’m worried about it getting away. Hunter’s calming but confident instructions helped keep my head in the game as he warned still a few more minutes of fight left. About the time I get him almost close enough to net, he jets off again. Patience and a steady hand. After another hour of dramatic angling (In my recollection, anyway) and Hunter’s swift scoop with the net, I got em’!
Fly Fishing North Georgia has a little something for everyone. From novice fisherman and fisherwoman, to experienced anglers hunting that trophy trout and everything in between, you’re sure to get the experience of a lifetime. Call today and one of our expert agents would be happy to match you with the perfect cabin with Southern Comfort Cabin Rentals paired with an outing with Fly Fishing North Georgia! We hope to see you soon in beautiful Blue Ridge in the North Georgia Mountains! You’ll be hooked!
Courtesy of Guest Blogger: Nic Seibert