This is a sad story, but if you had a bad day, probably my story will make you feel better. It is a good lesson to me, and I would like to share with FF friends.
Me and my fishing buddie Denny planned a trip to fish some mountain creek in Northern Georgia- it’s close to blue ridge mountain (part of the Appalachian mountain ridge). He scheduled a day off from work and I was in the spring break from school. Our plan was drive up to Atlanta city to get some great Japanese food, keep heading north after dinner, stay in a motel and fish next day. The place we were heading is a very mountainous area governing by Nature Conservation Unit, GA. They open to public every Weds, Sat. and Sunday. It’s a public water, artificial, C&F only. This place is great for trout fishing (easy access, gem clear water) and the scenery are beautiful. They manage it as a wild trophy trout area. In order to achieve higher fishing quality, you need to make a reservation before you go, 15 people a day, and 3 days of a week. The trout are huge (bows and browns), no kidding, 24-27” are normal, 5-6” are common, 16-18” are rare. Mountainous gem clear water and lot’s of wary trout (I made this reservation 2 months ago). The fish is truly wild type and beautiful.
We started the trip on the Tuesday afternoon, loaded up totally 7 rods and 5 reel and tons of flies… I don’t know what were we thinking…maybe just too excited about this water… On the I 85 high way toward the Atlanta, hit the rush hour, the traffic was in a good size, 4 lane one direction, we were talk about fishing all the way, had a great time. Just right before entering the city, I realize a white car approach me and getting too close, actually she was hiding on my right side (dead spot), after I realized her approach, I still keep straight forward try not to change any direction… 2 seconds later, I heard BANG, my car started to shake, at 70 MPH. I lost my control, veer toward right lane and hit another red bull car, both of us start to spin, I thought we were going roll… because my car kept sliding 45 degree from the road. Another BANG, I hit the sidewall and the car gradually stop on the roadside. Me and my friend had seatbelts on. I am totally fine (no thing really hurt), but Denny absorb some of the power on his right shoulder. He bent over for few minutes. He was OK… just like get smashed by somebody, he told me with funny facial appearance. It was a big mess…my car was totaled, but the good thing is no body really get injured. Police officer came, two witnesses stopby and help us out. They told me the situation could be worse. Because he was driving a tank truck behind me, at that moment he though he will run all over this.
A tow truck give us a ride to a junk yard, somehow we thought there are nothing we can do at this moment. We decided keep going, as we planned. I called a yellowcab, ride to the Atlanta airport just nearby. We rent a car, loaded up all our gear and head to our reserved motel. The other day was a bright sunny spring day. Gorgeous! I pretty much pretending not thing happened last night. Geared up and checked in with an officer in the conservation area. Denny took aspirin in that morning and he want hit the fly shop first to get his fishing license. I started with two flies rig. Split shot-6”- Egg pattern-8”- crayfish pattern- The creek is gem clear and fish are tremendous wary… pretty much I am crawling with my arms and knees, hiding behind bushes and try to make a ghost cast. Few casts later I got some 5-6” fingerling on, but the barbless hook were quick released from these fish. I was using high sticking with a mixtured pulling downstream tech (Czech nymphing). (Indicators were more likely to put them down in this creek.)
Move to another pool, the water looks just right, I cast to the head of the pool, leading my flies down stream, a short pause I set the hook. A nice bow was on. He took the egg pattern. It was a pretty good looking buck, have few jumps, zigzagging, gave me a really good fight in this tiny creek. Denny had some little 5 inchers hook up, took yellowstone nymphs (#14). It looks like I had a better luck with these eggs. Actually I just read an article that was interviewing a trout professor Dr. Robert Behnke in Colorado state university. He used “high energy gain/per unit” perspective to explain why trout can not resist the egg attraction. I am surely happy to prove that! We then, moved up to a dead log pool. The water was two feet deep, (this time was Denny’s turn) few roll casts later, he got no response but hooked up the log. While he was trying to rescue his flies (egg), I saw a huge 20-23” monster dart out and dart in on that hole. Well, it was too late to know…
We moved up stream to and keep fishing these tub size holes. I got some 5-6” but they were too lively to keep them on a barbless hook. Around noon, we had been fishing for 3 hours, I saw a pretty good run, I sneaked up and position myself just on the tail of the run and a sideway pool. First cast, let the flies drift about two feet, I set the hook by instinct, saw a white flash in the pool, few head shakes later, this thing just bounced around from rock to rock, it is a great looking buck. I have to say these fish really familiar with the streambed topography. After landing this trout, I am kind of released from all the built up pressure. We decided to get back our real world, head home and deal with this messy car accident. Later, back to my house, Denny said “this could be a better trip”. Well, I guess this is the true life. No body lives in the perfect world. So, I guess I will take it and deal with it.