Monday, February 03, 2014

Stolen Hours

Good Evening Folks,
  I was finally able to squeeze in a few hours of fly fishing this weekend. I was hoping to walk up river from the McGinnis Ferry boat ramp. Unfortunately the county has installed a fence with no trespassing signs running right up to the riverbank. I moved over to fish a very familiar stretch of Suwanee Creek instead. I was skunked again, but it sure was nice to fish for a bit. I listened to a Rob Snowhite podcast on water access rights last week, then coming across that sign on Sunday makes me want to do some research on Georgia's access laws. I'll write up a post on it as soon as I get enough research done. 
  I hope you're all doing well. 
     Tight lines and Happy fishing,

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Burger and a Show.

Good Morning Folks!
The snow from overnight.
  I'm afraid I haven't been fishing in a while now, and it's starting to wear on me!  I'm going to have to get out soon, even if its just for a few minutes!  I heard from a friend of mine in Lubbock, Texas that our snowstorm here in Atlanta has hit the national news this week.  We woke up this morning to about 2" of snow on the ground, 12° temps and ice on all the roadways.  So, I guess I won't be fishing this week, either.
Doe tracks on the front walkway, about 10' from the font door!

  On Sunday the Little Girl and I drove down to Jonesboro, on the south side of Atlanta, to attend the Atlanta Camping and RV Show.  It was a huge show and we're very glad we got to go.  It made for a fun day out.  I'm afraid the name of the show mislead me a bit.  With a name like "Camping and RV Show" I expected RV's and camping equipment.  The show had plenty of RV's, I think there were five or six local dealerships with lots of RV's on display, but they were there to sell RV's not show them.  The big surprise (and disappointment) for me was the lack of camping gear.  I was really hoping to see some tents and sleeping bags, backpacks and cooking gear, flashlights and water filters, but there was nothing!  There was one booth selling RV accessories, a couple insurance companies and a few hawkers with clothes steamers and kitchen knives.  There was very little information listed on the show's website, so I guess I had formulated my own idea of what it was going to be before we got there.  It was a lot of fun to check out the half-a-million dollar motor homes and all the different size and style travel trailers.  But even the tear drops (which I love!) on display were too heavy for my little SUV to tow.  The best part of the show for me were the campground booths near the entrance.  I was able to pick up the new Georgia State Park book, the Alabama State Park book, the KOA Kampgrounds directory and even a Yogi Bear's Jelli Stone Park flyer (I didn't know they were still in existence!).  So the show wasn't a total loss, the Little Girl and I always have fun on our day trip outings.
The Philly Cheese Burger from Burger21.
The Ale & Cheese fries. This sauce would be great on ANYTHING!!!
  The highlight of the day was where we stopped for lunch!  We had some errands to run up by the Mall of Georgia  and we decided to check out a newer hamburger joint for some lunch.  We had heard it was good, but never really heard much more about it.  The place is called Burger21 and when we walked in I was afraid it was one of those places that was trying way too hard to be trendy.  The burger combinations on the menu sounded awesome and the promise of organic angus beef always gets me excited.  When we got our food (order at the counter, they bring it to your table) I was stunned that my hamburger was actually cooked the way I ordered it!  That seems to be becoming a rarity around here. They had loads of different sauces to add to your burger or fries, but we opted for the Ale & Cheese fries, a beer and cheddar dipping sauce with bacon and green onions!  I got the Philly Cheese Burger with sauteed onions and peppers, provolone cheese and a horseradish sauce.  I was pleasantly surprised with how good it was!  The Little Girl got a Turkey Cobb burger which was also good (I have a problem with calling anything that isn't ground beef or bison a "burger" though), juicy and well seasoned.  The toasted brioche buns were soft and tender and a great compliment to the sandwiches.  On the way out we got a Double Espresso Shake from the shake bar in the dining room.  This was the smoothest shake with the strongest coffee flavor that I have had in a long time! 
  Hopefully I'll be able to get out and do some fishing soon, or at least have a chance to get some flies tied up.  Either way, I'm going to try to be a bit more regular with my blog posts.
  I hope you're all doing well, staying safe and warm wherever you are.
     Tight lines and happy fishing!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Quote for the Day

31st President of the United States Herbert Hoover.  Fly fisherman, pipe smoker and engineer.

"To go fishing is the chance to wash one's soul with pure air, with the rush of the brook, or with the shimmer of sun on blue water. It brings meekness and inspiration from the decency of nature, charity toward tackle-makers, patience toward fish, a mockery of profits and egos, a quieting of hate, a rejoicing that you do not have to decide a darned thing until next week. And it is discipline in the equality of men - for all men are equal before fish."
~ Herbert Hoover 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Taking on Tallulah: A Thanksgiving Tradition

Evenin' Folks,
  I can't believe it's been over a month since my last post!  I hope you're all doing well, and I'll try not to go so long again without some kind of blog post.  When I last posted I was getting ready for my final exams of the semester and preparing for my family to arrive for Thanksgiving.  Well, I made it through my exams and survived another turkey day.  I haven't been able to go fishing since the last time I posted, seems like every time I get the chance it rains and the streams flood their banks, I have done a few other fun things, though.
  My Dad and I have started  a tradition of hiking the day after Thanksgiving, it helps to work off some of that big meal.  This year we decided to hike the stairs at Tallulah Gorge State Park.  The gorge reaches almost 1,000 feet deep, stretches close to two miles long, encompasses six separate waterfalls and is considered one of Georgia's Seven Natural Wonders.  The state park has over 2,700 acres with more than 50 campsites, 63 acre lake with a beach, the Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center and Museum and more than 20 miles of hiking and biking trails both around the gorge rim and leading down to the floor.  Access to the gorge floor requires a free permit (available in the Interpretive Center, only 100 per day) and is occasionally closed due to high water from dam releases or rain.  The day we were there the floor was closed.
  Dad and I opted to hike both rim trails and down the stairs to the gorge platform, the furthest into the gorge you can go without a permit.  This works out to a bit over three miles and right around 1200 stairs.  By working the trails into a loop this way you get multiple viewpoints of each of the waterfalls, awesome views of the Tallulah River in the gorge, the dam and remnants of the Great Wallenda's high wire tower.
  If you ever get the chance to go to Tallulah Falls, I highly recommend it.  This area was a huge tourist attraction during the Victorian Era and it still holds a great deal of appeal today.  We have the campground on the list to stay at in the spring so I'll be able to give more information about that then and staying there will give me an opportunity to fly fish the Tallulah River.  I'll finish this post again with pictures, but you really should visit Tallulah Gorge in person to appreciate it's history and beauty.
  Tight Lines and Happy Fishing,

The Persistant Trillium. This rare flower is the reason for the limited floor permits.
Photo from the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The first look into the gorge.

A view of the cliffs.

The 80 foot suspension bridge coming into view.
A view from the bridge.

Dad checking out the cables.  I think it'll hold both of us!

The same view as earlier, but from the bridge.

The gorge walls.

Looking down on the lowest platform and the gorge floor.

The trail map, posted at the lowest platform.

Hurricane Falls seen from the lowest platform.

To hike the gorge floor you have to rock hop across the river here.

Dad on the ascent from the floor.  That's a lot of stairs!

Looking down from the South Rim Trail.

I should have recorded which water fall is in each picture.  I'm still learning with every blog post!

Another incredible view into the gorge.

A view out over the gorge from the stone picnic shelter.

The highway with the dam beyond.  The rest of the water flow for the river comes from the hydroelectric spillway.

What remains of the tower from the Great Walenda's high wire crossing of the gorge.

The trail continues on straight here, but, as the sign says, a permit is required.
A stunning view from inspiration point.  Dad's sunglasses are down there somewhere!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Frogtown Creek Trout Stream Pics

Evenin' Folks,
  I've been awfully busy with work and school lately, so not a whole lot of time for fishing or blogging.  I fished Frogtown Creek again for a few hours a week ago or so, and  caught one small rainbow out of a nice little pool.  I just thought I'd share a few pictures from the day with you, if you follow me on any social media you've probably seen them already. 
  Hope you're all doing well.
  Tight lines and happy fishing,

Sunday, November 03, 2013

WoodCraft Atlanta's Open House: Hand Crafted Fishing Lures

Evenin' Folks,
  I wasn't really sure if I'd have anything to blog about this weekend.  I spent the whole past week preparing for a couple of tests at school, so fly fishing hasn't been at the forefront of my thoughts.  It's never very far off, though!  I've always had an interest in hand tool woodworking, being the son of a master carpenter, the love of wood was instilled in me at a very early age.  Men like Norm Abrams and Roy Underhill were bigger heroes to me than Wade Boggs and Kirby Puckett.  Most of my working life was spent in construction or a construction related field, so now, working on a computer all day, I've been seeking a creative outlet to work with my hands.  I've been slowly collecting some hand tools lately, preferably vintage, American made tools, to get some small projects underway.  I've got some things in the works, like a fly tying supply organizer, a bench for my patio and a small step stool, but I've been looking for things I can make from wood that are more fishing related.  I decided to try making a presentation fly box.  Not having a scroll or band saw, and preferring hand tools anyway, I've been searching for an acceptable coping saw.  I received a flyer in the mail for an open house at WoodCraft Atlanta and on special, today only, was an English made, wooden handled coping saw that I thought would fit the bill nicely, until a vintage American model can be located.
   The open house proved to be quite popular, the parking lot was almost full when I pulled in before 10:00 this morning.  The store had some great show specials and discounts, including an additional 10% off your purchase if you arrived before 10am (sweet!).  As soon as I walked in I nabbed the last coping saw they had off the shelf and started checking out the demonstrations.
  The list of demonstrations for the day was pretty extensive: offset woodturning, bowl turning, scroll saw use, band saw tuning, hand plane tuning, hand plane use, and decorative inlay.  And those were just the morning demonstrations on Saturday, there were at least as many after noon and also when the show started on Friday.   But, the exhibitor I was most curious to see was Brian Richterkessing, from the Lure Foundry.
  The listing on the flyer only said "Hand made fishing lures", so I really didn't know what I was going to find.  As it turns out, Brian lathe-turns large, hardwood muskie lures following vintage designs and patterns from the 1920's through the 1950's.  These stunning lures are all colored using the various hardwood species.  Brian doesn't use any dies or stains.  As Brian says, these would make great display pieces for the cabin or lake house, but they also catch fish.  Each lure is tuned to match the swim patterns of the vintage lure they're based on.  Brian is even experimenting with different densities of the hardwood to get the lures to swim at different depths!
  When you purchase a lure from the Lure Foundry, it comes packed in  a hand made, hardwood display box padded with burlap.  There is also a multi-lure box if you purchase more than one.  Or the granddaddy of the group, the Ultimate Tacklebox, a hand crafted box that holds a minimum of 24 of these big predator catchers.  If that's not enough for you, the Lure Foundry also crafts wooden rod tubes and traditional style floats with the same care and attention as the lures.
  Brian let me take some pictures of his lures at the open house, so I'll just let them speak for themselves.  If you're interested in seeing more, or in purchasing from the Lure Foundry, you should check out his website,  I hope Brian doesn't mind, he's inspired me to try to make one of these lures for myself.  While at WoodCraft I picked up a couple pieces of hardwood to give luremaking a go.  Keep watching the blog, I'll post some pictures when I get it finished up.
  Tight Lines and Happy Fishing,
A three piece set of vintage style Muskie lures made of Redheart and American Holly.

A finished lure, three blanks, and a box lid in progress.

A single lure in it's presentation box.

The Ultimate Tackle Box, three cedar lures and you can see a rod tube to the left.

Some awesome looking floats in their presentation box.  I may have to try making one of these boxes too!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fly Fishing on Suwanee Creek

Evenin' folks,
 I did a little fishing in Suwanee Creek on Sunday morning. It was a gorgeous morning to be in the stream. It's really starting to feel like autumn here in north Georgia, my favorite time of the year. I didn't catch anything this time out, probably a result of higher than usual water due to recent rain, but it certainly does my disposition some good just getting into the woods. It is fascinating the amount of wildlife to be seen when you consider that this stretch of Suwanee Creek runs between a subdivision and an industrial park.
  I decided to try my hand at filming myself fishing, the quality is not the best from the iPhone, but I thought it turned out reasonably well. I'd like to share the result of the experiment with you here. I'll try to get some better footage next time.
  Until then, Tight Lines and Happy Fishing!