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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks everybody for your advice regarding DH fishing. It was much appreciated. I started off yesterday at the Mitchell River. I knew it would get crowded quickly, but I had no idea that I would arrive at day break and there would already be 10-15 vehicles parked. Definitely made me test my fish locating ability, as every obvious pool already had an established resident.

I went probably 2 hours before my first fish, but I managed to find a couple of less noticeable holes that had multiple fish. Surprisingly, several pods of fish I encountered were spooky, like they had already learned that humans=sore mouths. My first fish came on your standard prince nymph fished under a stimulator. Catching that fish scared up every fish in the pool, so I spent another hour looking for an unoccupied piece of water.

I found a pool way upstream that a guy had just walked over, and decided it might be worth a shot. It took a good 5 minutes to figure out exactly how the fish wanted the nymph, but once I put it on the money, I had 10 fish in hand from that one pool. Though there were more fish there, they eventually caught on and stopped biting. I moved on in hopes that I could return later, but when I came back, it was occupied. I fished for a little while longer, caught a couple more apparent loners, and decided it was lunch time and time for a change of venues.

So I packed up, ate up, and headed to Stone Mountain State Park. It was a lot less crowded at the park, but from what I could tell, the fish seemed to have not been distributed nearly as well. Large obvious polls were thick with fish, and not a one could be seen much less caught in any of the less obvious places. Per a little advice I got from someone leaving when I arrived, I hunkered down in one long stretch of fairly slow moving water and fished to a group of 20-30 trout until nearly sunset. I had to keep changing my nymphs to keep them interested, but I caught trout after trout and even managed a couple on top with a foam ant. At one point I just stopped fishing and watched the fish play, rise, and chase each other around. It ain't often that I get to see fish interact like that.

All in all, it was a great day. I ended up catching 20+ and had one of my best days ever trout fishing. Just a few things that I took away from today:

1. Stocked fish are pretty stupid relatively speaking, but they are not trained to search out and take your fly. You still have to locate the fish and drift the fly in front of their face in order to get a bite.

2. If you fish DH waters right after stocking, keep in mind that the fish take time to distribute. You likely won't find a fish in even the prettiest of riffles. The fish seem to be kind of lazy or not adept at sitting in even moderate current. Look for deep pools and slower water.

3. Stocked fish can be picky, especially those that are rising. The majority of the people I ran into that had gotten frustrated by the fish had been lured into dry fly fishing when they started noticing the fish rising. I was able to pick off a couple that I saw rise, but I also made a perfect drift right in front of a few rising fish that couldn't have cared less about my fly.

4. Don't leave biting fish to find fish. If you're able to catch a fish, stay put. He likely has 10 more buddies sitting there waiting for tasty meal. If you catch a couple and they stop biting, switch up flies. That was a crucial mistake I made on my most productive hole of the day. I moved on when they stopped biting the fly I had tied on instead of switching flies, and it cost me my spot. Knowing what I know now, I probably could've coaxed 5-10 more fish out of that hole.

5. The most important thing I learned yesterday was to not be afraid to talk to other anglers. My experience yesterday reassured me that fly fishermen are some of the best people on earth. Nearly everybody I talked to was not only cordial, but very willing to help me out and give me info that ultimately led me to catch many of the fish I caught. One guy even insisted on giving me one of the flies he had been catching fish on.

Thanks again to those who offered me advice, especially Richard (Chiefly Flyin). I really appreciate it and I try to pay it forward whenever I can. I don't often get to trout fish, but when I do, it's nice to know there are people like NCangler folks who love the sport enough to share their knowledge with people they've never met face to face.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Kev, that's exactly what I thought too. It was the only one I caught that looked more trout than char. I was really surprised at how colorful the fish were. The stocker bows I've caught in the past were a lot more dull than wild fish.

Chiefly Fly'n, nearly every fish I saw caught were brookies. I talked to a few people who caught browns, and I scared off a massive brown when I caught my first fish. That fish was easily 16-18". Never heard of or saw any bows being caught.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Seems like in stone mountain state park they only stocked brookies. Caught 55 in 2.5 days.
I know they stocked at least one. The guy that clued me in to the spot I caught all my fish in said that he caught a nice brown a little ways upstream of the old church on an egg pattern.
 

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I went there on Sunday, not to fish, but to show someone the waterfall on Stone Mountain....

Coming back, we stopped at a roadside pull off, and looked into the creek.... 3 trout in a pool 20 feet away.

Shockingly, I had my 2 ultralight spinning rods in the back of my car... I set one up with a tube jig, and the other with some kind of dry fly on a casting bubble. I left one rod in the car while I used the other (don't want to get in trouble).

Apparently even stupid hatchery raised trout are MUCH smarter than I am. I didn't even obviously scare them, but none of the trout wanted anything to do with the brown tube jig or the dry fly....
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I went there on Sunday, not to fish, but to show someone the waterfall on Stone Mountain....

Coming back, we stopped at a roadside pull off, and looked into the creek.... 3 trout in a pool 20 feet away.

Shockingly, I had my 2 ultralight spinning rods in the back of my car... I set one up with a tube jig, and the other with some kind of dry fly on a casting bubble. I left one rod in the car while I used the other (don't want to get in trouble).

Apparently even stupid hatchery raised trout are MUCH smarter than I am. I didn't even obviously scare them, but none of the trout wanted anything to do with the brown tube jig or the dry fly....
Haha. From what I gathered from the locals, those fish you saw had probably each been caught 3 times already. That's why I went on the first day after stocking, and I was still barely able to outsmart a few.
 
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