Road Trips Good for the Soul

Cathey and I decided Wednesday this past week that we wanted to go back and visit Ellijay Georgia where we live for a short time over 30 years ago. It is a small mountain town located in northwest Georgia. Ellijay is known as the apple capital of Georgia. We picked this weekend to make the trip because of the huge apple festival and craft show taking place there. We left Friday morning and made a detour through a few areas in Alabama we hadn’t visited before driving to the festival. The trip really brought back some fond memories of when we were younger and our daughter was two and our son six; how fast time passes.

First stop on our journey was Little River Canyon in northwest Alabama. This plaque was at the entrance of the River Falls explaining the plight of the Cherokee Indians who inhabited the area when Hernando De Soto explored the region.

In 1838 and 1839, as part of Andrew Jackson’s Indian removal policy, the Cherokee nation was forced to give up its lands east of the Mississippi River and to migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma. The Cherokee people called this journey the “Trail of Tears,” because of its devastating effects

  The 45 foot Little RiverCanyon falls at the base of the canyon. The Little River runs through the canyon and has numerous smaller falls throughout the canyon.
The river below the falls flowing at the base of the canyon, it will be stocked with rainbow trout in December. The trout will survive through the winter months.  

These are the De Soto Falls in the De Soto State Park north of Little River Canyon.

This is the main De Soto Fall in the De Soto State Park north of Little River Canyon. Sorry I didn’t take this image; my image had too much glare to post, so I am using a Google image of the fall. This is the highest water fall in the state of Alabama located directly below the upper falls, absolutely beautiful area.

I can’t believe we have water falls like this in Alabama

Cathey and I decided Wednesday this past week that we wanted to go back and visit Ellijay Georgia where we live for a short time over 30 years ago. It is a small mountain town located in northwest Georgia. Ellijay is known as the apple capital of Georgia. We picked this weekend to make the trip because of the huge apple festival and craft show taking place there. We left Friday morning and made a detour through a few areas in Alabama we hadn’t visited before driving to the festival. The trip really brought back some fond memories of when we were younger and our daughter was two and our son six; how fast time passes.
First stop on our journey was Little River Canyon in northwest Alabama. This plaque was at the entrance of the River Falls explaining the plight of the Cherokee Indians who inhabited the area when Hernando De Soto explored the region.
In 1838 and 1839, as part of Andrew Jackson's Indian removal policy, the Cherokee nation was forced to give up its lands east of the Mississippi River and to migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma. The Cherokee people called this journey the "Trail of Tears," because of its devastating effects

  The 45 foot Little RiverCanyon falls at the base of the canyon. The Little River runs through the canyon and has numerous smaller falls throughout the canyon.
The river below the falls flowing at the base of the canyon, it will be stocked with rainbow trout in December. The trout will survive through the winter months.  
These are the De Soto Falls in the De Soto State Park north of Little River Canyon.
This is the main De Soto Fall in the De Soto State Park north of Little River Canyon. Sorry I didn’t take this image; my image had too much glare to post, so I am using a Google image of the fall. This is the highest water fall in the state of Alabama located directly below the upper falls, absolutely beautiful area.
I can't believe we have water falls like this in Alabama

Fishing High Water on The Sipsey

Fishing a tailrace can always be an adventure especially if you fish one that has unpredictable generation. Tuesday was that day, where I thought I had the generation time exact, but upon arriving at the waters edge I discovered otherwise. I should have known when I drove up to the parking lot and no one was there that something wasn’t right. I never fish this place alone; but this morning I would have the Sipsey all to myself. The water was higher than I have ever fished the Sipsey. No turning back for me today, I was determined to fish and fish I did. 

The road to the first access point was just about covered with the leaves from some of the tress lining the road. It is so beautiful this time of year around the tailrace. We had a light rain the night before and I could still smell the wet leaves.

The food plots along the road are in full growth now and the deer have already started to graze on the clover. I was hoping one would be near the plot but all I saw were some butterflies feeding on the clover blooms.
As I stepped off the last step at access 6 I encountered a foot of water. All the rocks you see in this image are always void of water when the generators are off. The area I was going to fish was the deep channel off the edge of the rocks. There was a fairly fast current in all the rock areas that I waded through to get to all the spots I wanted to fish. No rises, at all so dries were not the option.
If there is a plus for me fishing high water on the Sipsey; it has to be its beauty with the fast ripples, swift current and super clear water. I remember a time last year fishing high water here, and my selection of flies then were nymphs and soft hackles. With the water moving fast I knew I wanted to fish a pattern that would get the attention of the trout quickly, so color was the first choice, forget hatch nothing there on the surface or in the air.

This little gem would be my first choice in a bright orange. I haven’t fished a scud in a while here so today was my chance to see if this bright color could attract. I knew the trout would have only a few seconds to see the fly before it was swept down stream from view. The water in the channel where I was going to fish was actually 5 to 6 feet deep, so I was hoping the trout was closer to the top, than down on the bottom. To drop the fly a little deeper I added a weight 6” above the scud.

My first rainbow of the morning, after endless casting in the fast moving water; this rainbow inhaled the scud and decided to leave the deep channel and head to the shallows. I decided not to use an indicator and just let the fly swing through the current with a slow retrieve. This would be my lone trout this morning, with my new found scud friend. I’m not complaining when one can fish a beautiful place like the Sipsey on a early fall morning. I’m planning on spending a lot of time on the Sipsey in the coming months; I hope you guys don’t get bored with my repeated trips.



Fishing a tailrace can always be an adventure especially if you fish one that has unpredictable generation. Tuesday was that day, where I thought I had the generation time exact, but upon arriving at the waters edge I discovered otherwise. I should have known when I drove up to the parking lot and no one was there that something wasn’t right. I never fish this place alone; but this morning I would have the Sipsey all to myself. The water was higher than I have ever fished the Sipsey. No turning back for me today, I was determined to fish and fish I did. 
The road to the first access point was just about covered with the leaves from some of the tress lining the road. It is so beautiful this time of year around the tailrace. We had a light rain the night before and I could still smell the wet leaves.
The food plots along the road are in full growth now and the deer have already started to graze on the clover. I was hoping one would be near the plot but all I saw were some butterflies feeding on the clover blooms.
As I stepped off the last step at access 6 I encountered a foot of water. All the rocks you see in this image are always void of water when the generators are off. The area I was going to fish was the deep channel off the edge of the rocks. There was a fairly fast current in all the rock areas that I waded through to get to all the spots I wanted to fish. No rises, at all so dries were not the option.
If there is a plus for me fishing high water on the Sipsey; it has to be its beauty with the fast ripples, swift current and super clear water. I remember a time last year fishing high water here, and my selection of flies then were nymphs and soft hackles. With the water moving fast I knew I wanted to fish a pattern that would get the attention of the trout quickly, so color was the first choice, forget hatch nothing there on the surface or in the air.
This little gem would be my first choice in a bright orange. I haven’t fished a scud in a while here so today was my chance to see if this bright color could attract. I knew the trout would have only a few seconds to see the fly before it was swept down stream from view. The water in the channel where I was going to fish was actually 5 to 6 feet deep, so I was hoping the trout was closer to the top, than down on the bottom. To drop the fly a little deeper I added a weight 6” above the scud.
My first rainbow of the morning, after endless casting in the fast moving water; this rainbow inhaled the scud and decided to leave the deep channel and head to the shallows. I decided not to use an indicator and just let the fly swing through the current with a slow retrieve. This would be my lone trout this morning, with my new found scud friend. I'm not complaining when one can fish a beautiful place like the Sipsey on a early fall morning. I’m planning on spending a lot of time on the Sipsey in the coming months; I hope you guys don’t get bored with my repeated trips.


Driftwood Abundant on Waterways This Time of Year

This is the time of the year on Smith Lake one can find some really nice pieces of driftwood.  The lake is being pulled down now and driftwood is scattered all along its banks. Cathey and I like to place different pieces of the wood in our yard. It adds character to areas in the yard that need a little pick me up. We’ve had pieces in our yard for years that hasn’t deteriorated with age.

This huge pine stump was taken from the shoreline on Smith a couple of years ago with the help of my son-in-law. We got some strange looks at the boat dock when we motored up with this thing resting on the back deck of the bass boat. The top of the stump is buried in the ground more than a foot deep.
A different size cypress stump sitting up right

I found this cedar stump a few weeks ago buried in a sandbar along one of the shorelines. Very unusual to have the inside hollowed out. The tree had been cut years ago.

Using rock along side the driftwood adds to the landscaping

This is a piece of poplar driftwood that I found in the Blackhills of South Dakota on our recent trip there. Every piece that I have shown you here in this post has a memory.

 

 

 

 

 



This is the time of the year on Smith Lake one can find some really nice pieces of driftwood.  The lake is being pulled down now and driftwood is scattered all along its banks. Cathey and I like to place different pieces of the wood in our yard. It adds character to areas in the yard that need a little pick me up. We’ve had pieces in our yard for years that hasn’t deteriorated with age.
This huge pine stump was taken from the shoreline on Smith a couple of years ago with the help of my son-in-law. We got some strange looks at the boat dock when we motored up with this thing resting on the back deck of the bass boat. The top of the stump is buried in the ground more than a foot deep.
A different size cypress stump sitting up right
I found this cedar stump a few weeks ago buried in a sandbar along one of the shorelines. Very unusual to have the inside hollowed out. The tree had been cut years ago.
Using rock along side the driftwood adds to the landscaping
This is a piece of poplar driftwood that I found in the Blackhills of South Dakota on our recent trip there. Every piece that I have shown you here in this post has a memory.