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From the Editor

The VIP Code for message board registration at GRF is grf2007

Creekstalking 101

There are a lot of people out there who want to find rivers and streams to fish but don't know how to go about it. The following is a detailed look at how I went about finding a promising little creek less than an hour from home.

     I have always loved creek fishing. To me, catching a one pound bass from a tiny little flow provides as much satisfaction as catching a five pound bass from a larger one. Don't get me wrong: I love catching big fish, and I always brag about the big ones. There's just something about catching keeper-sized fish from places that everybody overlooks that makes me feel like I've discovered a hidden treasure that is right underneath everyone else's nose.

     My favorite region of Georgia for "creekstalking" is the mountains, with the northwest quadrant of the state edging out northeastern Georgia for the top spot. Middle and South Georgia are great also, but I really enjoy the creeks in the mountains and foothills the best. The water and air temperatures are a little cooler, and I especially enjoy the gurgling streams and the riffle-run-pool pattern typical of these streams. Undoubtedly, there are some folks reading this who could state a strong case for the creeks in their own particular part of the state.

     Back in the day, I'd drive around with a map and upon finding a decent-looking stretch of water I'd hop in and start wading and fishing. I struck out a lot, usually because the creek ended up being a little too small or shallow to grow decent-sized fish. Sometimes, I'd strike out simply because the fish weren't biting. I came to realize, however, that any stream with a few holes that were more than waist-deep was worth a return trip. I've found more than a few great little streams by doing this and each one of them feels like a little pot of gold to me.

     Recently, I stopped to look at a creek I've been driving over for the last twenty years. This creek is in the Piedmont region of northeast Georgia and is in the Oconee River watershed. The bridge I always cross is pretty high and you can't see the water as you drive across. Finally, I pulled over and gave it a look and was shocked to see that it held a pretty good bit of water. I scurried back up to the truck and looked at my Georgia Atlas and Gazetteer (if you don't know what this is, stop reading, Google it, buy one, and then continue reading) and saw that this creek fed another waterway that eventually met up with the Oconee River. I also noticed that there was another bridge a few miles downstream.

     I was in a little bit of a rush at the time so I couldn't do any fishing or further exploring, so I went home and checked out Google Maps on the computer. I've marked below the information I now had available to me just by looking at a map. Now as is customary here at GRF I'm not going to name this little creek, so I've crudely marked out the names of all the landmarks. The point here is to demonstrate the process I use to find a fishing hole. So here's what I had thus far... (OK, the map and the rest of the fish porn can be found by clicking here. I hope this inspires some folks to get out and explore a little!)




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