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How do you explore new waters?

Joined:
2011/6/9 7:57
From Martinsburg/State College, PA
Posts: 90
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It's been awhile since I've visited the forum. I've since graduated college and found a job. My job has moved me down to Georgia about 20 miles north of Atlanta.

The problem with this is that I no longer know where the waters are to fish. I haven't been fishing in over a year!!! I joined an outdoor forum down here and asked a few guys about where to go. Unfortunately the answers are less than helpful.

My question to you is how do you find a new spot to fish? I've always had issues with this even in Pennsylvania when I lived there so I just spent all of my time on the water that I knew was legal and had fish.

I'm a shy person and don't understand social norms so it's hard for me to go to new places. I've been looking online for fishing places around Alpharetta but I can only find lakes and I'm more of a small stream guy.

So how do you guys recommend I find new water?

Posted on: 2013/8/6 15:28


Re: How do you explore new waters?

Joined:
2013/1/15 12:02
From Pipersville Pa.
Posts: 601
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You may want to contact a local guide. If it was me I would just look up some local waters and go fishing. Surely you will run into some other fishermen. Most fly fishing guys can be very helpful. Personally I mostly just like to go and expore. That is half the fun in going to a new stream. But like I said. See a fisherman and say hello. Ask a few questions.

Good luck,

GenCon

Posted on: 2013/8/6 15:43


Re: How do you explore new waters?

Joined:
2010/6/9 12:35
From down the block from the Letort.
Posts: 932
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Learn to read a topo and recognize mtn streams, pick up a DeLorme Atlas for GA and head north into the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Google "flyshops georgia" and see what pops up for that northern region, then make some phone calls.

Posted on: 2013/8/6 15:47


Re: How do you explore new waters?

Joined:
2010/7/18 7:23
From Lansdale
Posts: 993
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Try here
http://forum.gon.com/forumdisplay.php?f=99
If they're anything like PAFF, you'll be in good shape.

Posted on: 2013/8/6 15:48
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Re: How do you explore new waters?

Joined:
2011/6/9 7:57
From Martinsburg/State College, PA
Posts: 90
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That's where I posted up . I'm actually erog on that forum. My main issue with finding new waters is actually finding where to park my vehicle and get to the water. Any suggestions on how you guys go about this?

Posted on: 2013/8/6 15:50


Re: How do you explore new waters?

Joined:
2011/1/15 18:21
Posts: 480
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I always start with your typical map browser. Find a distance you are comfortable with, and start your search there. For me, I was/am always looking for waters within 20 mins for my everyday fishing. On weekends I dont mind driving 45 mins for a full day, but I cant do that after work. So, I now have a radius around my house. Next, you can comb over the aerials looking for water. In your case, if you want small streams, a topographic map might be more helpful. If you lack cartographic skills, get some topo maps for the state college area(where im assuming you were familiar) and check out what a good stream looked like on a topo map.Watersheds kinda stick out like a sore thumb once you have some experience analyzing maps. Anyways, this virtual process of "exploring" can only get you so far. It has found me a lot of spots to fish. I have had some busts. I have had some real winners. The only way to truly find streams is to walk them and fish them. Its hard to find a substitute for getting boots on the ground. You can use word of mouth/maps/fishing reports/forums/fish commission maps/ etc. but you will never truly know until you get out there on the water yourself.

Posted on: 2013/8/6 15:52


Re: How do you explore new waters?

Joined:
2006/11/2 8:50
Posts: 6293
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There is a book called Flyfishing Georgia. And guidebooks for the Smokies, if you're planning on going there.

As someone said, get the DeLorme Atlas. There is also a new series of atlases by National Geographic. I'm not sure which is best.

If you are going to be fishing National Forests or National Parks, order the maps from those agencies.

And check to see if Trails Illustrated (National Geographic) has maps for the areas you are going to fish. They are super good maps, generally better than the agency maps.

Posted on: 2013/8/6 19:08


Re: How do you explore new waters?

Joined:
2009/7/29 10:25
Posts: 1808
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if two streams are both public same length same elevation grade, but one has more bends, try the twistier one first. streams tend to dig holes/create pools where they bend....

Posted on: 2013/8/6 21:41


Re: How do you explore new waters?

Joined:
2007/4/22 16:02
Posts: 74
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I would visit fly shops in the areas you want to fish. They usually have a board with what's hatching, and often have a map of the local streams, showing where the special regs are, parking, etc. And books about fishing the area.

Posted on: 2013/8/6 21:56


Re: How do you explore new waters?

Joined:
2012/10/24 19:22
From Landenberg, PA
Posts: 1673
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i look on bing maps and try the birds eye view - you can rotate it 360' and often spot weirs, deep pools, riffles, rocks and the all important roadside pull offs.

also, if you can't see a small stream from the air - that means cover and generally cooler water.

similarly, try upstream of dams for cooler water, and the tribs of better known streams.

happy hunting.

Posted on: 2013/8/6 22:09
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Re: How do you explore new waters?

Joined:
2013/5/13 15:48
From Haddon Heights, NJ
Posts: 18
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Quote:
My main issue with finding new waters is actually finding where to park my vehicle and get to the water. Any suggestions on how you guys go about this?


Really? Drive to the vicinity, drive around till you find somewhere to park, find a trail or bushwhack your way in. Make sure you're able to find your way out. Sometimes a trip is much more of a scouting expedition than an actual fishing trip.

Posted on: 2013/8/7 9:51


Re: How do you explore new waters?

Joined:
2013/6/18 18:55
From North Wales, PA
Posts: 27
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I would suggest hiring a a guide to show you how to fish those local streams in your area. Google search fly shops in your area and ask the local shop if they are associated with any guiding service. The cost of a good guide for a day would probably help you tremendously.

Posted on: 2013/8/7 11:27


Re: How do you explore new waters?

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13595
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Agreed, leg work. I mean, if it's public land, you can usually just pull off the road somewhere. A little trickier on private land, I know.

I read topo maps. Google terrain view is actually very good. Then you decide on 2 or 3 streams, call them plan A, B, and C. You study the map of each, print one off, identify a few access possibilities. Then you go there and drive to them. If it involves asking a landowner, you do it. Kind of nervous to do this, but the worst thing that can happen is they say "no." If an entire stream strikes out, move on to plan B.

It is indeed possible to waste a day just messing around. But it has to be done. Accept it, and do it. With time, you'll get better at identifying better possibilities. This exploring is half the fun. The hard part is when things get tough, avoiding the urge to go somewhere "safe". Cause, well, you've struck out on plans A-C. You could try plan D, but you know what? There's this other stream close that worked out last year. I'll just go there, I know I can have a successful few hours there. Avoid that urge, or you'll fall into a rut of going to the same streams all the time. Keep trying new ones.

Along the way, you'll pick up notes too. Maybe this one's not on your list for today, but it is on your long term list. Take a short detour and have a look around. A few months down the road, when you're looking at the map and trying to get there, now you have a mental picture. Things look differently on a map vs. in person.

Posted on: 2013/8/7 12:34


Re: How do you explore new waters?

Joined:
2012/10/24 19:22
From Landenberg, PA
Posts: 1673
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Quote:
Sometimes a trip is much more of a scouting expedition than an actual fishing trip.


yup. i learned that long ago. thats why i tend to scout more in the mid summer and mid winter, rather than 'waste' a valuable fishing saturday or sunday in the spring and fall (be it trout or salt..).

in summer, the low flows mean you can see stream bed structure, and in winter there's a lot less brush, foliage - often meaning bushwacking in is a lot easier because you can see the creek or at least the vee, and no ticks either.

plus its cool to come back 4 months later and see it all grown out.

for bushwacking i always recommend a gps though.

in terms of parking, I sometimes look for an Elementary School lot near a creek (many back right on) - its unlikely to be used on a weekend, and if the guardian sees you with a rod they figure you may be odd but not a dangerous kind of odd.

Similarly on a weekday i'll look for church lots - where once I was challenged by a kindly pastor, and who i pointed out to gently that Jesus chose Fishermen as his Apostles and he should let me proceed accordingly...lol. (he did)

in the evenings, look for businesses that close at 5pm - hair salons often have an empty lot.
atb

Posted on: 2013/8/7 12:46


Re: How do you explore new waters?

Joined:
2013/5/13 15:48
From Haddon Heights, NJ
Posts: 18
Offline
As you find spots and fish them, keep notes. I've even sketched little maps of some spots.

Posted on: 2013/8/9 8:29



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