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 Lower Saluda
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spitfire3270
Intermediate Member

80 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2017 :  07:05:10 AM  Show Profile Send spitfire3270 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gonna drag the kayaks up to the lower Saluda to try and catch some trout this weekend. Dropping in at hope ferry and floating down to gardendale. Ive been once before and waded a little but I will be able to cover more ground with the kayaks now. Anyone have any hints, tips, or suggestions? Any help would be appreciated.

vanderps
Junior Member



25 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2017 :  3:53:17 PM  Show Profile Send vanderps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the float down, there will be a small creek on your left that wraps around a small island and the creek reconnects with the river about a quarter mile down. Pull up your yak on the island and wade this creek area. Lots of branches and logs in this creek with rainbows and browns. Also in the main river adjacent to where this creek begins is a good set of rapids and pools that I have pulled a few from. Most of the trout you will catch will be around 12 inches or so, but last year I caught an 18 inch brown behind a boulder in the main river. Sure was a great surprise to see holdovers in there. Good luck and let us know how you do.
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Fishguy98
Senior Member



361 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2017 :  5:26:24 PM  Show Profile Send Fishguy98 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What flies do you throw?
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vanderps
Junior Member



25 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2017 :  9:53:25 PM  Show Profile Send vanderps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When the river is low and clear, dry flies can be good. Usually elk hair caddis works well. Red san juan worms have worked well in the creek area. When the river is high and muddy, a lot of the trout will fall back into these side creeks to avoid the fast waters and a bright color streamer is the ticket
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spitfire3270
Intermediate Member



80 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2017 :  10:18:54 AM  Show Profile Send spitfire3270 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We finally made it up there on Saturday. We put in at hope ferry
and paddled up to the first riffle. Then floated about 4 miles down to gardendale and hit the riffles on the way down (4 or 5). My mind was completely blown, in about 9 hours we caught 4 trout. By we I mean I. The guy I fish with didn't catch anything. I caught 1 10/11" brown, 2 6" rainbows and a decent 12/13" rainbow. It was the slowest trout fishing I have done. I have done a fair amount of trout fishing around Georgia/north Carolina/Tennessee and have been reasonably successful for most of my ventures, a product of being taught by someone that is pretty knowledgeable. This was unlike any other trout stream I have fished obviously and left me very confused on the best way to fish it. I tried a lot of tactics and tons of different flies. I talked to a guy that seemed to know the river well and he said "its a very tough river to trout fish" I guess at the end of the day it is still just fishing and maybe conditions were not at its best. Its a beautiful river and hard to believe your in Columbia. It was an absolute blast and I will be going back when I get the chance. I love a good challenge, haha.
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AvuncularBen
Intermediate Member



101 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2017 :  4:18:16 PM  Show Profile Send AvuncularBen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
successful day for trout there. lower saluda is not a traditional trout fishery. not sure when DNR began stocking but i believe relatively recent and kinda a "hey, would be neat experiment" type thing. word is no one still really expects the trout to survive a yr, but a big positive when they do. DNR and trout unlimited too prob committed to building it up to where it needs less stocking every year. DNR does tagging studies on them--get a hat if you turn in tag info. in my experience, the geography of the river is generally different enough from traditional trout rivers (bigger, deeper water at cold temps, long mix of big freestones and big pools) that if numbers is the goal, might as well use spinning gear w/ rooster tail. if you want huge ones, use herring under a popping cork. if you want to catch on fly, its a lot of water. just trial and error, i know places where they'll surface and hit bugs w/ no rapids w/in 50 yds. FWIW i went to the smokies in TN last week and fished 2 days, water high at like 400 ft/sec, hiked and crawled a lot for a few pools, got nothing. hope i can go back and try again some time.
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