Photos of the Day: A Helios Winner Finally Puts a Bend in His New Rod

Written by: Kevin Ellis

Helios Winner Kevin Ellis

It took almost a month before he could get in front of some trout, but Kevin Ellis
broke in his new 9-foot 5-weight Helios on this rainbow.

photo courtesy Kevin Ellis

[Editor's Note: Kevin Ellis won a Helios fly rod back in our August sweepstakes, and I asked him to send us pictures of his first fish with the new rod. His first trip was a washout due to bad weather (and snakes), but he recently sent in these pictures of his first success, along with the story behind them.]

In late Septemeber, the weather and schedule finally came together, and I went to Unicoi Outfitters, an Orvis-endorsed fly shop in Helen, Georgia. The manager, Lee Hiers, offered to let me christen my new fly rod on their privately managed, catch-and-release stretch of the Chattahoochee River called “Nacoochie Bend.”

I arrived early in the morning, and I spend about 45 minutes talking with the two guides working the shop, Jake Darling and Chuck Head. They were a fantastic couple of guys. I was wearing a hat from Willowfly Anglers (another Orvis fly shop in Almont, Colorado), which Chuck recognized. It tuns out that he had worked there as a guide last year. What a small world! They gave me clear picture on what to expect, told me where the fish would likely be found, and suggested five specific patterns. I followed their advice and I had a great time.

The weather was as clear as the river, and I spend six hours sight-fishing nymphs and Woolly Buggers to rainbow and brown trout. Autumn is in full swing in the area and while not as vibrant as New England, it certainly made for a beautiful backdrop for the river. I wound up with eight Rainbows brought to the net and two others that came off. All were between 12 to 18 inches, were clearly very healthy, and there were several much larger fish in those pools! These two pictures are of the first one caught.

Helios Winner Kevin Ellis

Hopefully, this is just the first of many of trout that will come to the net at the end of this fly rod.

photo courtesy Kevin Ellis

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