TIE ONE ON TYATHON
By Gregg Johnson
Saturday March 24th was a beautiful spring spring day, with trees blooming, birds chirping, and North Georgia streams flowing clear and cold, with hungry trout searching the riffles for something to eat. Numerous trout fishermen were hiking and wading the rivers and streams searching for these fish, ready to softly drop an Elk Hair Caddis or Pheasant Tail Nymph upstream and have it drift down to one of these waiting fish.
However, there was one group of ardent fly fishermen who were busy with another project, hoping to lend a hand to one of Georgia's premier trout destinations and outdoor recreation facilities. Yes, these fishermen were giving up their opportunity to fish Dukes Creek, the Chattooga River, the Tacooa River, the Chattahoochee and other lessor known streams in order to provide their support to Smithgall Woods by entering a fly tying contest.
The event, the first annual Tie One On Tyathon, brainchild of Ron Thomas, well known Nachoochee fly fishing guide, was held at Unicoi Outfitter's Helen shop, and supported by Unicoi Outfitters, Smithgall Woods, Tie One On, and Georgia DNR. A total of six entered teams, consisting of two fly tiers for each team, competed assembling small flies from feathers, fur, and thread over a time period from 10 AM to 3 PM with very little time for breaks. Each team was required to tie four popular flies, with a minimum goal of 48 flies completed. Teams were judged on the total number of flies tied and the quality of one specific fly, the Elk Hair Caddis. The winning team selected was Jake Darling and
, with a total of 148 flies tied. The six teams completed a total of 438 flies, and collected a total of $ 2,568 from sponsors to be donated to Friends of Smithgall Woods.
All involved had a great time, and thanks to all the team sponsors and workers who helped make this a very successful event! All are planning for next year's scheduled Tie One On Tyathon!