Gabriel Wittosch – Duluth, GA.
Fishing has been Gabriel’s life for as long as he can remember. He began casting a Zebco and a Shakespeare beginner fly rod before his third birthday, catching his first fish, a largemouth bass, shortly after he turned three. As he says, ”I have never looked back.” Gabriel grew up in Long Island, New York and mainly fished in saltwater for bluefish, flounder, and stripers. His freshwater fishing experience was limited to an occasional trip to a local pond fishing for bream and bass. He says “My fishing focus was flipped when my family moved down to Georgia in 2001. We moved into a house with a lake in the back yard and I have spent countless hours out in our pedal boat fishing for bass, bream, and catfish.” Living in Duluth, he has had the opportunity to fish the Hooch tailwater, and this is where his love for trout fishing began. At first, it was fishing with bait and a small spinning rod for stockers near Medlock Bridge. This evolved into fly fishing at East Jones Bridge and eventually fishing for wild trout in North Georgia. For the past few years, almost everyday of his summer vacation not spent in New York fishing for his old quarry has been spent hunting bows and browns out on the Hooch tailwater. As Gabriel’s skill with the fly rod grew, he began to broaden his range of fly fishing. This past summer, most weekends were spent exploring the beautiful streams of North Georgia with his father. As the trout season came to a close, he began exploring delayed harvest streams such as the lower Hooch tailwater and the Chattooga. After catching the biggest trout of his life, a beautiful 25″ rainbow, on his first trip, his favorite place to fish has become Dukes Creek. “Most of my weekends are now spent hunting the monsters that lurk in the riffle and pools of this wonderful creek, ” he says. He was only recently introduced to competitive style fishing, but he uses it almost exclusively now on places like the Hooch and Dukes. At 16 Gabriel is looking forward to learning from and competing with everyone on the team. “I would like to thank all the mentors and fishing buddies who have supported me and taught me about this wonderful sport. I would especially like to thank Marc Karasek for teaching me to tie, and Steve Hudson for all the time he has spent fishing and tying flies with me. Lastly, I would like to thank my Dad and Mom. If you
hadn’t been willing to spend so much time fishing with me and driving me around, I would be no where close to where I am today!”