Unicoi Outfitters is north Georgia's premier guide service and fly fishing outfitter, located on the Chattahoochee River near alpine Helen. Look for fishing reports, gear and book reviews, and general musings here from our staff and guides.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Unicoi Outfitters Fishing Report - 9/17/21


The cloudy, rainy weather this week bodes well for our angling plans.  Area streams received less than an inch of rain so far, and it fell softly throughout the past two days. That’s great, as the lack of pounding raindrops and ripping runoff through road gullies prevented much soil erosion and stream discoloration.  The low light of cloudy days also gives sportfish some cover from predators, and they’re more eager to feed than to duck for cover, as they must do on bright days to survive.


Most streams have already dropped back to normal flow and are very clear. For example, the Hooch at Highway 115 had a good four feet of visibility this morning. 



Clear water, cooler water, and cloudy weather should give everyone some great shots at headwater trout, river bass and bream, and pond residents. 



Those are our best bets again this week.  Angler intel, Wes’ hot fly list, and North Carolina Delayed Harvest Program news follows on our Facebook page and blog.angler.management. 


Good luck in the cooler weather and low light on our horizon.  October is just around the corner, and this cooling trend should bring some of our larger trout streams back to life for some great fall action. Feel free to call or stop by either of our UO stores for supplies and advice.



Wes’ Hot Fly List


Dries: chubby Chernobyl, elk hair caddis, trude lime.


Nymphs: girdle bug, soft hackle hares ear, depth charge caddis, psycho prince.


Streamers & warmwater:

Wooly bugger, muddy buddy, mini dragon tail, polar changer, headcase crayfish. BoogleBugs.


 Headwaters:


Two local speckulators checked in this week. UO friends Sautee and Tweed took separate headwater hikes and found cooperative locals. The specks had a taste for small, fluffy dries, presented upstream after careful stalks.



North Carolina Delayed Harvest - Good News


Our good friend, NCWRC fisheries biologist Jake Rash, passed along their agency’s fresh press release:


Delayed Harvest Trout Waters Open October 1

 

RALEIGH, N.C. (Sept. 16, 2021) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will implement Delayed Harvest Trout Waters regulations on 36 trout waters on Oct. 1. Under Delayed Harvest Trout Waters regulations, no trout can be harvested or possessed from these waters between Oct. 1 and one half-hour after sunset on June 3, 2022. No natural bait may be possessed, and anglers can fish only with artificial lures with one single hook. An artificial lure is defined as a fishing lure that neither contains nor has been treated with any substance that attracts fish by the sense of taste or smell.

 

The Wildlife Commission stocks Delayed Harvest Trout Waters from fall through spring with high densities of trout to increase anglers’ chances of catching fish. Delayed Harvest Trout Waters, posted with diamond-shaped, black-and-white signs, are popular fishing destinations for anglers who enjoy catch-and-release trout fishing.

 

On Aug. 17, the Bobby N. Setzer State Fish Hatchery, which is the Commission’s largest trout hatchery, was severely impacted by flash flooding caused by Tropical Depression Fred.  Although the hatchery remains operational, approximately 67% of all trout at the hatchery were lost.  The agency is mitigating those losses by obtaining replacement trout from various sources.  Although Delayed Harvest stockings are slated to occur as planned this October, hatchery staff are still addressing impacts of the damage to the facility and future stockings could be disrupted. Flood-related impacts and any changes to trout stockings will be posted on the agency’s website at ncwildlife.org/TroutUpdate.

 

Some trout waters may be closed by local cooperators due to COVID-19. Visit the agency’s COVID-19 webpage for an updated list of trout waters that have been closed by local cooperators.

 

While fishing, anglers should consider these minimal steps to help prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species like gill licewhirling disease and didymo:

  • CLEAN equipment of all aquatic plants, animals and mud
  • DRAIN water from boats, live wells and equipment
  • DRY equipment thoroughly
  • NEVER MOVE fish, plants or other organisms from one body of water to another

 

Learn more about aquatic nuisance species by visiting the Commission’s Aquatic Nuisance Species webpage.

 

For a complete list of Delayed Harvest Trout Waters, information on regulations and trout fishing maps, visit the Commission’s trout fishing page.

 

About the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission 

Since 1947, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has been dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of the state’s fish and wildlife resources through research, scientific management, wise use and public input. The Commission is the state regulatory agency responsible for the enforcement of fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws and provides programs and opportunities for wildlife-related educational, recreational and sporting activities.

 

Purchase or a renew a fishing, trapping and hunting license and renew a vessel registrationonline at ncwildlife.org

 

Get N.C. Wildlife Update — news including season dates, bag limits, legislative updates and more — delivered free to your Inbox from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.


Rivers


UO Helen manager Wes:

“I had a good trip Monday river bassin with Harry and his wife.  Fish were eating at various levels of the water column and once we got it dialed in the bite was great. Topwater bugs and mid-column baitfish patterns produced the best results.”



Athens Jay had a successful river bassing trip, too. Big, dark streamers with lots of action produced the best for him.




Good luck this week. Pack a raincoat in case a shower finds you, and enjoy cooperative bass and trout under the cool, cloudy skies of late September.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

September Skinny Water Secrets


What are your favorite topwater bugs for a) river bass and b) headwater trout?

Care to share your hot fly suggestions with our UO audience?


Toss them soon before surface temperatures cool into the fall.  We have about a month left of warmer water and some consistent topwater action for river bass and headwater trout, so take your last swings soon.


To help your batting average, we now continue our “September skinny water” theme.  To put y’all on a some extra fish, we offer a few more tips. They are “plop, drift, twitch, and dance,” and they’re described in the Unicoi Outfitters column in this month’s Coastal Angler Magazine - Atlanta Edition.  Pick up a free copy at your favorite fly or tackle shop, or view it online here.


https://issuu.com/coastalanglermagazine/docs/atl_82da8b5270c9c1/4


The UO intel is on page 10 inside the magazine’s Atlanta local news section, so turn some extra pages to dig up these nuggets.



Toss your favorite surface bug soon and try our four tried-and-true tactics. Hopefully you’ll outsmart a few more seasoned river bass and headwater trout to top off another great summer of surface action. Good luck!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Unicoi Outfitters Fishing Report - 9/9/21



Air temps, water temps, streamflows, and water clarity are lining up to provide a prime fishing week ahead of us. Get out there and wet a line!


Headwaters are still running a bit higher than our normally low summer baseflows - - and that’s good news. With cooler nights returning, that will make high-elevation wild trout a best bet once again. I checked a small Hooch trib above Helen today. It was crystal-clear, about 64F  at midday, and flowing well.   Instream residents should easily spot and pursue your surface fodder, so grab your short rod, a fluffy dry, and best stealth game and hike high for wild bows and specks.



GAWRD trout stocking usually gets thin after Labor Day, as hatchery space is dedicated to the grow-out of next year’s crops. You can aim for last week’s long list of holiday-stocked waters, or hold out some hope for the Friday reports of occasional fall stockings.


Rivers are still receding, but the best news is that they’re clearing after a rainless week. The Hooch at Highway 115 and Duncan Bridge had ample flow today and clarity of about four feet. Water temp at 115 was 70F at mid-morning.  On forthcoming cool mornings, try your bass streamers and crayfish patterns. As the waters warm in the afternoon sun, tempt resident bass and bream with your favorite, rubber-legged surface bugs.



Small lakes are your last best bet.  Surface temps are sliding  down and that should fire up resident bass and bream.  Try a popper first to see if they’ll come to the top. If not, then go deep like UO staffer Joseph did.



There’s your short version of the UO report. All of the prime intel, fish stories, and Wes’ hot fly list can soon be unearthed on our Facebook page and at blog.angler.management, when I finish the unabridged version this evening.  Enjoy the early hints of fall and the great flyfishing action they will bring. Call or stop by either UO store for more advice and hot flies for the cooler days ahead of us in the mountains of north Georgia.


Wes’ Weekly Hot Fly List:

Dries: chubby Chernobyl, parchute Adams, royal stimulator, tan elk hair caddis.


Nymphs: prince nymph, depth charge caddis, micro mayfly, hares ear.


Streamers & warmwater:

Feather changer, bank robber sculpin, Kreelex, boogle bugs.


Headwaters:

UO associate Hunter:

“Dad and I had a streamside reunion on a headwater stream “somewhere above Dahlonega.”  We caught a handful of little wild rainbows and even a few bigger stockers that had evidently migrated upstream in search of colder water. 


Of course, dry droppers with foam hoppers and various tungsten nymphs like waltz worms were effective. Fish were split equally between the dry and the dropper.  We also had success with small streamers. Most fish were tight to cover like root balls and large logs. It was a great day with Dad.”



Rivers:

UO staffers Joseph and Atticus road-tripped north of the border in search of another species. Joseph reports: “Here’s a pic of one of the smallies we caught yesterday. We were fishing small, articulated streamers, focusing on slower moving water in between shoals, as the river was running very high and fast.”



UO-Helen manager Wes:

“I had a good, local river bass float the other day with J.R and Howard. We had a great first few hours before the bite dropped off in the afternoon. Baitfish patterns were the main producers.”


Small Lakes:

UO staffer Joseph said, “Here’s a pic of a nice largemouth for this week’s fishing report.  I caught it out of a private pond.  It inhaled a Texas-rigged soft plastic worm.  I tried the fly for about an hour but the bass were not interested. It seemed like the heat had them glued to the bottom. So I went down to them.”


Piedmont Carp Report by Jamie from Athens:

“Plenty of fish in deeper water but fewer packs on the mud flats. The ones up shallow were happy, hawgin’ along the bottom, and readily took a well placed fly. Top producers were slow-sinking mop tail soft-hackles around vegetation and heavy hybrid carp worms on mud bottoms.”



Here’s something different, courtesy of Michael from Athens:  “I hit my local pond for an evening of flyfishing and had a surprise, catching a catfish on a beadhead nymph!”



North ATL buddy Splatek, aka “Gretsky”:

“I was able to sneak out after work  for a quick,  local warmwater trip with MiniMe.  On our first cast, we doubled up on tiny bream. It was a great evening of father&son time together.”



Good luck catching another dose of cooler air and water. Please remember to clean and dry or sanitize your wading equipment to prevent the spread of nasty diseases. GAWRD will appreciate our commitment to this common cause! Call or stop in either UO store if we can be of service.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Unicoi Outfitters Fishing Report - 9/2/21



Welcome to September! We have a nice dose of cooler air leading us into a great holiday weekend. I’d call this week’s fishing prospects a “Rerun.” And this rerun might be even better than the original show! 


That original was last week’s post-Fred report. View it here:


http://blog.angler.management/2021/08/unicoi-outfitters-fishing-report-82621.html


Some cooler air and higher water after Fred fired up our sport fish. Now our “rerun” is the post-Ida prospects. They’re even better than the original for two reasons. First, we only had half the rainfall that Fred dumped. Second, we have even cooler air temps for the holiday!


Best bets again are headwater trout, float fishing for river bass after another day or two of storm runoff, and pond bass and bream. Ponds are stained and their color is perfect to pull bass and bream into the shallows.


And I verified the headwater prediction just a few hours ago, so…


See our full report, with Wes’ hot fly list and angler intel, on our Facebook page and at blog.angler.management.  I’ll have it posted shortly.  Good luck as you “labor” on your favorite waters this weekend.


Wes’ prediction and hot fly list:

“The national forest streams should fish great this weekend with the extra water. 

Two weeks ago they fished great after Fred came through!”


Hot flies:


Dries: chubby Chernobyl, X-stimulator, swisher’s PMX, royal trude, tan caddis.



Nymphs: pats rubber leg, copper John, squirminator, wooly bugger, psycho prince, Walt's worm, green mop.


Streamers & warmwater:

Polar changer, bank robber sculpin, sparkle minnow, 



Headwaters:


UO guide Israel: A green weenie worked great on the wild trout sunday!”


Dredger finished his streamflow post today and then invited Battenkill to the headwaters high above Helen. The small stream was still ripping pretty good, but the rainbows acted like piranhas when D’s fluffy tan caddis drifted by, slowly. And that was the key: SLOW. He had to find the slow flood refuges, which were full of hungry residents. Tip: hi-stick the slow stuff, especially bankside eddies. You might even try a longer rod, if you have one, to reach across the main current and short-line your bug in those prime eddies.



Dredger and Batt had a big time in their 3-hour tour, with a bunch of little guys and a nice handful of 7-8 inchers plucked from the soft spots. Trip highlight was a white shark hooked in slow, skinny water and providing high anxiety during a several-minute tug-of-war. The elated  angler taped his best blueline bow of the year at 12 inches. 



Rivers;


UO guide Israel: “ our local river bass were bonkers for topwater bugs on Monday, right before the storm!”



Small Lakes:



Athens Jay was sidelined by work, but lined up this awesome pinch-hitter:

“Piedmont small impoundments report by Michael from Athens:

The evening bite has been the saving grace, especially near twilight. A hopper-dropper or even a dry-dropper rig set up to fish relatively deep (3ft plus) has consistently produced nice 7+ inch bluegill, shellcracker, redbreast sunfish, and the occasional largemouth bass. Setting that hopper-dropper rig up with two subsurface flies—one “point” fly and another off the tag from a double surgeon’s knot, euro-nymph style—let’s you test out a couple depths at the same time, and often produces two fish at once (sometimes one cast will even produce two species at the same time!). Those largemouth bass and double sunfish hookups will strain your 3 weight for sure! If you choose the right spot at the right time (again, near twilight) the topwater bite can also be fun on foam flies, small poppers, or classic dries. 




Go-to surface patterns include GFA hoppers in black and yellow/green, chubby Chernobyls in yellow/green, classic foam poppers, and even larger (up to size 8) versions of the venerable humpy dry fly. Nymphs fished as droppers or alone include brown and black versions of the rubber-legged dragon, variations on the guide’s choice hare’s ear with a hot-spot collar, and small woolly worms with red “tails”. 



There’s your holiday intel, from fresh streamflow videos to a midday blueline report. Usually reruns aren’t as exciting as the original show, but we think After-Ida might even top After- Fred in terms of your weekend fishing fun! Good luck and be safe this holiday.  Call or visit either UO store if we can help you celebrate. Please remember to clean and dry or sanitize your wading equipment to prevent the spread of nasty diseases. GAWRD will appreciate our commitment to this common cause!

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Hello Ida

How many of you trout anglers have heard the saying, “foam is home?” Well, we’re not sure that it applies very well to the Hooch today. The Helen gauge showed that 2.5 inches dropped quickly this afternoon, and the radar shows one more thick rain-band heading our way soon. So duck and cover, Nacoochee Bend rainbows!





The good news is that Helen’s long-range weather forecast shows a cooling trend. Lower nighttime air temps should drop water temps a bit and fire up our stream and river residents. So look ahead with a smile as we all weather the last round of Ida tonight.




And we will see y’all after this surge subsides.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Rolling in Blueline Tunnels

As we roll into this weekend, some of you may roll up here for a bluelining adventure. And you’ll be roll casting inside the rhododendron tunnels.



Here’s a link to a great video by our friend, Pete, at Orvis HQ. His 3-minute lesson on roll casting might help you catch more fish and fewer tree limbs.



Enjoy!


https://fb.watch/7F6PbuTKzf/


Thursday, August 26, 2021

Unicoi Outfitters Fishing Report - 8/26/21




We’re going to call this week “renewed vigor” as Fred boosted north GA streamflows and dropped water temps a bit. Flood flows have passed, but the forest is still shedding some water, so streamflows right now are “healthy.” That’s good news!  The waters are higher than their skinny summer baseflows that had our fish very wary before the storm .  Streams and rivers have finally cleared, too.


Higher flows and clearer water have given our sport fish some renewed vigor, so go soon and take advantage of these improved conditions.  Best bets are headwater wild trout, river float fishing, and pounding the pond banks at low light for bass and bream. Wes’ weekly hot fly list and some fresh fishing reports and tips follow on our Facebook page and at blog.angler.management.


Wes’ Hot Fly List:

Dries: Quick-site beetle, stimulator, Parachute Ant, royal trude, humpy, tan caddis, chubby Chernobyl.


Nymphs: Twisted mayfly, depth charge caddis, drowned ant, copper John.


Streamers & warmwater:

Bank robber sculpin, stealth bomber, May’s identity crisis, finesse changer.


Headwaters:


UO guide Israel hit an upper Hooch tributary on Monday  and had a big time with its resident rainbows. He said,

“The small stream fished great on Monday.  I used nothing but a single ant and got hits in all spots that trout should be in.  The water felt great after all that rain.”



Dredger prospected local waters this morning (26th) and the blueline bows cooperated for him, too. They ate anything “fluffy and high-floating” on a 7 1/2 foot, 5x leader. He landed a couple dozen little wild fish in three hours, with a 9-inch “trophy”topping his small stream catch.



A #16 tan caddis, yellow stimulator, and tan chubby all did well when they rode high.  He stayed busy babying his dry with a chamois-squeeze and then a dessicant-dip after every five casts or surface take, whichever came first. He changed fly patterns only after each bug finally succumbed to multiple slimings and refused to float any longer.



Most fish had pot bellies, showing that they’ve taken advantage of high-flow groceries. And these headwater residents knew how to duck and cover to survive Fred’s flood flows!


Rivers:


Ron W’s gang did a river recon last weekend to Stream X, as its flows just started to drop. It was more of a scouting mission for their forthcoming fall trout trips than a real fishing trip. He reports, “You were right...pretty country up there! We went all the way upstream . Didn't toss a fly until we got about a 1/2 mile above a big tributary.  Moe caught this nice brown on his very first cast. No other fish were caught.  I did get tight twice but couldn't seal the deal.  Water was ripping! 30k steps on a little more than 4 hours sleep...  My body aches, but I can't wait for fall!  Oh yeah, Kurt and I got lit up by yellow jackets too, so warn your anglers to be on the lookout!” 



We had no river bass fishing reports because everyone played it safe and stayed away from roaring flood flows. Now the rivers are dropping and clearing, and the fishing conditions look good for the days ahead. I crossed the Hooch at Highway 115 last night and visibility was about four feet.


USGS Current Conditions for USGS 02331000 CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER NEAR LEAF, GA


While wading might still be out due to higher flows, floating should be an option.  This week will be a good time to strip streamers or bounce some crayfish flies.  You might even consider an intermediate or sink-tip line to get your offerings down in the heavier current.  If you do find some calm water, you can even try popping your poppers to bring fish up in these higher flows. When rivers recede to summer base flows, however, then revert back to your skinny water tactics of dead-drifted surface bugs on thinner leaders.


Ponds:

Landon checked in: “I got permission to fish a nearby subdivision lake. It was full of small bass and some decent bluegill.  This local lake makes “getting a fishing fix” after work very easy.”



Athens Jay also avoided his raging bass rivers and hit flat water:

“Small impoundment fishing in the Piedmont was excellent this week around the full moon. Things got especially good late in the day when the sun dipped below the tree line. My Boogle bug/Rubberlegs combo was great. And this is Stealth Bomber season too! 



Catch the fishable downside of Fred’s recession and you just might have a great weekend trip. The fish have renewed vigor right now and you might, too. Call or visit either one of our UO stores if we can guide you toward some hydrotherapy and its resulting smile. After all, we can all use something to smile about these days!

Monday, August 23, 2021

Hello Joseph!


These mountains sure cultivate some fine young anglers and flyfishers!  Our home county, White, has really blessed UO with great staffers such as Helen shop manager and guide Wes McElroy. Well, we’ve got another winner for you in Joseph Clark!  Joseph recently joined our team and is a perfect addition to the Helen store. His combination of youthful energy, friendliness, and local angling experience is serving our customers well.  Here is Joseph, in his own words. Enjoy the pics, too!


“I’m originally from White County and am now a high school Junior.  I’ve  been fishing as long as I can remember. Most of my early efforts were aimed at largemouth bass in local ponds and small reservoirs.


I was introduced to fly fishing about four years ago.  Ever since then I have been primarily a fly angler. I like to do a lot of river bass and striper fishing near my house on the upper Hooch. By far my favorite style of fly fishing would have to be for those warmwater species but, when I’m not fishing warm water,  I love wild trout fishing on small mountain streams!



I love my job at UO and the opportunities to help the diversity of anglers who walk into our store. “


Please join us in welcoming Joseph to our UO team. He is eager to help you and looks forward to your next visit to Helen. Congrats Joseph, and good luck in school!

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Unicoi Outfitters Fishing Report - 8/19/21



This week’s theme is “Recession,” as we all wait for streams to recede from Fred’s overabundant rainfall. Your best bets, or really your only bets, will be very high or very low:  small headwater streams and impoundments. Even with the predicted afternoon storms for the next few days , bluelines have small watersheds and typically shed their high flows very quickly - within a day or so. 


Flat water- ponds, lakes, and reservoirs- is your second option. Beware of washed-in debris such as logs, which are boating safety concerns. Find the “mud lines” where blood-red stormflows mix with clear lake water. Those zones of stained water are hotspots, where food and cooler water wash in, the lower clarity gives predators a sense of safety, and the stain hides you while disguising your flies and lures.


As stormflows recede, be ready for some “stream rearrangements.”  Old pools might disappear and new ones will show up. Same goes for logjams. You might enjoy fishing a “new” stream or two after these major flood events. 


In terms of future trout, these floods really loosen up stream gravels and flush fine sediments from them. That’s good news for romantic specks and browns this fall and the rainbows next spring. Clean gravel is vital to mountain trout reproductive success here in Georgia.


We do have some good pre-flood reports from local waters and some nice intel from friendly western trekkers. Wes’ hot fly list and some recent angler reports follow on our Facebook page and at blog.angler.management. Enjoy the weekend while being careful in post-storm flows.


Wes’ Hot Fly List:

Dries: Quick-site beetle, hard body ant, micro dchubby, yellow humpy, yellow stimulator, parachute Adams, tan elk hair caddis.


Nymphs: brown pats rubberlegs, San Juan and squirmy worms, tan mop, sexy Walt’s worm, flashback pheasant tail, mini leech, prince nymph, Green weenie, and black fur ant when waters clear.


Streamers & warmwater:

Black woolly bugger, chartreuse-over-white Clouser,  Kreelex,sweet baby cray, polar changer, Mr Wiggly, CK baitfish.



Headwaters:

We had no recent reports. The key here will be to high-stick the flood refuges while flows are higher. Boost your dry fly a size or two (12’s and 14’s) to give residents enough reason to rise. Scale back down to smaller size 16’s or so once the waters recede and clear and those wild fish resume their summer nervousness.


Wash-Down Stockers:

Watch the Friday GAWRD stocking list. Look at last Friday’s list and head to downstream flood refuges (pools, logjams, etc) to prospect for wash-downs from upper stocking sites. Then check streamflows tomorrow and Saturday to see if this week’s stockers will hold in place or get displaced to those downstream refuges, too.


Rivers:

Dredger waited for the sun to fall and then hit a Hooch shoal at 7pm last Friday.  He stuck with “dries” in hopes of some summer surface action in the low, clear water. The black stealth bomber was eaten twice. He switched to a white one as dusk creeped in at 8 and had one more bite before quitting at 8:30.  All three Shoalies bent his 6-weight rod and then took to the air, with one successfully shaking the hook. He fondled two up to 15 inches and called it a successful trip.



Athens Jay said he had a really good shoalie float on a middle GA river prior to the storm. Fish enjoyed his big streamer concoctions that we’ve featured in past weekly reports. His pics backed up his prose.



Lakes:

We had no recent reports, but Dredger recently drove past Lake Zwerner in Dahlonega. 


Lake Zwerner and Yahoola Creek Reservoir – City of Dahlonega



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQ1ZH2FhPAs


Keep this 150-acre water supply reservoir, just north of Wal Mart, in mind if you’re a (non-motorized) yak or canoe-fishing fan within driving distance of Dahlonega. It’s good for bass and bream. Try the deeper, cooler water by following the Yahoola Creek channel. It enters from the west and flows under the highway bridge.  Enjoy the pics.




Afar:


We had two great reports from UO contacts venturing to the Yellowstone region.  UO guide Palmer just returned from a fun, albeit smoky trip that included some beautiful bows from the Henry’s Fork and some colorful cutts from the Yellowstone River.







A trio of UO buddies are currently “camped” in the West Yellowstone area and making day trips to their favorite streams inside and outside the park. Ringleader sent me two reports and some nice pics in the last 48 hours to support his alleged successes. He said:

“Hoot Owl restrictions have all anglers off the water at 2PM every afternoon in the Park but the rivers are in good shape. The Gallatin was 50 degrees Monday. Today restrictions on the Madison outside the Park have been lifted. Hopper fishing has been good. The Gibbon and Soda Butte have been great.  Lots of smoke from fires to the west but the air quality has been better than expected.”




“Its 46 degrees and raining on Soda Butte this morning (18th). Yep, we’re sick people.  But we’re happy and the fish are beautiful!



I actually stayed out for about 30 minutes and then went back to the car and turned the heater on. The rain slacked up a couple of hours later so I went back out and caught a couple cutts before the 2:00 closing.”



We’re glad that Fred spared our Helen shop, so we’re still around to serve you.  Check USGS river gauges, call local tackle shops, and then plot a safe course to this weekend’s fishable waters. Remember to throttle down and be on the lookout for floating logs in lake headwaters. 


Use the stained waters to your advantage to sneak up on your quarry. Call or come by either UO store if we can help direct you toward fishable waters. Good luck!