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, April 23, 2021

UO Fishing Report- 4/23/21

We had another great week of north Georgia fishing and the week ahead looks equally promising. There is just one big bump in the road, our Saturday soaker. An inch or more of rain is expected, with strong storms possible, so Saturday is iffy. Sunday may be a washout on bigger streams if we indeed see an inch or more of rain. Be ready with some high-water Plan B’s (small streams, ponds, and lakes) while you wait for rivers to recede. Don’t forget the storm hatch (worms) and have some San Juan’s or squirmies ready for discolored streams.

Check flows before you go. Best bets are USGS gauges and favorite fly shops. Remember that the Hooch-Helen gauge even has a river camera that YOU can operate remotely!
We’re still in the middle of the spring bug buffet. Don’t leave home without some stimmies, Adams cahills, caddis, and a headlamp. I got home last night at 10:30, with a sore casting arm and a big smile!
Cold nights might force you to dredge til the afternoon sun warms the water, so be flexible and let water temps guide your technique.
Our extended version of this report, with Wes’ hot fly list and guide/fishing buddy reports, follows on our FB page and, for non FB’ers, at blog.angler.management.
Work around the rain and appreciate it, since we’re 4.5 inches short this year. Toss a squirmy on 3X into a honey hole and you might become a real “big” fan of dirty water!
Wes’ hot fly list:
Dries:
Stimulator (yellow, olive), tan Cahill, Elk hair caddis, Royal trude
Nymphs & wets:
Soft hackle pheasant tail, Bird turd, Girdle bug, Jigged soft hackle prince, Silver lightning bug, death metal pheasant tail, Depth charge caddis
Streamers & warmwater:
Kreelex, Triple double leech, Hot cone bugger, Boogle bug (solar flare), Bugger changer,
Jiggy craw, Polar changer and Cowen’s coyote, both in chartreuse/white.
Angler intel:
Headwaters:
Hunter hunted specks after work and had some afternoon fun:
Wes weighed in, “I had a wild trout guide trip with UO client Damien on Sunday. We caught some chunky rainbows between 6”-9” that were more than happy to rise up to an olive stimulator.”
Delayed Harvest:
Smith has been running low and clear. Try your best stalking with light tippet and small bugs during the day. Try a short dry/dropper combo if you stay til dark. The last hour of daylight on Smith can be magical.
Dredger took full advantage of April prime time. He hit Chattooga DH last Saturday night and again last night (22nd). His Saturday recipe for three big scoops of salmonids is here:
Yesterday he decided to go back and beat the weekend rain. Cold weather had his expectations of bugs and risers fairly low. They rose, however, as he crossed the river, saw small bugs buzzing, and measured water temp at 58. Fish backs were rolling occasionally in the first shallow run. He never figured out the small emerger they were sipping from the film, but he caught a small handful on his yellow stimmy and pot luck dropper (half the patterns in his wet box) to make him happy. (Ed note: if YOU decipher the emergers, please help out Ole Dredger).
He was pleasantly surprised as the cool weather pushed cahills to pop earlier than expected. There were a few at 4, more at 5, and enough from 6-730 to turn on the river switch. His #12 stimmy/ 16 cahill combo was consistently assaulted, especially when moved via twitches and skitters. When cahills left, browns still crushed the stimmy as the shadows fell. He actually caught “enuf” to call it quits early at 8 and walk out in the twilight.
Afar:
Dredger ran up to Nan DH on Sunday evening (18th). It was cool and there wasn’t a good hatch of bugs. Sparse cahill spinners showed up late to dance and drop eggs. No wild fish were fondled since they did not have good reason to look up.
It didn’t matter, however, as chunky DH stockers inhaled his stimmy/caddis combo. Most hit the stimmy, which is apparently brown trout candy. Some nice brooks and a few bows added to the hefty total. Both dead drifts and twitches worked. His tips: Find the soft spots, cast and drift, and wait. If they don’t hit the drift, then cast again and twitch. After 2-3 casts, just move up the bank and hit the next soft spot -along the bank or behind the midstream boulder.
Private Waters:
Wes: “I also did a couple trips on Nacoochee Bend this week. It fished pretty good. Right now with the clear flows, the fish are just being a little picky so you have to cycle through a few fly changes to figure out what they might want. On Tuesday prince nymphs, soft hackles, squirmy worms, and small pheasant tails worked well. On a breezy Wednesday afternoon, the best flies were small lightning bugs and rubber leg stoneflies.”

Palmer: “Fishing was tough yesterday (4/22) with the cold snap. We caught nearly everything on soft hackles and maybe one of two on the egg. Catching will improve as air and water temperatures rebound quickly.”
Warmwater:
Ponds:
Athens Jay checked in: “ Due to work commitments, I’ve only been able to slip out to my local ponds for a few evening hours. But my “paddleboard popper-dropper” fishing has been very good as I toss my combo against the bank. Big bream are still shallow and hungry. I had a nice surprise with a bass double-header! Native azalea blooms just add to the beautiful background of a Georgia farm pond in the spring.”

Rivers:
Landon launched his yak and has been enjoying a Lanier “river buffet” of species including bream, spots, shoalies, and stripers. He said: “they’re eating! Water was warmer than the air. A bunch of bass half-heartedly chased my streamers. All caught on a chartreuse/white Cowen’s coyote. Still fun! Slow and deep for shoal bass while floating.
Got the striper quartering downstream in a shallow riffle on the other side of a deep, fast run. The fish came up and swiped/ missed on my first cast over him. I got him on the next cast by burning it (fast retrieve ) and he hit it right at my feet!”

Lakes:
Henry’s update: “Fishing has taken a slight setback due to the multiple fronts that moved thru No GA this past week. It positively will affect what the stripers are doing. Last week they were up shallow in 1’-5’ of water and the fronts moved them back off the points and into deeper water. Once the weather settles down they will move back up for a short time til the next pattern takes over. The good news is that the long-awaited spotted bass spawn is now going on and these fish are totally committed to the bank. Now’s the time to take a 7 weight with either a floating or intermediate fly line and toss a Clouser, coyote, game changer, wiggle minnow or even a topwater fly for the first 3 hours of the morning and have a ball with a world-class spotted bass bite. Want to catch a world record? 4lb tippet and a 4lb spotted bass gets you an IGFA world record! Dock lights are also on fire right now for those wanting an easier bite on Lanier. This all should be happening on many No GA lakes around Atlanta. Go out and try to get a sore thumb from all the catch and releases that will happen over the next 2 weeks!”
So work on Saturday and save that day off for Monday or Tuesday. Appreciate the rainy stream recharge for our streams, and stock up on stimulators, caddis, cahills, and SQUIRMIES! Contact either of our stores if we can put you on more Awesome April fish.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Quick Speck Trip


What does a UO fishing guide do after his morning guide trip? He fishes himself, of course, since it’s APRIL!

Hunter Pittman grabbed a quick lunch and then trekked high above Helen for some sure-nuf specks!

Monday, April 19, 2021

Date Night




Dear “Fin,”

Thanks for our Saturday night date on The River, and the creation of yet another lifetime memory.


Dear Fans,

Here are some UO tips for your own date night.


4pm- park and walk in.

5 - dry/dropper, hope, and patience with all the daytime lookers and few takers.

6- stimmy/caddis combo, with a twitch

7- cahill dropper behind stimmy or caddis. #16 first and #18 later.

830- the headlamp hike out

9- bluegrass, loud, on return to Clayton.


Whether you’ve already planned a day or are suddenly developing a (spring) fever,


Go.

Now.


Stop by either UO store for hot flies to enhance your dating success.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Uo Fishing Report- 4/16/21


HenryC said it best: “we are in full spring swing!” this week as April’s hot action continues. It’s even better now as big streams and rivers drop and clear further. While we’ll be a bit cooler for a few days, the afternoons should warm up enough to spur some good bug action, and it will improve with each day of rising air temperatures. Be on the lookout for caddis and Cahills.

Don’t forget your PM trinkets. We made a checklist for you in yesterday’s post!

Ponds and lakes are great, too, as are the feeder rivers with spawning stripers and stirring shoalies and spots. If you have some vacation days left, this week will be another great time to spend one or two of them.
Wes’ hot fly list follows.
Dries: Stimulator, parachute adams and light cahill, tan elk hair caddis, 409 yeager .
Nymphs & wets: blue lightning bug, squirmy worm, tungsten hares ear, copper john, soft hackle partridge
Streamers: sparkle minnow, rubberleg bugger
Warmwater bugs: Feather changer, Clouser minnow, Murdich minnow, Boogle bug Amnesia bug, Girdle bug,
Sweet baby cray.
UO guide trip reports and angler tips follow in the extended version on our Facebook page and blog (blog.angler.management). Good luck this week. Grab your gear and go!

Headwaters:
We had just a few reports from small headwaters because everyone was having too much fun with bigger fish on bigger waters, which had finally receded enough to fish well.
Headwaters will be good again. Try a big (#14) buoyant dry to call them up, and add a beaded prince or pheasant tail on a short dropper if they’re hesistant in the morning chill. Young UO buddy Cameron had some decent action on a north GA WMA. More little wild bows were missed than fondled, but it was great hooksetting practice!
RonW: “Kurt and I scouted a few streams in the Blueridge WMA on Sunday. We fished from 8am till noon and had a tough go at it. The water was up a little and off color. We tried everything (dry, dry dropper, nymph and streamers) but in the end the fish won this round. I managed the lone fish of the day, a lil' wild Brown who smashed a Stimi. It was an absolutely beautiful day to be out on the water with a great friend. We fished some cool new water and were home by 2pm, I guess we won after all!”
Wes: “I did a half-day public water trip Wednesday afternoon in town. Plenty of large fish are still left from the Helen trout tournament. We hooked 3 fish that were all 4+ pounds but weren't able to get any landed. We did catch several stockers. Worms, eggs, soft hackles, and buggers were the ticket.”
Delayed Harvest:
Apparently most DH streams, including Smith Creek, got some DNR redoses last week, giving newer flyfishers a good shot at success. Resident fish will still supply challenges for our angling vets. None of us had a recent DH trip, but web reports have been very good. DH streams should fish really well again this week, especially with lower flows in larger streams.
Cool mornings may keep bugs and fish deep, so go down to them if needed before your lunch break. Better yet, come late and stay late. For evening surface activity, remember to match adult bug size, color, and behavior:
Afar:
UO buddy Aaron: “We are doing well. Recently moved to North Carolina and did Day 2 of this weekend of fishing. Let me tell you, since I switched to nymphing, my numbers have sky rocketed. Just today I’m closer to 50 fish in the net on some small streams.”
Private Waters:
George “Coach Mac” MacMillan: “Fishing on Soque private waters has been really good. Here are a couple of nice ones. Check out this big brown!”

Palmer: “my guests fished Nacoochee Bend on Wednesday. Water was still pushing pretty good. Lots of split shot were the key to our success with a variety of nymphs and soft hackles. The hefty rainbows fought real well in those strong currents and we had a blast.”
Warmwater:

Jake: “Bruce and I had a good morning, with a mixed bag of stripers and bass on River "x" earlier this week. It's that time of year where lake resident stripers begin to make their migration into many of our local rivers, offering excellent angling opportunities. A population of fish can be found feeding on the surface right at daybreak, with heavier dredging flies producing more action once the sun gets up.”
Wes: “I also did a river bass float trip yesterday. If you put in the casts you can find some nice fish. While we caught a couple dredging, baitfish patterns are the ticket right now. Whether you’re throwing fly or gear make sure to add some pauses in your retrieve. That’s when they’re eating your streamer.”

Daytripper Landon: “Here’s a Bartrams bass report. They were there but they were on the bottom and wanted something slow-rolled past them! Action was decent until the swimmers came out and started swimming through the pools.”
Ponds:

Athens Jay said warmer weather has pulled bass and bream shallow and pond banks are a “target-rich environment.” He no longer has to dredge the bottom for them, but they’re not overly eager to eat topwater yet. He’s having best success with “mid-column movement via some Gamechanger abominations” (variants), his buddy’s black-over-purple Puglisi minnows, and a black or brown rubberlegs for the big bream.
Lakes:
Henry’s update: “Striper fishing is in full spring swing. Fish are spread out all over the lake and there is even a little schooling going on. The big schools are clearly up the rivers for the spawn. Both the Hooch and Chestatee rivers are loaded with fish. Bigger offerings like game changers and clousers are the flies of choice as the fish are gorging on blueback herring. “
Nightowl Landon:

“Stripes were really spooky on the Lanier lights last night. But we caught good number of spots to keep our lines tight!”
Remember to tune into GAWRD’s Friday trout stocking reports and fishing blogs. There is no better source of “shocking and stocking intel” than these stewards of your fish and fishing!
In closing, I hear an echo from last week’s report: “Go. Now”. Call or stop by our Helen or Clarkesville store if we can enhance your spring success. Send us some pics! Here’s wishing y’all tight lines and wide grins in April.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Vital Spring Trinkets


What are your vital spring trouting trinkets?

If you’re like us, we have a bunch, but always manage to forget one or two as we rush out the door toward Appalachian trout nirvana.  



Heres a checklist to help everyone prepare now for your next trip. You sure don’t want to be a mile back on River X at dusk and realize your flashlight is dead and the trail is steep.


Here are some of our vital spring  trinkets for  Dark30 trouting.  What did we miss on this list? Add your own essentials and help us save a fellow trouter’s epic trip this month.


  1. A box of dries (helped by Wes’ Friday hot fly list).
  2. A box of dropper nymphs and soft-hackle wets (Wes again). All boxes with your phone number sharpied onto the inside lid.
  3. An extra leader and fresh, full spools of 5X and 6X tippet.
  4. Tiny tin shot (size 6 or 8) to dunk the dropper fly a few feet under the dry while the sun’s still high.
  5. Bottles of floatant and dessicant (or a small chamois cloth) to prep and then rehab those dries  after a salmonid-sliming episode.
  6. Sunglasses for spotting pre-dusk risers.
  7. An insect sampler to help your hatch-matching: try a $3 Home Depot paint strainer over your dip net.
  8. Bug repellent for uninvited hitchhikers.
  9. A headlamp with fresh batteries.
  10. A small backup flashlight as a Plan B for #9.
  11. A good smart phone or camera - with a flash for your late-night trophy fondles.
  12. If prospecting alone, then a spouse or friend who knows your whereabouts and your ETA back home.


What did we miss?  Add your vitals to the UO list! 

  1. ______
  2. ______
  3. ______


Hope this UO bulletin helps your preparation for another great evening astream. Holler at either UO store if we can help you stock up on these spring trouting essentials.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Stalk the Seams



Stalk the seams! Here’s another great article by Dominick at
Troutbitten.com

It sounds like he was following me during my last two trips to Nantahala and Chattooga, where trout pods indeed lined up along prime seams (where slow and fast water meet), which are grocery lanes!
It’s April and the dry fly fishing is hot. Use Dominick’s tips and our Unicoi Outfitters report intel (blog.angler.management) to maximize your fish fondles and Dark30 grins this month.
Call or stop in either UO store if we can help further. Good luck.
Pics: Nan wild bow doubleheader on my dry/dropper combo.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Unicoi Outfitters Fishing Report - 4/9/21

After “floating” through two monsoons and 9 inches of rain, we’ve finally welcomed Epic April. Big waters are still receding, while small streams have returned to normal springtime flows and are clear. Water temps are prime and trout bugs are popping. It’s hatch-matching time for mountain trouters! Be ready with the right bugs and the techniques that match the naturals, from dead drifts to twitches and even to upstream skitters. Gotta-have dries include parachute adams and cahills, tan caddis, and yellow stimulators.

The only event that can rain on your weekend trout parade is, literally, rain. If we get more than an inch tomorrow, you might have to allow big streams a day or two to drop and clear.  USGS flow gauges and fly shops can tell you when they recover. While you wait, just head uphill to smaller streams and have a blast.  If rainfall’s under an inch, toss worm or rubberleg stonefly patterns in the dingy water.



Ponds are heating up for bass and bream, so pull your yaks and canoes out of basement storage. Lake stripers and bass are hungry but challenging, since they are literally scattered throughout the reservoirs and up the tributary rivers for stripers’ annual spawning attempts. Hunt more than cast and your catch will increase.


The next four weeks will be great, so get outside and take advantage of them!

Wes has a lengthy hot fly list that won’t fit on Instagram, so check it and our angler reports out on our Facebook page or our blog:

Blog.angler.management.


Good luck.  PS: BOLO bears, too.  Hope you enjoyed today’s video!


Wes’ hot flies list follows.

Nymphs: Improved yallarhammer, Frenchies

Psycho prince,Sparkle soft hackles, Y2K egg, Squirminators, Mini mop (beige).

Streamers:

Sparkle minnow, Hot cone bugger

Dries:

Stimulators, Parachute Adams, Elk hair caddis (tan in #14-18, gray in #18), Doculator (for wild trout)

Warmwater bugs:

Finesse changers, Jiggy craw

Feather changers, Sparkle minnow, Mini dragon tail

Bully bluegill spider, Clouser minnows


Detailed angler reports and tips follow. 


Headwaters:

Wes: “I did a wild trout guide trip on Tuesday. With the higher water most of our fish were coming on subsurface flies like an “improved yallarhammer” and “psycho prince”. We were able to trick a couple into coming to the surface for an olive Stimulator.”


Hunter had a guided trip to public waters high above Helen. His anglers caught stocked bows and browns and wild bows. They had success nymphing, tossing dries, and streamer chucking. It was a great trip.


Delayed Harvest:

Smith still has some fish in it that survived the floods. It’s slightly off color today, but very fishable. The two successful anglers I spoke with during my “bear trek” caught some fish on a pink San Juan worm and a tan squirmy worm.


Chattooga:

Ole Dredger had a “lost count” Tuesday, with most of the chunk bows and browns caught on top.  It’s chronicled on our Facebook page and blog. Dark30 is here again!


http://blog.angler.management/2021/04/river-recon.html


His timely tips: when the sun is high, dredge deep flood refuges with mops and brown rubberleg stones. Even the river natives like a mop (enjoy the colorful river chub).  



When the sun is low

(dawn and dusk), drift and/or skitter a stimulator/caddis combo through the shallows.  Right before dark, change the dropper from the caddis to a cahill.


Private Waters:

Wes: “I did a half-day trip yesterday at Nacoochee  Bend next to our fly shop.  The water was up, which limited the spots we could fish and required a lot of split shot to slow down our drifts. However, the fish were very active. We landed probably 25 rainbows between 12”-22” that fought long and hard with the high water. We even had a couple make long runs into our backing!  We had good luck on  Sparkle minnows, Squirmy worms, Soft hackles, Frenchies, and mops.”


Ponds:

Jay reported from Athens:

“Last night I fished a local pond. Perfect conditions- native azaleas blooming always means fish are going shallow. Lots of evidence of spawning activity. Cream mopfly landed many large bluegill and redear. Bass went crazy for the Blurple (black and purple baitfish streamer - unweighted) fished slow so it suspends in the water column.”



Lakes:

Henry chimed in: “This week’s striper report is all over the place. Lanier is fishing well if you are in the right place and not so well if you’re not. There’s a big group of fish on the south end that sporadically decide to show themselves and when they do, it’s great. When they don’t, you’d wished you went north. There’s fish making their way upriver for the spawn. Those fish are on points and they are easily catchable “if” you hit the right point. That means playing the onesie-twosie game. Catch one or maybe two and move on. Both rivers have fish in them, as the spawn is on. Also, the lake spots are waking up too. That’s a bonus for flyrodders. Lastly some nice white bass are starting to show themselves (thanks GADNR). That’s about it... by next report we should be seeing lots of fish eating topwater.”

www.henrycowenflyfishing.com/


The GAWRD weekly fishing report is  chock-full of timely intel, too:

https://georgiawildlife.blog/2021/04/09/georgia-fishing-report-april-9-2021/


In summary, “it’s all good” across north Georgia, so take a few days off, watch the flows, and match some hatches.  Bring your bug repellent, dry fly floatant, and headlamps. And dontcha dare leave early. Trust me on that one.  Call either UO store if you need a little more help. Good luck!


Momma's Love (Bear Triplets)

How about a NatGeo moment for your lunchtime entertainment? Let’s call it “momma’s love.”

I’m on the Smith Creek DH trail right now for a little bit of exercise and a stream recon for today’s Unicoi Outfitters weekly fishing report. Ten minutes ago, I round a bend and freeze! A hundred yards ahead on the trail is a really big, black furball. Next to it are three tiny furballs.
Enjoy the video as Momma crosses the log with a cub in her mouth. She made three trips. This is cub #3, who waited patiently for his turn.
Now that’s some love and dedication from Momma!
I’ve already had a great fishing trip to start my weekend and I didn’t t even need a rod! May you also make memories in the Georgia woods and water during this magical month of April. Sometimes it’s not even about the fish.
Now back to my hike, with a smile!

https://fb.watch/4MyNmsh98d/


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

River Recon

 

UO Army,

If spring break allows you to beat the week-ending rain, give Chattooga DH a try ASAP. The water’s still a bit high, so wade safely. If you miss this week’s window, try it when it drops and clears once again, next week. The following intel should still hold true.
This Forward Observer went on a recon mission today. Based on extensive intel gathered from 1200-2000hr, arm yourselves as follows.
During the high afternoon sun, use heavy artillery: dredge the flood refuges with tungsten tan mops or weighted brown rubberlegs. If you want a few bonus fish on top, try a short leader to a #12 or 14 yellow stimulator. Then add 4-6 feet of tippet from the stimmy down to your heavy dropper fly.
When the shadows fall on the water, ditch the big bug, cut the tippet back to two feet, and put a tiny (18-20) gray elk hair caddis behind the stimmy. Reposition to heads and tails of pools and cobbled runs (shallow bug factories). Throw quartering downstream 20 feet, hi-stick, and skitter and v-wake the bug duo back upstream to you. Yes, upstream.
An hour before dark, change your dropper to a #16 cahill, so your ammo matches the bug switch that just occurred. Dead drift and skitter the stimmy/ cahill combo. Watch the naturals and make your fakes act like the real things.
Charge your phones and cameras. You’ll need lots of battery life. Good luck with your assault. If you need more ammo, stop in or call either UO supply depot in Helen or Clarkesville.
Sincerely,
Scout

Monday, April 5, 2021

Stickbait!


Mountain old-timers call them “stickbait.” And for good reason! Now you know why. April is a prime caddis month here, so be ready with your dries, larva, and emergers. Match your bugs to the flows, too. In heavy water after storms, try a big, tungsten beaded tan mop or sexy Walts worm. As streamflows drop and clear, scale down to smaller, natural colors and sizes. Also arm yourself with tan elk hair caddis dries from size 14 to 20. Come by or call UO’s Helen (706-878-3083) or Clarkesville (706-754-0203) stores if we can help you prepare for caddis time in north Georgia.

Video here:

                                                                                            https://fb.watch/4GVk6vSd-0/



Thursday, April 1, 2021

RECOVERY MODE!

Summary

This week's theme is "Recovery Mode" as north Georgia streams shed their second round of major stormflows.  Cold weather may dampen dry fly action for a few days until the Easter warmup begins.  Right now, be ready with a dropper below your dry on small streams.  On bigger waters that finally drop to safe wading levels, be ready with a double dredging rig and hit the flood refuges; aka slow water.  Behind your split shot, try a small streamer, big Rubber Leg Stone, or Tan Mop as your first fly; the attractor.  Drop a small nymph or soft hackle wet off the back as your "money" fly.  Match your flies to the flows.  On big flows, use bigger and brighter flies.  As streams drop and clear, go back to the smaller natural patterns.  Don't leave home without some size 14, 16, & 18 Hares Ears and Pheasant Tails in both nymph and soft hackle wet patterns.

Bugs will also return with dropping and warming streamflows.  Right now it's transition time as March's gray and brown bugs hang on just a bit longer while April's tan bugs begin to heed the mating call.  Be ready for the restart of hatches next week with some Adams, March Browns, Light Cahills, both gray and tan Elk Hair Caddis, and a few midges.


Lake fishing for stripers on the fly has been tough with all the extreme weather we've had.  Things were going very well until the storms hit.  Lots of muddy water in many creeks and, of course, working its way down the Chattahoochee and Chestatee Rivers.  This should change in the coming days as the stripers begin staging to make their annual spawning run up the rivers.  If you've never tangled with a river striper, be prepared for a wild ride!  You may even lose some of your stuff. 




The hot fishing on the lake is for spots and they may certainly be reached with a fly.  Try hitting as many primary and secondary points as you can but beware that you'll likely be sharing many of them with other anglers since everyone knows about it.


Water Conditions as of 4/1

Headwater streams, as we write this, are high and clear if you're a careful wader.  We recommend staying away from the sections of creeks that have dramatic elevation changes.  Now is not the time to be rock hopping.


Mid-size streams like Dukes Creek, the Chattahoochee River in the WMA, and the Tallulah River are high and lightly milky.  They'll be clearing over the next few days but, for now, you may find it best to fish directly from the bank or in calm water adjacent to the bank.

Smith Creek Delayed Harvest is chocolate milk today since Smith Lake (Unicoi Lake) is muddy.  There may be 2 feet of visibility.  One note of caution, the second bridge on Smith Creek (the one at the end of the big field) has washed out.  


The Chattahoochee in Helen is still raging; 1061 cfs.  Nuff said!  

Further North

And don't think you'll be able to drive further north to find fishable water.  Dredger took a ride up to the Park in Cherokee before this last storm blew through and found it unfishable then.  Since they actually got more of the brunt of the storm than Georgia, it'll be a little while before it's worth the drive up there.  He circled back around by the Nantahala and found it high also but fishable from the bank.  He saw a small handful of #18 Gray Caddis and one lone #18 Blue Quill hanging onto a streamside boulder for dear life.  He also watched a few Blue Winged Olives hatch in the afternoon when clouds rolled in.  A few small rainbows were chasing them.  All in all, the high water put a damper on the bugs and, therefore, the risers.  He was content to watch safely from the bank and never wet a line.  As he said, "Better times are just ahead of us."


Until Next Week


Be safe when wading and have a good Easter weekend.  And don't forget these guys will be here soon!