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.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


"Tie Flies When You're Having Fun"

We hope that's what will happen Tuesday, June 2 at 6:30 PM at Unicoi Outfitters. We will meet on this date for our monthly fly tying session-I hope this date will be OK for everyone. I was out of town for our May fly tying session and from what I hear about the attendance, I guess most everyone else was too. I hope any one that is interested (beginner or pro) will show up. Tying with others is a great way to learn and to teach-to help those that are just starting. Again, we will be tying a woolly bugger and an elk hair caddis-so bring materials for these if you have them-if not, that's OK. Refer to our last Tie 1 On post for recipes and instructions.

If the above date is not good for you, let me know at rbtgofish@yahoo.com.

Mr. Trout Meet "Mr. Fish"

This is just one of the beautiful rainbows that Jim DiFilippo, also known as "Mr. Fish", caught last week at Noontootla Creek Farm. It was a pleasure to fish for a few days with him and his friend Chester-we caught fish, had a few laughs and a great time. Thanks again.

Friday, May 15, 2009

North Georgia Bonefish!

We got this in from Ben VanDevender (you may know him as "benvan" over at NGTO) today and thought we'd share. Ben's been going after grass carp recently and may have figured them out:

OK I think I have this grass carp thing down to a science, or maybe just plain luck...

I hit the pond yesterday afternoon around 6 with the young one. This time I was going to target the carp so I brought my 8wt and only my 8wt....I had her with an Orvis 0x striper leader fixed to Cortland444 8 wf line. I pulled out a selection of egg patterns again and got rejected on pink and orange but found the ticket to be a size 12 yellow yarn egg. The fish were feeding at the surface as I could see their mouths popping like a goldfish causing ripples in the water. I cast out with the new pattern about six feet in lead of a cruiser. Next thing I know the line goes taught and I pull back to insure a good hook set. Now my drag begins to sing as I am quickly into backing with no sight of turning the fish anytime soon. Well for some reason she changes direction and starts heading straight to me. I pull in as much line as I can to keep up with her, and just as that happens she runs parallel along the bank. Now I really try to use the backbone of my rod and tire her. After another couple of runs I finally get her beached in the shallows of the bank. Not as big as my first one but still a real humdinger at 35 inches long. My lil one was so excited. I managed to land two more and broke off one bruiser before we headed home. Both tired from fishing, me from big carp and her from big panfish on the barbie poll.

I plan to try the pattern out again next week to see if I can justify my results. The main thing I have learned though is how critical it is to lead these fish. They are extremely finnicky and any disturbance in the water too close can run them off. This time I did not have the camera but with the bruiser I have my sights set on next time I shall surely have it.
The carp in the picture was 45 inches long and caught on my 6wt. Quite a fight.

Yes Ben, carp are definitely spooky fish, but a ton of fun as you can attest. Keep us posted on that Big Boy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Becky Hulsey - Our Newest FFF Certified Casting Instructor

Congratulations to Becky Hulsey of our Blue Ridge store. Last week she became an FFF Certified Casting Instructor. The Federation of Fly Fishers administers the Certified Casting Instructor program to educate and enhance the growth of fly casting instructors and is widely recognized as the ultimate professional certification in casting instruction.

Becky joins other Unicoi Outfitters guides David Hulsey, Becky Strain, Joel Dickey, Dave Humphrey, and Chase Pritchett as Certified Casting Instructors and Rex Gudgel as a Certified Master Casting Instructor.

Becky and David have also completed the Instructors Course at the Wulff School of Fly Fishing.

Unicoi Outfitters is proud to have some of the most qualified instructors anywhere.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Atlanta Fly Fishing Meetup Group at Nacoochee Bend

Unicoi Outfitters recently hosted the Atlanta Fly Fishing Meetup Group at Nacoochee Bend. The group's founder Justin Fuller wrote:

"The meetup group is about helping new people learn how to fly fish, and meet some friends while doing it... The meetup organizers are not professionals, but we do our best to get people catching fish... By getting them out on the water, with professional guides, and hooking into big fish... may make all the difference for some of these folks. The meetup group promises to continue to recruit new fly fishers in the North GA area!!!!
"Jeff Durniak would be proud with all the split shot that Jake had me using to get into that big 24"er... 4.5 lbr... Biggest fish I have ever caught!!!!!!!!! I didn't hold it close enough to the camera though ;)
"This really is a fantastic section of the Chattahoochee River... Unicoi Outfitters is running a Top Notch Guide Service out of their Helen and Blue Ridge Stores. If anyone, EVER, has the opportunity to fish the Nacoochee Bend or other private water that Unicoi Outfitters has in North GA, they should take it!!!!

"Thanks again for the best Sunday afternoon I have had in a long time!!!"

Thanks for the photos and report, Justin - glad y'all had a good time!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cinco de Mayo @ Dukes Creek

Unicoi guide Jake Darling had a couple of clients on Dukes Creek Section One yesterday and the fish were very active. Here's his report:

"The water was up about a foot and had a dark green stain to it. My clients were not used to big fish on a small stream and had some difficulty landing them but the bite was definitely on. We hooked and lost around 20 nice rainbows. One of my anglers hooked a real pig of a rainbow, fought it for about 5 minutes and it broke off right at the net. Just all part of paying your dues to the Duke! Nothing's easy there but those big fish are sick!

"Flies that were working were a size 18 brown or baetis micro mayfly and size 16 micro stones dropped off of something big like a size 8 Whitlocks Hellgrammite, or the new rubberlegs, and even a squirrel nymph. Fish were taking both the small flies and the big flies. even caught one 4 inch wild trout on a size 8 rubberlegs. That joker must have been extra hungry because the fly was about half his size.

"When fishing these rigs it took a lot of split shot to get the flies down, usually around 3 or 4 BB size split shot to hit the bottom. The flies had to be ticking along the bottom to get any strikes. So make sure you have your strike indicator up high when fishing in these conditions. No matter how much weight you have on it, if your strike indicator is only 4ft up from your flies then the chances are you aren't getting down to the bottom.

"Dukes Creek is fishing as good right now as I've seen it in a while. And there seem to always be some openings available and no-shows every day they fish. If you haven't fished Dukes Creek in a while, now is the time!"

Playing Hookie on the Chattooga River

Here's a little video from last year that passed under our radar....SeanC and trout-tiger from the Southeast Fly Fishing Forum spent a little time fishing and filming on the Chattooga....enjoy!

Any video that opens with Jimi doing Voodoo Chile is OK in my book - great job, guys!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tie 1 On

We had a good turn out for our April fly tying session at Unicoi Outfitters in Helen and I think everyone enjoyed taking part. Thanks again to all the folks who were involved and to everyone who showed up. May's session will be Thursday May 7 at 6:30 PM and will last approximately 2 hours. (Note this is a date change from the date listed in the Liars Club newsletter) Again, this is an open invitation to anyone who has an interest in tying flies or wants to learn how to tie flies. I promise it will add more to your fly fishing enjoyment and I believe it will make you a better fisherman.

We will be tying the infamous Wooly Bugger and the unsinkable Elk Hair Caddis during this session. If you need the recipe for material and instructions you can find those at www.charliesflyboxinc.com. Some of the tyers will be tying 1 on somewhere else this week (out of town) so bring a friend with you Thursday night.