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.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Notice - the March 2 session has been SNOWED OUT - stay home and tie by the fire!

Our fly tying group will meet Tue., March 2nd at 6:30 at Unicoi Outfitters in Helen. Last month we had
the largest group since we started meeting. I think our flies are starting to look a little better and we always have a good time.
The meeting this month should be really helpful because Scott Abernathy plans to be there. Scott ties a lot of flies for Unicoi and has been a commercial tyer for quite a while. If you've never seen him tie, you need to be there. He ties great looking flies that catch fish and he ties them real fast--don't blink. He says he will show us some of his methods for tying and this will really help you in creating better looking flies.
Scott not only does a great job when it comes to tying flies, he's also a pretty good guy--he's helped me on many occasions in the past.
We'll also be tying the "skater spider"--the fly in the picture. I don't think we can mess this one up. Robert Sullivan, who's really getting into tying, will show us how to tie this dry fly.
Robert, Sid Snow, and Joel Hope did a great job helping customers with fly tying last Sat. and Sun. at Bass Pro.
We had a booth set up there representing the Foothills Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
So, I'm really looking forward to the meeting Tues.--hope you are. Bring a vise and tools if you have them, but more important, bring a friend. This session is for beginners as well as experienced tyers. Learn how to tie better and teach us how to be better tyers.
It's a good feeling to catch fish on your flies.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Loon Outdoors Guide of the Month David Hulsey

Congratulations to our own David Hulsey for being recognized as the Loon Outdoors Guide of the Month for March 2010!

Our guides and shop staff actually use and believe in the products we sell, and it's nice to have the manufacturers acknowledge that.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Amicalola DH Report

I just got off the phone with Nick Jamison of the DNR who has fished the Amicalola recently - the Ami's a stream we don't get to that often and doesn't get a lot of press here, so I thought I'd pass along Nick's info.

Nick fished there this past Sunday, and was surprised at how few people he saw fishing - there were a lot of cars in the parking area, but most of those folks were out hiking according to Nick.

Most of his fish came to a green-bodied soft hackle fly that he ties in size 14, fished deep. He did see a few fish rising mid-afternoon when some black stoneflies were emerging. Nick had a good day, landing 10-15 fish in just a few hours.

Nick's observation was that the others he did see fishing just weren't having such good luck, but attributed it to them not fishing deep enough. Nick was saying that you really need to be aware of the flows...according to Nick, with the gauge at 1.4 and above you'll need a good bit of weight. And he also reminds us to constantly adjust the weight and depth you're fishing when you move from one spot to another - good advice for nymphing on any stream!

Something else Nick has noticed about the Ami is that the stretch above the Highway 53 bridge doesn't get a lot of pressure yet it has a lot of seams and good holding water. He thinks the size of the water is intimidating to some anglers and recommends looking at the water as if it were four separate Smith Creeks and fishing each one separately.

Good advice from someone who knows...why don't you check out the Ami and send us a fishing report!

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Evolution of A Work of Art

Many of you have probably seen some of Alan Folger's artwork displayed in our Blue Ridge shop. There's a piece right behind the checkout counter of a beautiful rainbow I caught. Recently, I commissioned Alan to create his image of this huge Noontootla Creek Farm brown trout that was caught by Jake Darling. To me, this brown was the epitome of the fishing experience at The Farm and he's definitely at the top of the food chain. To get an idea of the process Alan goes through to create his artwork, go to Alan's blog to see his progress as old brownie begins to take on form. You'll probably also enjoy reading Alan's blog posts as he's a very entertaining writer.

For those of you who would like to have a unique memory of that special fish you caught, all Alan needs is a photograph and he can preserve that moment in your life for eternity.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Duke Power Dam on Tuckasegee at Dillsboro

Dillsboro Dam Removal by Robert Sullivan
Duke Power has been trying to remove its dam at Dillsboro for several years, but the town has been fighting the removal.  The fight is over, as this photo by our roving reporter Robert Sullivan of Creekwood Resort shows.

The dam was part of a small 225 kW hydroelectric facility - the smallest of all of Duke's hydro plants.  Duke obtained permission from FERC and financial assistance from the state of North Carolina for removal of the dam.  Removal of the dam will eliminate a 14-acre impoundment and create a 10-mile unimpeded river flow.

Odds are that smallmouth bass from below will move upstream, and trout from above will move downstream.  We say fish it often and report on the results so we can all see what effect the dam removal has on the fishery!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Lanier CCA Banquet

Y'all may remember that we mentioned here at the Liars Club Blog about the new Coastal Conservation Association Lanier Chapter forming in northeast Georgia.  Well, they've been busy, and are holding their first annual banquet in a couple weeks on Thursday, February 18th in Cumming.

Click here to get more details - I'm sure several of us from Unicoi Outfitters will be there - hope to see you too!


We received this report from our friend Caleb Bagley this morning:

Wanted to let you know that Smith's fished very well yesterday. Probably brought 20 to hand fishing from 7:30-12:30, two that measured 15 and 16 inches on my rod. Went deep (got hung every fifth or sixth cast)and fairly small. A #16 bead-head flashback pheasant tail with a #20 zebra disco midge(black with yellow ribbing) dropped off the back. Three shots in front of the BHPT and 2 in front of the midge and greased the whole rig in Zink. Caught fish across the entire DH. At one point caught five fish in five cast. Great day to be on the water. Everyone I talked to said that it was slow, I think most people don't realize how deep you have to be and that it must be put in the fish's face (that's something I learned from Dredger's tips and articles). Just wanted to let you know.

Tight Lines!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lake Lanier Striper Report for February 3 - Henry Cowen

Here's a striper report from our ol' buddy Henry Cowen:   

The water temps were hovering at around 42-43 degrees north and 44 degrees south. YOU MUST FIND WARM WATER if you want to catch fish. The warmest water unfortunately got muddy over the past few days and appears it will again after tomorrow with the big rain coming. I found 45 degree water today just playing and searching for fish. Had fellow guide Clay Cunningham with me (bait specialist). He tosses a fly every now and then. We found fish over a 30-40 foot bottom in 15-20 feet of water. Hooked 3 and landed 2 up to 12lbs on flies. Clay left the boat running home to find his 8 wt and sinking lines……Tomorrow looks like it will be a homerun! After that……all bets are off until we get some warm weather. End Feb into tail end of March is usually when we see the big fish of Lanier caught….stay tuned and see you on the pond!  HC