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.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Quality Fishing on the Toccoa Tailwater

I just got off the phone with John Browning, one of our guides here at Unicoi Outfitters. John had two clients float the tailwater with him this past Saturday, and to put it in JB's words, it was "the best trip I've ever had on the Toccoa". That's saying a lot, because John has had some pretty good trips!

First Cast!
Things got off to a great start when JB's client John (a little confusing, no?) got a nice 16" rainbow on the very first cast of the day. And then it just kept getting better. They lost count of the number of fish landed (always the sign of a good trip, IMO), but more than the Standard Nine Inch Trout, they caught a lot of nice fish.  Good numbers of 14-16" fish.  An 18" hook-jawed male brown.  Two rainbows over 20".  And hooked but not landed was a fish JB said was honestly in the 25" class - they had the fish on for a long fight when it finally got off - JB was relieved that the fly was still attached and his knot had held - the strong fish simply wore a hole large enough to allow the hook to pull free.

In addition to the size, JB was most impressed with how aggressive the fish were.  One 20" 'bow moved 5 or 6 feet to take a Wooly Bugger - they thought the fish had spooked, but were shocked when it took the fly.  And, they were into fish all day - the only time things slowed down was when they were in a driving rain (they endured three strong thunderstorms on Saturday).

They did use Buggers some, but the best success of the day came on Sulfur emergers.  In fact, in the middle of the day just before the first storm, there was a hatch of Sulfurs.  Oddly enough though, at that time, the fish weren't taking Sulfurs as you might expect, but were killing the Caddis.  That's why you want an experienced guide - they know how and when to change it up, even when you think the correct fly should be obvious.

JB took the one photo above with his cell phone, but is looking for some more photos from Kevin, his other client...we'll pass one or two along when we get them.

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