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.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Update on the Toccoa River Tailwater

Recently, Chad and I floated the river to see if we could still find fish in our favorite honey holes after the recent drawdown of Lake Blue Ridge. Unfortunately, I do not have a good report. It was strange not to see one fisherman on the river when a couple months ago you could see 20+ fly fishermen casting flies to feeding trout. At times, there was a unbearable smell. Large and vocal blue herons flew around us protecting their territories. I counted 6 herons in the small stretch we floated. Two dead trout were seen during the trip. I watched a few very lethargic trout which did not respond appropriately to me approaching them. It has been said most of the fish are probably being pushed down the river by generation or being eaten by predators are a couple reasons why we are not seeing large numbers of dead fish.

Temperatures of the Toccoa tailwater seem to remain around 76 degrees. Several reports of occassional dead fish. One customer stated he was able to pick a trout up by his hand at Tammen Park. The water continues to be muddy and have a stained appearance. A positive note is the decline of temperatures in the tributaries of the river so maybe some trout are seeking refuge there.

Since the rise of temperatures on the tailwater, David has decided not to book trips on the tailwater in hopes of preserving what fish are able to survive the lethal temperatures. So, we are not on the water. David and I appreciate folks coming into the shop giving us reports of the Toccoa tailwater. Please keep them coming! We are the only voice for our beloved Toccoa.

Not so long ago, David and I were casting to what seemed like hundreds of rising trout on our float down the river...looking to the future, Georgia DNR transformed the Toccoa tailwater into a tremendous fishery just in the past 5 or 6 years, and we're confident they can do it again once this is all said and done.  In the meantime, let's look forward to this fall's DH season on the upper Toccoa and to the tremendous fishing we expect on our private trophy streams in the coming year (and we have some new surprises in store for you!).

1 comment:

  1. I am so sad to hear this news. It is disgraceful that TVA would destroy the trout population of this fine river. I really hope pressure can be applied to TVA and EPA to replace the lost fish with the approximate same quantity and size fish that have been lost. I am sorry but a 5-6 year recovery period is unacceptable.