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.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


I had a great time at the fishing show in Atlanta last weekend. Anytime you can attend fishing classes presented by folks like Kelly Galloup, Jimmy Harris and David Hulsey it is well worth your time. After hearing their presentations, I walked away asking myself "why haven't I thought of doing that?" I will from now on.
I really enjoyed watching all the fly tyers that were present. It was worth the trip just to see how easy that tyers like Kyle Burrell and some of the others could look magical at the vise--they tied some great looking flies. Maybe, next year some of the tyers from our "Tie 1 On" session will be sitting at the show's fly tying table--that would be great.
I really enjoyed talking to everyone at the show who shares the same passion for fishing as I do.
Also, on Sat. & Sun we had some fly tyers from Foothills TU and the other Ga. TU's at Bass Pro showing customers how to "tie 1 on". Thanks to Cole, Robert, and Sid for giving of their time to take part in this--it is appreciated.
Our March "Tie 1 ON" session will meet Tues. March 1st at the Unicoi shop in Helen at 6:00 PM. This will be a special session because we'll be decorating a "Tie 1 On" hat with a lot of the flies we have tied. This hat will be for the silent auction at our TU's "Hoot on the Hooch" banquet March 12th in Helen. If you've ever attended any of the sessions in the past, I hope you come to this one and bring some flies to help us out. Also, beginners are invited--this is a great time and place to start tying your own flies--we tie basic flies that catch fish and we have plenty of equipment and supplies to get your started. Come join us--learn how to tie or show us how to tie some of your special patterns.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Unicoi Outfitters on Twitter

Hey Y'all!

We're going to start publishing brief fishing reports on Twitter - we're going to shoot for something regular, several times a week.

We just posted the first one today!

To follow us, look for @UnicoiLiarsClub at Twitter.

Or, if you'd rather get the Tweets via text message, just text "follow UnicoiLiarsClub" to 40404 in the US.

And The Winner Is...

Kelly Randall of Gainesville.  Kelly's name was drawn from the infamous Unicoi minnow bucket at the end of the Great Southern Fishing Show.  His prize is a full day of fishing at Nacoochee Bend.  This is actually the second trip to Nacoochee Bend that Kelly has won.  Some folks have all the luck!  Kelly, the fishing here has been awesome all winter long and will only get better as things warm up in the spring.

We appreciate everyone's support and enjoyed seeing you at the show.  The seminars were excellent and we really enjoyed not only getting to know Kelly Galloup but to learn more about the techniques that have made him one of the foremost trout anglers in the world.  If you didn't get a chance to hear Kelly speak or pick up one of his books or DVD's, we are now carrying them in our shops.  All of Kelly's books have been autographed by him and are certainly a worthy addition to your fly fishing library.

Our goal is to provide you with the best, most user-friendly fly shop in the country.  We want to share with you the latest fishing information, fly selections and tactics so please don't hesitate to stop in and see us or drop us a line via email.  We'll do our best to help you.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lanier CCA Banquet - March 3rd

WHEN: Thursday, March 3rd

WHERE: Coo Coo's Nest Restaurant, Cumming, GA

TIME: 6:30 PM

Please put this event on your calendars. We are having a banquet/fundraiser for the Coastal Conservation Association. $60.00 gets you a one year membership in CCA as well as a great dinner at the Coo Coo's Nest just north of Cumming. The price of admission also makes you eligible to win a FREE GUIDED FISHING TRIP for striped bass on Lake Lanier.

  • There will be many other fabulous fishing and non-fishing related auction and raffle items on hand to win. Incredible homemade cheese cakes and pecan brownie cakes
  • 4 Lake Lanier maps marked for the best spots to fish:
    • Spotted bass on Lures from Tim Hawkins of Hammonds Fishing Center
    • Stripers using umbrella rigs from Capt. Mack Farr
    • Stripers on bait from Jason Hammond-Shane Watson Guide Service
    • Stripers and bass on top water from Henry Cowen
  • Plenty of rods and reels, including a TFO rod of your choice if you win
TV host Cefus McRae and other local fishing experts will be on hand to talk tactics and share experiences with you. We really need you to attend. Tickets may be purchased online at CCA Lanier 2011 Banquet.

For more reasons why you should attend, you may visit the Nuts & Bolts of Fishing & Boating message board.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I've long contended that the best all around fly for trout fishing is the traditional wet fly. It almost can't be fished incorrectly. You don't have to worry about a drag free drift because drag is one of the attractive components of a wet fly. If you cast it upstream where it may briefly float on the surface like a dry fly, that's okay as it looks very much like a crippled insect caught in the film. As it drifts downstream, it may begin to sink, much like a nymph. That's okay also. As it reaches the end of your drift and the current begins to tighten your line, the fly rises to the surface imitating an emerging insect. At any point your fly can be attractive to a fish and drag won't necessarily be a negative. I just found this video trailer on YouTube that does an excellent job of explaining how to fish wet flies. I'll give you fair warning that this is not your typical head banger, loud music, screaming angler fly fishing video so popular nowadays. It's British, that's all I've got to say. But if you'll watch it, you'll discover an extremely effective way to fish. If you're new to flyfishing, wet flies are the best way to get into it because you can't mess them up. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spring Is Almost Here!

Yep, it's right around the corner.  This may be the first year I can actually give credit to Punxsatawney Phil for being right.  At least, I hope I can.  This past Saturday afternoon, Kathy and I decided to fish Nacoochee Bend.  It's really been fishing well the past few weeks in spite of cold and dreary winter weather.  The weather this day was perfect early spring type; a cool breeze but nice sunshine warming your face.  Of course, we all know those miserable days are the best fishing days but we couldn't resist.  The fishing was fun but I'll have to admit it was slower than I had hoped for.  I'm blaming it on a high pressure system that was moving into the southeast and you can take that for what it's worth.  We did catch some fish and Kathy got to work on her presentation skills as well as her fish fighting.  She's getting to be quite deadly with an Olive Krystal Bugger.

As evidenced by these photos, the water was beautiful (& very cold).  My camera skills simply don't do justice to the magnificent scenery surrounding us on the river.  The Olive Krystal Bugger was working for me also as was a shell pink San Juan Worm highsticked through the frothy riffles as they drop off into a deep pool.  It almost seemed as if the fish were hiding in those riffles because of the clarity of the water.  At least the ones I hooked were.

We didn't check the water temperature that afternoon but I'm guessing it was in the low 40's.  If you stood in waist deep water, it just sucked all the body heat right through your waders along with your energy.  Kathy decided to take a break and enjoy the sunshine while I went prospecting for fish.  What can I say; she's learning from a master.  I'm teaching her everything I know about how to enjoy a day on the water.