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 9, 2020

UO Fishing Report- 2/9/20

Thanks to all of you who visited our booth at the Atlanta Flyfishing Show. That’s always a fun family reunion of us fly flingers.

This week’s theme is “ a good time for tying.” With yesterday’s 6 inches of snow sandwiched between last week’s 6 inches of rain and next week’s forecasted deluge, our stream fishing opportunities are nearly nonexistent.

There isn’t enough split shot in our fly shop to even get the Dredger back in the game right now. He did ponder a 4-ounce pyramid sinker on his surf rod, with a big bugger cast from the fly shop porch, but decided that strike detection would be too tough.
Fishing addicts can still find some casting opportunities on flat water in between the storms. The GAWRD weekly fishing blog is a great place for reservoir intel. Their “shocking” reports provide strike indicators for early season river runs of walleye, whites, and reservoir stripers chasing shad in the muddy, warmer shallows. Scroll to the bottom of this page and sign up for the blog’s direct delivery:
As for the rest of us stream fans, we can celebrate the winter recharge of our water table and prepare for spring. It’s a good time to resupply our fly boxes via tying or buying. Before we know it, March will be here and little dark bugs will bring some trout snouts to the surface.
That won’t be the time to discover that we’re short on gray caddis, blue quills, quill gordons, and chunky hares ear nymphs. Prep time is NOW! Just call or email our shop if you need a helping hand. Also, here’s a little more help with those bug lists via our friends at Rabun TU: 1) the “spring dries and droppers” note on the Secrets of the Rabunites page and 2) the fly lists on each of their monthly newsletters entitled Tightlines. Look at last spring’s newsletters to prepare for this spring’s hatches.
It’s also a good time to plan next summer’s western trips. If you’re in the neighborhood next Thursday nite, the Blairsville TU chapter will host us for a program on fishing the Yellowstone region.
Before all this liquid fell from the north GA skies, we had some pretty good fishing reports. They’re old news now, but still entertaining and informative, so enjoy them while you await the road thaw. Landon hit some bluelines in the Hooch watershed and dredged up a nice handful of little wild rainbows with his leech/pheasant tail combo. He invited a few home for supper.
Chris Scalley has been nailing some chunky, wild Hooch Tailwater browns. Check out his reports and pics via his River Through Atlanta guide service.
Smithgall guests found some nice rainbows, including a few brutes to 22 inches, during prior high water events. Eggs, pheasant tails, and hares ears worked for two groups, Jacob B and the duo of Garland and Dr. Dave, but were shunned on another day. Angler Group 3 found success only with a big black bugger with crystal flash in the tail. Dukes moral: if you’re in fishy habitat and have made some good drifts, go ahead and change flies til you find what they want.
Delayed harvest trips were slow or nonexistent due to high water. Smith was slow for Aaron. Smith did get redosed last Friday, so it should fish better as flows recede. Half those fish should be there. Wily anglers might find the other half washed down into Octoberfest-land. 😉
Private waters fished well when they weren’t blown out by high water. Here’s a report from a fun trio of Nacoochee Bend guests, including GA TU Trout Camp grad Aidan, who found success last weekend on eggs and small nymphs.
“UO staff,
thank you so much again for a wonderful day! Your hospitality, sense of humor and genuine comradarie made us all feel so welcome and important! We will be back! Mike, Aidan, and Rick”

We hope this week’s “filler” will mitigate a bit for your midwinter angling depression. Our trout streams will recede one day in the future and we’ll get back in the game. And we’ll be ready with overflowing fly boxes and overflowing hope. May our tying and buying begin!

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