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.

Friday, March 6, 2020

UO Fishing Report- 3/6/20

We have a very good weekend ahead of us, with abundant sunshine, warming afternoons, extra daylight hours, lower streamflows, declining winds, and some extra trout gifts from GAWRD giving us some excellent opportunities for the next few days. Get out there and take advantage of the good weather before more rain returns next week, when another 1-1.5 inches is expected.

Most of your success will likely be deep dredging, especially if you’re an early riser. Mornings are gonna be cold, so expect trout to be hunkered down, too, until the afternoon sun warms them and the stream bugs. Best bets will be mops, rubberlegs, soft colored eggs, and small dark nymphs like size 16 and 18 pheasant tails. We’re finally into March, so bigger bugs are now slowly stirring. That’s good news! With each passing day, larger (size 14 and 16) hares ear, prince, and pheasant tail nymphs and soft hackles will soon overtake winter eggs as our best bets for wets.
After lunch, BOLO dries! “Be on the lookout” for black winter stoneflies, quill Gordon and blue quill mayflies, and small dark caddis. As water temps exceed 50 degrees, the first good hatches of the new year will ring in our spring dry fly season. Make sure you put your dry fly boxes back into your vest or sling pack tonite. For more tips on expected spring bug buffets, check out the hatch chart by the Blairsville TU chapter:
Rookie fly anglers and spinning rod fans will enjoy this week’s gifts by GAWRD. Smith DH got redosed, and nine other waters got some fresh Buford stockers. Stick a Mepps spinner, small woolly bugger, or red squirmy worm on the end of a new angler’s line and be their champion fishing guide. Check out the fresh WRD intel and sign up for your own copy of the weekly trout stocking list here:
Also notice the start of spring river runs of walleye, whites and even some stripers. Chunky white bass on a six-weight fly rod and small clouser minnow are a blast. And an 8-pound striper on that rig will give you the fight of your life. For the walleye, leave the fly pole at home and drown some nightcrawlers.
Private trout waters have been too high for many safe client trips, so fishing reports are sparse. Those bigger streams have finally dropped to fishable flows and we expect good trips this weekend, since those fish have had nearly a month’s vacation from anglers’ offerings. UO guide Stefan Manole had a good Soque trip today. His angler trio battled high water, but were rewarded with nice rainbows on a variety of Stefan’s secret patterns. Private trout waters will only get better as they warm up and shed some more CFS this spring.
Landon went over the mountain to his favorite NC stream last Sunday. He said DH stockers were scarce, but little wild rainbows were very cooperative:
“All wild rainbows today besides a couple skinny stockers. Few bugs out, couple quill gordons, blue quills, black caddis and winter black stones. Only a couple fish rising and caught every one I saw. Water still ripping through there, wading the flats was safest bet, hares ear on bottom best bet. I had to go to 6x tippet for greatest success in the clear water.”
New fly flinger “Toccoa Aaron” has been practicing, and his batting average is rising significantly! He reports,
"I had luck at Smith Creek with brown and rainbow trout using a single fly rig (cream mop) under a thingamabober. I also talked to a fellow fisher who went to the Chattooga yesterday and landed 17 fish using mops and squirmies.”
There’s enough intel here to get you pointed back north to trout water. Shoot, you might even be able to leave your rain jacket at home for a day or two. What a novel idea! And with the time change, you now have an extra hour of daylight to end your fishing day. Grab the vest, toss the dry fly boxes back into it, and head north before the next storm clouds brew. A day astream this weekend might just help you forget that lost hour of Saturday night sleep. Call or email us at the shop if you need any more encouragement. And you can soon visit us at store #2 in Clarkesville if that site is closer to your Mapquest route to north Georgia trout nirvana. Good luck!

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