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, September 11, 2020

UO Fishing Report - 9/11/20

It’s a special Friday as we pay tribute to our fellow Americans impacted by the events of 9/11.  Personally, we salute our late friend Tom, PAPD badge # 1712, and his life-saving efforts in the South Tower. Your son proudly wears your badge now, and is a pretty darn good fly angler! We’re honored to call him our friend.

On to the fishing intel. This week’s report is nearly a rerun of last week’s.   Best bets continue to be river bass and blueline trout. Worst bet, until rains roil the river, is Hooch stripers. The two big changes affect bass rivers and stocker streams. River bassin’ is better because the streams have dropped and cleared, at least until the weekend rains hit. Second, GAWRD is winding down its stocking season, so anglers with kids or new to fly fishing should search for Labor Day leftovers in remote reaches below stocking stretches, and watch for this afternoon’s shorter stocking list.


Here are some fresh reports.

UO assistant manager Wes:

“I had a couple productive river bass trips this week. The low and clear flows had the fish looking up. It wasn't automatic, but once we found the fish we were well rewarded.”

Dredger finally saw dropping water on the USGS gauge for favorite, unnamed smallie stream just north of the border, and hit it twice this week.  The first trip was real slow (4 fish) as the water was still high and a bit cloudy. At least 12 and 14 inchers came up to crush his white stealth bomber.

The second trip was better as the river had dropped another 100 cfs and cleared.  But it was dead til dark!  He worked hard yesterday (9th) for a measly 6 fish in four afternoon hours.  The best one, 12 inches, hit his “ trolled” rubberlegs dropper as he waded back upstream. He’ll take any fish, even the accidents!

The last hour made Trip 2 worthwhile as 8 fish ate the stealth bomber at sunset. One may have pushed 12 inches, but most were 10-11 inches, jumping, and fun.

River bassing should be a real good bet until the rains return. When they leave and the rivers clear again, we should have another 4-6 weeks of good action in the low water of fall before cold water cools the topwater bite.  Bottom line: fish the shadows! And remember your wading staff and headlamp.

River stripers have lockjaw. The low, clear water has them nervous and not interested in any fly or lure tossed their way. Jimmy and Kathy hit Helen Wednesday nite and were shut out. This can change, at least for a day or so,  with one big rain and its stain.

UO friend Ron W’s marathon trout trip: 

“Awesome day for the Trio, a long one I might add! Left Woodstock at 5am and returned at 11pm.  We stopped by the fly shop in the Highlands to get some Intel in area streams. Did about 4 miles plus back in to one of them, last mile+ was all uphill. Beautiful brookies caught on top!

We had a quick lunch on the tailgate of the truck and then decided to go check out a stream we had good success in the past in North Georgia. Took the curvy road down from the Highlands and ended up stopping by "The River" to make a quick deposit...a new Flybrary I built recently.

After that we hit our intended stream and got our fix on some  beautiful wild bows. All came on dries and droppers, the Trude and Pheasant tail combo was working for me. 

All in all it was a great day to be out in the woods and on the water with my brothers in arms! My legs are sore my and back is toast but I'd do it all over again today if I had the chance!  Tight Lines! “

Remember, stealth is the key to a good wild trout trek. Don’t miss “Fundamentals” in Domenick’s  latest blog:


Jeff’s neighbor, Tim, had a short but decent yakking trip to a local lake. He landed 4 largemouth bass to two pounds along the shady bank with a Texas rigged Zman crawdad behind a 1/16 oz black bullet sinker.

Hopefully this fresh intel will help your weekend planning. Good luck as you stay safe, stay distant, and aim at the shadows. Call either one of our UO stores if we can be of service.

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