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, November 6, 2020

UO Fishing Report - 11/6/20

The weather is great and streamflows are dropping, so it’s a fine time to wet a line. It looks like we’ll be dry til at least Tuesday, and the warm days will keep afternoon stream temps up in the fifties.  Expect big crowds, esp on prime weekend days and times, so make plans to avoid them and stay safe.  Go on a weekday if you can! If you’re a rookie fly flinger, don’t miss our post and video this week on the drag-free drift. Practice this technique and you’ll catch more fish. (Trust me on this one.) Now here’s our latest hillbilly intel to get you set for your trips north.

This atypical warm spell might give blueline fans your “third last chance” at little wild fish this fall. We have no recent reports, but predict that warm afternoon stream temps will have fish on the feed. Stick with the dry/dropper menu and let the fish pick their flavors. If you’re lucky and the afternoon sun is warm and bright, they’ll look up. Stimmies, Caddis, and Adams are good choices for your “bobbers.”

DH streams are fishing as predicted. GA fish are gullible, while NC fish are smartening up. Remember, however, that DH trout will learn quickly from all this heavy fishing pressure, so be ready with smaller flies and thinner tippet.

Landon hit Smith DH early this week and did well on rubberlegs, leeches, and big hares ears.  He said fish were spread out real well, so try the small pockets and runs between the prime pools.

Sautee and Dredger met at the SC lot yesterday (11/5)and stayed two or more rod lengths apart as they taught Bugger Aversion 101 to Border River’s new residents. Water temp 53 at their noon start.   Class graduates were mostly bows, with a couple browns. Few wanted the legs or eggs, but many crushed the stripped buggers. Wading staffs were almost as important as the flies.

Tip: fish downstream and cover a lot of water to strike gold.   Cast down and across, mend up a time or two to sink it, put your rod tip in the water, and then strip the bigger back up in quick 4-inch strips. Olive (pic) and black worked equally well, especially with a big shot or two crimped a foot above the bug.

New UO staffer Abe and his girlfriend had a tough day on big, cold water in Fires Creek.
They had no luck on streamers and princes, but hooked up on squirmies and a green caddis larva.

Dredger hit Nan DH on 11/4 and was surprised to find more whitewater than flat water! The raging flow seemed higher than what the USGS gauge, on the river above the lake, would suggest. Either the tribs were still pumping in stormflows or there may be been some release from the lake.

He pulled out his Euro rod, hugged the near bank, and dropped a big tungsten, tan mop in the soft spots for success on a few stockers and a nice handful of wild, potbellied bows. 

Hints: hit the flood refuges, where fish might have washed into after last week’s flood. Also try a long (5-6ft) tippet below your sighter to get deep, quickly. Fish ignored the sexy walts and the small stuff (frenchie, surveyor) and only one ate a beaded prince. He ended up using that one big mop for most eats in the raging flows.

It was a similar theme on private waters: a slow start during cold mornings, and then a good afternoon bite when flies hugged the bottom in big flows. UO guide Hunter:
“ Some fresh private water intel after this cold snap:
Typical cold snap conditions,
Bite picked up more around midday as expected. A few on junk flies, but most wanted smaller more natural stuff. Hares ears, small rainbow warriors, soft hackle. Most were picked up dredging but still some action on the swing, but not as much as before the cold snap.   My keys to client success this week: 1) Natural drifts and getting deep, 2) Legs and eggs and small natural nymphs, and of course, 3) a lot of split shot !”

Jimmy gave Lanier a shot yesterday (5th).   He chased a lot of Striper schools but couldn’t catch up to them quick enough for a hookup. He said to aim for the lower end and watch both open water and the mouths of major creeks and coves. Fish are up and down super-quick, and are on small Shad.  Have Two rods ready: a spinner with a  Sebile plug and a fly rod with a small Cowen’ s Something Else. Watch for the few early-arriving gulls, too, as strike indicators.

That’s our latest hillbilly intel.  All of this weekly scouting and angling is a tough job, but we’re up to the task in service to y’all.  Stay safe and distant. Know your own safe wading levels and tread slowly on bigger waters while they continue to recede.  Plan your trips early, late, or on weekdays to avoid the crowds. Give us a call 706-878-3083) or email if we can help with your hydrotherapy trip via our store, our front porch, or our mailed goodies.   Good luck from all of us at Unicoi Outfitters.

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