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 19, 2021

UO Fishing Report - 3/19/21

Theme for the week – Variability encourages versatility. Be ready with indicators, dry/dropper, and dries to match March’s variable weather and water.
Small streams will drain soon. Big streams may need a couple of days to drop.  Whatever the levels, be safe wading out there.  You may not get a second chance.

Click above to enlarge charts

Wes’ weekly hot fly list includes:  Girdle Bug (black or dark olive) #8, Mini Leech (Black) #10, Muddy Buddy (white) #10, Sparkle Minnow (black light) #6, Squirminator (Red) #12, CDC Tungsten Pheasant Tail #16, Jigged Prince #14, Red Tag Jig #14 & #16, and a Lightning Bug (silver) #14 & #16.

Angler Reports

Small Streams

Splatek gives us this blue line report: “The rainbows at IDBIS were being punks but Spencer and I managed to coax a few to eat a deep dropper fly.  Most in the 5” – 7” range but Spencer brought in a 12” stud fatty.”   


Sautee from the Chattooga: “I had a fair day on the river.  Fished from 1:30 – 7:00 and the best fly was a #16 Gray Soft Hackle dropper that was responsible for 80% of the fish brought to hand.  Though fish were rising all day, none took our dries (Gray Caddis, Brown Caddis, Adams, and March Browns).  After 5:30 the bite on droppers tailed off so I tied on a #10 Olive Leech and stripped it.  Picked up 4 more before finishing up the day.  Had an equal bag of rainbows and browns up to 13” with no brookies so the hat trick never materialized.”

Smith Creek DH is in great shape for fishing this weekend as is Dukes Creek. 

Private Waters

From Hunter:  “Cody and his son Peyton had a successful day on Nacoochee Bend this week before this front came in. I expect the fish to go back to this pattern late this weekend and early next week as flows settle back down to normal. We had the fish patterned two different ways. A good bit of fish had moved up into the faster water at the heads of pools, these fish were happy to eat eggs, legs, and small nymphs, primarily olive mayfly nymphs, and caddis larvae nymphs, although you could find a few here and there willing to pick up other miscellaneous flies. We also found a fair amount of fish sitting in slower deeper pools feeding on emerging bugs, these fish loved a small olive soft hackle swung in front of their nose. No matter what we went with, olive was the color of choice. Every fish also had an excess of energy with the rising temps this week, so be ready for strong, long fights. As water levels come back down this weekend I would expect streamers to be on the menu, along with your typical eggs, legs, and stones. As water levels drop back down to what they were pre-front, and we get into another prefrontal situation next week, I would expect a lot of fish to get back on the pattern that we found them on the other day.”


HenryC is excited this week and sends this report: “The crazy weather this past week kept the striped bass fishing hot as a campfire!  Lots of overcast and prefrontal weather has had the fish chewing.  Still some fish up in very shallow water but the heavy rain is likely to end this pattern.  The good news is there are big groups of fish all over the lake in open water or in the mouths of the coves putting on the feed bag as the pre-spawn takes shape.  Fish of all sizes are mixed in and lots of fish are feeding on the surface.  Just burn gas and find the fish!  They are fat and happy gorging on small threadfin shad.  The Somethin Else fly is easily your best choice for flies right now.”

Landon says he was glad to have a couple of Coyotes in his box on his last nighttime trip on Lanier.  The fish caught after dark seemed to be making the switch to bigger stuff.  “I saw a couple of Facebook reports that confirmed my suspicions the last couple of days.”

Our buddy Ron Wilson sent this lake report:  "I spent last weekend up on Lake Arrowhead with my cousin and good friend Stuart.  We fished for a few hours Saturday afternoon and evening and then again on Sunday morning.  We caught several fish each on spinners, crankbaits, wacky worms and the Ned rig.  I was looking for beds but didn't spot any at all. Biggest fish of the weekend was my cousin's 5.2 pounder.

That’s your up to the minute report for northeast Georgia.  Be careful in high, off-color water if you get out this weekend.  Let us know how you did!

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