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 5, 2021

UO Fishing Report- 3/5/21

Unicoi Outfitters Fishing Report - 3/5/21


This is a great week to wet a line, whether on a stream or a lake. Warmer weather has both bugs and fish stirring. Your colors of the day are blue, brown, and gray. Blue is for blue skies and sunshine that kick up water temps. Brown is for the nymphs that you’ll use a) mid-column or b) bottom-bumping before the afternoon sun promotes the hatches and gets trout snouts poking through the surface. Brown and gray remain your colors on your dry flies -both mayfly and caddis. They worked for me yesterday and should work for you this week.

Junk flies will work, too, since both DNR’s just redosed the Delayed Harvest streams here and in SC.
HenryC says the reservoir stripers and bass are stirring a bit, too. His intel and that from our “shocking” friends at GAWRD will have you reaching for your eight-weight fly outfits soon.
Weekdays will be less crowded than weekends, so flex your schedule if you can.
Wes’ hot fly list this week includes
A) Dries: Elk hair caddis gray & olive #16 & #18, Parachute Adam’s #14, 18 , Stimulator olive #16; B) Nymphs & wets:
Sparkle soft hackle olive #14 & #16, Black magic soft hackle #18; hares ear #14 & #16 nymphs and soft hackles, Root beer midge #18, Knotty girl dark brown #10 and Lightning bug pearl #16; C) Streamers: Bank robber sculpin tan #6, Hot cone wooly bugger #8, Finesse changer white, and Mini finesse changer tan/olive.
Don’t forget a few good egg flies, squirmy worms, and small woolly buggers, too for the Delayed Harvest “freshmen.”
For our non-Facebook fans, this extended report will also be posted to the Unicoi Outfitters blog: http://blog.angler.management/
Good luck this week. Keep your distance and watch for risers in the afternoon shadows.
Here are more angler reports and tips from our staff and fishing friends.
No recent reports, as our contacts got distracted with chores this week. We expect these streams to fish well, especially in the afternoon warmth. Try a caddis or Adams first and see if the wild fish will come up. If they’re cold and stubborn, drop a hares ear or pheasant tail 18 inches behind the dry until the sun warms them up.
Delayed Harvest:
Smith remains busy, and will be even busier with good weather and fresh stockers. Be first or last there, be stealthy, and aim for the shade and shadows.
Chattooga DH:

It fished well for me yesterday (4th) once I dialed them in. River temp was 49 at my 1130AM start. The sun was high, the bugs were sparse, and the fish were glued to the bottom. They didn’t like my 14 Adams and 16 gray elk hair caddis to start, as I had just two refusals in the first hour. I was trying to force surface action and the fish would have none of it.
I found success with a #14 hares ear dropped 4 feet behind the Adams, my glorified strike indicator. One or two size 6 dinsmore tin shot, crimped about 8 inches above the nymph, helped it to slide through their deeper security zone. I landed a nice handful of bows, one small brown, and an obese 14” brookie on that dropper. They key was drifting it slowly in the 2-4 ft deep, soft, cobbled seams on the sides of the faster main current.

As the shadows fell at 4pm, little gray caddis came out to dance. And noses poked up! I switched to a #18 gray caddis, greased it well, aimed at swirls, and danced it with an upstream skitter to mimic the real thing. My catch switched to almost exclusively browns, with a few token bows. Last fish was landed as the bugs departed around 530, with water temp at 52. I’m glad I stayed on that beautiful, unleaded day of dropper-then-dry trouting.
For those finned critters, it’s all about the risk/reward of eating without being eaten. With few bugs on top, trout aren’t going to risk themselves to predators and come to your surface offering. As shadows fall and/or topwater calories increase, hungry fish get braver. So don’t rig at your car. Walk in, eat a streamside snack, and listen to the river. She’ll tell you what to do.

Private Waters:
Hunter’s Nacoochee Bend report: “Ruby and Jack got to get out and enjoy this sunny weather on the bend this week. Both got fish to the net, and had several long distance releases each.
Fish were down deep looking for small stuff like midges and caddis larvae till around 11:30. Then the switch flipped and they were hitting a variety of flies, still primarily small bugs like soft hackles and rainbow warriors.”
Palmer had similar action at the Bend and gave us some nice client photos.

HenryC checked in,
“Striper fishing has not changed since last week. Same patterns as we await warmer water temps. Fish overcast days or prefrontal if possible. If not, fish early and late in day. That’s the best feed on sunny days. Best flies are somethin else’s, Clousers and game changers on either fast sink or slow sinking lines. Fish are all over the lake and spreading out. Both rivers are holding fish and the bait guys are catching them on free lines over deep water or clipping points early and late.
On a side note, the crappie fishing was better last week on the moon and has slacked off this week some. That’ll change once the 70 degree weather sticks over the next week or so. Community docks are a magnet for these tasty critters.”
The agency’s 2021 reservoir and river fishing forecasts are out and today’s fishing blog has some truly timely intel. This week, for example, they told us about DH stream restocking and announced that walleye are heading into their spawning grounds. Have you ever seen a 14-pond hybrid Striper? Take a look! Check out the intel here and sign up for their weekly reports:
That’s the latest news as spring visits north GA. I’m sure we’ll still have a few backslides toward winter, but there are some prime days staring us in the face right now. Go, soon and often. Call (706-878-3083), email (info@unicoioutfitters.com) or visit us if we can help you get on some early spring fish. Good luck!

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