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, April 16, 2021

Uo Fishing Report- 4/16/21

HenryC said it best: “we are in full spring swing!” this week as April’s hot action continues. It’s even better now as big streams and rivers drop and clear further. While we’ll be a bit cooler for a few days, the afternoons should warm up enough to spur some good bug action, and it will improve with each day of rising air temperatures. Be on the lookout for caddis and Cahills.

Don’t forget your PM trinkets. We made a checklist for you in yesterday’s post!

Ponds and lakes are great, too, as are the feeder rivers with spawning stripers and stirring shoalies and spots. If you have some vacation days left, this week will be another great time to spend one or two of them.
Wes’ hot fly list follows.
Dries: Stimulator, parachute adams and light cahill, tan elk hair caddis, 409 yeager .
Nymphs & wets: blue lightning bug, squirmy worm, tungsten hares ear, copper john, soft hackle partridge
Streamers: sparkle minnow, rubberleg bugger
Warmwater bugs: Feather changer, Clouser minnow, Murdich minnow, Boogle bug Amnesia bug, Girdle bug,
Sweet baby cray.
UO guide trip reports and angler tips follow in the extended version on our Facebook page and blog (blog.angler.management). Good luck this week. Grab your gear and go!

We had just a few reports from small headwaters because everyone was having too much fun with bigger fish on bigger waters, which had finally receded enough to fish well.
Headwaters will be good again. Try a big (#14) buoyant dry to call them up, and add a beaded prince or pheasant tail on a short dropper if they’re hesistant in the morning chill. Young UO buddy Cameron had some decent action on a north GA WMA. More little wild bows were missed than fondled, but it was great hooksetting practice!
RonW: “Kurt and I scouted a few streams in the Blueridge WMA on Sunday. We fished from 8am till noon and had a tough go at it. The water was up a little and off color. We tried everything (dry, dry dropper, nymph and streamers) but in the end the fish won this round. I managed the lone fish of the day, a lil' wild Brown who smashed a Stimi. It was an absolutely beautiful day to be out on the water with a great friend. We fished some cool new water and were home by 2pm, I guess we won after all!”
Wes: “I did a half-day public water trip Wednesday afternoon in town. Plenty of large fish are still left from the Helen trout tournament. We hooked 3 fish that were all 4+ pounds but weren't able to get any landed. We did catch several stockers. Worms, eggs, soft hackles, and buggers were the ticket.”
Delayed Harvest:
Apparently most DH streams, including Smith Creek, got some DNR redoses last week, giving newer flyfishers a good shot at success. Resident fish will still supply challenges for our angling vets. None of us had a recent DH trip, but web reports have been very good. DH streams should fish really well again this week, especially with lower flows in larger streams.
Cool mornings may keep bugs and fish deep, so go down to them if needed before your lunch break. Better yet, come late and stay late. For evening surface activity, remember to match adult bug size, color, and behavior:
UO buddy Aaron: “We are doing well. Recently moved to North Carolina and did Day 2 of this weekend of fishing. Let me tell you, since I switched to nymphing, my numbers have sky rocketed. Just today I’m closer to 50 fish in the net on some small streams.”
Private Waters:
George “Coach Mac” MacMillan: “Fishing on Soque private waters has been really good. Here are a couple of nice ones. Check out this big brown!”

Palmer: “my guests fished Nacoochee Bend on Wednesday. Water was still pushing pretty good. Lots of split shot were the key to our success with a variety of nymphs and soft hackles. The hefty rainbows fought real well in those strong currents and we had a blast.”

Jake: “Bruce and I had a good morning, with a mixed bag of stripers and bass on River "x" earlier this week. It's that time of year where lake resident stripers begin to make their migration into many of our local rivers, offering excellent angling opportunities. A population of fish can be found feeding on the surface right at daybreak, with heavier dredging flies producing more action once the sun gets up.”
Wes: “I also did a river bass float trip yesterday. If you put in the casts you can find some nice fish. While we caught a couple dredging, baitfish patterns are the ticket right now. Whether you’re throwing fly or gear make sure to add some pauses in your retrieve. That’s when they’re eating your streamer.”

Daytripper Landon: “Here’s a Bartrams bass report. They were there but they were on the bottom and wanted something slow-rolled past them! Action was decent until the swimmers came out and started swimming through the pools.”

Athens Jay said warmer weather has pulled bass and bream shallow and pond banks are a “target-rich environment.” He no longer has to dredge the bottom for them, but they’re not overly eager to eat topwater yet. He’s having best success with “mid-column movement via some Gamechanger abominations” (variants), his buddy’s black-over-purple Puglisi minnows, and a black or brown rubberlegs for the big bream.
Henry’s update: “Striper fishing is in full spring swing. Fish are spread out all over the lake and there is even a little schooling going on. The big schools are clearly up the rivers for the spawn. Both the Hooch and Chestatee rivers are loaded with fish. Bigger offerings like game changers and clousers are the flies of choice as the fish are gorging on blueback herring. “
Nightowl Landon:

“Stripes were really spooky on the Lanier lights last night. But we caught good number of spots to keep our lines tight!”
Remember to tune into GAWRD’s Friday trout stocking reports and fishing blogs. There is no better source of “shocking and stocking intel” than these stewards of your fish and fishing!
In closing, I hear an echo from last week’s report: “Go. Now”. Call or stop by our Helen or Clarkesville store if we can enhance your spring success. Send us some pics! Here’s wishing y’all tight lines and wide grins in April.

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