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, May 28, 2021

UO Fishing Report - 5/28/21

First, we honor and thank all of our military heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice. Because of these men and women, we are able to enjoy and deeply appreciate this beautiful country, our way of life, and all of our freedoms. 

That includes the freedom to fish! We have a real nice holiday weekend ahead with dry skies, cooling air temperatures, and crystal clear waters.  


And crowds. So we suggest a weekend theme of “off the beaten path.”  “Out-wake or out-walk” the holiday crowds at popular sites by getting up early or staying late to hit your favorite waters at first or last light, hiking farther away from parking areas at bigger streams, or prospecting lesser-known and less-accessible headwater creeks to have more water to yourself.

Best bets are headwater trout, shady river bass, dusk pond bream, and reservoir blueback-chasers and cicada-inhalers.

Enjoy our extended report , with Wes’ weekly hot fly list and our guide & UO buddy fishing reports, on our Facebook page and at 


Wes’ Hot Fly List:

Dries: Parachute adams, tan Caddis, Deckers yellow sally, Yellow stimulator, parachute ant, and Micro chubby.

Wets and nymphs: Yellow soft hackle, Yellow sally stone, Lightning bug, Frenchie, Girdle bug, black fur ant, Squirminator, pheasant tail soft hackle, small hares ear nymphs, WD40.

Streamers and warmwater:

Kreelex, Mini dungeon, Krystal bugger, #4 black woolly bugger,  hairy fodder, Bluegill mini slider, BoogleBug, Finesse changer, gray/white Clouser, Bugger changer, Pole Dancer.


UO staffer Lee slipped away to the mountaintop and filed this report: 

“Several days of 90ish temps in May got me thinking about standing in a small stream casting for wild fish.  

So Wednesday after work I headed to [REDACTED].  Average water depth was about ankle to calf deep, so I initially cast to a couple knee deep holes with zero results....and those spots looked really fishy.

Third spot was maybe calf deep, barely above average, but it looked like it might hold fish just below a small sweeper.  First cast and BAM, a 5 inch wild rainbow...about par for this stream.  After shaking him off the barbless hook, I tossed back to the same spot and caught a carbon copy of the first.  I figured two fish from one hole on this creek was pretty good, so I threw back to the same spot and got bit again....but a much bigger fish, this one was a solid 9 inches measured on my rod handle....the largest trout I've ever landed here!  Another cast into the same spot yielded the fourth trout from an area about the size of a paper plate!

After a few more casts I moved on, hitting likely spots, usually with one or none, but there were a couple holes with multiple fish...including one more that gave up four rainbows. Mostly fish in the four to six inch range, all were caught on a number 16 tan elk hair Caddis.  Rod of choice was a 5'6" 3 weight...perfect for dries on this stream, where a long cast was 20 feet, but most were 10 feet.  Total fish to hand was about 12 to 15, with about half that again that released themselves.  And I ended up with three big fish between 8 and 9 inches.  All in all, a great hour and a half respite from the heat.”

Delayed Harvest:

Between legal harvest and warming water, pickings will now be slim in Georgia DH streams.  Most will still receive regular trout stockings (as part of the GAWRD catchable trout program) as long as they stay below 70 degrees, so try bait, a squirmy worm, or small woolly bugger for the new  and short-lived residents.

The cooler North Carolina DH streams, however, will still fish well and are worth the drive for anglers willing to travel. That state’s DH season ends in early June. Again, try your early-May flies and techniques up there.

Private Waters:

Private waters have still fished well for morning anglers. PM action has slowed with rising afternoon air and water temps and lower streamflows.

Wes checked in: “I did a couple Bend trips in the last week. With the warm weather the best activity has been from about 8am-11:30am. 

Soft hackles, chubby Chernobyl’s, girdle bugs, and frenchies have been the producers.”


RonW survived his mountain expedition and filed this report: “Moe and I fished a high elevation Creek in the Smokies last Saturday. We climbed up "Steep Creek" and gained several hundred feet in elevation, tossing dries all day to angry brookies.  Moe even landed a nice little bow at about 3800'. It was a fantastic day on the water with great weather and even better company! 

Definitely need a few Motrin after this creek!  It is a super gnarly creek with many obstacles, one being an absolutely massive hemlock that you have to climb over.  You get in the creek and you're committed to it for about a 1/2 mile. It just keeps going up and up and up! I don't think my body can take it fishing it more than once a year. But the specks made the gain worth the pain.”

A jealous UO buddy CameronF shared this:

“Another one of Rodney Tumlin’s NPHS protégés and decorated TU member Tucker Taylor went out fishing today and wanted to turn in a couple pics for your fishing report. He went fishing without me when I had a last minute job I had to take care of that day. He used junk flies to catch all of them, dredging with the euro rig “somewhere in NC.”


We’ve had no recent north GA reports, but our low, clear rivers will fish well for anglers floating not wading them early, late, and along shaded banks. Be ready to share the water with midday tubers, yakkers, and canoeists. Don’t forget your 8-weight and some big gar flies and striper streamers.

Landon  checked in after his trek south of ATL: “Liked “If yall can swing it, the middle GA rivers are on right now! A stealth bomber with a beefy size 6 bugger or pats rubber legs worked well this AM. Spider lillies out if you know where to find ‘em.”

Flat Water:

HenryC sez, “Catch the Lanier blueback spawn before it ends next week.  Look for fluttering baitfish and surface swirls from spots and stripers.  Look for spawning herring around structure: mid lake humps, points, and seawalls.

Try a topwater fly like a Pole Dancer right at first or last light if you want some surface action.  Then go a bit deeper.  Retrieve your 4-inch game changer or Clouser with three short strips and then a three-second pause. Repeat as needed til you hook up.  If you don’t see predators on the bait, pull back a bit and let your intermediate line sink down 5-10 feet. Predators might be hanging just off the bank.

Lastly, the “cicada apocalypse” has started in north GA. Tune into cicadamania.com and fish those waters where expired bugs have started falling and predators, from carp to cats to bass,  are cashing in on easy calories. You have about a month to give this 17-year event a try.”

GAWRD provided another great report for us today, complete with stocking news and cicada intel:


Really Far Afar!

UO buddy Darren had a great spring trip “far south of the GA border” and hit the bone/tarpon/permit trifecta. He shared some pics and his desire to return there soon.

There’s your holiday fishing report to help your long-weekend plan. Take time out on Monday for a silent moment of thanks, and then celebrate the day by creating a new, lifetime fishing memory. Good luck and Happy Memorial Day from our  gang at Unicoi Outfitters (706-878-3083).

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Rx for Windknots

As we transition to summer, casting will become more important. We’ll wish to reach farther in order to hit the prime lies for river, pond, and lake bass, bream, stripers and gar.

And we’ll tie a few unintentional wind knots in our leaders, at least until we get the rust out of our casting stroke.

Here are some great tips to smoothen your stroke.  Enjoy the article by Midcurrent and the Orvis audio podcast (jump to the 1:09 mark).  May this double-dose of a casting Rx help send your stealth bomber way up and under those overhanging tree limbs this summer -  - where a chunky Shoalie or fat largemouth will politely inhale it!



Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Late Spring Stones

If you ever wondered why a stimulator/Pat’s rubberlegs combo is such a great late spring offering, here you go.


Hint: go up a size or two on the stimmy and down a size or two on the Pat’s..

Have fun hi-sticking this dry/dropper setup through some shady boulder fields soon.

PS: Remember our Tuesday fly tying session from 6-8pm tonite at our Clarkesville store.

Friday, May 21, 2021

UO Fishing Report - 5/21/21

We have it “made in the shade” this week.   Streams and rivers are clear and fairly low due to lack of recent rainfall.  Fish can see your offerings, but can also see YOU, so pull out your summer stealth tactics a bit early this year.  Best bets are shaded stream trout, river bass and stripers, pond bream and bass on top at dusk, and the river gar run for “something different.”

GO ASAP,  before Sunday’s heat wave sets in for a week, maybe more.  And aim for the shade.  Use your stream thermometer and you’ll find good trouting where water temps are below about 68F.  Bigger, lower elevation trout streams with open tree canopies will catch more sun and heat up. As their water temps rise into the upper sixties, trout appetites wane.  

Try them at first or last light for the last of the spring hatches. Maybe you’ll luck into a few coffinflies in the tails of silty pools at dark.

If you have extra time and gas, extend your trouting spring and hit some cooler, higher elevation NC rivers with Georgia’s mid-April bugs and techniques.

Cool- and warmwater fish like stripers and bass enjoy those warming rivers, so aim for them in clearing water.   Crayfish and minnow patterns may outfish topwater bugs this early in season.  For something different, go for gar; toss some  gar flies at this week’s spawning runs.

Enjoy our extended report , with Wes’ weekly hot fly list and our guide & UO buddy fishing reports, on our Facebook page and at 


And remember our Tuesday fly tying night from 6 to 8pm at the UO General Store in Clarkesville. Details on our IG and FB pages.   

Wes’ Hot Fly List:

We are re-running last week’s list, with a few additions, because these bugs remain best bets for another week of low, clear water.

Dries: Parachute adams, Deckers yellow sally, Yellow stimulator, Micro chubby, Stoneflopper, Green River super cicada. Carry a couple big Green drakes and Coffinflies in case you luck upon that hatch in the next two weeks here and a bit later as you drive north along the Appalachian spine.

Nymphs & wets: Yellow soft hackle, Yellow sally stone, Lightning bug, Girdle bug, Squirminator, Depth charge caddis, pheasant tail soft hackle.

Streamers & warmwater: Kreelex, Mini dungeon, Krystal bugger, Bluegill mini slider, BoogleBug, Transfoamer, Finesse changer, Bugger changer 


Headwaters are in great shape. They’re a bit low and very clear, but running cold. Two Hooch tribs ran 58 degrees at nine this morning.  Dark clothes, stealth, and casting fluffy, visible dries (caddis, small stimmies, parachute adams) into the shade will get you on the weekend scoreboard. For trout numbers, use smaller bugs (16, 18). To cull the smaller fish, aim for a size or two larger on your dry and they won’t be able to eat it.

UO dudes Hunter and Atticus speckulated this week and found a nice handful of natives “somewhere high above Helen.” The water was low and clear, and fish succumbed primarily to a good stalk. The duo’s small chubby Chernobyl’s and yellow stimmies sealed the deal.

UO buddy and Tumlin protege CameronF shared his perseverance story: “I went out to catch some wild brookies in the hills above Blue Ridge, and caught everything but a brook trout! I found this perfect, deep pocket under a downed tree.  I crawled in from the back side and got on my knees to set up my bow-and-arrow cast. Right before I released my fly, I saw this brown rise.

I immediately released. NOTHING! Tried again.  He came up for my fly and dismissed it. Tied on another fly, same thing. After a solid 25 minutes of persistent casting, perfect drag-free drifts, and 5 different flies being looked at and dismissed, I tied on an elk hair caddis and told myself that was my last fly. This fish was teasing me for way too long.  And...He crushed it on the first cast! “

Delayed Harvest:

There should still be some fish left in, above, and below the Georgia DH waters. Watch water temps, though, as numbers nearing 70 degrees will turn off trout appetites. Dawn will be your best bet for survivors.

Private Waters:

Jake had back-to-back trips at the Bend. He said the morning session fished a bit better than the afternoon session. His best technique was bottom-rolling smaller, natural nymphs and soft hackle wets in the main current, especially with some turbulence. Fish in those spots had to make quicker decisions on their potential meals.  His clients were even able to coax a few fish up to dry flies.

Wes: “I did a few trips at the Bend throughout the last week.  The water is clean and the river level is dropping so the fish are starting to wise up. 

The swing was king this week.

Soft hackles & girdle bugs on the swing were the big producers, while a well-presented #18 pheasant tail also fooled a few.

In the late afternoon we are seeing quite a few yellow sallies and golden stones coming off. When the bugs were out and about we were able to have a couple rise up to #14 tan micro chubby’s and a #16 decker yellow sally.”

Hunter:  “My two guests had a great Saturday at Rainbow Point on the Soque.  Our best patterns for the river’s chunky rainbows were squirmies and small soft hackles drifted deep in the shadows.”

Coach Mac:

“Tina and Keith had a great morning on a Gilligan Special at Nacoochee Bend.  

Learn to Fly-Fish – Unicoi Outfitters

We landed some nice rainbows and I think they are hooked on flyfishing.”


Extend your spring by going higher up the mountain. NC streams will still fish well due to higher elevations and colder water.  Try your late April bugs and techniques on our northern neighbor’s streams.  Their DH program runs until June 4. 

General Mountain Trout Regulations | North Carolina Hunting & Fishing Regulations – 2020 | eRegulations

You might even luck upon some drakes and coffins at Nan DH.

The Smokies will fish well. These are wild fish, so up your game and drop your expections on numbers to hand when compared to DH streams. But they are colorful, spunky, fun, and wild. Toss in an evening elk sighting and your road trip will be complete.  Our local friends up there at R&R and LRO have some great intel themselves, so peruse their reports before you go.

Fishing Report | R and R Fly Fishing

Little River Outfitters - Fly Fishing Report, May 21, 2021


The Hooch at Highway 115 was fairly low and very clear when I crossed it this morning.  Go soon!  Float or wade it or other region rivers (Chestatee, Etowah) before the next rain blows them out for several days or a week.  Aim for the river’s residents (bass), spring vacationers on extended stay (Lanier stripers), or recent honeymooners (gar). Our DNR friends scribed a great Hooch guide for you a few years ago:


UO regular Landon reports that the river is loaded with spawning gar right now. If you’ve never hooked a 3-4 foot long, cartwheeling “freshwater marlin,” you should give it a try. We usually land about one out of ten fish “hooked,” which is fine because unhooking them is a chore. But the fight is worth it, so “jump” some gar soon.

PS: the best gar flies have no hooks; the nylon rope is combed and the thin strands tangle in gar teeth. 

FlyFishGA - Gar

Bring a pair of work gloves and some needlenose pliers to help with unhooking and release. If you wanna try, this “Gar 101” lesson will help:


Flat Water:

The best and hottest  intel comes straight from the WRD technician’s boat to the biologist’s keyboard and to your smart phone:


Landon said he did pretty well this week on spots and largemouths on the north end of Lanier. He tossed super flukes toward the bank at dusk.

More than a week ago, he lit them up on the south end:

“We fished the south end by pounding the banks with flukes and the reef markers with chug bugs. We had over 30 in the boat before noon. I brought an 8-wt intermediate and managed a handful of decent spots on a clouser when we saw some schooling. Nice change of place for this north-ender.”

AthensJay reported on his pond gluttony and backed up his tales with pics. Evidently his popper/dropper rig, with a Pat’s rubberlegs as the wet, is tearing up local bass and bream:

“Double bass fun. One ate the popper and the other ate the Pat’s.”

He did not say exactly where these are and he did not invite me. Yet.  :)

There’s your updated intel from the hills around Helen.

Call or come by our Helen (706-878-3083) or Clarkesville (706-754-0203) stores if we can help in any way. Good luck! 

Friday, May 14, 2021

Unicoi Outfitters Fishing Report - 5/14/21

The weather and water are great. Two, half-inch rains this week bumped up streamflows slightly for a day or so and all waters have now returned to fishable conditions. 


The only bummer is fuel supplies. This morning in Cleveland, only one of nine gas stations had fuel. Hopefully this situation will improve with each passing day of pipeline flow, but check your fuel supply first before deciding on a distant road trip.

Trout streams fished well and should continue to do so, especially if these cool nights continue. The key to May success is 
Low Light
, as the bright sun and dropping streamflows will make fish very spooky.   So aim for a) deep,murky pools in big streams, b) anywhere and anytime on canopied  bluelines, and in April’s bigwater, buggy riffles and runs c) at daylight and d) again at dusk.  Carry yellow and black dries along with your April tans...and two flashlights!

Starting tomorrow, Harvesters get a shot at GA Delayed Harvest stockers, so expect more weekend company. There should still be abundant survivors left in bigger waters next week, so try a weekday evening trip and head-hunt for those risers. Also remember that trout can’t read signs very well, so try above and below the DH reaches, too.

The GAWRD trout stocking list is long, so you have many choices for your kids, armed with Zebco’s and Powerbait.

Ponds and lakes remain in great shape, with water temps keeping bass and bream in fairly shallow water, if not right on the bank. GAWRD is reporting that the blueback spawn is on, so there’s added incentive for some shallow and even topwater action, especially at dawn.

Enjoy our extended version, with Wes’ weekly hot fly list and our guide & UO buddy fishing reports, on our Facebook page and at 


Wes’ Hot Fly List:

Dries: Parachute adams, Deckers yellow sally, Yellow stimulator, Micro chubby, Stoneflopper, Green River super cicada. Carry a couple big Green drakes and Coffinflies in case you luck upon that hatch in the next two weeks here and a bit later as you drive north along the Appalachian spine.

Nymphs & wets: Yellow soft hacklee, Yellow sally stone, Lightning bug, Girdle bug, Squirminator, Depth charge caddis

Streamers & warmwater: Kreelex, Mini dungeon, Krystal bugger, Bluegill mini slider, BoogleBug, Transfoamer, Finesse changer, Bugger changer 


Jimmy reports, “Our local headwaters are in great shape: very clear but plenty cold. The stream

has changed! Have you seen the results of the winter floods up there?  I've attached a photo of a huge gravel bar that was created just at the bottom of the big cascade.

Mark and I caught probably a dozen wild rainbows with both of us landing one in the 8" range.  We had at least 4 refusals for every take as these fish get pickier with time and “experience” with anglers.

They all came on dries, mainly Parachute Adams and a few on Elk hair caddis and X-Caddis.  I also spotted a Coffinfly so it’s a good time to begin the annual lookout  for green drakes in big trout streams with silty pools.”

Delayed Harvest:

We had no specific reports, some rain, no gas, and other hobbies kept our informants off the water. We expect these waters will fish the same as always for May: dead in the daylight, a few bumps in the streamside shade, a lot of refusals as dusk begins to fall, and then 30 minutes of red-hot action right at dark for hatch-matchers who also mimic the real bugs’ behaviors.  Total catch might be below your April tallies, but May’s
warm air and beautiful vegetation will compensate while you wet-wade.  Enjoy the mountain laurel blooms.

Private Waters:

Wes: “I had a couple of very good Nacoochee Bend trips this week.  A lot of the fish we caught the last few days were on the swing, which is always a lot of fun.  Soft  hackles, buggers, and stones worked good on the swing, while squirmies and pheasant tails did the job on the dead drift.”

Hunter: “Our new shop guy, Joseph, did a little fishing after work before this cold front moved through to keep his streamer fishing skills sharp.  He found several fish willing to take a sparkle minnow on the Bend. Joseph thoroughly enjoyed his employment fringe

Afar:  UO buddy CameronF checked in with a Wednesday eye-popper:

“Tucker Taylor was a member of the North Paulding HS fly fishing club with me. We went out today and braved the rain/cold to catch some fish “somewhere north of the GA border.” His monster brown ate a rubberlegged stonefly nymph.”


Hunter: “I fished some chocolate milk with my dad the other day.  Black streamers weren’t doing it, so we decided to throw large topwater flies and create as much of a ruckus as possible so the bass could find our flies.  It worked!”

There is some great bonus intel in today’s GAWRD weekly fishing report (blog). If you haven’t already signed up for its direct delivery, you should! They’ve covered everything happening this week, from bass to bluebacks and stripers to walleye. 


That’s the latest from our mountain village. And, hey, if you have to stay close to home, those local pond bass and bream and Hooch Tailwater trout are darn fine consolation prizes for your mountain trip. I’ll bet the Laurel blooms will hang on til you get back up here next week. Call or come by our Helen or Clarkesville stores if we can help in any way. Good luck!

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Your Favorite Flyfishing Trinket? (And the cure for SSA!)

What’s your most  favorite flyfishing trinket?  Why? 

Reply here and help out all the new flyfishers tuned into our UO channel.   

I’ll help y’all get this conversation started. My fav might just be that Orvis scissor/forceps, tethered by a zinger so it’s not errantly gifted to the river fish gods. 

Some accessories have occasional uses, while others are real workhorses throughout our entire time astream. My scissor/forceps tool works almost as hard as my Clearwater rod!


Of course, most anglers enjoy its traditional uses such as unhooking fish and crimping  split shot onto their tippet. 

But are you aware of the multi-tool’s extra utility and exceptional healing powers?  First, check out the scissors. When my fluffy dry is riding too high to match the drifting naturals (emergers and spinners), I give that dry a haircut or a shave. I can cut the mayfly’s thorax hackles shorter to lower the fly profile. I can also  “shave” the abdomen hackles on an elk hair caddis to ride it IN the film, like a spent caddis, or just under the surface, like an emerging pupa. If stoneflies are sailboating and I’m short on those patterns, I’ll craft one from a caddis. By pushing down the elk hair to splay it and then trimming each side, I’ll create a long, narrow stonefly wing. I can also cut my tippet when I can’t find my nippers or it’s too dark for my aging eyes to find their narrow bite.

Second is the hook-eye cleaner, that small needle in the handle. Indeed, it punches through head lacquer well so you can thread your tippet through the tiny hook eye.  But it also has medicinal value, as it cures a common ill among the majority of fly anglers: SSA.  You know, Split Shot Aversion!  SSA affects an abundance of fly flingers, forcing them up and into shallow, fishless drifts and eventual long faces. Do not fear, the cure is here.

This tool is a great split shot REMOVER and keeps me fishing longer and better each trip!  I can easily add and subtract shot to work each riffle  and pool more effectively.  I just turn the shot over so its slit is facing up, then insert the needle point carefully into the slit. Once the slit opens slightly, the forceps or my fingernails can finish the pry job. I feel the tippet for nicks and, if none, I’m ready to fish the slower or shallow water. In the winter, I may be changing from 2 to 5 size BB shot while Indi-drifting the Chattooga depths.  In the spring, I may change among tiny size 6 and 8 tin shot, or remove them, so the nymph dropper below my Stimulator drifts at fish-eye level, whether that’s at the surface or a foot or three below.

Take a look at your own  trinkets. What’s your favorite?  You might wish to drape a new one on your vest, chest-, or slingpack.  And stay in the water and into more fish this season. Good luck. Stop in or call either of our UO stores if we can help your own “accessory adventure” and guide you toward more fish tails and tales.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

GADH Farewell


This week provides your last chance at some exclusive catch & release fishing for Georgia’s delayed harvest (DH) trout waters. 

On Saturday, May 15, the regulations revert to the general statewide rules and anglers can keep their legal daily limit (8 trout, but only 5 on the Chattooga due to the reciprocal fishing agreement with SCDNR).

So toss your dries now and then take your kids, armed with some nightcrawlers and Powerbait, next weekend. Turn them on to trouting with some quick success. In due time, they might get interested in flyfishing.

PS: although the DH regs end for this season, there are often fish left in those streams for weeks afterward. And, water temps permitting, several are still stocked by the agencies for weeks after DH season.

Why do DH regs end? It’s by design. Summer water temps limit trout survival. The DH program is used in marginal trout waters and serves two sets of customers: 1) release fans during cold weather and 2) harvest fans just before those trout succumb to warm water and a low natural food base (ever notice that May’s DH trout get skinny?).

So go soon and release,  and then return with a kid to make memories and take home supper. It’s all fun, so go have some during this beautiful spring! Come by either UO store if we can help you out.

Friday, May 7, 2021

UO Fishing Report - 5/7/21

We have a chilly and dry Mother’s Day weekend at hand, followed by a wet week ahead. Headwater flows are fine today while bigger streams are finally receding to normal discharge for May. Given the cooler water temps, hang a dropper below your dry fly until the warmth of the afternoon sun hits the water and trout backs. Then you can sling dries in the shade for early risers, and hope for some Dark30 bug hatches and 30-60 minutes of bent rods right before dark. (google Secrets of the Rabunites and read Dark30). Next week have your squirmies, leeches, and rubberlegs ready for a few rounds of stained water. 

The GAWRD trout stocking program is in full swing, so it’s also a great time to tote the kids to the mountains. Younger kids will do well with worms or Powerbait. Try a size 10 hook on 4-pound test, with one small (size B) split shot a foot above the bait. Experienced children can try a small silver bladed spinner. Teenagers can try their hand at flyfishing by drifting a squirmy worm or stripping a small dark woolly bugger in a big pool on a wide, heavily stocked stream like Holly, Coopers, Dicks, the Hooch, West Fork Chattooga, and Tallulah. A shorter fly rod (under 8 feet) might keep them out of the trees and in the water, and therefore much happier. Try a 6.5 foot Eagle Claw fly rod (about $40) to start out kids on stream trout and pond bream. If they like it, then upgrade. Hint: sneak into the creek just above a bridge crossing, toss the weighted bugger downstream, and let it drift waaay under the bridge. Then stick the rod tip in the water, point it at the fly, and twitch and strip the bugger back upstream. When the stockers smarten up a bit, change your fly and repeat. Kids will hook some stockers and will be hooked on flyfishing! 

Pond and lake fish were disrupted a bit by the big storms. They should come back toward the bank as our weather stabilizes. HenryC is still waiting for the Lanier shad and blueback spawn. Stay tuned and be ready to toss your clouser or something else streamer right against the bank at dawn, where the baitfish flutter and drop their eggs. 

See Wes’ weekly hot fly list and extended report on our Facebook page and blog: http://blog.angler.management/ Good luck. Don’t forget to hug your mom and tell her you love her - - even more than fishing! 

Wes’ hot fly list: Dries: Stimulator, Decker’s yellow sally, Micro chubby, Elk hair caddis, parachute Adams Nymphs & wets: Knotty girl (dark brown), Copper John, Micro mayfly, Soft hackle pheasant tail, Frenchie Streamers & warmwater: Triple double leech, Sparkle minnow, TA bunker, Headcase crawfish, Mini dragon tail, Finesse changer. 

Headwaters: We have no recent reports, as our guides were on big waters and most of our angling friends were traveling. Bluelines will fish well, especially after the morning chill subsides. Try a yellow stimulator or tan caddis and be ready to add a beaded pheasant tail dropper if the wild fish are a bit cold and hesitant. Remember that technique trumps fly pattern, so be stealthy and just try one of the top 12 patterns that I recommended earlier this week. Given the good flows, specks and bows should have some pot bellies.  Ed. Note: Sautee and I hit a local high elevation stream for wild rainbows last night and had a blast. Water is crystal clear so stealth is required but everything was caught on top with size 14 Parachute Adams or Caddis patterns. 

Delayed Harvest: A bunch of Cohuttans did a weekend getaway to the northeast corner. They had a “frustrating and fun” evening on the Chattooga DH, according to ringleaders Rodney and Steve. It was frustrating with all the trout refusals to their dries, but fun when the fish finally ate. Biggest on top was a 16-inch brown, while the bonus was a colorful Bartram’s bass with a taste for cahills, too. If you’re on the ATL west side, consider buddying-up with this fun bunch. https://www.facebook.com/tucohutta/ 

We have no fresh NC reports. Remember that, due to higher elevation, the waters run a bit cooler and the spring fishing runs a week or two behind ours. That’s good news- it should still be prime time up there as those streams subside. Follow the daily Smokies fishing reports by our friends at Little River Outfitters in Townsend: Little River Outfitters - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Private waters: We had several days blown out by high flows, but the rivers have now dropped and will fish well again. Since these fish are “angler-educated,” it’s good to change patterns until you dial in the flavor of the day. Our guides are great at tuning in trout. Palmer checked in: “ we had a few risers on my Helen trip last Saturday. We started with size 14 March browns and scaled down to 18 caddis to match the sparse Hooch hatch. There were just enough bugs around to coax a few bows to look up.” 

Rivers: The bigger waters were blown out for trout, bass, and stripers. They’ll now fish well as they drop and clear. Landon gave us a pre-flood float trip report, with more pics than text. Here’s what we could pull out of him. You can discern a bit more by looking at fish lips in his pics. He said: “Here's my fodder for ya "early" this week. Slow night until last hour/ mile!"

Lakes: Hank the Yank: Henry said a relatively cool April has Lanier surface temps running on the cool side. That’s good news, as bait and predators should stay shallow, longer this spring. The big storms and muddy inflows pushed predators deep, but they should return to the shallows as our weather improves. He’s on the lookout for the Shad a s blueback spawns, so stay tuned to his Saturday morning fishing reports on the O’Neill Williams radio show (WSB AM750), his social media (www.henrycowenflyfishing.com/), and the websites of other great Lanier guides like Mack Farr and Clay Cunnigham. Have you ever hooked a ten-pound striper in two feet of water? You have a good chance in the weeks ahead. In fact, we know certain uniformed anglers who always have some “shocking” reports -like today’s edition. Sounds like the blueback spawn is almost upon us. Don’t miss the walleye intel and the pic of the 14 pound bass. Thanks for the intel, WRD! 

Afar: Pescador got outa school and road-tripped faaar south of the GA border. He landed some odd forms of “bass and bream.” Enjoy his pics. 

That’s the latest from a drier north Georgia. Set your rod down and splurge on your Mom this Sunday. And thank her for giving you such a wonderful life. Visit or call either our Helen (706-878-3083) or Clarkesville store (706-754-0203) for supplies and angling intel. Good luck!