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.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Aim for the Rain

As the tropical storm draws near south GA today, we are rooting for some rain events up here. Then we will aim for the rain!

Summer storms often cool north Georgia streams and deliver a slug of groceries to hungry predators, which have had slim pickings in this season’s low, clear waters. The stormflow’s stained waters also provide angler advantages. First, we can sneak up closer to our targets. Second, we can use bigger bugs. Third, we can use heavier tippet to winch in our trophies.

Summer stripers sulk, but come alive on storm surges.  They like to intercept stocked trout washed downstream during floods. Toss big rainbow trout-colored streamers or 6-inch long, black game changers to tempt them. Remember, fifty bucks and your 8-weight rod will get you a shot at Nacoochee Bend’s summer stripers. Call  the shop (706-878-3083) for details and reservations.

Resident, high-elevation trout relocate to soft pockets and bankside eddies. You’ll find them with bulging bellies as they take advantage of washed-in terrestrials (especially the spaghettti hatch) and dislocated nymphs.  Try a red squirmy, # 10 tungsten tan mop, or a #12 sexy Walts in those slow spots.

So watch weather forecasts, check USGS flow gauges, and call your favorite fly shop. (We know some good ones in Helen and Clarkesville.) Then grab your Goretex jacket and aim for the rain this summer!

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