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, June 3, 2022

Unicoi Outfitters Fishing Report - 6/3/22

This week’s theme is “sunscreen and raincoats.”  Now we’ll be dodging the hot sun by angling early, late, or along narrow, shady streams. The summer weather pattern is kicking up some afternoon showers, too, so stuff a poncho in your vest or slingpack to prevent your deep soaking.

Our streams are clear again and flows are back down to seasonal norms. NC streams are a bit higher.  Best bets will be shady headwater streams all day, larger trout waters before noon, and pond and river bass at dawn, dusk, or in the shade via your yak attacks. For trout, think terrestrials and toss our 3 favorite summer colors: yellow (sallies), green (inchworms), and black (ants, beetles). If you’re lucky enough to get some rain-stain, toss some red squirmies to match that sudden spaghetti hatch.

You’ll need to avoid summer tourists, so take the side roads to avoid the crowds. Fishing early and late will get you past the tubers and canoeists.  The Hooch thru Helen is once again thick with summer’s “pink donut” hatch!

While furry daughter #2 and I were checking stream conditions yesterday (2nd) we found one Robertstown resident heading away from the Helen crowd. He thought he owned Highway 75 and walked right up the middle of the road! Only when we got within 30 feet did the young black bear finally detour into the woods toward Unicoi Park.

We hope you have an eventful week, too.  Stop in either UO store for hot flies, supplies, and top tips to get y’all on some fish. See our full report on our home and Facebook pages for more great angling intel.

Wes’ Hot Fly List:

Dries: 409 Yeager yellow, stimulator, bears hi viz Drake, transfoamer.

Nymphs & Wets:

Girdle bug, pheasant tail, root beer midge, prince nymph, split top, 

Streamers & warm water:

Feather changer, micro changer, amnesia bug, muddy buddy.


UO Helen manager Wes: “I did a blueling trip this week. The fishing was very productive. We saw lots of yellow sallies flying around. A “409 yeager yellow” with a pheasant tail dropper was the winning combo.”

UO guide Palmer:

“Small stream fishing was great after the water came down! I landed several nice wild residents on a size 12 stimulator.”

Stocker Streams:

UO friend Splatek: “We had a great boys trip to a mountain creek. Mini Me 1(Spencer) spent his time teaching Mini Me 2(Presley) how to “Catch the Trouts.”  We made some great family memories.”

UO friend Landon:  I hit a popular stocker stream after scouting yesterday for deer season. I pulled  in right behind the truck for a while. Got bored after 40 fish but it was fun catching mostly brook trout. The fed folks mentioned that’s alot of what should be stocked in that area over the next few weeks.”


NC’s delayed harvest restrictions end today, so flyfishers will have company in the days ahead.  The national park and forests will continue to fish well due to their higher elevations.

Private Waters:

UO Helen manager Wes: “I had a couple of guided trips on The Bend this week. The fish are starting to get picky, so cycling through flies til you find a productive pattern is recommended.  Plain pheasant tails, midges, girdle bugs, and sparkle minnows worked best.”

UO company manager and veteran guide Jake:  “Fishing at Rainbow Point on the Soque was great on Tuesday.   We managed to hook 20-25 fish that morning, including a really nice brown, with most of them coming on diamond midges, various soft hackles, and rubber legged stones. The recent bump in flows has "recharged" everything, and our morning trips continue to produce very well!”

UO guide Palmer:  “My upper Hooch striper came during the high water event and ate a Cowen’s Somethin’ Else streamer.”


UO friend Landon: “Andrea asked what I wanted for my birthday.  I told her I wanted her to do the Bass Slam with me. The Bartrams Bass was a success tonight!”

Flat Water:

HenryC:  “There are still a few stripers around on the pond to be had with a fly rod if you're diligent enough to find them. It's time to switch over to spotted bass on lakes here in GA and maybe some hybrids if your lake has them stocked.  Me... I'm in top water spotted bass mode and carp mode for the next 90 days.”www.henrycowenflyfishing.com


Athens Jay celebrated the end of his school year with a road trip to the far north. He and his fishing buddy enjoyed chasing the chunky smallmouths of the upper Mississippi River. 

Back down here in GA, summer has arrived, so adjust accordingly.  Search for shade and toss some favorite summer bugs for seasonal success. Don’t forget your sunscreen, poncho, and a quick pit stop into a UO store right before your angling adventure. Good luck!

Unicoi Outfitters: Friendly. Local. Experts.


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