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, July 15, 2022

Unicoi Outfitters Fishing Report - 7/15/22

Frequent showers and less heat have helped pick up the bite. It’s still summer and therefore tough on fish and fishers, but these slightly improved conditions give us hope. This week’s best bets are tiny, cold headwaters, cooler stocked streams, icy tailwaters, reservoir spotted bass in the sun, and pond and river bass in the evening shade. The very best bet is a road trip to the Rockies!  Check out our full report and Wes’ hot fly list  on our website and at our Instagram link in bio. Enjoy the pics!

Wes’ Hot Fly List:

Dries: micro chubby, parachute ant, elk hair caddis, parachute royal coachman.

Nymphs & Wets:

Green weenie, drowned ant, squirmy worm, former prince.

Streamers & warm water:

Feather changer, bank robber sculpin, swinging D, dragon tail.


They’re still a bit warm (Spoilcane was 67F at noon today) but, thanks to periodic showers,  the headwaters  have picked back up to their normal summer low flows.  

Here are a few tips for blueline fans.  First, get an early start and fish the cooler mornings. Second, head high up the mountain to find the coldest water. Third, toss a dry that you can see as it floats through pockets of sun and shade. We like these patterns: coachman trude, parachute adams and royal coachman, tan elk hair caddis, and yellow stimmy. Fourth, before you cast, move and position yourself so you can see that dry through its entire drift. 

Last and most importantly, head for north slope streams. Foothills TU newsletter editor and fish vacuum Bob Lux reminds us that those north slopes catch less sun and therefore run colder.  Their fish are happier and hungrier through summer.

Higher elevation national park waters still fish well during summer. Remember and use your stream thermometer and best stealth approach. Smokies daily intel here:


UO Helen manager Wes:  “New UO guide Caleb took a couple of young anglers out on a small stream and they were able to get on a few fish including this pretty brookie.”

Stocker Streams:

I ran across GAWRD trout stocking coordinator John Lee Thomson today as he checked water temperature and pronounced the Hooch above Helen cool enough for some netfuls of stockers.  Watch the WRD Friday stocking updates to help navigate toward weekend stocker success.



Web reports indicate that the Hooch and Toccoa are still fishing well when dams aren’t discharging and when summer storms haven’t muddied the tributaries, which then muddy the mainstreams.

Warmwater Streams:

Hank the Yank said he’s still been run off his carp flats this week due to muddy water.


Up here, our mountain rivers have cleared a bit after several stormless days. The Hooch at Highway 115 had 2-3 feet of visibility today, enough for river bass to spot your streamers and poppers.

Flat Water:

Athens Jay returned to Georgia and reunited with his pond bull bream. It looks like his homemade bug has been hot.

UO guide Israel: “The panfishing has been great on Georgia Power’s Burton chain of lakes.  Poppers are still working on top, but for sheer numbers throw on a simiseal leech and strip it slooowwwww.”

UO buddy Landon: The fluke and spook bite is back on Allatoona.  It’s slow when the clouds are out, but when sun would poke through we’d get a flury of activity.  The mouth of Stamp and in front of dam have been hot areas. Pat says it’s been good all week for spots, but he hasn’t had any hybrids mixed in the catch yet.


We’ve had quick reports and some impressive pics from friends fishing out west, from CO to WY and MT.  We’ll share a few pics now and wait for their extended reports upon their return home.

UO buddy Sautee chimed  in again from Estes Park: “Great stream time yesterday evening. Scored the hat trick on species and lost count of numbers of fish. All on top!  Water temp 58. Couldn’t breathe with my mouth open because there were so many bugs coming off. About equal numbers brooks, browns and bows were fondled.”

Our Real Distant UO friend:

“I hope all is well at UO. Here’s the latest news from the old world.  The boys caught their flight back home yesterday.

The ATL duo’s  two weeks over here  with me flew by like it was two hours. We had a heckuva time fishing in Bosnia and Slovenia: caught a lot of fish, saw some beautiful country, met some great people, ate tons of good food, and have a few good fishing stories to tell. In the meantime, here’s some more pics from the old world. These are marble trout, coveted residents of these gin-clear waters.”

That’s the latest fish news as our summer heat continues. It’s not as bad as it was, so give a morning session a try soon on your favorite headwater stream, farm pond, or frosty tailwater. And if you can put up with the heat and humidity, float or wade a bass river as the afternoon sun sets and those spots and shoalies look up for an evening meal.  You’ll forget your sweat when a real good’un inhales your stealth bomber and heads under a ledge.  Stop by or give us a call if we can help point you toward summertime success.

Unicoi Outfitters: Friendly. Local. Experts.


No comments:

Post a Comment