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.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Unicoi Outfitters Fishing Report - 8/11/22

How about a “breath of fresh air?” The summer fishing remains about the same, but we have a cold front coming that will bring much lower humidity and a slight drop in air temps. This forecast should improve the catching a bit, but will really improve our fishing conditions. Enjoy the coming comfort!

Your summer targets remain the same.  Wild trout are out - except for high, north-slope streams and icy tailwaters. Stockers will be good in the mornings on any cold waters that GAWRD redoses this week. River and pond bass and bream remain a best bet, especially in the shade and clear water.  River stripers turn off in low, clear flows but turn on in cooler, muddy storm surges.

Check out more angler intel and Wes’ hot fly list in our full report. It’s featured on our home and Facebook pages. Enjoy the brief hint of fall that we might catch this weekend.

Wes’ Hot Fly List:

Dries: Parachute ant or black beetle, para-Adams, 409 yeager yellow, yellow elk hair caddis, Micro chubby.

Nymphs & Wets:

Green weenie, drowned ant, squirmy worm, small frenchie.

Streamers & warm water:

Feather changer, double barrel bass bug, bank robber sculpin. Swinging D, Kent’s stealth bomber, Boogle Bug poppers.


UO guide Caleb:  “Wild trout in the high headwaters have been slow except for very early in the morning.  Green weenies and ants were good patterns in the pools, while rubber-legged stimmies brought in a couple elsewhere.”

Smokies intel:

The national park should fish well with this forthcoming slug of cooler air. Check out the forecasted morning lows in Cherokee and the daily fishing reports by our friends in Townsend. 


Stocker Streams:

Stockers will still be a good bet for Georgia early risers. The summer sun will heat up a lot of those waters and turn off the afternoon bite, so hit them in the cool shade of early mornings. (For example, Spoilcane ran 69F at noon today.) Tune in to GAWRD for those Friday stocking updates, and use light line, small baits, and stealth in these skinny waters.



Recent reports suggest that the Hooch trout bite is picking up. Lanier should be strongly stratified this month, and Buford Dam discharges will be discolored and real low in oxygen.  GAWRD  describes Turnover 101 here:


Dissolved oxygen recovers downstream by Highway 20 due to river turbulence, while the color hangs around longer (farther). That color hides you and your line from wild brown scrutiny. The result: advantage to anglers!  Watch Devin’s weekly Orvis-Atlanta reports on their social media pages for more specifics.


UO friend Landon:

“The Hooch Tailwater was good to us this week. We were hardware fishing and didn’t catch a ton of fish, but they were good quality. Most were chunky 10-12 inch browns.  I found one good one laying under a log. I caught all my fish today on a pins minnow that I found in the grass in parking lot!   Fall river discoloration looks like it is just starting, as there was a green tint to the water.”

Warmwater Streams:

River bass fishing continues to rate fair-to-good. Topwater bugs work in the early morning shadows, while dredged flies and hardware are better bets in the sunshine. I saw about three feet of Hooch visibility today at the Highway 115 bridge. 

If this evening’s storms miss the watershed, the river should remain clear enough for some decent weekend  bass action.


UO staffer Grant: “River Striper fishing has been slower the past couple weeks due to the low, clear water that we get this time of year. However, the afternoon showers bring high stained water,  which makes for great striper fishing. Dawn and dusk are typically the best times to target these powerful fish in the slug of muddy water, when they can still be fooled on flies.”

UO staffer Joseph : “Here’s a pic of a gar Grant caught while wade fishing on the Hooch the other day. The fish jumped like crazy and gave us a good show. Gar weren’t the target species but we weren’t going to turn down a opportunity to sight-fish one of those Dino’s! 

Fly selection isn’t important for these gar, as simple baitfish patterns seem to work the best . The fish aren’t super picky. The most important thing is making a good presentation to the fish and making sure they can see the fly.”

Flat Water:

Athens Michael says evening kayaking on public lakes can be great for panfish when you don’t have storms. A black rubber-legged dragon under a chubby Chernobyl did the trick on his shellcrackers. 

UO manager Jake said local pond bass fishing has been good for smaller fish up shallow. He’s been tossing buzzbaits early, especially on cloudy days, and then working a small plastic worm along bottom structure once the sun rises above the treeline.


Athens Jay:  “Ansley Whitley is a UGA Warnell student and 5 Rivers Club member. She just caught her first flounder on a fly and is very excited. She considered the injury sustained during the process, when she fell on an oyster bed, a small price to pay. Ansley is a passionate fly angler.”

UO friend Sautee’s latest CO report:   “I moved a little higher in my local river drainage yesterday and the species composition changed from browns, brooks and rainbows to browns, brooks and cutthroat. Good to see that the population of fish is still holding fairly high, even though the most recent wildfire burned up all the shade-producing vegetation.”

UO friend Darren: “ I did a week of fishing in San Pedro Belize. The bonefish in the pic was tailing in about a foot of water and I caught it while wading the flat barefoot. It was pretty cool. I had several shots at permit but the conditions were never totally right. Also, permit are often impossible.  Everything can perfect and they still won’t eat. I was hoping the migratory tarpon game would be on, but they apparently didn’t come in the way they usually do.  I stayed local and focused on bones and permit.  And caught a lot of bones!!!  It was much less crowded in late July than when I went last May.  The turquoise water and crystal clear flats are some of the most beautiful on the planet. I had a great trip, despite those darn permit!”

That’s your early August summary from our neck of the woods. Take advantage of the break in hot, humid weather and wet a line this weekend. Call or come by if we can help you out.

Unicoi Outfitters: Friendly. Local. Experts.


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