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, August 19, 2022

Unicoi Outfitters Fishing Report - 8/19/22

Today we’re just waiting on the rain. Region streams are still running low and clear, but they’ve been a bit cooler, thanks to moderating air temperatures.  Hopefully we’ll get an inch or so of rainfall to briefly recharge our rivers, but it will run off quickly.

So be ready to continue your summer, low-water game for the coming week. It’s been a good game for river bass, which have renewed appetites with the cooler temps and shorter daylight hours that are our early hints of the coming fall. Just call tackle shops and check river gauges first to ensure that a local storm hasn’t blown out your target water for a few days. Those storms can also turn on some river stripers if waters turn chocolate!

Pond bass and bream are still rockin’ along. As always at this time of the year, aim for the lower light of dawn, dusk, and cloudy days. Popper-dropper rigs are a great bet when fish are skittish. Remember our prior column on these rigs in the June 2021 edition of The Angler Magazine.


Headwater trout are still iffy. Go high and to north slopes to find cold water. Longer, thinner leaders and smaller flies will help your riser rate. When they’re not muddy, tailwaters are still the better trouting bet.

Check out more angler intel and Wes’ hot fly list in our full report. It’s featured on our home and Facebook pages.

Wes’ Hot Fly List:

Dries: Micro chubby, fathead beetle, parachute Adam’s.

Nymphs & Wets:

Squirmy worm, hare’s ear, rainbow warrior, flashback red tag jig, sunken ant.

Streamers & warm water:

Finesse changer, double barrel popper, swinging D, bank robber sculpin


They remain low, skinny, clear, and a bit warm. Rest most of your favorite spots until colder nights drop their temperatures further. North slopes and highest elevations can still show you some waters below 66F, so hike high or try the taller mountains in NC.  Better yet, stick to the warmwater game while all these fun summer species are readily available, even in our own back yards. Stream bream are a lot of fun on a three-weight rod and small rubber spider.

UO friend R Squared said: “Blue-lining, I found some high elevation water in the low 60’s. The brookies were taking size 14 orange stimulaters until the rain began. I switched to pheasant-tail  nymphs & continued to catch & release fish.” 


This is probably on off week for the truck fleet, so refresh yourselves on last week’s GAWRD stocking list, go early, and go high. Again, lighter lines and smaller flies and baits will enhance your dinner harvest.


Smokies intel:

Area guides north of us report good fishing, as those high elevations have cooled off even further. Stick with your summer game and have a fun road trip. If you’re lucky enough to find higher, stained water, dredge some big bites like squirmies, rubberlegs, and sexy Walts on slightly thicker tippet.  The browns might be out, chowing down! Daily updates here:



They’re still holding their own. UO guide Caleb checked in: “I fished a 59 degree tailwater last weekend and had lots of success on bows and browns. Pink mop flies and squirmy wormies worked well alongside cased caddis patterns(dirty carrot, Walt’s worm type flies) in the riffles.”

Warmwater Streams:

UO manager Jake said river bassing continues to be good (see first pic).  Fish are scattered across the river. Check out his video report that we posted last Friday. Topwater action is good early and in cloudy days. Dredging is better when the sun is out.

UO owner Jimmy waded into the river for an hour or so after work. While no trophies were landed, four small shoalies made his brief trip worthwhile. The hot bait was a four-inch worm bounced along the bottom.

UO friend R Squared reported:

“Don & I fished a middle GA river last Sunday. The water was high, fast, & muddy from recent rains but we managed to bring some to hand using a crawfish pattern. The Ga. Bass Slam continues!”

That’s  the latest news from our staff and friends. Watch the weather and have both a dry and a wet game ready to go. Don’t forget your raincoat and some hope.  Give us a call if we can help with updates on weather, water, and hotspots.

Unicoi Outfitters: Friendly. Local. Experts.


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