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 5, 2022

Unicoi Outfitters Fishing Report - 8/5/22

Welcome back to “summer reruns.”  If you’ve followed the past few weeks’ worth of our reports, then you’ll know what to expect for the days ahead. We’re big subscribers to the series, “Weather to Water to Fish to Fishing.”  With another steamy summer week staring at us, the angling prospects will mirror our experiences during the last half of July. But with one possible, positive exception!

Our rain chances have decreased. Many watersheds in northeast Georgia have been missed by afternoon thundershowers. The result: the main rivers are low and much clearer, and the bassing has improved. It’s just the luck of the draw on these pop-up storms.  If they hit upstream and send down a chocolate slug, we’re outa luck. But if they miss, that water clarity and skinnier depth has enhanced our recent success for river spots, shoalies and bream.


Conversely, chocolate milk has ruled the day for our striped summer vacationers.  Fisherfolk lucky enough to hit a slug of stained water can fool some river stripers on flies, while anglers casting in clear water have struck out.

Pond bass and bream have still been good.  Headwater trout are okay, but limited to the highest elevations and north slopes.  Tailwater trout are good if storms haven’t muddied the tribs, which then turn the tailwaters brown. Rockies trout are still rockin’ along for anyone soon flying afar.

There’s still some fun local action out there for folks who aim true. Read our last few weekly reports, go early, and aim for clear water bass, dirty water stripers, and mountaintop specks and bows. More intel and Wes’ hot fly list are in our full report on our home and Facebook pages. Good luck!

Wes’ Hot Fly List:

Dries: Parachute ant, 409 yeager yellow, elk hair caddis. Micro chubby.

Nymphs & Wets:

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

Streamers & warm water:

Feather changer, double barrel bass bug, bank robber sculpin. Swinging D.


Most remain low, clear, and too warm to fish. Head real high, toward north slopes, or to the Smokies for cold water and eager residents looking for terrestrials. Here are two great sources of Smokies intel:



UO guide Israel: “Wild troutin’ has been rating “okay” during my recent trips.  Resident rainbows have shown a real affinity for a Green Weenie.”

Stocker Streams:

It appears that WRD may be on its post-July 4th biweekly schedule. If so, then this is an off week, so aim for the colder creeks on last Friday’s stocking report. Remember our prior tips: light line, small hooks and baits, and morning trips.


We are a bit distant from the Hooch and Toccoa and haven’t heard much. They should still be fishing well when not blown out by thunderstorms. Watch Devin’s weekly Hooch video reports (@orvisatlanta) and stop in at Cohutta Fishing Co in Blue Ridge for the latest Toccoa intel. 

Warmwater Streams:

UO manager Jake said the topwater bass bite improved last week with dropping and clearing river flows. It’s still been the same pattern: topwater in the early morning shade, and then deeper bugs when the sun is up.

(See top pic)

UO buddy Landon: “Fished a Chestatee stretch last week. The bite was slow but consistent most of the day. I only had  18-24 inches of visibility due to rain the prior night. The river cleared a little bit throughout day. There was no consistent pattern. I fished  a white jerk bait for half the fish (and biggest) and some soft plastics in shallower pockets for the other half.”

Athens Jay returned to action after picking up his big TU prize in Maine: 

“Piedmont rivers are fishing well for bass when you can find clean water. No need for sinking line this week, as fish were willing to come up and eat. Really big articulated streamers in lighter colors worked best. Take it slow - strip, suspend, repeat. “

Longtime UO friend HenryC hit the Hooch right last weekend. He tossed a big, black streamer into the stained water at dawn and won his tug-of-war with a 15-pound striper. Hopefully you all saw the video of his epic battle on our FB page or @henrycowen on IG.  

One day later, a Hooch guest tossed a variety of streamers into clear water at that same spot and didn’t even have a look. The stain is the name of the game for these keen-eyed trophies.



Here’s a long distance post from Athens Jamie, currently in Virginia. Who knows the name of the largest native minnow in the eastern US? 

Here’s UO buddy Sautee’s latest CO report, as he rubs salt into our southern wounds: “I’m setting wild trout records out here with mayfly dries.  Rainbows, browns and brooks are all looking up. Yesterday evening I brought a fish to hand every 4.5 minutes. These small stream fish run just 6 to 13 inches, but are a ton of fun on my three-weight rod. This area has been a blast.”


That’s the latest confirmation of reruns in our weather, water, and fish.  At least we don’t have to worry about cold fingers and toes! Stop in or give us a call if we can help you dial in some summer “streaming” entertainment.

Unicoi Outfitters: Friendly. Local. Experts.


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