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.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Watch, Cast, and Catch!

The trout switch is “on” up here as we really get into caddis and cahill season.  Come late and stay late to take advantage of the evening bug activity and the resulting trout rises.  A young Atlantan heeded my suggestion this week and enjoyed a great 30 minutes of Smith DH trout on top at sundown. You can, too.

But, before you crash into the stream and start casting, stop and WATCH first. Find a good, high spot on the riverbank and watch closely: for bugs and feeding fish. Be the eagle. Then you’ll have a much better chance to match the hatch and have your “eats” far outnumber your refusals.

First, the bugs. Are they mayflies or caddis? Or even stoneflies? Have you caught a bug or two in that paint strainer you’ve stretched over your landing net?  Are they adults, nymphs, or that funky bug in the middle: an emerger?

Next, the fish. Where are they feeding? Are they flashing deep, sipping nymphs at mid-column, or coming to the top? When on top, can you detect their rise forms?

Here’s some great web intel on rise forms. Study up now, ahead of your next trip. And when you arrive at the river, stop and watch before you wade and cast. Patience will land you more fish during this wonderful season of Dark30.

A great video:


Two articles:


Rise up: Understanding trout rise forms | Hatch Magazine - Fly Fishing, etc.


then cast and catch.



And share your fish tales and pics with us!  Good luck making more of your own hatch-matching memories at Dark30.  Stop in either UO shop for the latest intel and the right flies to match the hatch. 

PS: Got a flashlight?

Unicoi Outfitters: Friendly. Local. Experts.


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