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, June 23, 2023

UO Fishing Report 6/23/23

Last week’s rains really “recharged” several regional fisheries and we hope y’all took advantage of them. The same weather pattern is forecasted for next week, so you have more chances to take advantage of storm surges, from headwater trout to river stripers and the few private trout waters that are still cool enough to fish. 

Pond and lake bream and bass are still going strong and remain a best bet. River bass are totally dependent on water clarity, so keep a keen eye on those USGS river gauges and avoid those muddy storm

surges for bass. 
But run toward them for our Helen stripers!  Book a striper trip this summer and time it for a YooHoo event.

Here’s our latest intel - far and wide. It’s as far as the Rockies and as wide as Texas, so don’t miss the good stuff detailed in our blog. Good luck this week. Remember your raincoats!

Wes’ Hot Fly List:  

Dries:  Stimulator, parachute ant, micro chubby, humpy, elk hair caddis.

Nymphs & Wets:

Micro girdle bug, squirmy worm, drowned ant, gold ribbed hares ear, improved yallarhammer. 

Streamers & warm water:

Amnesia bug popper (for bream), double barrel bass bug,

Hybrid changer, finesse changer, sparkle minnow.


Blueline creeks have really enjoyed their recharges. Toss fluffy dries if clear and dry/ beaded droppers if the water’s stained.  If there’s good color, you can go with a shorter, thicker leader (6 ft, 4X) to your dry to make the dropper combo easier to cast in tight quarters.

UO staffer Ben hiked high up the mountain in search of Georgia natives. And he found some gooduns! He said the hot fly was a small jigged streamer. Are y’all ready for summer bluelining? Hopefully this week’s daily posts have helped you.

The high elevation Smokies creeks are still rocking along.  See Byron’s daily park prospects here:


Stocker Streams:

It’s the home stretch for many streams on the weekly stocking list. Stocking frequencies are reduced by WRD after July 4th due to warmer waters, fewer anglers, and the hatchery space needed to grow 5-inch fingerling trout that will be next year’s crop of stockers.

Take your pick of techniques, from Powerbait to spinners to flies, and go have some fun. Turn a kid on to mountain trouting and you’ll have a fishing buddy for life.  See the weekly trout stocking list, updated each Friday afternoon, here:



UO buddy Mo: “Same drill as last week. Kurt and I fished the dam again this Sat and we enjoyed pretty much the same conditions and dry fly action as last week. We def picked up more fish on the dropper this time.  Tiny midge imitations in olive dropped off the dry about 2ft worked very well. 

Throughout the day they were on and off sporadically with periods where fish were actively feeding on top, but we had constant action on the dry dropper combo. We saw more scrappy browns in the net too. The dry in 16 again was the fly du jour on top. Both of us fished one in diff colors and they both produced equally well. 

Had a blue heron stalk me for a while from pretty close. He wasn’t having any luck fishing that I saw. Stood still for a quick pic before spooking and flying off.  It was a nice way to top off another great day on the Tailwater.”

UO guide Devin and his girlfriend had a good time on the Toccoa Tailwater, thanks to spot-on intel provided by his friends at the local fly shop, Cohutta Fishing Co. The combo of a small tan hopper and holy grail dropper did the trick when tossed in the eddies underneath shady limbs.

Private Waters: 

UO manager Jake: Team Jake-Squared hit the Hooch behind the shop last night (22nd)  in the rain-stained water and hooked 5 stripers, landing 4. The biggest fish of the evening was estimated to be around 15 lbs. We had a great time fishing that storm surge.”

UO guide Caleb: “A friend and I took advantage of the stained water on Monday evening.  We had a couple of chases and were able to bring one striper to the net on a big, black game changer.”

UO friend Sylvia: “Unicoi Outfitters hosted "Reeling in Serenity" on Saturday for their Summer Striper retreat. Reeling in Serenity is a  nonprofit organization that provides free fly retreats for men and women in active recovery from substance abuse. They are always looking for volunteers to help. If you'd like to volunteer or know someone who would benefit from these retreats, go to reelinginserenity.org or email them at info@reelinginserenity.org. Help share the healing power of fly fishing!”

UO’s Helen manager Wes: “I did a half-day private water trip with David Monday morning in the rain. The stream was dirty but remained just clear enough to still be productive. Black girdle bugs, and squirmy worms got it done in the off color water. He had a big time with some plump, feisty rainbows.”

UO buddy CDB was desperate: “Given all the rain, it has been difficult to find clear water to fish.  After considerable prospecting, I was able to locate this crystal clear pool.  After a stealthy approach, I picked up a fabled blue trout which I, of course, quickly released unharmed. 

Apart from that one, the fishing has been slow, and unfortunately the landowner keeps asking me to leave. There’s always next week ….”

Warmwater Streams:

Dredger noticed that rivers north of the border were running real low, so he took a road trip last weekend for some evening action ahead of a rainy week. And was glad he did. He started with a black/yellow slider but only had one look. He then switched to his ole reliable, a white Kent’s stealth bomber, and that got some attention. He ended up with a decent handful of smallies for two hours of casting, including a 16-inch acrobat that skied six times and made his evening.

Small Lakes:

Athens Jay: “I got my paddleboard out for a brief evening trip this past weekend. There were only a few spawning bluegill visible, but others were still hanging out in relatively shallow water. I started with a black/yellow Stealth Bomber with a brown Pat’s Rubberlegs dropper and got some explosive strikes on the Bomber and several takers on the Pat’s. I switched to a medium-sized black articulated streamer that I tied with contrasting light marabou on each shank and the results exceeded all expectations. Lots of fish were brought to hand in the magical final hour before dark.”


HenryC: “Little has changed on Lanier this past week. Water temps are still in the mid 70's and the fishing is okay. Bass and stripers are eating topwater but it's not the "epic" bite we are looking for. Humps, points and seawalls are all producing some fish. I did see some schooling striper activity near the humps in 20-30' of water. They are up and down quickly which makes flyrodders jobs a little tougher. Best bet is a spinning rod with a walk the dog bait. Pictured is a fish taken this morning (23rd) on said outfit.”


UO buddy Landon: “No photos, but I took my noob buddy to Lanier. We fished from the bank Sunday evening and caught spots on a Zara spook by casting along long rocky points. I fished the same areas with a shaky head and caught several as well.”


UO staffer Atticus is on an extended western walkabout and sent in this report: “West of the Mississippi is on fire with large foam terrestrials!”

UO owner Jimmy: “Last weekend I had the good fortune to be visiting the Hill Country of Texas and the intelligence to have a fly rod with me.  I've fished several West Texas streams over the years but, to my knowledge, I've never been on one with a population of Guadalupe Bass.  The Medina River was going to change this.  

My first day resulted in a mixed bag of beautiful sunfishes (known as Perch to all Texans) Guadalupe bass, and largemouth bass.  To be honest, I spent most of this day sidetracked by the healthy population of carp in the river.  Aside from one take, which I immediately fumbled, I couldn't figure bugle-mouths.  On my second day, I made a mental note to  IGNORE THE CARP!  

This trip was where I introduced the Medina bass to Kent Edmond's Stealth Bomber.  It was as if they had been waiting all their lives for this fly.  I don't count fish but it was pretty consistent action all morning; everything on topwater.  

Not only will I have a flyrod with me the next time we're headed to a family reunion, I may even make a special trip just to spend more time on that river.”

From the north GA mountains down to Lanier, then west to the Rockies and south to Texas, there’s your latest intel. We hope it helps you to have greater success this week. Good luck, and share your own pics and tales with us. Stop in either UO shop if we can aid your piscatorial pursuits.

Unicoi Outfitters: Friendly. Local. Experts.


No comments:

Post a Comment