Conserving, protecting and restoring cold-water watersheds of North Georgia.
Conserving, protecting and restoring cold-water watersheds of North Georgia.
Courtesy of guide Matt Morrison of Cohutta Fishing Co.
Toccoa Tailwater: The tailwater has been fishing good. TVA is still sluicing at 400cfs, so float fishing has been best, but you can still wade around the access points. With last week’s air temps touching the 80’s, the fishing would slow down as the day went on, then picking up again in the afternoons. With this cold snap, fishing has been pretty steady through the day. The bug hatches have been starting a bit later though, so have some Parachute Adams or Parachute BWO’s in sz 16-18 with you. A lot of the BWOs and midges are tiny so fish the smallest dries you can. Because yes, fish can see that. Midges and Blue Wings have been killer on these cooler days, but the caddis aren’t done yet. Once the temps start getting back into the 50s, we will probably see more tan and October caddis again. We have been finally getting some rain here and there. During these days, or while the water is stained after, keep a stonefly as your point fly. You may not catch every fish on the stonefly but it will definitely attract some attention in stained water. Worms are also a great choice behind the stonefly after the rain. Once the water gets clearer, keep the stone but throw a more natural fly off of the back like a BWO or a Midge.
Browns are going to start spawning here soon. If you see spots where gravel looks a little lighter than surrounding areas or places that look like they’ve been fanned off, just steer clear of it! If you’re lucky enough to see a fish sitting on a redd, leave them be. It is a cool thing to watch and to take a video, but the spawning season takes a lot of energy out of them. These fish try to spawn every year, so leave them be so we can have a better fishery.
Upper Toccoa: The upper was low and clear the past couple of weeks and most fish were been condensed into the deeper holes. Thanks to some well-needed rain, the flows on the Upper Toccoa have been a little higher, hopefully spreading a few of those fish out. As of 11/16, the USGS gauge read 375 (still a good flow for wading). A lot of those fish have had a lot of junk fly patterns drifted past them, so throwing flies that are more natural, but have flash or a hotspot should work. Water temperatures are going to be cold, so Airlocks are a better option than dry-dropper rigs to make sure you’re getting down to those fish in deeper holes. Swinging buggers with soft hackle patterns behind them can be effective during these colder days.
Small Streams: With the rain this past week and more to come in the forecast, the bump in flows should flush a lot of what’s left of the leaves out. Stoneflies feed on the leaves and get dislodged with the higher flows. Dry-dropper rigs with a Pat’s Rubber Legs and a Blue Winged Olive nymph (BWO) is a solid option. Something like a small pheasant tail variation or mayfly nymphs in black, gray, or olive. If the water is dirtied up from rain, swap the BWO for a worm. Brown trout in the wild trout streams are spawning, so watch your step for any redds or light patches of gravel.
Cohutta Fishing Company supports Blue Ridge Mountain TU. Drop by the store in Bluie Ridge for the best in fly-fishing gear. Be sure to mention that you’re a member of Trout Unlimited to get an in-store discount! Also, If you feel inclined to do so, we’ve attached a Fish Log for the Toccoa Tailwater to fill out. Call us any time if you’re looking for a quick fishing report or have questions! (706) 946-3044.
Located in the mountain town of Blue Ridge, COHUTTA FISHING CO. stands out as a Premier Fly Shop, Outfitter, and Guide Service in North Georgia.
From the moment you step into our store, we strive to provide the best customer service possible, with friendly and knowledgeable shop staff and fishing guides.
If you’ve never touched a fly rod, we offer schools, guided fly fishing trips for Trout, and information that can help you get your feet wet.
For the advanced angler, we offer guided fishing on world class fisheries in Georgia and destination travel trips, both in country as well as abroad. We also stock the shop with gear and tackle selected with expertise and input from our fishing guides that can up your game from companies like: Simms Fishing Products, Orvis, Thomas & Thomas Fly Rods, Nautilus Fly Reels, Filson, Fishpond, Montana Fly Company, and more!
Call us! (706) 946-3044
By Bob Borgwat/ReelAnglingAdventures.com
In North Carolina and Tennessee, it's October 1 ...
In Georgia it's November 1 ...
Both dates mark the season opening day for catch-and-release fishing on selected waters across the southern Appalachian Mountains, where the local fishing regulations limit anglers to flies and artificial lures only, most of them including restrictions that call for single-hooks only.
It's a time of year when fly-fishermen make up the majority of the anglers you'll see on these special trout waters that carry these restrictions well into 2022. Before you fish, check each state's fishing regulations for specific rules and demarcation of the DH water you plan to visit.
It's no secret anymore. The best trout fishing in wintertime across the southern Appalachian Mountains is often found in the "delayed harvest" trout waters of Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.
The program restricts trout fishing on these sites to catch-and-release fishing only, using artificial lures/flies with single hooks. All trout caught must be released immediately unharmed.
DH Rules Found Here:
On Nov. 1, just 10 miles outside Blue Ridge, a short-but-sweet, mile-long stretch of the upper Toccoa River opens its DH season through May 15, 2022.
Stocked four times from November through March, the area locals call "Sandy Bottoms" attracts wading anglers and floating anglers alike along a rugged stretch of national forest off Old Dial Road. The short stretch is popular with anglers in small drift boats and float tubes. Wading anglers hope river flows drop to less than 300 cfs to safely navigate the riverway on foot. Click here to read the Dial river gauge.
Other "DH" waters in Georgia include Smith Creek at Unicoi State Park near Helen; Amicalola Creek east of Jasper; the Chattooga River east of Clayton; and the Chattahoochee River near I-75 in the Atlanta suburbs.
Just 35 miles from Blue Ridge, the Hiwassee River "DH" section includes 7 miles of prime Tennessee trout habitat on the largest river in the region. Both wading and float-fishing is supported on the scenic river at Reliance, where the "DH" section stretches down the tailwater from the powerhouse release gates to the railroad trestle in Reliance.
Beware: The HIwassee is big water -- up to 200 yards wide -- with variable flow rates and big shoals of class II and III whitewater. Waders watch for minimum flows of 150 cfs, while drift-boats require minimum flows of 1,800-3,000 cfs to safely clear the rocky river bottom. Click here to check river flows daily.
About an hour's drive east from Blue Ridge, out around US Highway 76 near Topton, NC, arguably the most ideal fly-fishing water in the region lies at roadside along Wayah Road. Here, the Nantahala River DH section winds and tumbles its way 4 miles down a steep gradient that features plunge pools, boulder gardens, long glides and stair-stepped ledges. On "the Nanty" ou can learn everything you need to know about fly-fishing just beyond the pavement's edge. Eventually, the "DH" is stocked with about 18,000 trout by the time the season ends on June 4, 2022. Play the water level here by ear ... there is no reliable water gauge available to read on the Nantahala DH.
Other DH waters nearby in North Carolina include a mile-long piece of Fires Creek near Hayesville; nearly 3 miles of Big Snowbird Creek near Robbinsville; a 2+ miles long stretch of the Tuckaseegee River near Bryson City; and 6 miles more of "the Tuck" at Webster.