North Georgia Fly Fishing Report – May 2006

David Cannon | May 1, 2006

Chattahoochee Tailwater
Water temp: mid-50s
“We’ve been having a good blue-winged olive (BWO) hatch that is more prevalent than it has been in the past,” said Chris Scalley.  He said you can match the hatch by tying on a BWO from size 16 all the way down to a tiny 24. Parachute Adams and comparaduns should also fool the suburban trout when BWO’s are present.
Some subsurface flies to consider when fishing the river through Atlanta are rainbow or regular beadhead prince nymphs in sizes 12 to 18, gold-ribbed beadhead hare’s ears around the same sizes, and flashback pheasant tails.  Sowbugs and scuds can also be effectively imitated by using a lightning bug.
“There are also still some caddis hatching sporadically,” Chris said. “A size 16 or 18 elk hair caddis in gray or black should match up with any caddis you see on the water.”
Visit <> for a comprehensive hatch chart. Also, call (770) 945-1466 for current dam generation schedules.

Smith Creek
Water temp: 60s
John Cross said that water temperatures near Helen are as high right now as they usually are in June because of a lack of rain. But, Smith Creek is still at a good temperature for the fish right now.
John also reported less fishing pressure as of late. “Since the seasonal streams have opened, Smith is kind of getting a break,” John said.
John said that a man and his 12-year-old son from Florida walked into Unicoi Outfitters on April 15 and said that they were catching a lot on size 16 beadhead prince nymphs dropped below a size 14 Adams parachute.  Others had reported good trips using small soft-hackle hare’s ears with no bead.
“You’re still going to catch a fish here and there on a dry at Smith’s,” John reminds us. “An elk-hair caddis or an Adams can always produce a strike.”

Dukes Creek
Water Temps: 50s
Shine Taylor said to seek out those deeper runs as the water temperatures continue to rise throughout the spring and into the summer months.
“This time of year, if the water is low, you might have to go to 5X or 6X tippet and maybe use some fluorocarbon,” Shine said. “I use fluorocarbon tippet extensively for my dropper and have confidence in it.”
Be prepared to shift with the weather at Dukes, as it runs off quickly, but fishes great while the rain is coming down.
“If it rains, use something big and flashy,” Shine adds, “but if the water is clear and low, use small mayfly patterns or midge patterns usually drifted right along the bottom of the runs.”
Shine says to remember the split shot at Dukes, but not to neglect the dry fly either. “Feel free to put on a stimulator or large attractor fly and go up top for some surface action,” Shine said. “Don’t know if you’ll get a monster to rise, but big fish will rise at Dukes if conditions are right.”

Toccoa Tailwater
Water temp: mid-50s
Metrela Brown reported that the olive caddis, tan caddis, Hendricksons, March browns, blue-winged olives and craneflies have all been hatching on the Toccoa downstream of Lake Blue Ridge.  Call the Blue Ridge Unicoi Outfitters shop at (706) 632-1880 for specific information on sizes of flies.
Small stream fishing in the Blue Ridge area has also been going very well lately. “In the small streams, we are having luck with caddis, attractor patterns, and ants,” said Metrela.
Be sure to check the generation schedules before you go.  Call TVA at  (800) 238-2264, then press 4, then 23 for the Toccoa River.

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