We’ve been hammered with rain: precipitation levels from many of the US Geological Survey Gauges are reading 8 inches since last week.
The Etowah River is stained below the dam and just flat out muddy below Pumpkinvine Creek and the Core of Engineers hasn’t been generating water. The upper Etowah in Canton was flowing at over 11,000 CFS a few days ago and flooded a park or two; Lake Allatoona is currently 6 feet over full pool. I suspect they will begin pumping water for a little while as things start to settle down. I wish I could tell you to take advantage of the sunny days, but we’re pretty limited as far as the conditions go, and we have more rain in the forecast starting Thursday. The good news is that spring is around the corner, and we’re already tying up striped bass flies and poppers for the incoming season. If you would like to get a trip booked for the Etowah, now is the time to start thinking about it.
Lake Blue Ridge is also 6 feet above full pool. The Toccoa Tailwater is generating water today, and anything below Tammen Park is stained due to tributary creeks. You could try doing a high water float, but you will be limited to streamer fishing. Water color may be better in the next couple days if the creeks clear up. Predicted data from the TVA shows high water on the tailwater for the next couple of days. With the Toccoa Delayed Harvest at 2,350 CFS today, the DH will be un-fishable and will probably remain that way for a little while.
High mountain streams in the Blue Ridge area will probably be too high. The creeks with USGS gauges in the area are reading about 4x the median flows. They may be fishable in the next couple of days. If you do get out and find that the lower stretches of these streams are too high, go further upstream until you find better water. Try nymphing deep with heavier flies like Wooly Buggers, Slumpbusters, and Pat’s Rubber Legs. Don’t be afraid to try hopper-dropper rigs with Stimulators, smaller Chubby Chernobyls, and larger Parachute Adams up top if you go to the higher elevation streams.
Check the generation schedule before you plan your trip! We do not recommend that you float the Etowah if Allatoona dam is releasing water. We do not recommend wading the Toccoa if the TVA is releasing water. Check the release schedules and be safe!
Allatoona Dam Release Schedule- (706) 334-7213