The Toccoa Tailwater is clear and fishable. We’ve been seeing midges and blue winged olives coming off on the river, and you may see some Little Black Stoneflies coming off as well, so keep some dries handy just in case. I would try to hit the river as the day warms to the peak temperatures of the day. For nymphs, try throwing the standard Pat’s Rubber Legs, worm patterns, zebra midges, Griffith’s gnat, rainbow warriors/lighting bugs, thrift shop caddis, and add in some Batman nymphs, wire stones, and some other varieties of 14-18 caddis emergers.
For streamers, I like to throw 6-8 weights on floating and intermediate fly lines with 12-20 lb/test leaders and have a mixture of different fly actions and colors. For example, I may have a few colors of a nearly neutrally bouyant fly like Galloup’s Dungeon, a few colors of a fast-jigging fly like Strolis’ Ice Pick and Big Wooly Buggers/Sparkle Minnow, and a few colors of a fly with no weight that tracks straight laterally like Mike’s Maraciever.
The Upper Toccoa Delayed Harvest is at 670 cfs and falling, so wading is still not possible. Wait till the USGS gauge reads at 500 cfs or lower for wading. This is a great flow to float this section if you have the means. Bring typical delayed harvest stuff and lots of split shot! Be sure to check out our blog post on delayed harvest fishing here.
Small Streams should be clear. Fish 5x and 6x leaders with dry droppers, the main focus being subsurface patterns imitating stoneflies, small mayfly nymphs (pheasant tail variants, size 16-20), and caddis patterns (holy grails, thrift shop caddis, etc). Pat’s rubber legs and a size 4 split shot under a size 10 chubby cherynobyl find their way on my leader 75% of the time in the winter.
High sticking heavier or dropshot rigged flies in longer riffles and pockets should produce well, but keep your eyes open in slicks and tailouts of pools – this time of year offers opportunities for sight fishing when conditions are low and clear.
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
Cartersville Shop: (770) 606-1100
Blue Ridge Shop: (706) 946-3044