Happy New Year! This is the first fishing report of the year for us, as we took a little break for the holidays. We’re anticipating another busy year at both shops and with our guide service and would like to thank all of our customers, clients, and friends over the years for the continued support.
The Toccoa Tailwater is fishing well. The TVA cranked up the generation 24/7 a few days this past week in anticipation of another wet winter following the pattern of record rainfall in the Tennessee Valley the past two years. We’ve had near non-stop rain the past three days, but the tailwater is fishable when not generating. Subsurface presentations should dominate, so typical nymph rigs with a mix of natural stonefly, BWO, and Caddis patterns combined with junky/flashy patterns like eggs, worms, and lighting bugs/rainbow warriors will be productive. Combine in some streamer presentations like dead drifting wooly buggers/lunch money’s and stripping dungeons, ice picks, and other articulated streamers if you’re looking for that bigger bite. Blue Winged Olives, Midges, and Caddis hatches are always a possibility as well.
The Toccoa Delayed Harvest is high right now. The USGS gauge at Dial Road indicates that the river is flowing at 1010 cf/s as of 11:00AM today. Anything above 500 cf/s is too high to wade, but if the water is clear enough, floating the delayed harvest should be very productive up to 1200 cf/s. Make sure to come equipped with heavy flies and split shot if you float. We’re not anticipating more rain after today until Tuesday, so hopefully you can get some time on the water before then! Be sure to check out our blog post on delayed harvest fishing here.
Small Streams fish well when the water levels are a little higher and a little off color, so if you can’t find a place to go on the big rivers, I would recommend hitting some of these creeks. If you end up on a creek and find it to be high, high sticking wooly buggers, pat’s rubber legs, double bead stones and Tungstones, and worm patterns. If the water drops out enough, switch tactics to dry-dropper rigs with Chubby Cherynobyls, parachute adams/purple haze, and Caddis dries in sz 12-20 depending on the dropper size. For the droppers, pheasant tails, hare’s ears, and stonefly patterns in any variation will produce if presented properly. I tend to fish the Pheasant tails and hare’s ears on the smaller side, so 16-20’s. Don’t be afraid to fish bigger 8-10 pat’s and stoneflies on these creeks.
Keep an eye out for any special events we’re going to be having through the winter – we’ll be posting these on our social media pages. If you’re looking to learn a little this winter, we’ve also posted our 2020 class dates for both the Fly Tying and Fly Fishing 101 here.
Starting Monday, January 6th, we’re shifting to our winter hours at both stores – in Cartersville, we will be closed on Mondays, and will be open at normal hours for the rest of the week. The Blue Ridge shop hours will be as follows:
Wednesday/Thursday: 9 AM – 4 PM
Friday/Saturday: 9 AM – 5 PM
Sunday: 11 AM – 4 PM
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