If you’re heading to Blue Ridge this week, be cautious of the winter weather we have in the forecast. Rain, snow, and sleet are all predicted, but the shift in temperature could mean ice on the roads, especially on paved back roads in the mountains. If you haven’t fished in a while, it’s always good to check your waders for leaks and make sure you have the appropriate gear for rainy cold weather. We’ve got some Simms wading and rain jackets, wading staffs, wool base layers, and heavy socks and gloves in stock for all of the stir crazy trout bums that need to get out this week.
The Toccoa Tailwater is spilling and generating around the clock today, and the predicted outflow for the next two days is about the same (2500 cF/s). I wouldn’t make any plans to wade the tailwater, but watch the generation schedule – you might catch the TVA giving a break from generation but spilling at an irregular flow. If this happens, you may very well catch some of the best streamer fishing of the year if you can float, and maybe the Black Caddis hatch.
The Upper Toccoa Delayed Harvest is high but clearing. The USGS gauge at Dial Road is showing flows around 1190 cF/s, but I would anticipate that to rise after the rain today. You can’t wade it, and I wouldn’t float it much higher than it is now, but if the flows don’t change and you’re willing to brave the conditions, you might catch some very good trout fishing. Bring loads of heavy split shot and prepare to fish deep. Pat’s Rubber Legs, Squirmy Worms, Tungsten Pheasant Tail/Hare’s Ear soft hackles with colored bead variants, Two Bit Hookers, and Thrift Shop Caddis should all be on the menu. Don’t forget your Black Caddis and Little Black Stonefly Patterns.
Small Streams in the area are high and clear. I would anticipate the flows to rise today and begin falling out a day or two after the rain this week. Wade carefully and know your limit; there is a large volume of water pushing through these streams right now, and most places that would normally be knee-deep are waist deep or higher so I wouldn’t anticipate doing much wading upstream. This also means that fish are concentrated out of the current, so high stick eddies and pockets in front of and behind structure like rock. I like to use my standard 9 foot, 4 or 5 weight rod when the water is this high. If you’re going to catch a trophy fish relative to the size of the creek you’re fishing, this is when it’s going to happen, so bring a net!
Our last Cartersville screening of the Fly Fishing Film Tour will be taking place on March 5th. We’re going to have a pre-party at the shop, raffle tickets, cold beer, and a lot of fishy films, so get your ticket at either shop before they’re gone. Tickets are $15, $20 at the door if we have any left. You can call us at the shop and pay over the phone and we’ll hold the tickets for you if you can’t make it before the 5th. We’re also booking dates for Bass and Striper on the Etowah, so call us now if you want to try and earn your stripes this spring/summer.
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