The Etowah River should clear enough to have decent visibility by the weekend, but the heavy rain from this past weekend is still lingering. The predicted forecast for the next 7 days shows little to no precipitation until mid next week, so don’t let the water color scare you! For bass, fishing flashy streamers like sparkle minnows and kreelex’s, loud streamers with rattles, and flies that push lots of water and vibration like the Schmidterbait will all be effective in off color for bass. The stripers are still in the river and fishing should be good – if the river is off color, I like to throw flies on the darker side of the color spectrum that also have bright accent colors like the Big Eye Mullet in Chartreuse and Black in addition to my standard fare for stripers. I also like flies with rattles (Cruiser Shad).
The Toccoa Tailwater might be off color this weekend, but we’re still holding out hope. After heavy rain, tributary creeks push dirty water into the river. The TVA has been generating more than they have the past couple weeks, so this can help with the color but limits your time out there. IF generation allows, the best windows of fishing have been early and late, but the air temperature being cooler this week could make for decent mid-day fishing. We’ve had some blue winged olives and caddis coming off in pockets, and the terrestrial bite has been decent. Have some Parachute Adams in 16-20’s and Tan/Olive/Black Elk Hair Caddis in 16-18s in case a hatch occurs. We like Hi-Viz Beetles, Para-Ants, and Carnage Hoppers for terrestrials. If the dries aren’t producing for you, try stonefly patterns like Pat’s Rubber Legs and TungStones. I also like to have a couple variations of Pheasant Tails and Hare’s Ears, Duracell Jigs, Rainbow Warriors, etc. If the DNR has freshly stocked the river, junkie flies like squirmy worms and Y2k’s will flat out catch them.
The Delayed Harvest is too hot for trout fishing. Try the tailwater or some higher elevation creeks this time of year.
Smaller Mountain Streams fish well when they are a little higher and off color. Be cautious wading these streams in high water conditions. If they remain this way through the weekend, I like to dredge eddies and behind rocky structure with heavy nymphs imitating stoneflies, squirmy worms, and small streamers. Wooly Buggers, Pat’s Rubber Legs, TungStones, and Sparkle minnows are all very effective. These streams can and will flush out quicker than the lower elevation rivers, so we may get low water conditions sooner than later. If that happens, I switch tactics to general dry fly patterns with small soft hackle nymph (Pheasant Tail/Hare’s Ear) droppers. For example, PMX’s, Hi Viz Beetles, Small Chubby Cherynobyls, and Purple Haze dries work well.
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