The Etowah River is fishing well right now. According to the Corps of Engineers, Allatoona Dam won’t be generating for the summer due to maintenance. What this means, is that we will have continuous flow out of the dam, but instead of short pulses at 7000/8000 cfs, we will see a slightly higher than average “low” flow maintained over a longer period of time to control the lake level. Instead of calling the Corps for flows, it may be best this summer to keep an eye on the USGS gauge for Allatoona Dam to check the flow coming from the dam.
What this means for the fishing is that your choice of gear should vary based on the flow: full sink, intermediate, and floating lines all will have their place. I’m swapping my lines to tropical core this week. Fish heavier 20lb + leader for striper, but let the approach and technique decide your leader size for the Spotted Bass (as light as 8lb and as heavy as 16lb). Keep your boxes stocked with flies of every weight variety. For Striper, I like have clouser minnows/Flashtail Whistlers tied with medium, large, and extra large eyes, unweighted patterns like flashfire mushies, hollow fleyes, and EP Patterns. The only thing I would do differently for bass, is to carry a few topwater patterns like Swim Frogs, Flat Fred’s, and Gurglers for early morning and late afternoon. Book your Etowah trip by calling us here at the shop: 7069463044.
The Toccoa Tailwater is fishing well, but rain in the forecast may blow out the tributaries downstream of Tammen Park this weekend. If the rain holds off or is light enough to keep things clear, I would recommend bringing both a 5/6 weight rod rigged with a dry/dropper and a 4 weight dry fly rod to the river if you are floating. For the wade fisherman, an 8’6″ 4 weight or 9′ 5 weight will cover all of your needs, but be prepared to change out your rig quickly if fish become surface oriented. I start with a 7.5 ft 4x/5x leader on my dry droppers, but I fish a straight 9ft 5x leader with dry flies. Sulpurs, Light Cahills, and Blue Winged Olives all hatch this time of year, so carry a box full of dries and emergers to imitate. For subsurface rigs, I like to fish a large dry fly instead of a bobber this time of year, and I drop one or two flies off the back. Try some stonefly imitations (pat’s rubber legs, double bead stones) and wooly buggers for the lead fly. For the dropper, I would have some smaller 16-18 soft hackle pheasant tails, Split Case PMD’s, El Diablos, Red Alerts, and Batman Nymphs in blue.
Small Streams in the area may rise this weekend and then stabilize quickly, so be prepared to change techniques as the conditions fluctuate. I like to high stick bigger patterns like wooly buggers and stonefly nymphs with split shot in the higher, off color water, but I will change to a dry /dropper consisting of either a light parachute adams/purple haze/Mr. Rapidan with a soft hackle dropper or a small PMX/Chubby with a lighter stonefly nymph dropper when flows stabilize. Anything yellow this time of year is a good bet, but as the sourwood worms come out of the trees, a bright chartreuse mop fly or greenie weenie below a Chubby Chernobyl will work well. In lower water conditions, stay back off the pools and fish lighter 5x tippet.
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!
Toccoa River Delayed Harvest flows
Allatoona Dam Release Schedule – (706) 334-7213