The Etowah River is starting to pick back up as the air and water cools. The popper bite should be very good for the next couple of weeks. I like to take a handful of boogle bugs and a 5 or 6 weight out and if the popper bite doesn’t cooperate, I’ll fish some streamer patterns imitating smaller shad like Clouser Minnows and Lunch Money’s. You could also fishing some larger topwater flies like Pole Dancers, Flat Fred’s, Swim Frogs, and Schmidterbugs on bigger 7 and 8 weights – these flies are a lot of fun to watch when they get eaten.
The Toccoa Tailwater is still not quite to prime condition for the fall. Some of our guides have temped the water at higher than ideal water temperatures, so your best bet is to fish earlier or later and target deeper holes and riffles that will have cooler, more oxygenated water if you do plan on fishing. Bring a thermometer and be mindful of how you handle fish right now. Keep them in the water as much as possible and release quickly in order to avoid fish mortality. As the air temperatures and water temperatures continue to fall, we should start to see the transition happen and have better conditions.
Small Streams are extremely low and clear, so if you plan on fishing these streams, your approach and presentation are the most important components of success. Try not to make too much of a disturbance on the water and fish methodically. Smaller dry flies, longer than normal leaders, and light 5 and 6x tippet are all important to have. I like 16-18 Parachute Adams, X Caddis, 14-16 Stimulators, and small Chubby Cherynobyls.
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!