The Toccoa Tailwater has been fishing well due to the cooler nights and overcast, rainy days that we’ve had on and off for the last two weeks. Water temperatures are good but a bright, sunny day will put us right back in to summer tactics and put the fishing down mid-day. We’re still seeing tan caddis on the river and have been doing well on streamers and stoneflies on those awesome overcast days. While we have been getting rained on a decent amount, water levels are receding quickly. When things get low and clear, downsize your line and lengthen your leader. Be sure to watch the Blue Ridge Lake generation schedule daily – TVA will begin the draw down to winter pool if they haven’t already on the lake.
Patterns: Pat’s Rubber Legs 8-12, tungsten Rainbow Warriors size 16-20, Soft Hackle Hare’s Ear 14-18, Holy Grail Hare’s Ear size 14-18, Galloup’s Dungeon, Maraciever, Sparkle Minnow, Chubby Cherynobyl 8-12 (Black or Golden), Elk Hair Caddis or X-Caddis Tan, 14-18.
Small Streams are fishing well. Stick to a dry-dropper rig with typical summer patterns like Yellow or Royal PMX’s and Yellow Stimulators, Terrestrials, and stonefly or pheasant tail variations for droppers. If the water is clear, go ahead and start out the day with 6x leader and tippet. If the water is high and dirty, tie on a Tungsten Pat’s Rubber Legs or Tungsten Squirmy Worm and high stick nymph instead!
The Etowah Tailwater: While Striped Bass fishing is just about done with for the year, the fall spotted bass fishing is cranking up. I almost always start with topwater – Boogle Bugs, Stealth Bombers, and Gurglers. These flies can be put into snaggy places and sat for a period of time without getting hung up (as long as you can get your cast there). Shad/Baitfish imitations are always on the menu here. Size 2 Kreelex’s in Copper/Silver/Gold or Gold Sparkle Minnows are both my top picks, but anything in that 2 1/2 to 3 inch range imitating a shad should work. Another option is to keep a crawfish pattern like Galloup’s Nancy P/Dungeon or Whitlock’s Near Nuff Crayfish tied on a sinking line or under an indicator. If the fish are in shoals and riffles, dead drift or drag these flies through the runs.
On our North Georgia reservoirs, it’s almost the time of year to keep a box full of clousers in different sizes and gurglers on hand for those schooling fish. If we keep getting cool rainy nights like we have been in August, this fishing might start early this year. I like to keep two rods in the boat, one for topwater another for streamers. Pick the rod size based on the size of fish in your reservoir, generally you can stay between 6-8 weights. I choose coldwater Rio Outbound Short fly lines, and they come in a variety of sink rates. If I could only have one, it would be an intermediate (F/I) sink tip! If the fish aren’t busting on the surface, go blind cast points, saddles, and humps or go find some docks or laydowns!
Shoal Bass Fishing is also a great option in the fall! If you’re interested in one of these trips, call us at the shop for details!
No matter where you go this time of year, I keep a sling pack and some river sandals in the boat so I can get out and Wade. Those bright sunny days can be miserable until you anchor up and take a step into that cool 70 degree water! Always bring extra water bottles on the boat! Let us know if you have any questions or need an update on the fishing any time, the shop phone is (706) 946-3044.