Local Fishing Report 01/09/24

By Matt Morrison


Toccoa Tailwater:  Winter has finally set in here in the South. This has brought frosty temperatures and some much needed rainy weather to bring some of our flows up. This is our favorite time of year for trout fishing in our area. As a lot of people stay inside out of the cold, a lot of our rivers start seeing less pressure and the accesses can be less crowded. With these colder temps comes smaller bugs. Midges and Blue-Winged Olive nymphs behind a stonefly or a weighted egg under a Chubby or a bobber has been an effective rig. As you fish, really slow yourself down. Take your time in fishy looking spots and you can be rewarded. On the warmer days, there have been some pretty good hatches of BWOs, Midges and Black Stoneflies. On these days, there have been lots of fish, podded up rising to these little bugs. But be prepared to get pretty technical with them. Going to lighter tippet and throwing sz 20s or even smaller makes a huge difference to the fish. I’ll usually throw a sz 16 or 18 Parachute Adams or BWO with the smaller BWO or Midge off the back, so I can get a general idea of where the smaller fly is when I can’t see it. Low water steamer fishing has been pretty good on cloudy days. Throwing smaller flies like sparkle minnows, jigged pine squirrel leeches, and buggers are great ways to cover water even after running nymph rigs through. 


Upper Toccoa DH: Flows on the Upper Toccoa have stayed at a wadeable level for the most part. After some of the rain, flows will jump up to 600cfs or higher, but after a day or two they’ve been dropping below 300 cfs. Before fishing the DH, check the USGS gauge. Keep in mind that anything above 500cfs isn’t wadeable. As far as flies, stoneflies and some flashier midges like Rainbow Warriors have been doing the trick. You can usually start with some flies with a hot spot or some flash and be effective. Now is a great time to wade the upper, because Feb and March tend to bring lots of rain, keeping the flow above 500 cfs. 


Small Streams: Flows are still pretty low on the smaller streams even with the rain we’ve had. With colder temps and low flows the fishing can be pretty technical still. After some of these rains, these creeks have been fishing best. Stoneflies, Eggs, and buggers have been good in these higher flows. As the water drops out start switching to some buggier flies mimicking smaller stones, BWO’s and midges. 


Hot Flies:

  • Pat’s Rubber Legs
  • Tungstone
  • Glo-Bug
  • Y2k
  • Flashback Pheasant Tails (sz 14-18)
  • Jigged Soft HAckle Pheasant Tail (sz 14-18)
  • Flashback Hare’s Ear (sz16-18)
  • San Juan Worm
  • Squirmy Worm
  • Wooly Bugger
  • Jigged Pine Squirrel Leech
  • Sparkle Minnows
  • Sculpzilla