Info Provided by: Jeff Durniak, GA DNR North Georgia Region Fisheries Supervisor and North Georgia Region Fisheries staff
Many thanks to the scores of you scheduled to join WRD staff across the state on Saturday, Sept. 27, to celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day. WRD has an impressive roster of events that are designed to introduce Georgians to the outdoor sports. We couldn’t do this without all of you, our conservation partners willing to give up this Saturday for the future of your sport. Invite your friends and neighbors to join us and learn how to catch a trout, draw a bow, experience native wildlife, and shoot skeet. If they can’t make to our distant events like the Adventure Days at Sloppy Floyd and Unicoi state parks, consider the closer choice of the kids fishing event just below Buford Dam.
In return, here are some of the latest tips on north Georgia fisheries. Fall has arrived and the fish are beginning to respond. It was 54 degrees when I left home in Cleveland this morning. The weather’s fantastic, the sourwood leaves are showing some red hues, and our quarry is beginning to pack on the groceries to get through the coming winter. Come on up and wet a line soon. Here we go:
Bluelines – Pick Your Flavor (Specks, NGTO)
Deadly Damer – “Yesterday, while my wife and daughter were at a baby shower, I snuck away to my favorite brookie stream (hee-hee). The fishing gods must have been smiling on me (knowing that I don’t have too many free weekends left until the new baby arrives), because I had a great day. I spent the day crawling through the rhododendron sneaking up on lots of colorful brookies. I’m guessing I managed 15-20, with a surprising number of solid 9-inchers. The DNR/USFS/TU stream structures seem to be doing a great job of producing better-than-average specks. Better tell your angler contacts to fish these brookie streams soon before most of them close for the season! They are hot right now.” – John Damer, Fisheries Biologist
Rainbows – “Saturday morning found pleasant pre-fall weather and lots of folks out enjoying it. Thankfully, for me, every one of them were hikers. Not an angler in the crowd. Met Sautee on the creek about 9:30 that morning as I had a brief business affair to take care of. His daylight report was good and all on dries. Not even a dropper was needed. What better report can you get than that! So I tied on a size 16 PMD Parachute and headed for the creek. My first legitimate cast resulted in a nice 6″ wild rainbow. Life is good! We fished upstream for a couple of hours, regularly catching fish on various dry flies; yellow body elk hair caddis, parachute adams and even light cahills. The fish in these small streams are too hungry to be very picky and that’s a good thing for the angler. Sautee planned to leave around 11:00 to satisfy a barbeque craving he was having but I stayed on. Right before he left, we were at one of the best pools on the creek so I encouraged him to fish it. Which he did, pulling a beautiful 6 or 7 inch rainbow from it. He then stepped back and offered the pool to me. It was tightly enclosed with rhododendron and casting the length of it was pretty tricky but after five or six tries I finally got my roll cast to drop the fly at the head of the pool. Almost instantly it was attacked and taken straight to the bottom. My little 7′ 4 wt. rod bent and danced over the surface of the pool as my wide-eyed expression told Sautee to hang around. After what seemed like an eternity, I worked the fished to the back of the pool and over the small waterfall where I was standing. As I swung the rod to bring the rainbow to my hand, the bright red stripe down its side jumped out at us. The 10″ rainbow was a trophy for this stream and as beautiful as any I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I could have walked out satisfied with Sautee right then, but I didn’t. I kept on fishing.” – The Guru
Bigger Trout Water – “Great Day from Chattooga River Fly Shop! The weather has cooled off tremendously here (51 degrees Sept. 24) and the water is cooling off as well. This will have the fish moving from the depths and off the bottom. The forecast is for the same weather pattern for the next week and fishing will continue to get much better! We will start to see the Fall Cahills and the October Caddis soon!!
We are excited to be a part of the Wilderness & River Celebration with the Forest Service this weekend!! We will be at the HWY 76 Bridge, on the river, from 1:00pm-4:00pm, having hands on casting, drifting techniques, and fly selections. Here is a link for the other events going on throughout the day. The is also a dinner ($7-$10) with a Blue Grass Band at the Chattooga Belle Farm starting at 3 p.m. Please come out and join us!” – Karl, Karen, Bud & Tom, Chattooga River Fly Shop
River Bass – Dredger went prospecting on Sunday afternoon. He noticed on his Iphone that his first choice, Tooga redeyes, might be iffy due to a Friday spike in the USGS flow gauge – and the likelihood of stained waters on the lower river. So he rode another hour north to find some smallmouthed cousins. As expected, the blue-sky bite was slow on dredged black leeches, but as the sun began to set at seven, that last hour of surface action made up for the first three of sparse pickins.’ In total, about a dozen smallmouth to eleven inches came to hand, along with some rock bass, redbreast, and a lone bluegill. The evening wade, while tossing a white stealth bomber, was a great end to a fine weekend in the mountains.
Ready for the Fall Bite? Enjoy Henry’s video.
Good luck this weekend, whether you’re with your own kids or entertaining a friend’s family. Please join our DNR staff in introducing many new Georgians to the outdoor sports on National Hunting and Fishing Day! And then fish yourself during the last two hours of daylight. You’ll be glad you did.