Water temps: Upper 40s-Lower 50s
Chris Scalley reported very good fishing as of late, saying that small winter stoneflies have been hatching, as well as blue-winged olives. Chris suggests a size 16 Elk Hair Caddis or Stimulator dry fly to match the stoneflies and size 14-20 BWOs to match their natural counterparts, which usually are more prolific on overcast and drizzly days.
Chris also said they are beginning to see many insects hit their peak in the nymphal stages, so nymph fishing is great right now. Perhaps the most notable is the Salmonfly, which can be matched by using a 4-6 YukBug or Kaufmann’s Stone. Dropping a 16 Hare’s Ear or Prince off of this huge nymph can also be very effective.
Visit <www.chattahoocheefoodwebs.org> for a comprehensive hatch chart. Also, call (770) 945-1466 for Buford Dam generation schedules.
Water temps: 40s
Jimmy “Guru” Harris said that many anglers have been giving poor fishing reports from Smith. However, since other waters close to Helen have been fishing well, Jimmy said to take some advice from the “Dredger” and switch from the “junk” flies to the more natural offerings such as a 16-18 Hare’s Ear or Soft Hackles and Pheasant Tails weighted well enough to get the fly down near the bottom. A 5X tippet is plenty for the clarity of Smith, but strikes have been subtle and lightning quick. High-sticking is the most effective way to get that drag-free drift in this smaller stream.
“This is typical winter fishing and just requires spending time learning the technique,” Jimmy said.
Water Temps: 40s
Shine Taylor reported that the fishing at Dukes has been turning on around midday, especially if the sun is out. Most of the fish are holding in deeper water unless they are spawning, so the way to fish Dukes right now is to get your fly to the bottom and really focus on presentation.
“It’s not so much the fly selection at Dukes, although it can be sometimes, but rather being quiet, making good casts and presenting the fly drag-free,” Shine said.
On a recent visit to Dukes, Shine and fishing buddy, Joe Pierzchajlo, landed numerous fish up to 26 inches with four of those taping over 24.
Larger attractor patterns such as a pink San Juan Worm or a Hurless Nymph with a smaller imitation pattern such as disco- or zebra midges or soft-hackles were the hot ticket.
Shine suggests keeping an eye out for hatching insects coming off of the water in the coming weeks and to adjust your fly selection accordingly. But, dropping the smaller imitations off the bend of the attractor’s hook should continue to produce.
Water temps: mid-40s
Tim Chambo said, “The fishing has been a little slow, but we’re starting to see the small black stoneflies and black caddis hatches.”
Tim also expects to see an increase of those hatches in the coming weeks.
For fly selection, Tim suggests dries such as a 14 Little Dark Stone or a grey Elk Hair Caddis in sizes 14-16 and sub-surface offerings such as a size 12 beadhead Rubber-leg Stone with a 16 Hare’s Ear or a size 16 or smaller Pheasant Tail trailing behind the larger nymph. Olive or black Wooly-buggers should produce as well.
Remember to check water generation schedules before you go by calling TVA at (800) 238-2264, then press 4, then 23.