Report by Chris Scalley of River Through Atlanta Guide Service
“Shooting the ‘Hooch in November? I guess we should start with the fall spawning ritual of the brown trout which will be in peak activity during November and continue through December. During this time browns are congregating around gravel bars throughout the river where they will deposit their fertilized eggs. These browns will be very territorial and will strike most any larger nymphs such as Prince nymphs, Zugbugs, Hare’s Ears, Anytime-anywheres and Wooly Buggers (olive, brown and black) in sizes 12 through eight.
“Most anglers won’t work these heavier type flies in shallow water in fear of snagging the stream bed every drift, but this is where salmon-angling tactics prevail. Anglers should try swinging these cumbersome nymphs by quartering down and across with their cast and allowing the current to sweep their flies over likely spawning sites,” Chris said.
“I’m always in favor of doubling my odds by utilizing a second dropper nymph of smaller size (No. 14 to 18) tied off the bend of the larger nymph. One should minimize their false casting when fishing this technique to avoid tangles by using a wind-shield wiper cast, allowing your rod tip to break the traditional ‘10 to 2’ range of motion with longer hesitation on the back cast in order to create a larger loop.
“Some other patterns to try as droppers are the Y2K bug, egg patterns in yellow to orange, Lightning Bugs, Brassies, Serendipities and Pheasant Tail nymphs.
“Blue-winged olive mayflies hatch all fall and winter, so try compara-duns and parachute adams in sizes 14 to 22, along with BWO imitation patterns,” Chris reports.
Before heading to the ‘Hooch, call the Army Corps of Engineers at (770) 945-1466 for current generation schedules at Buford Dam.
Chattooga River DH
Report by Unicoi Outfitters
Warm afternoons may bring on some great dry fly action this month. Try Yellow Humpies, tan Elk Hair Caddis, PMD’s or blue-winged olives if conditions are right.
Delayed Harvest Streams
Georgians can now brag that we have the “Fab Five” this year with the opening of our fifth delayed-harvest section of trout water, located on the upper Toccoa River just south of Lake Blue Ridge.
Streams under DH regulation are restricted to catch-and-release only from November 1 through May 14. After May 14, these streams return to general regulations including harvest. Anglers may only possess and use artificial lures with a single hook, although using more than one lure or fly is permitted.
For all of the delayed-harvest streams, fishing should be simple following each monthly stocking, then get increasingly more challenging as the weeks go by and the fish become more “stream-wise.” At that point, the fish will begin focusing more on the natural food sources available and may be more hesitant to strike a “junk fly.”
Report by Jimmy Harris of Unicoi Outfitters
Dukes is on their full-day fishing schedule now, meaning there is only one all-day session instead of two half-day sessions.
Cold mornings and moderate afternoon temperatures mean you don’t have to be onstream at daylight. If the water is clear, try small soft-hackle Pheasant Tails (no bead) or Hare’s Ears dropped off the back of an olive or brown Wooly Bugger. If fall rains have added some color to the water, try San Juan Worms, Y2K bugs, big Hare’s Ears and Prince nymphs.
Report by Unicoi Outfitters
Lake Blue Ridge is in the process of turning over right now, so the water is a little off-color which has affected the fishing slightly. But expect that to last for only another week or two when water clarity should normalize and fishing should follow suit, which is always a good thing on the Toccoa.
For fly selection on the tailwater this month, try tan Elk Hair Caddis or parachute Adams in 14s and 16s, and Griffith’s Gnats and BWOs in 18s to 24s. Soft-hackle Pheasant Tails or partridge and yellow soft-hackle nymphs under the surface should get lots of strikes.
For the current water release schedule, call (800) 238-2264, then press 4, then 23, and finally # for generation times.