Sunday, March 16, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Friday, January 24, 2014
Tailwater Browns in the North Georgia Mountains.
The Toccoa River lies just a little south of the state line in North Georgia, but it is only a short drive for many anglers in east Tennessee.
The Toccoa Tailwater starts at the base of TVA’s Blue Ridge Dam and flows north to the town of McCaysville, GA. This is probably the best tailwater trout fishery in the state of Georgia. On average,the Toccoa is a much smaller river by comparison to any of the other TVA tailwaters, but what it lacks for in size it makes up for with fish. From midges to mayflies there is a nice variety of bugs in the river. There are roughly 16 miles of trout water from Blue Ridge Dam downstream to Copper Hill, Tennessee. There are 5 Public access pointsspread out from the dam downstream to Copper Hill.
( 1:Blue Ridge Damm, 2:Tammen Park,3:Curtis Switch(bridge parking),4:Curtis switch(TVA launch),5:Horshoe Bend park )
My preference for fishing here is by boat. It gives anglers the option for float fishing while traveling down river, along with a chance for wade fishing as well. Let me say that most people who fish the Toccoa have a preference for low water flows. There are two main floats on the river with the first being from Blue Ridge Dam downstream to the Curtis Switch access. (7.2 miles) The second is from Curtis Switch downstream to Horseshoe Bend Park in McCaysville, GA. (6.5 miles). Both sections fish very well and at times one section can fish better than the other. The river does receive a lot of fishing pressure as it is one of only a couple tailwater trout fisheries in the state. The water flow at low water conditions on average is fairly slow with a lot of subtle riffles & shoals, along with some deeper pools. When the generators are running, it’s a different story and anglers should not attempt towade fish here on high water. No matter the time of year there is always a good opportunity to catch some very nice rainbows, browns, & brookies.
On another note, many anglers will say that you cannot catch fish on high water flows here. While in truth it does make the fishing a little slower at times, but this is when the big fish come out and play. Leave the 4 & 5 weights alone and break out the big sticks. A good 7 or 8 weight rod loaded with a 250/300 sink tip depth charge line will usually do the trick. Look through your box and find a few of the biggest, ugliest flies there and your set. I personally love this type of fishing. It’s more of a quality over quantity game, and if you don’t mind working for larger fish then this is a trip worth looking into.
I recently had the opportunity to fish with an old friend on the Toccoa. We planned a high water float and went to work pulling some fairly large streamers. Overall it was a successful day, we caught a few fish, told some bad jokes, and had a good time.
Water Release Information:
Toccoa River, Blue Ridge powerhouse, 1-800-238-2264 (#4, #23)
With all the rain that we have had over the past month The Tennessee Valley Authority has been operating both turbines at Appalachia Powerhouse around the clock 24/7. The average flow rate that we are seeing is around 3000 cfs as well as a few events where the flow exceeded 6500cfs. Now this really doesn’t help any anglers who prefer to wade fish, but let me assure you its actually great for the river. The high water flows help spread out many of the stocked fish along with flushing out any extra debris that builds up here and there. Currently we have a good spread of fish from the powerhouse all the way down to Patty Bridge. That’s 18 miles of trout filled waters that we get to play with.
Water temps are averaging around 52 right now and they may drop a little more if we keep getting hit hard with these cold snaps. On the bright side the colder weather can bring on a shad kill, which we have not had yet. There were a few days where we had blue backs being washed through the gorge during a high water event, but as soon as the spill ended so did the blue backs.
Anglers can realistically expect to have decent day of fishing any time right now. The bite has been better in the later part of the day when it finally warms up a little. I have noticed that right after a one of the cold snaps come in that the bite becomes very subtle. Streamers have been the name of the game for the past several weeks. We have been fishing a variety of zonkers and buggers in a wide range of colors, nothing huge, but a size 6 has been the best for me. On average we are seeing a good mix of fish, still mostly rainbows with a few brookies and browns mixed in.