Ready to chat fall flies and great water? Shorter days and cold air is always good news for fishermen in the Southeast. As a shop based in Alpharetta, GA we have a diverse customer base and we are always trying to help you catch more fish. In this blog we will do a quick recap of what’s going on this season on the water you love, flies we recommend using, and maybe help you find some new spots to explore.
Metro Atlanta Area
The Chattahoochee River along all the access points continues to fish well with the normal flies you use. DNR typically throws a good amount of Buford hatchery fish in the river so it pays to always have some flashy flies along with standard patterns at the end of your line. Euro nymphing along with a classic indicator rig will catch the bulk of the fish.If you think you are missing fish on the indicator rig trying down sizing the indicator to something that’s more sensitive like the Orvis Stick On. A hopper dropper still has some life left but reserve that for shallower pocket water like the Settles Bridge area. Browns will start moving with the spawn on the horizon. A big streamer with sinking line will give you the best shot at hooking a true giant. Remember you are only fishing for a few bites a day so stay patient.
With Hurricane Delta dumping insane rainfall totals be very careful about wading as the Corp of Engineers will be releasing lots of water to get Lake Lanier back down to winter levels. They will also be doing some construction projects on the dam this year so it may be a while before it’s safe to wade. Call the hotline 1-855-326-3569 for more information. We hate hearing about fishermen getting caught in a release when it’s usually preventable. Please be safe!
- Nymphs – Zebra Midge size 18-22, RS2 size 18-20, Pheasant Tail size 16-20, Hare’s Ear size 12-18, Blue Assassin size 16-18, Pat’s Rubber Legs size 8-12, San Juan worm size 10
- Streamer – Drunk and Disorderly, Bang Tail, Dungeon, Game Changer
- Dries – size 18 parachute for any stray BWO hatches
- Line – Rio Sinking Line , Rio Gold
North Georgia Mountains and Western North Carolina
The Toccoa tailwater below Lake BlueRidge is ramping up if you like to float in a drift boat and throw big streamers. TVA can be hard to pin down as their release schedule doesn’t always correlate to the actual release time. This is very important to remember if you’re wading. If you start noticing leaves, sticks, and off colored water get out of the water immediately! The Toccoa has a good nymph bite but from now till Spring it’s all about the streamer bite.
Smaller mountain creeks like Coopers and all the blue lines are fishing well. After a summer of high recreational activity it’s HIGHLY recommend you take the path less traveled aka walk farther than the average angler. A hopper dropper will work until we get some really cold temperatures that push the fish into deeper holes. Don’t be afraid to throw a medium to large streamer in small creeks. Big browns move from large rivers to smaller tributaries this time of the year for spawning. Think of any medium sized creek that flows into the Toccoa or Chattooga and go explore for a weekend. You might be surprised. High up in counties like Rabun and Union you’ll be rewarded with some brookies in full spawning colors if you are willing to do the hike. A small streamer or dry will usually get these fishes’ attention.
North Carolina’s Delayed Harvest season kicked off October 1st and we have been getting great reports. The sooner you get up there the more fish you’ll get to hand as those fresh stockers hit anything with a little flash. After about two weeks the fish will wise up and become more selective. It’s not uncommon to come up on a school of stockers on the Tuckasegee River sipping size 20 BWOs a month or so after being stocked and not taking anything but a well presented emerger. Euro nymphing is a great skill set to have for DH season as there are so many fish in small area they will stack up in any decent holding water. Often times a tradtional indicator rig doesn’t sink quick enough so your flies go right over the heads of any potential fish. The Nantahala River, Fires Creek, and Tuckasegee River are our favorite DH streams as they are an easy two and half hour drive from Atlanta area but have lots of fish. There are plenty of off the beaten path DH streams like Snow Bird that give a more remote experience
The wild streams in the Smoky Mountains and National Forest are fishing well. Go high up for some beautiful brookies and lower for colored up browns all wanting to spawn. Some areas of North Carolina can push elevations of 5,000 ft so now is the time to hit those streams because those fish will become almost dormant in the winter. Being at high elevations like that results in a winter more akin to New England so those fish really hunker down.
Large rivers like the Davidson and forks of the French Broad will be in peak form soon. These rivers hold some giants if you are willing to wade thru lots of small rainbows or throw a big streamer. The Davidson has good midge hatches in the winter. We know size 20 zebra midges don’t get most of y’all’s hearts beating fast but it can be a very consistent bite. The Green River near Hendersonville, NC is a sleeper river as it has a steep gorge section with very limited access. The lower portion is a DH but we have a hunch the gorge has some giant browns because it has large whitewater pools that hold fish year around. Check the release schedule as this river is known more for gnarly whitewater rapids.
- Nymphs – Pheasant Tail size 12-18, Hare’s Ear 14-18, Egg size 12, Pat’s Rubber Leg size 12
- Dries – Chubby size 10-12, Parachute Adams size 12-18, Elk Hair Caddis size 14-16, Stimulator size 10-12
- Streamers – Dungeon, Sculpzilla, Wooly Booger
- Reels – Hatch Finatic Gen 2
- Line – SA Angler Mastery MPX
- Rods – Scott F Series , Scott Centric, Sage Payload
Bass fishing whether that’s in a farm pond or river will start to slow down as the cooler night time temperatures set in. Take advantage of our remaining warm weather as the fish will be putting on weight to get them thru the winter. Poppers are moving fish and it’s a very exciting way to catch fish but sub-surface will put more fish in the boat. We have a fresh shipment of Enrico Pugslisi flies which look spot on like a small bluegill. Wooly Boogers, Clousers, and Gurglers will also catch plenty of bass. Bass aren’t known to be very picky but try to make long cast when you see them busting on bait in shallow water. Indiscriminate fish aren’t an excuse for sloppy presentation!
Bass are a great after work trip in the metro area as most neighborhoods have a community lake.
- Flies – EP Bluegill, Clouser Minnow, Poppers, Wooly Boogers, Crawfish
- Rod – Orvis Clear Water
- Reel – Orvis Clear Water Reel
- Line – SA Grand Slam
As always, we are so stoked to see y’all come in the shop to purchase flies or ask for recommendations. Feel free to come by or call us to help you with your selection and get outfitted for a successful fall season!