We here at Southern Highroads Outfitters are excited to be partnering with the new Fly Fishing Club at Young Harris College. This college is already well known for its Bass Fishing Club has decided to venture into fly fishing with student, Matt Davis, at the helm. Matt was instrumental in getting this club up and running. This college is nestled among some of the best trout streams in the South. And, surrounded by several bass lakes and ponds. Southern Highroads Outfitters with the help of David Hulsey will be providing support in casting instruction, fishing skills such as rigging and fly selection, loaner equipment, resource information, and attending outings to various trout streams.
Follow the link below to learn more about Young Harris College:
Young Harris College
Local bamboo fly rod builder from Hayesville, North Carolina, John Hollifield has donated an incredible 7 ft 6 in 5wt bamboo fly rod to the local Trout Unlimited Chapter. All proceeds from the sale of this rod go to the Chattahoochee/Nantahala Chapter 692 of Trout Unlimited. This money will support their mission of conserve, protect and restore local streams and rivers in Georgia and North Carolina.
Our own David Hulsey is able to cast the fly line into the backing of the reel on this 3 piece bamboo fly rod. David would be glad to give casting instruction to the owner of this fine rod. Stop by the shop here at 253 Hwy 515, East, Bldg 1-C, Blairsville, Georgia 30512 next to the Ingles shopping center to see and cast this amazing rod.
To learn more about John Hollifield’s Bamboo Fly Rods visit here.
The North Carolina Delayed Harvest Streams open on October 1st. It’s always an exciting time for fly fishers because of the huge and healthy stockings of trout by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. The Nantahala River, Tuckaseegee River and Fires Creek are all within easy reach of Georgia anglers. These delayed harvest streams with their beautiful surroundings and willing trout are covered by throngs of fly fishermen/women. I ask what could be better? Usually Brook, Brown and Rainbow trout are stocked in these streams giving the angler a true shot at an Appalachian slam in the same day. A great place to take beginning anglers!
Fly selection need not be critical. Wooly Buggers, Egg Patterns, San Juan Worms and Squirmy worms work great. Traditional nymphs like the Prince nymph, Hare’s Ear and Pheasant Tail are killers also. Dries such as Stimulators, Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Adams and Blue Winged Olives will usually take the surface feeders. These waters are only an easy drive from our fly shop in Blairsville, Georgia.
Check out the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission here.
Stop by Southern Highroads Outfitters for the latest in gear and information on the North Carolina Delayed Harvest Streams.
By Capt. David Hulsey IFFF MCI
The heat of summer is starting to wane and the trout are responding nicely. Even though water levels in the streams are still low, the angler who uses stealth can rack up some good numbers of fish. Most of the folks are gone and the creeks are home to the hardcore anglers.
We are seeing some decent tan and yellow Caddis hatches on the Toccoa tailwater in Blue Ridge. So a small size 16 Tan Elk Hair Caddis or Mathews X-Caddis has been producing strikes. Midge hatches are also pretty regular with Griffith’s Gnats size 20 and Zebra Midges size 18 working well. We are waiting on the October Caddis to make their debut, which can bring up some nice brown trout and rainbow trout.
Our small trout streams weathered the summer well with unusually cool temps and good rainfall.
Trout are whacking high riding dry flies all over in addition to black fur ant patterns. The small trout streams around Blairsville, Blue Ridge and Hiawassee Georgia have been productive all summer. Come see us at Southern Highroads Outfitters to get the latest information for your North Georgia fishing report on the high country streams here in the Southern Appalachian mountains.
David Hulsey’s hand built wooden McKenzie drift boat celebrated her 14th birthday in June. Fourteen years of banging rocks here in the Southeast and hauling fly fishermen on guide trips down rivers such as Georgia’s Toccoa River and North Carolina’s Tuckaseegee River. Seven Summers on Wyoming’s Upper Green River in the Wind River Range also flowed under the oars. Still going strong and willing to give you a ride. Just give us a call to book your float trip.
by David Hulsey for
A unique North flowing gem exists for North Georgia fly fishing enthusiasts. The Toccoa River starts way up in the rugged crags of the Southern Appalachian mountains, twisting and churning down the slopes in a bewildering number of small icy riverlets. Almost all that are just large enough to step over contain either Brown, Rainbow, or beautiful Brook trout. Some even contain a mixture of the three giving the lucky angler a shot at a true Appalachian Slam in a day’s time.
By the time the Toccoa River forms from these tiny streams it is truly an angler’s paradise. Summertime on the Toccoa river upstream of Blue Ridge Lake can go a couple of ways depending on where you choose to fish.
One is a blazing hot and dry summer that can push trout up out of the mainstream into the many feeder creeks making the main river the home of warmer water loving fish such as Smallmouth Bass. That’s cool too, I have no bias against the ole’ brown fish.
Or we can have a cool wet summer where the trout can find refuge in some of the deeper pools or at creek mouths and summer over. The later contains the best options for anglers. Big juicy rubber legged hopper patterns will take either Smallmouth or trout on a warm July day. Throw in a few clouds or a light drizzle and you can have some serious fun on the upper river.
Flowing Northward the Toccoa and its tributaries usually stay a couple of degrees cooler than the waters over the mountain to the South in the summer. This can mean life and death to the cold water loving trout. A trout hooked in 70 degree temperatures will almost surely die, so head up stream until you find a max temp in the upper 60’s or less.
Toccoa Tailwater: Excellent Spot for
North Georgia Fly Fishing
Downstream of Lake Blue Ridge and the Dam is the Toccoa Tailwater, another great spot for a North Georgia fly fishing trip. Cold water pumped from under the 120 foot deep dam comes out at about 50 degrees year round. In July grasshoppers, ants, bees, beetles or any other bug that has accidental entry into the cold water won’t last too long before being devoured by the hungry trout that inhabit the river. This is some of the most exciting fishing of the year with explosive strikes being the norm when they blast a hopper or beetle.
Best Times Not To Go to Toccoa
During periods of no generation on the river, casting an ant pattern up against the bank where there is good overhanging grass or bushes can provide steady action. During periods of generation in other words “water being released from the TVA dam” it is too dangerous to fish and the river should be avoided and greener pastures should be sought. The water can jump from 150 cfs to 1500 cfs in a matter of minutes and no one can stay upright in that kind of flow so be careful and visit the TVA website or give them a call to get the generation for that day.
Patterns for the summer on the Toccoa include Black Fur Ants size 16, Parachute Hoppers size 10, Chernobyl Ants size 10, and Black Quick Site Beetles size 12.
This is a perfect fly fishing rod for the tree-lined trout streams of the North Georgia area. Adjustable to 3 lengths- 8’10”, 9’9″, and 10’6″- the versatile triple zoom rod lets fly fishers cast close to the water even in our small brook trout creeks. In fact, the rod’s name “Rhodo” is short for rhododenrun, a bush known for snaring flies in mountain streams.
It’s also a great rod for hikers to throw in a backpack so they can sample trail side waters in the area. Plus, the ultra light 2.1-ounce construction makes even a small 8-inch wild brookie feel like a tiger on the end of your line!
Even though the Rhodo extends to three different lengths, it’s still extremely slim, and its balance and center of gravity remain consistent regardless of which length you’re using.
The Rhodo also features Tenkara’s patent-pending Keep Your Plug system, which allows you to store the plug in the base of the 9-inch handle. Tenkara also supplies a spare plug with the Rhodo fly fishing rod for back up.
Watch it in action
Watch the Tenkara USA YouTube video to see the Rhodo fly fishing rod in action.
Better yet, come by and check out the Rhodo here at Southern Highroads Outfitters in Blairsville, Georgia.
Southern Highroads Outfitters is hosting a free fly fishing clinic on Saturday June 21, 2014. Ideal for beginners, or those seeking a refresher, the class will cover the basic fly cast, roll cast, and false cast and will teach you how to rig your fly tackle for success. No experience or gear necessary, just give us a call at 706-781-1414 to reserve your spot. Free classes limited to the first 8 participants.
Water temps and levels are perfect for dry fly fishing right now. Most hatching insects are in the shades of yellow to cream coloration at the present time and that trend will continue all the way till fall. Light Cahills and Sulphurs are showing up all over the place and the trout are responding to any nicely tied mayfly pattern with yellow or cream coloration.
Golden Stoneflies and Yellow Sallies are also bouncing around so Yellow Stimulators and NC Yellow Sallies are whacking fish as well. Tan and Yellow Elk Hair Caddis are big producers on almost any stream in the area. Area tail waters such as the Toccoa are fishing awesome with bunches of upward looking fish. For an even more effective rig try fishing a dry/dropper rig with a sulpher emerger or small nymph underneath on some 6x fluorocarbon.
Get your kid out fly fishing at Wolf Creek in at Vogel State Park . The creek will be stocked with plenty of trout to be tempted by anglers 12 and younger. Prizes will be given to the lucky ticket holders. Adults must be accompanied with the children that will be fishing at the registration tent prior to fishing. A limited amount of fishing poles will be loaned out.
$5 parking. For more information or to register call 706-745-2628.