Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2. Little Yellow Stoneflies
3. Slate Drakes
4. Needle Stoneflies
5. Little Yellow Quills
11. Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
Fly Fishing the Toccoa River Tailwater In Georgia
I have been working on adding more streams to our Perfect Fly website's Streams
and it occurred to me that I haven't written anything on the Toccoa River tailwater or
the headwaters either, for that matter. Since I am involved with that project, I may as
well go ahead with an article on it today.
We haven't fished this stream in about three or four years. I don't know why
because it's a good little stream to fish, provided you fish it from a drift boat, or at
least, some type of boat. I mention that because there are only five places you can
access the fourteen mile long stream to fish it wading or from the bank.
One thing we like about the stream is the fact dry fly fishing can be very good. While
many of the local North Carolina and Tennessee tailwaters are very good streams,
for the most part, they don't have very much dry fly fishing. They have few aquatic
insects that hatch on the surface of the water, or the ones that do, have hatches
that last only for a short length of time. Most of the fishing is done with midge
imitations or streamers. I will mention that the South Holston River is an exception to
this. It does have lengthly hatches of mayflies and caddisflies.
Back to the Toccoa River, you can be assured of a good many hatches throughout
the year that will provide good dry fly fishing. Even in the middle of the Winter you
can find some blue-winged olive hatches, Winter stoneflies also hatch throughout
the winter. You have a very good Little Black Caddis hatch that takes place in the
late Winter. These caddisflies hatch almost like a mayfly, meaning midstream on the
surface. Dry fly fishing can be great when they are emerging and later on in the day
when the female deposit their eggs.
Spring brings about several hatches not common to many tailwaters. March Browns
and Hendricksons hatch on the Toccoa River in good quantities. Later on Sulfurs
and LIght Cahills hatch. You have several more mayflies that hatch during the year
as well as some more stoneflies and tons of caddis. Spotted Sedges and Cinnamon
Sedges are common. Little Sister Caddis cover the water at times. Now that I have
said all that, you should be aware that the mighty midge is still a big producer on
this stream. Streamers probably produce the largest trout, at least according to my
friend Steve Lamb, or Lambster, whichever name you prefer. Steve has his own
fishing name. I've never thought of that. I always named my boats. I even named my
crew but it didn't go over with them very well. My last saltwater boat was the Lone
Ranger and so I called Rick Carrie, Tonto. He didn't like it at all and he wouldn't
even wear his mask.
Back to Steve. Lambster owns Georgia Fly Guide. www.georgiaflyguide.com They
fish the Toccoa River more than anyone I know of. He sent me about a hundred
photos of some nice brown and rainbow trout to use on the Perfect Fly pages. They
clearly show he has been there and done that a bunch. By the way, he also guides
on the Caney Fork River and specializes in catching the trophy size brown trout. He
fishes and guides for something I have never heard of before meeting him - spotted
bass. Although I have caught a few thousand fishing the Coosa River Chain of lakes
in Alabama as well as Smith Lake for many years, I have never caught one on a fly
rod. He also fishes for huge gar and striped bass. This is done primarily on the
Etowah River. Of course, these guys guide on all the North Georgia trout streams.
Back to the Toccoa River Tailwater, I should mention that we have fished this
stream on two occasions without a boat and still done very well. We have only
drifted in once and did very well on that day. It has a lot of trout that probably only
average about 12 inches or so, but there are also some very large holdovers in the
The Blue Ridge dam changes pace in a heart beat and this stream borders on
being dangerous. It is much better to fish it from a boat than wading. The water
levels can change fast. It's really a small stream, width wise. Long and very deep
pools and a lot of rocky shoals also make it difficult to wade. You can't wade it if the
water levels are high, of course.
Most of the trout are browns. There are rainbows but probably only about a forth of
the population are rainbows. These trout act more like a wild trout than they do
stocked trout. They are stocked as fingerlings, so they have to learn much the same
way a wild trout learns. They can be picky and very selective, unlike most stocked
tailwaters. Again, the big advantage the way I see it is the very good dry fly fishing
almost year-round. There are not many days of the year you cannot catch trout
fishing a dry fly. Now I don't have anything against fishing below the surface at all
but it is certainly an added attraction to have dry fly fishing available. I should have
the Perfect Fly Stream pages finished in the next few days and you can check it out
in detail. One thing I'm not short of is fish pictures, thanks to Lambster.
Check out "Lambster" himself. Give him a call 678-986 0703 if you want to fish the Toccoa or
any other of the many other streams he fishes. He has only been doing it for 35 years, so he
probably knows a couple of tricks.