10/26/10
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
6.    Ants
7.    Inchworms
8.    Beetles
9.    Grasshoppers
10.  Craneflies
11.  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)

Fly Fishing Upper Toccoa River Georgia
I did an article on Georgia's Toccoa River tailwater recently but this one is about its
many miles of fly fishing opportunities above Blue Ridge Lake. This river's
headwaters are in the Chattahoochee National Forest but about ten miles of the
uppermost part of the river is not available to the public. Below the private property
the river flows through a mixture of national forest land and private property.

The trout are mostly stocked rainbows. The stream and some of its tributaries,
mostly Coopers and Rock Creeks, are stocked by the state of Georgia. There's
some natural reproduction but it's very limited. The natural production takes place
mostly in the small tributary streams.

The first major section of the Toccoa River open to the public is in the Deep Hole
Recreation Area. The stream is generally much larger than most Georgia streams
this close to their headwaters. It's already a good size stream at the Deep Hole
Recreational Area. The 14 mile stretch of river downstream from the Deep Hole
Recreational Area is called the Toccoa River Canoe Trail. Although the area is
popular with canoeist, anglers can fish the waters nearby that's not on private
property from the bank or by wading as well as by boat.

By hiking away from the popular areas a short distance you can find plenty of water
to fish. There are also points the river can be accessed from bridges. Although the
stream is easy to wade in this area, most anglers prefer to fish it from a boat. It's a
big stream, width wise - not the typical small stream most anglers prefer to wade.
The Toccoa River Canoe Trail provides several developed access points. The trail
and upper section drift boat trips ends at the Sandy Bottoms access area. Sandy
Bottoms provides a ramp.

The next popular section to float is from the Sandy Bottoms area downstream to
Blue Ridge Lake. You will find it consist of a variety of different types of water
ranging from narrow, fast water sections to wide, long pools of slower moving water.
This section ends above an area of rapids near the lake. Smallmouth bass enter the
species picture the closer you get to the lake. The last point to take your boat out is
called Noontootia Boil which is on the Aska Road.

The popularity of the Upper Toccoa River is rapidly growing due to its relatively,
newly established "delayed harvest" section of water. The DH Season runs from
November 1 through May 14. There's a mile and a half section that falls under these
regulations. This section is stocked heavily during the colder months of the year
with larger size rainbow trout. There are also some nice size holdover brown trout in
the stream.  

Cooper Creek is the uppermost sizeable tributary of the Upper Toccoa River. It's a
heavily stocked trout stream. In fact, it's considered the heaviest fished trout stream
in Georgia mostly because it flows through the Mulky and Cooper Creek Forest
Service campgrounds. The entire upper part of the stream is located within the
boundaries of the Cooper Creek Wildlife Management area. The first four miles of
the creek from the Toccoa River upstream are on private property. It does have
some wild trout mostly found in its headwaters upstream of the campgrounds area in
the Cooper Creek Scenic area. Hiking is required to reach this section and it cuts
down on the fishing pressure almost a hundred percent. There are some wild
rainbows and holdover and wild brown trout in this section of Cooper Creek.

Rock Creek flows into the Toccoa River downstream of the Deep Hole Campground
from the Blue Ridge Wildlife Management Area. The Chattahoochee River Fish
Hatchery is located about the middle of the creek. The fish hatchery, along with the
Forest Service Frank Gross Campground located on its banks, insures there isn't
any shortage of stocked trout. The stream is medium size from Rock Creek Lake
(also stocked) downstream and contains some wild trout along with the stocked
brown and rainbow trout. Above the lake, the stream is small but does contain both
wild and stocked rainbow trout.  Unless you want to venture into the streams upper
section just for adventure, we don't recommend either Cooper or Rock Creek for the
avid fly angler. The Toccoa River is a much better choice.

Noontootla Creek is the last major tributary to enter the Upper Toccoa River. It's
considered by many anglers to be the best freestone trout stream in the state of
Georgia. It begins in the Blue Ridge Wildlife Management Area near Frying Pan
Gap. It's managed as a catch-and-release stream. We will do a separate article on it
in the near future.

Copyright 2010 James Marsh















Delay












Delayed Harvest Section of Upper Toccoa River. Image provided by
www.georgiaflyguide.com  For a guide drift boat trip on the Upper Toccoa River call
Steve Lamb @ 678-986 0703.