Summer seems to be here to stay. Time to escape the heat and head for the headwaters and small trout streams of North Georgia. The dry fly bite has been excellent but droppers have still been needed following the scattered showers. Trout can be caught on a myriad of flies as all insects are present. Stoneflies, mayflies, caddis and terrestrial imitations will catch fish throughout the day. If you can squeeze out on a low light drizzly day or just before the storms pass through the bite will be even better. If you are out at an odd time when fish don't want to rise, add a small/simple dropper fly below your dry. Majority of the hatching bugs are on the small end of the spectrum with some larger mayflies showing up in the evening. This is the best time of year to seek out the Appalachian slam (brook, brown, and rainbow trout). Several customers have achieved these on half day outing since June. Be sure to keep an eye on the weather as afternoon thunderstorms can pop up quickly.
The tailwater is very consistent. The normal patterns of midges and junk flies will produce as always. The recent rains we have had have thrown a bit of a curveball at the trout but with the right adjustments you can still do well. After the heavy rains look to fish the mud lines with bigger flies or small streamers. Trout will be setting up along these seams waiting for the water to clear out but the right fly that catches their eye will be nearly irresistible. Fishing anywhere below Settles bridge during these conditions is usually futile so I would recommend staying upstream.
The trout fishing near Ellijay is pretty slow this time of year. Heading toward the higher elevation streams such as Amicalola or the Upper Toccoa River Tributaries will be the best options for wild trout.
The trout fishing near Blue Ridge is likely the best of any of Georgia's mountain towns. This is the best time of year to explore the small wild trout streams of the Cohutta Wilderness. The Toccoa River Tailwaters will fish well in the mornings before the tubers and kayakers crowd the river. To the east, Rock Creek and Cooper's creek will be some of the few creeks where anglers can find some stocked trout. Moving into the headwater streams will yield plenty of wild trout and great dry fly action.
The Dahlonega trout fishing has slowed down a bit in the past couple weeks, especially on the stocked waters. Dicks Creek will be the only consistently stocked creek from now until the Fall. The heavier traffic make Dicks Creek a challenge to fish on weekends but stocked trout can usually be found until they're fished out by Monday. The wild trout streams have been fishing well. The lower water levels have made them a bit more spooky so move slow. Hopefully these recent rains will raise water levels back to normal, but I believe that may just be wishful thinking.
The summer months may be the slowest months of the year for trout fishing in Helen. The heavier number of visiting anglers and the fewer stocked trout to go around make for slower days on the typically productive water. Fishing through town can be near impossible during the later daylight hours as tubers take over the river. This is a great time of year to explore the upper sections of the Chattahoochee River for some wild trout. Stealth and accurate casting are key to landing these finicky trout. With a little hiking and bushwacking you can find plenty of nearly untouched water this summer.
Best of luck during your summer outings. If you find yourself stuck at home hiding from the heat, check out our latest article on fly design and selection to better understand how to tie and choose your flies for targeting trout under different conditions. For some summer reading, check out our latest stories and Fly Fishing Lessons from our guides on there adventures for trout around the world.