Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Hatches and Trout Flies for the Chattahoochee River
The flies needed and the hatches that occur when fly fishing the Hooch - the
Chattahoochee River tailwater, strictly depends on the section of the river you are
fishing. As most of your know, cold tailwaters are not only affected by the weather,
they are even more affected by the releases of cold water. The water
temperatures vary greatly depending on the releases and even more importantly,
they vary depending on the distance downstream of the dam you are fishing. For
example, on a ninety degree day in Atlanta, the water temps below Buford Dam
may not reach 50 degrees, yet downstream in the delayed harvest section, it may
reach 70 degrees. So it varies depending on the distance from the dam and the
timing of the releases. On the other hand, on a cold December day, the water
temperatures may remain fairly constant throughout the length of the river.
One insect you can count on being present is the midge. They are very plentiful
and hatch somewhere on the river almost everyday of the year. You cannot go
wrong fishing an imitation of a midge larva or pupa, any day of the year. You must
know how to fish them though. Just tying one on isn't enough.
The next most plentiful insects are probably the caddisflies. There are several
different species in the river. Most of them are net-spinning caddis or various
species of Cinnamon Caddis and Spotted Sedges. These caddisflies hatch from
early March through November depending on the section of the river you are
fishing. Green Sedges are also present. These hatch from April through July
depending on the section of the river.
The most common mayflies by far are the Blue-winged Olives. These mayflies
consist of several different species and hatch just about the entire year, heavy at
times and slack at times and at various sections of the river. You should have a
selection of nymphs, emergers, duns and spinners in hook size 20 and 18 with
you anytime you are fishing. These are very difficult to see and you need to pay
close attention to even know they are hatching.
Little Black Winter Stoneflies are present in most of the river. These hatch during
the Winter mostly but may extend on into the Spring in the upper section of the
Scuds and sowbugs are both present and represent a good part of the trout's
diet. Imitations of these will catch trout year-round. Check out our Perfect Fly scud
and sowbug flies.
Black flies are another very common insect. Perfect Fly makes the only imitations
of the black fly larva, pupa and adults. We suggest you always have these in all
stage of life. Don't forget terrestrials - grasshoppers, beetles and ants work great
during the summer months.
We have been told that there are hatches of Light Cahills and Sulfurs but we have
not verified that and cannot provide information on it. If anyone knows for certain,
and the places and times of the hatch, we would welcome the information.
Probably the most important flies you can have fishing the Hooch are streamers.
Sculpin are present throughout the river and trout eat them every day of the year.
We have several excellent imitations of scuds. We also have many other types of
streamer patterns. Don't forget the possibility of a shad kill on the lake. When this
happens dead shad wash through the turbines and white streamers will catch
some large browns and rainbows.
Our Perfect Flies are the most realistic and effective trout flies you can purchase.
If you haven't tried them, we encourage you to do that. You will not regret it.
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Photo Courtesy Steven Lamb
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help you decide which flies you need.
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