Fly-Fishing The Toccoa River Tailrace Near Helen Georgia

This river is renowned for its year-round dry-fly fishing, but often times you will find yourself casting heavy streamers to the banks and stripping your finger raw. The predicament lies in the choice of whether to cast dries for rising trout or go for the big boys swimming just underneath the overhanging brush.Allure cabin

Fishing Locations And Patterns

One of the best places to fish the river near scenic Helen Georgia is the Tennessee Valley Authority river park near Curtis Switch bride in Blue Ridge, Georgia.  There is some great wading water close to this location, but if you want to cover lots of water and have optimal results it is best to take a float trip.   In the late summer there are significant hatches that occur on the river which keep the trout very excited.  These include midges, caddis, and some of the brightest yellow little Sulphurs you have ever seen.

I have never actually tried it myself, but I have heard that a great way to fish the Toccoa when there are so many insects coming off is to start with a large buoyant dry fly and add five different dropper underneath that include everything that you see hatching all the way down to a tiny midge emerger.  This is the perfect way to find out exactly what the fish are eating in a very short time.  It takes a great deal of work to put this set up together and can cause quite a mess if casted incorrectly.

Keep It Simple

Toccoa River Near Helen GeorgiaA simpler approach is to start with a stimulator and a bead head pheasant tail.  This way your chances of creating a mess are less and your ability to cast effectively are much much higher.   Ultimately you will find that doing all the work to create the five different dropper flies is quite ineffective with the trout are not very selective.  This river is full of beautiful brown and rainbow trout that are ready to pounce your fly as soon as it hits the water. So my advice would be to keep it simple.

The Toccoa’s Comeback

This river has really made a comeback since 2010 when the summer was so hot and dry that the river flow was low thus the fish really suffered.   Trout in the Toccoa River Tailrace near Helen rely on cold oxygenated water and when this is not a viable option the numbers plummet and so do the number of smiles from fishermen.  Before the lowering of the water and increase in temperature the trout population was booming.  The Georgia Wildlife Resource Division tested after this situation and found that there had been an 83.6 percent decline in the number of trout in the river.   To spark the recovery process in the fall of 2011, the WRD stocked 42,000 trout of all sizes on top of what they were already doing.   This provided for a brand new fishery in the winter and locals started really noticing the changes when there was an eleven-pound female brown trout caught at night on a deer-hair mouse pattern.

Navigation Toccoa River Watercraft

It is also important to know that when fishing the Toccoa not only is the insect life prevelant and matching the hatch is not as essential because of the numbers of trout, but also your water craft for the float trip is crucial.  This river has difficult entry points and when loading and unloading it is helpful to have a lightweight boat.  The river also has many shallow points and when you have boat that can navigate these spots easier it makes the trip much more pleasant.  No one wants to drag a big drift boat over rocks on multiple occasions.  Other than this you should have fantastic time catching lots of fish near Helen on the Toccoa River Tailwater.


Keep in mind that although the fish are plentiful the summer and fall months are marked by the appearance of Sulphurs.  Also during the Winter the stoneflies come out to play and in the Spring there are a bounty of mayflies.  All year long you are likely to find midges, caddisflies, and blue-winged olives.

Have you booked your luxury cabin in Helen to fish on the Toccoa River?