There’s lots exciting outdoor news of the fishing kind this week, so let’s jump right in and see what’s happening.
Delayed Harvest trout season has begun!
Hear ye, hear ye! Georgia’s “Delayed Harvest” trout season is open!
Running from Nov. 1 through May 14 on sections of five Georgia streams, the “DH” season gives anglers the opportunity to experience good trout fishing during the colder months of late fall, winter and early spring.
Here’s how it works. Some streams which are too warm for trout during the summer can still become cool enough for trout during fall, winter and early spring. Recognizing that fact, fishery professionals designate and manage those waters for catch-and-release trout fishing through fall, winter and spring. The “harvest” of the trout is delayed until warmer weather arrives in late spring – thus the name “Delayed Harvest.”
Georgia’s Delayed Harvest program currently includes portions of five streams:
Amicalola Creek from Steele Bridge Road (CR 192) downstream to the Ga. 53 bridge
Chattahoochee River from the mouth of Sope Creek downstream to US 41
Chattooga River (Rabun County) from the mouth of Reed Creek downstream to the Ga. 28 bridge
Smith Creek in Unicoi State Park from below Unicoi Lake dam downstream to the park boundary
Toccoa River from 0.4 miles above Shallowford Bridge upstream to a point 450 feet upstream of the Sandy Bottom Canoe Access.
Special regulations apply to Delayed Harvest waters during the DH season. You can find complete info at georgiawildlife.com, but here’s a summary:
Artificials only (that means no worms, crickets, Powerbait, or other “digestible” baits)
Strict catch-and-release (all fish caught must be immediately returned to the water)
Only single-hook lures can be used (lures with treble hooks are not permitted).
However, it’s okay to use multi-fly “dropper” rigs when fly fishing as long as each individual fly has just one hook.
Many of the anglers you meet on DH water will be fly fishing. Favorite flies include egg imitations such as Y2Ks or pink Sucker Spawn flies, San Juan Worms or Squirmy Worms, pink Sucker Spawn flies, and flashy streamers (minnow imitations) such as Woolly Buggers, the Rolex fly, or the Hudson Streamer.
Spin fishing enthusiasts often favor a Roostertail, a Mepps Spinner, or a white or pink curly-tailed grub-and-jig.
One great thing about DH fishing in Georgia is that you can be pretty sure that there are plenty of trout in the water. That makes DH waters a great place to hone your trout fishing skills or to introduce young anglers to trout fishing.
I’m already hearing reports of some great days on Georgia’s DH streams. I hope you can get out there and enjoy the fun too!
Get involved – stock some trout!
This year, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources will offer several opportunities for you and the family to help stock trout in some of the state’s DH streams. These volunteer-assisted stocking events are a blast and give folks like you and me a chance for some hands-on trout stocking experience. It is an incredible amount of fun!
As it happens, two volunteer stocking events are already scheduled at the Whitewater Unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. The first is Thursday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m.; the second is Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 11 a.m.
“We will need eager fish-toters to show up in waders with 5-gallon buckets to meet in the parking lot at Whitewater Creek,” said Georgia DNR fisheries biologist Hunter Roop.
What about fishing after stocking is done? Absolutely!
“Everyone is encouraged to bring along their fishing gear to enjoy some pre-Thanksgiving DH trouting action once the stocking is complete,” Hunter said.
And if you’re new to the sport, you’ll probably find plenty of experienced anglers there to help you learn the ropes – uh, lines – of fishing for Georgia’s DH trout.
Make a trout fly at Tie A Fly Day!
Not long ago, I had the pleasure of meeting many of you at the first “Tie A Fly Day” at Alpharetta Outfitters. That exciting event gave folks of all ages the opportunity to personally make a trout fly, and more than 30 excited folks (from 7 to 70!) dropped by to see how much fun it is to create your own fishing flies.
In fact, it was so much fun that we’re going to do it again!
The next Tie A Fly Day is set for Saturday, Nov. 10, again at Alpharetta Outfitters (79 South Main Street in Alpharetta). From 11 a.m. till 3 p.m., I’ll be there to help you (or your kids or grandkids) make your first fly.
This is a drop-in event and is first-come, first served. The tying itself takes about a half hour, and parents will need to stay with children. No reservations are required, but if the table is full you might have to wait a few minutes for the next round.
I think it’s safe to say that Tie A Fly Day is fun for everybody -- adults and youth, moms and dads, kids and grandkids. It’s fun for me, too, because I get to see how excited folks become when they discover that they really can make their own fishing flies. All tools, tying supplies and instructional materials are provided; all you need to bring is excitement about learning something new…and maybe a fly box in which to put that new fly that you have tied.
For more info, call Alpharetta Outfitters at 678-762-0027.