I should have known this little trip was doomed from the start. In my hurry to get to the river, I must have been stuck behind every school bus in North Georgia. Despite repeated pleas to the fishing gods, the school bus schedule seemed to coincide perfectly with mine.
The next indicator that I was in for it had to be that my normal access road to the river was closed. Road construction had closed Buford Dam road completely (find an alternate route if you plan on going any time soon). Determined, I pressed on, taking Suwanee Dam Road around the construction. I finally arrived at my destination.
My first inclination was to fish Bowman’s up around the Dam right below Lake Lanier. When I got parked, I could believe what I was seeing.
The water levels were elevated at least 5 feet and had flooded the banks. On top of that, this water was fast. I mean really fast. Wading in this area of the river was definitely a “no go.”
I walked the shore for a little while, hoping to find a place to get in and a few quiet pools that looked like they could hold some fish. Nothing.
Bowman’s Island is out, unless you plan to kayak it.
When I arrived at Settle’s Bridge, things were no better. In fact, they were worse. The banks were just as flooded, and my normal wading spots were gone. On top of that, the first place were I was going to get in had evidence of very recent beaver activity. By evidence, I mean there was a big ol’ beaver hanging out.
You DO NOT mess with a beaver!
After hiking for a while, I found the mouth of a creek that looked like it would be calm enough to hold some fish seeking refuge from the sun, and the current. My only concern was weather the water was oxygenated enough.
My concern proved at least partially correct, as not a trout was to be found.
I figured, if worse came to worse, I could at least find a good spot to practice some casting techniques, but even that was hard to come by.
Finally, I found a spot where I could have some room to cast, and that was upstream from a calm pool under a tree. It was the best shot I had at getting a fly in front of some fish.
And it failed! Not a bite. I changed flies a few times, tried some new patterns, and still not a nibble.
The Chattahoochee Wins This Round
In a traditional fishing report you would get the water temp, the air temp, fish caught, and tackle used. Not in this one!
With the water the way it is now, the fish are holed up deep, and aren’t moving. The water is fast and difficult to wade, and trying to identify any underwater structure is impossible because of all the silt.
The long and short of it this: it wouldn’t have mattered if I was fishing with a stick of dynamite on the end of that fly line.
If you are local, and looking to fish the Chattahoochee, you have two choices right now. You either float, pontoon, or kayak (even this will be tough because of the speed of the water)—or you wait a while so things can get back to normal. The thunderstorms we have had recently have just reeked havoc on the river.
Well, Murphy’s Law strikes again. The mighty Chattahoochee was a little mightier than normal this time around.
See ya on the water…