The Toccoa River tailwater in north Georgia is the smallest tailwater we flyfish. The river averages 35 to 50 yards in width and the trout fishery extends 14 miles running from TVA’s Blue Ridge Dam downstream to the Tennessee border. The Toccoa River holds good numbers of rainbow trout and brown trout with the average size running between 8” and 11” inches. The river also boasts a strong population of fish in the trophy class ranging up to 26” inches (so far).
Toccoa River Insects
The Toccoa River is best fished from February through June as spring hatches are prolific and water levels are adequate for floating. We see winter stoneflies through early March when the caddis activity starts picking up. Hendricksons show up in April and usually run into the sulphurs which start showing up in May. We employ nymph and streamer fishing with good results in between the hatches.
Toccoa River Drift Boat Trips
The Toccoa River is better suited toward single boat trips with one or two anglers. We limit our services to two boats on the river each day due to its small size. The river also works well as an alternate to the Hiwassee River as the two rivers are only 45 minutes apart. We get a lot of clients in the spring that spend one day on the Hiwassee and one on the Toccoa River as a sampler of the Tennessee Overhill. The Toccoa is a tailwater, and generating electricity causes fluctuations in the river level. Make sure and check the release schedule before wading. If you see the river rising, GET OUT! Don't wait. The river can go from a gentle flow to unwadeable in no time. On average, the water released will move downstream about 3 miles per hour. (Example: If you are 3 miles downstream of the Toccoa River dam and they release water at 12 noon, you should be out of the river before 1pm.)
The tailwater emanates from the dam at Blue Ridge Lake and is located near Blue Ridge GA, McCaysville GA, and Copper Hill TN. These towns offer dining, lodging, antiques, specialty shops, and various other activities including rafting and scenic train rides.