LowerHoochTroutCanBeBigThe heat of summer often makes it very uncomfortable to remain out on any area lake in a fishing boat for an entire day, and the bass fishing slows appreciably for most anglers. For those who still love to fish in a comfortable atmosphere, however, the cool, summer waters of the “Hooch” below Lake Lanier beckon. The temperature is considerably cooler than on any lake, and most of the time, the waters flowing from below Buford Dam remain in the mid 50 degree range, so despite 90 degree outside temperatures, any breeze off the water makes one feel like being in an air conditioned room. The comforts of coolness plus the scenery is breathtaking! One might catch a glimpse of redtail hawks, ospreys, or an occasional eagle overhead, and the lower Chattahoochee River is teeming with explosive brown and rainbow trout to catch!

With adequate boat ramps available near Abbott’s Bridge and Medlock Bridge, anyone with a canoe or small, aluminum jon boat can carefully fish the river. Nevertheless, a few of the rapids and other shallow places can be rather difficult for any novice, so it might be advantageous to go at least once with a guide from

FlyrodSwirleybirdsThe trout, however, can be found almost anywhere in the river. They are in both the fast and slower water areas as well as both the deep and shallow parts. They utilize rocks or fallen trees as cover from which to attack any edible creature that might be swept by with the current, and many of these hiding places are right down the middle of the river.

Flyrod SwirleybirdsThough these river predators will hit a multitude of tiny lures, the most productive artificial offerings seem to be the smaller floating version of the Yo-Zuri Pin’s Minnow, or Swirleybird spinners in the 1/32nd Flyrod size or the 1/8th ounce. The Pin’s Minnow usually works better in shallower water that may have underwater vegetation or other obstructions. In deeper, slower sections of the river, the Swirleybirds are better for attracting the hungry trout. Gold and orange is normally the most popular color for the Yo-Zuri, and red and white has been extremely successful with the Swirleybirds.

Since the river teems with crawfish and stone flies, tiny crawfish-colored, diving crankbaits can also catch a few trout. Small plastic worms in red or other bright colors are also deadly if the river becomes slightly stained from rain or other runoff, and artificial insects cast with a fly rod are always good. I would suggest a 5 weight, G. Loomis rod with a matched, floating Scientific Anglers line for this type of fly fishing in the Chattahoochee River.

The logistics of fishing a fast river with all the currents, obstacles, and rapids can be a chore. Neophyte river fishermen have trouble “reading” the river and often cast indiscriminately, instead of fishing specific targets. Nevertheless, the Chattahoochee River has a healthy population of trout that are fairly easy to catch. So, it’s time to enjoy the beauty and coolness of the “Hooch” and experience some of the best summer trout fishing available anywhere!

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