Durniak's Fishing Report 6/7/24

Jimmy Harris

Senior Member

Our summer season continues. The good news is that fairly cool nights and frequent afternoon storms have extended our morning trout bite. Pond fishing is good, reservoir predators are heading to deeper, cooler waters, and some stripers have run up the rivers to their summer thermal refuges.

Your best bets this week are bluelines and stocker streams for a helping of trout before lunch, river stripers at low light or in muddy waters, and pond bass and bream at dawn and dusk. Don’t forget your sunscreen, bug repellent, and raincoats.

We also celebrate the last days of National Fishing and Boating Week. It’s a great time to introduce a friend or family member to fishing. Per GAWRD:

“Free Fishing Days: Georgia offers two FREE fishing days (Sat., June 1 and Sat., June 8, 2024) during this special week. On these days, Georgia residents do not need a fishing license, trout license or Lands Pass to fish.”

Wes’ Hot Fly List:

Dries: chubby Chernobyl, yellow simulator, 409 Yager yellow, parachute Adams, tan caddis, para black ant, deckers yellow sally.

Nymphs & Wets: girdle bug, gold ribbed hares ear, pheasant tail nymph and soft hackle, drowned ant, green weenie, improved yallarhammer.

Streamers & warm water: (Trout) Squirrely bugger, sparkle minnow, bank robber sculpin, and mini shimmer buggers for stockers. (bass & stripers) polar changer, stealth jig, wiggle minnow, craw changer, dungeon.

(Panfish) amnesia bug, bluegill spider, donkey kong hopper.

(Carp) Gorgan craw, squirmy hybrid.


Headwaters are a bit low, very clear, but still cool enough for decent action before the intense, late afternoon sunshine kicks up their water temperatures. At 10AM today Spoilcane ran 62F, while Smith was 62 above Unicoi Lake and a warm 68 below it.

We’ve had good reports from high elevation trouters visiting this week. Stimmies, caddis, and small chubbies have been the hot dry patterns. Also, sunken ants, green weenies, and small pheasant tails as droppers to search the deep pools.

A reliable source said a combo hiking/fishing trip along a Rabun County trout stream trail was productive. Little wild rainbows were suckers for a yellow stimulator after an afternoon storm passed and cooled off the creek.

Delayed Harvest:

Hillis: “On Tuesday I ventured across the state line with a fishing buddy to fish the DH section of Fires Creek. Fires Creek, including the DH section, had been stocked on Monday. Water was a bit high and stained, but fishing was good. My fishing buddy started the day walking up to the 5th crossing, fishing a couple of holes on his way up and catching a few. After the 2nd crossing it appeared the stream had not been stocked and his catch rate slowed down. He fished his way up to the 5th crossing, but as the fishing was slow and someone was already fishing his hole near he immediately started back down, catching a few as he worked his way back to the parking lot.

Meanwhile I started the day fishing next to the parking lot and fairly rapidly caught several. I then crossed the foot bridge and started fishing the DH section. I fished several runs up to and just above the 1st crossing, catching several. I met my fishing buddy at the first crossing, and although his day had not been as fruitful as mine, he caught a 16 inch brookie which sort of made his day. I caught several that were probably 12 inches but nothing larger. It would have been nice to catch something larger, regardless it was one of my better days. An olive wooly with a tungsten bead, size 8 or 10, trailed by a beaded soft hackle pheasant tail with an orange collar, swinging/drifting and stripping at end of the swing worked for me.

We had expected a crowd but only a couple of vehicles were in the parking lot when we arrived. No competition on the stream for me, I pretty much had my pick of holes on the way up. That was not the case coming back down. We were back at our car by noon and eating BBQ in Hayesville before 1:00. There was a chance of rain but as it turned out it was a very nice morning. The rain held off until we hit Rt 400 on our way home. It was a great day!”

Stocked Waters:

There are still plenty of fish being stocked each week by GA’s three state hatcheries and one federal hatchery. Sign up for the weekly stocking list, fresh every Friday, if you haven’t already. Find it here:

With the kids now on summer vacation, a trip to north GA trout waters is a great idea. Wet-wade and fish the mornings with light line and small (#10) hooks baited with a worm or a Powerbait doughball for some fast action.

If they’d like to learn flyfishing, just have the youth strip a small dark woolly bugger through the pools and runs of bigger stocked streams such as the Hooch, Tallulah, Chattooga, Dicks, Rock, and Cooper.

North Georgia Private Waters:

Wes: “I did a couple of AM private water trips this week. The bite is still pretty decent in the early morning before the water temps start to rise. The key to getting bites for me was to cover water to find active fish. A dry/dropper was my go-to rig this week. Most fish came on a girdle bug dropper, but a decent amount were also willing to come up and eat a chubby Chernobyl on the surface.”

Jake, Jimmy, and Caleb joined GATU volunteers yesterday to guide 13 GA Trout Camp teenagers on the Hooch. All of the campers caught fish. Jake said a dry/dropper combo worked well, with rainbows hitting both the chubby dry and the micro stonefly dropper. When it rained, Jake said a small black conehead woolly bugger was hot.

Camp leader Rodney Tumlin reported: “Thirteen students from across Georgia & two from Tennessee participated in Trout Unlimited's six day Georgia Trout Camp this week. Students worked with the Forest Service & Ga. DNR to improve stream habitat for native fish, they learned how to cast a fly rod & tie flies, they helped GaDNR stock trout, and they fished every day. Actually, they caught more fish this week than other camps in recent memory!”

Congrats to Rodney and all of his TU volunteers for a successful 20th annual GA Trout Camp!


CDB: “Private waters fished well this week. The rains helped cool the water down a little bit, making the fish more active. Walt’s Worms were especially effective. Tried some other waters today, where I had heard there were some hatches coming off, and pretty good dry fly fishing. Unfortunately that was not the case for me. I fished a variety of colors and sizes. I did not see any insect activity on the water. However, when I switched to jigging a black leech along the bottom, the action was fast and furious, yielding a couple nicely spotted browns to go along with the rainbows.”

Warm Rivers:

Lanier is warming up and some stripers have run up the rivers to their summer thermal refuges. BT gave it a shot last night and reported: “I was fishing close to dusk and was using a pink wiggle minnow using a SA sink tip line. I was actually burning the fly back to me as fast as possible when the fish ate. I noticed they were really in the mood for something moving fast.”

River bass and bream action will be good when the water is clear enough for fish to spot your flies. Strip some streamers or float some popper/dropper rigs through the shade during the day. Small buggers and big pats rubberlegs are good bass droppers. Toss rubber-legged poppers and stealth bombers when the sun sets and the evening shadows grow across the river.


Athens Jay said local pond action has still been hot for him and his UGA buddies. Both bass and bream have been cooperative. Jay reports: “Yesterday a group from UGA 5 Rivers, UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and the Georgia Chapter of the American Fisheries Society took a group of high schoolers from Houston County fishing and then talked to them about careers in natural resources management. It was great to see how excited the young folks were about fisheries and conservation. A few of our volunteers stayed over to fish the early morning bite, and were rewarded for their service to the community.


Mathew caught his personal best largemouth on a custom fly tied by “Athens Jay” out of mostly rabbit strips and marabou.”

Find your own local ponds with public access by zooming in to the WRD interactive map of fishing areas. Give it a try here:



AJ: “Fished Lanier a few hours on Wednesday morning. Went scouting for humps with brush piles. Found a few brush piles and marked a few fish on them, but no takers on topwater and missed a few light grabs on a jig head paddle tail. Couldn't hook a bass, but did stumble on a group of stripers blowing up briefly. Got 1 throwing topwater with the herring Ima Little Stik and picked up 2 more casting the jig head paddle tail to fish on the graph. Water temps were 78-79 and bass have definitely moved towards their summer haunts. Focus on those 25 ft. humps and saddles, especially those with brush piles on them.”

Alex Jaume
Lanier on the Fly

Hit your favorite waters early in the day for some comfortable air temperatures and hot fishing action. It’s still pretty darn nice before lunch up here, so wake up early and enjoy some fine morning fishing before the sun gets too high. Don’t forget your raincoats for those pop-up storms!