I was able to find a few hours to fish the Toccoa DH this weekend. The water is still a little high for "safe" wading, but I know the river well enough to pick and choose the spots that are safe. On Saturday, I started out by stopping at a popular spot on the lower stretch. I let my boys make a few casts with a spinning rod. They each caught a nice bow. We then went for a hike. It was obvious to me based on the ease by which my boys each caught fish that a stocking had taken place very recently. Late that afternoon I returned to the river and fished for about an hour in the lower section. There were quite a few folks floating and fishing. Surprisingly, my streamer patterns were unproductive. After about 30 minutes a huge hatch came off. I'm not sure what they were, but they looked like caddis. I've never seen a hatch on the Toccoa like what I saw on Saturday afternoon. I put on a small frenchie and caught a good number of bows. The wind picked up, so I started fishing a large pattern (size 8) I developed for DH fishing. It worked on the swing pretty well, but surprising, it worked with great effect by high sticking. I lost the fly towards the end of the day, but not before I had caught and landed a large number of fish.
I woke up Sunday morning and sat down at the bench to tie two more of a fly I'm going to call "The Ultimate Warrior." I went up to the middle section of the DH on Sunday. I put in at a favorite spot and proceeded to catch about a dozen in short order. The fish were very good fighters. I then moved up to the power lines and made my way across the river. Wading across the river was extremely difficult, and I don't recommend it. After landing a few more I worked my way downstream trying to figure out how I was going to get back across the river. I worked my way about 1/4 mile downstream and used tree branches near shore to help me through the heavy current and on to the shore. I managed to fish The Ultimate Warrior the whole time - which was about two hours. I spoke to another guy who was doing well on a big prince. I think just about anything will work right now on the Toccoa DH. I still can't quite figure out why the buggers didn't work for me. My only guess is that because the current is a little heavy, and the buggers I tied were very light and bushy, the flies were not getting into the feeding lane. The key is to get the flies deep. Despite nice hatches on both days, I saw very few fish rising. The fish are obviously fresh but hanging out deep.