May Fly Fishing Report

by Henry Cowen

It’s hard to beat a Game Changer during May
It’s hard to beat a Game Changer during May

May is one of the great months to fish all of the lakes in North Georgia. May gives anglers an opportunity to catch both striped and spotted bass on topwater flies and lures, and in big numbers! This is positively the most exciting way to fish for our local area game fish.

There are multiple patterns that exist in the month of May. First and foremost is the early morning and late day topwater bite. Now is the time to grab a nine or ten weight rod rigged with a floating line and one of Charlie Bisharat’s Pole Dancer flies or Flat Fred flies and have at it. If you have never seen a striper eat a Zara Spook or Top Dog lure off the surface (for conventional anglers), then you have no idea what you are missing. A Pole Dancer is just that; a fly anglers Zara Spook. It walks the dog when retrieved and striped bass do not just eat it…THEY CRUSH IT! Once you witness this vicious strike yourself, you will liken it to throwing a cinder block into the lake from two stories high.

If you want to simply catch lots of fish then this is the time to toss a Game Changer fly on an intermediate line on the lakes tapered points. A Game Changer is one of the best flies ever as it mimics many types of baitfish, and looks like a living/breathing shad or herring when retrieved. After the sun comes up, you can switch over to a sinking line and start tossing either Coyote flies or baitfish type patterns like a Cowen’s Baitfish or Puglisi type fly off the points. The key to this pattern is to keep moving. The more points you fish, the more bites you will attract. While low light is the preferred time to fish, do not discount midday when it gets a tad windy. This is also the time of year where fishing a point off the main lake river channel can get a topwater eat from any fly that is slowly worked on the surface and makes a seductive V-like wake.

Conventional fisherman can continue to toss Redfins on all the points. Fishing big 7” long Redfins can be very effective on windy days. I always keep a few rigged in my boat for May. On sunny days use a chrome sided Redfin and on cloudy days fish a matt colored Redfin. Fly anglers can use a large slider type fly on a floating line to mimic the action of a Cordell Redfin. A large weightless Bass Assassin can also be a good choice at this time of year.

Finally, keep in mind that the dock light bite is in full swing. Along with the daytime bite, the mild weather allows for some pretty good fishing for stripers and large spotted bass on dock lights all over the lake. This is easy fishing as game fish seem to get really dumb when fished to on a dock light. While I prefer a sinking line when fishing these fish it is also fun to toss a slow sinking intermediate so that you can actually watch for the bite when your fly passes over the light.

May is a great time to be fishing the ponds of North Georgia, Short sleeves, shorts and sun block are the dress code. By the middle to the end of the month carp will be getting targeted on the Chattahoochee River and others around the state! We will discuss that fishery a tad more in detail during next month’s report. See you on the pond.