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Old 01-15-14, 02:37 PM   #11
fishmonger
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Graph of water levels at McGinnis:



Notice that it goes up 10-12 feet during a release, THAT is why you shouldn't try to boat or fish on high water.

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Last edited by Swamp Angel; 01-16-14 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 01-15-14, 03:04 PM   #12
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The huge swings in the water level at McGinnis Ferry that fishmonger shows is the result of a water release like this:



The second column is the one you're interested in. It's the release schedule from Buford Dam. The "7" is the minimum release number. It'll only be in years of exceptional drought that you'll see a number lower than 7 on here. The "67" is a release that is half of what a full opening of the gates will create. A full release is shown as a "127".

The number represent megaWatt hours of electricity generation, but they can be roughly figured as being 1285 cubic feet of water discharged per second for every "10" megaWatt hours of electrical production. So, at minimum flow of 7, there are approximately 900 CF of water being released from Lanier into the river every second. That's not too bad.

However, generating rates usually run from the minimum of 7, to the next stage at 42. That six time the amount of water coming out of that chute at the dam and filling the river than there is at low flow, and this is only 1/3 of what a full-on release is like.

A half release at 67 really makes for a wild ride if you get caught out in it! That's around 86,000 cf/s of water screaming down the river making fishing absolutely worthless.

During a full release, the water rises rapidly and carries things downstream at an alarmingly fast rate. There's really not much time to react to approaching hazards. And notice the difference in water depth between a minimum release where the water is only a couple feet deep, to a full release where the water depth exceeds 14 feet! And then look at how fast that happened! On Jan 13, that water went from 1'-10" to 13'-0" in about two hours. That means the water rose one foot every ten minutes!

Dangerous stuff if you're not careful.

Also keep in mind that the release schedule shown online is subject to change. (And they change it just as often as not.) Always call that number for Buford Dam before you head out to go fishing for the day just to ensure that they didn't bamboozle you and change the release schedule when you weren't looking.

Keep your eye on this thread. I have a strong feeling that there's going to be a lot of good, solid information coming forth in the next few hours.

We don't want to scare you off, by any means. What we do want is to get a whole lot more posts out of you. Remember, you had to apply for approval to be able to post on the site here. How do you know that we didn't run a full background check on you to ensure that you're just the kind of person we want to have here. And, if that's the case, dont' you think we'd want to keep you around for as long as possible?

When I get my own boat ready to roll out and run the 'Hooch later this year, I'll give you a shout see if we can hook up and I'll show you what little bit I've learned about the 'Hooch.
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Last edited by Swamp Angel; 01-16-14 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 01-15-14, 04:11 PM   #13
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He never mentioned what kind of motor was on the john boat did he? If it's electric, def head upstream and don't just run the battery dry and start floating back, trust me you will need it again. PDF's are a must and if you have a sterns inflatable, its only legal when you wear it, not just riding along with it.. Just fyi...
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Old 01-15-14, 05:45 PM   #14
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First off, let me apologize for not properly greeting you tdaily. Welcome to NGTO, THE BEST site for trout fishing in the southeast.
I must admit, I don't know that much about the Hooch. But I fished a good bit on the Savannah River between Hartwell dam and Clark Hill Lake before Lake Russell took over. The releases from Hartwell would catch you midstream if you were not careful, and if it did, you were in for a bad day. A friend of mine fished it regularly, and he would take a 20 dollar bill, place it on a rock, and place another rock on top of it. He would keep an eye on it, and as soon as the water levels started to rise, he was out of there.

Releases from any hydro electric dam are dangerous, and sadly there are lives lost every year because of ignorance.

Don't be a statistic, understand the release, timing of when the water starts to rise where you are, and don't get caught. Hope you get to fish regularly and often!
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Old 01-15-14, 11:47 PM   #15
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Thank you all for the comments. There is a lot more than meets the eye about taking a boat out on the hooch. I will check the schedule, launch at abbots instead of McGinnis and head upstream. Also I already have a life jacket that I planned on wearing and I will definitely get out if the water rises. Thank you all for being concerned about safety as that is such an important part of being a responsible fisherman. I have a Minn Kota 55lb thrust trolling motor. Also any comments on what is working as far as flies?
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Old 01-16-14, 12:18 AM   #16
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A brown, black, or olive woolly booger with nearly any dropper has always done well for me when drifting it through fallen timber or along the seams of the current as it passes around rocks. It's more about presentation than the actual fly. However, fishmonger seems to be more successful with stripping streamers and e-Flyz.

I'm still a novice at stripping streamers, and my attempts are so spastic that I have only been able to catch trout with a net while they were laughing at the goofy motion of my streamers in the water. (I am ashamed of that last bit of information, and I trust you will not share it with ennyone on the message boards here, lest my misfortunes and inadequacies provide ammunition for the jealous souls that wish they could get out on the 'Hooch as often as I usually do.)

Your booger should be on a size 10 or 12 hook, and your droppers no bigger than a 14, although I would suggest 16 would be better. Of course, spinning gear is legal also too, and in that case I would recommend Panther-Martin inline spinners. (Fishing is fishing, and no one method is preferred over another until survival comes into play.)

I hope y'all will have a great time, Tyler! Be sure to check the release schedule ON THE PHONE before y'all go out Saturday, and figure that your trolling motor will push you up river (at most) to Rogers Bridge. (About two miles.)

Keep an eye out for 8 to 15HP outboard motors on Craigslist and you should be able to score one for a good price before springtime sets in. It'll really open up the possibilities of the Chattahoochee to you!
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If you have difficulty understanding the post above, read it out loud and it should make sense. This NGTO member is known for his poor hill-billy upbringing and his affinity for all things from Louisiana (particularly if it relates to LSU). It makes for a poor mix of accents and much difficulty in translation. He was doing well for so long, but now seems to have regressed.

Last edited by Swamp Angel; 01-16-14 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 01-16-14, 09:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdaily View Post
Thank you all for the comments. There is a lot more than meets the eye about taking a boat out on the hooch. I will check the schedule, launch at abbots instead of McGinnis and head upstream. Also I already have a life jacket that I planned on wearing and I will definitely get out if the water rises. Thank you all for being concerned about safety as that is such an important part of being a responsible fisherman. I have a Minn Kota 55lb thrust trolling motor. Also any comments on what is working as far as flies?
Tdaily - I also live in the Alpharetta area and have been running a boat on the hooch for 15+ years. I would be happy to link up sometime and show you some of the better holes and ledges that hold fish, general navigation of the river and how to launch/load your boat in current if you dont know how to do so. I'm covered up with work this weekend but will be back out on the river the following weekend most likely. Feel free to shoot me a PM if you would like to go sometime.
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Old 01-16-14, 11:41 AM   #18
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Hey, I will send you some info this evening via PM that I occasionally provide for those new to flyfishing and esp. in GA.

In addition, I may be fishing Sat. afternoon (when it warms!) at Paces if water conditions allow. Gold F150, gray waders, gray beard. Be glad to work with you some if I make it out and you decide to wade. Again, depends on the temp/how good the fire feels.
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Old 01-16-14, 12:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishmonger View Post
Graph of water levels at McGinnis:



Notice that it goes up 10-12 feet during a release, THAT is why you shouldn't try to boat or fish on high water.

FM
Fishmonger, I'm curious about the levels @ McGinnis but I can't see the chart. Can you repost or send me the link?

Last edited by Swamp Angel; 01-16-14 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 01-16-14, 01:22 PM   #20
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http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/uv...65,00060,00062
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