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Etowah (Upper)

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Towaliga

Yellow

 

Towaliga River

You might want to portage this one! This is why High Falls Lake got it's name. Luckily, Towaliga floating opportunities begin a little farther downstream.

    The Towaliga is a small river best suited for floating downstream from High Falls Lake until it joins the Ocmulgee about 22 miles downstream (this stretch lies entirely in Monroe County). The Towaliga actually originates in Henry County and flows through Butts County, but is too small and tree-filled for consistent float-fishing. High Falls Lake stills the Towaliga, but the spring run of white and hybrid bass up the river can be excellent if you time it right.

    Bass fishing on the Towaliga is good, with largemouth bass dominating the slower stretches and shoal and redeye bass in the shoals. If you are after shoalies and redeyes, stick to the section upstream of GA 42. The Towaliga above GA 42 contains a lot of deep, slow water interspersed with small shoals, so be prepared for any type of bass in this section. In the shoals, try small topwater lures, spinners, worms, and crawfish-imitating crankbaits. Don't expect big ones either- 10 inches or so is the average. 

Sections of the Towaliga are great for shoal bass. These twin shoalies came from a weedbed just beneath a shoal.

    In the slower sections (largemouth water), use larger baits- plastic worms, spinnerbaits, etc. Much of the Towaliga runs rather shallow, making it easier to locate prime largemouth water. It is surprising that a river this small produces bass as hefty as some of those in the Towaliga (Georgia River Fishing has a few reports of bass over 5 pounds!). There are some great bends throughout the river where largemouth bass, bluegill, and channel cats stack up during the dog days of summer.

Largemouth bass tend to hang out in the slower reaches of the Towaliga.

    Redbreast and bluegill dominate the bream population on the Towaliga (as they do in just about every other river in the state). Both species love crickets, but are almost as likely to smack a Beetlespin or small spinner. There are a smattering of crappie in the Towaliga and most likely a few white and hybrid bass in the river near the Ocmulgee. Channel catfish populations are excellent, judging from the stringers seen while floating past bank fishermen.

    For a Piedmont stream, the Towaliga can flow remarkably clear, though it muddies up like the rest of them after a hard rain. One drawback of the Towaliga is that, being a small stream, gets tough to float during prolonged dry periods (most summers). During the summer, use a canoe, but realize that a good bit of dragging will be in store. Canoes are really the best craft upstream of GA 42 year round, as you will encounter numerous small rapids. When the river has a good water flow (you can tell by looking from any bridge), jon boats work well closer to the Ocmulgee.  Access is good throughout, and there is no more than 5 miles or so between access points.

    High Falls State Park is an interesting place, and the Towaliga tumbles over a mammoth waterfall shortly below the High Falls dam. There is a trail in the park that leads to the falls. Needless to say, any float trip should start downstream of the point where High Falls got it's name!

 
 
       

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