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
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