10 Best Places To Go Fly Fishing in Georgia

10 Best Places To Go Fly Fishing in Georgia

Georgia is not known for having large insect hatches like many of the Western states are known for, but does offer unique fly fishing opportunities 12 months of the year. From the small blue line freestone streams high in the Appalachian Mountains to the larger tailwaters found in the foothills, there is plenty of diversity in trout habitat across the state. Trout are not the only target for fly anglers in Georgia. Coastal fisheries south of Savannah target redfish and speckled trout while inland rivers and lakes provide opportunities to target striped bass and 6 of the 7 major black bass species (Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted, Redeye, Shoal, and Suwanee) found in North America.

Here are the 10 best places to go fly fishing in Georgia.

Table Of Contents

  1. Tallulah River
  2. Flint River
  3. Coopers Creek
  4. Lake Lanier
  5. Rock Creek
  6. Etowah River Tailwater
  7. Noontootla Creek
  8. Toccoa River
  9. Chattooga River 
  10. Chattahoochee River

Tallulah River

The Tallulah River is located west of Clayton, GA, a small mountain town in North Georgia. From early spring through mid-summer the Tallulah River and one of its main tributaries, the Coleman River, are stocked heavily with trout. The Tallulah also possesses plenty of wild trout, especially in the upper reaches of the river toward North Carolina. This is one of the better locations in Georgia where anglers can target the coveted Appalachian Slam (Brook, Brown, and Rainbow trout).

Photo by North Georgia Fly Fishing Guide

Flint River

The Flint River is one of the more unique fisheries in Georgia. The particular stretch between Sprewell Bluff and Big Lazer Creek is located about an hour south of Atlanta and west of Macon. This is where anglers can find one of, if not, the best Shoal Bass fishing in the country. These bass behave much like their smallmouth cousins that inhabit many northern rivers of the United States and are a great bucket list fish for local fly fishing enthusiasts. 

Photo by North Georgia Fly Fishing Guide

Coopers Creek

Small Rhododendron lined streams is the norm for North Georgia Fly Fishing. Close quarters casting and stealthy approaches are key to much of the fishing in these streams and Coopers Creek is no exception. The bonus for visiting anglers to Coopers Creek is the creek is stocked heavily from March Through July on top of its already healthy wild trout population. Weekends get busy here as campers and other outdoor enthusiasts will flock to the campgrounds that line the small creek in the Coopers Creek WMA.

Lake Lanier

Lake Lanier has the highest density of fly anglers that target freshwater striped bass or striper in the United States. This is not a coincidence, as the lake sets up perfectly for anglers to target freshwater striper on the fly from October through May when wolfpacks of these fish roam the shallows for blueback herring and threadfin shad. Summer sees these fish go deep and the fly anglers head to the hills for the local trout streams or change over to the exploding spotted bass fishery that is taking over the lake.

Rock Creek

Rock Creek fishes very similarly to its neighbor Coopers Creek. The size of the two Toccoa River tributaries is very similar. Rock Creek is a bit closer to Blue Ridge, GA, making it a great destination to take your kids fishing in Blue Ridge. Though there are fewer camping opportunities around Rock Creek, it still sees similar pressure to Coopers. The Frank Gross Campground provides the densest amount of sites though diverse campsites are found throughout the Rock Creek Watershed. Stockers can be found from the confluence of the Toccoa, all the way upstream to Rock Creek Lake. Rock Creek Lake is located above the National Fish Hatchery, where visitors can stop by during the week to see the operation. The lake is also stocked during the colder months and into the spring. The small streams leading into the lake and tributaries above the hatchery do have populations of small wild fish for those willing to do a bit of bushwhacking. The other small tributaries of Rock Creek found throughout the WMA also are home to native brook trout for intrepid anglers looking to explore for some small trout on tiny water.

Etowah River Tailwater

The Etowah Tailwater below Lake Allatoona provides a great opportunity for visiting anglers in the Spring months. Hybrid Striper, Spotted Bass, Redeye Bass, and Striped Bass will all inhabit the river this time of year. Migrations of hybrids and striped bass move upstream from Weiss Lake on a faux spawning run beginning as early as March. These fish fight hard and are a worthy challenge for beginning fly anglers. The spotted, redeye, and white bass are excellent targets when runs are slow. This fishery will stay productive until the mid summer when fish retreat to summer haunts further downstream. 

Photo by North Georgia Fly Fishing Guide

Noontootla Creek

A rare gem in North Georgia. Noontootla Creek is essentially a catch and release trout fishery that sees no stocking and an excellent population of wild trout. While the average size of the trout is much smaller than what can be found in your typical stocked trout stream, this is the closest you can come to true fly fishing in North Georgia. Moderate hatches occur throughout the year and the creek likely possesses the healthiest population of insects in the state. Dry flies will land trout 12 months out of the year here. Along with the great wild trout fishing, Noontootla Creek is one of the most scenic fly fishing destinations in the state. 

Photo by North Georgia Fly Fishing Guide

Toccoa River

Two sections of the Toccoa River offer different angling experiences for visiting fly fishermen. The Upper Toccoa River, above Lake Blue Ridge, possesses both stocked and wild trout. Access can be found throughout this section at various campgrounds and parks up to Deep Hole. Stocking occurs throughout much of the year on different parts of the upper Toccoa. The higher elevation section sees trout stocked from March through the summer. The Delayed Harvest section further downstream is stocked from November through the spring, creating opportunities for catch and release anglers over the winter. 

The Lower section has three public access points at Horseshoe Bend, Tammen Park, and Curtis Switch. These sections rely on stocked trout year round. Anglers with access to small watercraft can easily float this section of the river and find productive fly fishing on the Toccoa River through the private water sections.

Photo by North Georgia Fly Fishing Guide

Chattooga River 

Located on the northern border of South Carolina, the Chattooga River offers the rarer combination of being a heavily stocked trout stream while being quite remote. Finding a stretch of river to yourself can be simple after a short hike away from the campgrounds and parking areas that see a majority of the anglers. Stretches of the river are stocked via helicopter at the beginning of the season where the normal stock trucks aren’t able to reach. From the Delayed Harvest Section above Highway 28 to the North Carolina border at Ellicot Rock, fly fishermen can find some of the best Chattooga River Fly Fishing.

Photo by North Georgia Fly Fishing Guide

Chattahoochee River

From Top to bottom, the Chattahoochee River offers more opportunity than any other fly fishing destination in Georgia. Starting at the tailwater below Lake Lanier just north of Atlanta, fly anglers can find larger numbers of stocked rainbows and wild brown trout. Midges are the only insects with reasonable numbers on the tailwater and comprise a large portion of the diet of the wild brown trout and lucky rainbow trout that escape the gauntlet of catch and keep anglers. 

Above the lake anglers can find seasonal striped bass migrations and a shoal bass fishery upstream to the small town of Helen. In and above Helen, the river is once again stocked with thousands of trout throughout the year. Different sections of the main river and its tributaries are viable destinations during different times of the year. In the uppermost tributaries fly angler can find good populations of wild trout along with the Native Georgia Brook Trout. Locals and tourists can’t go wrong visiting any of these sections throughout the year to find excellent Chattahoochee River fly fishing opportunities. 

If you’re looking for more information on the local rivers and streams of Georgia, or a North Georgia Fly Fishing Guide, check out the Georgia Wild Trout website to learn more about the fly fishing opportunities in Southern Appalachia.  Or you can reach them by calling 469-678-9154 or emailing to georgiawildtrout@gmail.com.

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