Trout-angling opportunities abound in the wintery swift-flowing waters of north Georgia’s rivers and creeks.
Home to some of the Southeast’s finest trout streams and three species of trout - rainbow, brown and brook trout - Georgia claims nearly 4,000 miles of streams, and more than half lie in the northern part of the state in the Chattahoochee National Forest.
“Georgia offers trout anglers with various opportunities throughout the year – including delayed harvest streams, seasonal streams and year-round streams,” says John Biagi, chief of fisheries management for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.
Delayed Harvest Streams
The Wildlife Resources Division recommends casting a line at any of the following five delayed harvest trout streams now through May 14: the Toccoa River on U.S. Forest Service land upstream of Lake Blue Ridge in Fannin County (from 0.4 miles above Shallowford Bridge to 450 feet above the Sandy Bottom Canoe Access); Amicalola Creek on Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area (from Steele Bridge Road downstream to GA 53); Smith Creek at Unicoi State Park; the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta (Sope Creek, downstream of Johnson Ferry Road, downstream to the Hwy. 41 bridge); and a portion of the Chattooga River (from GA 28 upstream to the mouth of Reed Creek) on U.S. Forest Service land bordering South Carolina.
Seasonal Trout Streams Open March 30
Anglers anxious to tackle seasonal streams can prepare for opening day, March 30, 2013. Some popular seasonal streams include Cooper Creek in Union County, Chattahoochee River headwaters at Chattahoochee River wildlife management area in White County, Dicks Creek in Lumpkin County and Johns Creek in Floyd County.
Year Round Trout Opportunities
For year-round opportunities, some recommended locations include the Blue Ridge tailwater (a stretch of the Toccoa River downstream of Blue Ridge Lake in Fannin County); Noontootla Creek Watershed; Dukes Creek (on Smithgall Woods-Dukes Creek Conservation Area. Call for reservations, 706-878-3087); and Chattahoochee River (downstream of Buford Dam near metro Atlanta).
Some additional notable year-round trout streams include Holly Creek in Murray County, Tallulah River in Rabun County and Rock Creek in Fannin County.
Anglers must possess a current Georgia fishing license and a trout license to fish in designated trout waters. Anglers must also possess a wildlife management area license or Georgia Outdoor Recreation Pass (GORP) in order to fish on certain WMAs. Find a list of designated areas at www.georgiawildlife.com/Georgia-Outdoor-Recreational-Pass . Where can you get a license? Buy it online, find a list of retail license vendors at www.georgiawildlife.com/licenses-permits-passes or buy it by phone at 1-800-366-2661.
For more on trout fishing, download a free Georgia trout stream map and other trout fishing tips from the Wildlife Resources Division at www.georgiawildlife.com/Fishing/Trout or call (770) 535-5498.