To download free Georgia trout stream maps and other trout fishing tips, or for additional trout fishing information, visit www.gofishgeorgia.com. Anglers must possess a current Georgia fishing license and a trout license to fish in designated trout waters. Here are some area streams:
Blue Ridge Tailwater: This tailwater is actually a stretch of the Toccoa River located downstream of Blue Ridge Lake in Fannin County and in many trout fishing circles is considered both blue-ribbon trout fishing and Georgia’s best kept secret. Anglers will find good numbers of both rainbow and brown trout, with an occasional trophy-sized fish caught. Anglers should keep safety in mind — high water and strong currents can occur when the dam’s turbines are on. Keep a close eye on the water level and return to boats immediately if it starts to rise.
Noontootla Creek Watershed: This watershed offers some high quality year-round fishing for wild brown and rainbow trout, with many of its tributaries offering a chance at a wild brook trout. Both Noontootla and its tributaries are managed under an artificial lure only regulation and have a 16” minimum size limit in order to “recycle” the 8-inch to 12-inch trout that make up most of the population.
Dukes Creek: This stream, located on the Smithgall Woods-Dukes Creek Conservation Area offers year-round trout fishing by reservation (706-878-3087). All fish caught here must be released immediately and anglers must only use artificial lures with barbless hooks. Best time to fish is after a rain discolors the water.
Chattahoochee River: The Chattahoochee River downstream of Buford Dam offers family friendly and close-to-home, year-round fishing for stocked rainbow and brown trout and wild brown trout. The river will be stocked through the fall months to keep angler catches high. Year-round harvest is legal from Buford Dam to Sope Creek. Best fishing is at low flow when the river is clear to slightly stained.
Source: Department of Natural Resources
North Georgia offers few better ways to observe beautiful fall foliage than a trip to a trout-filled delayed harvest mountain stream.
With more than 4,000 miles of trout streams and three species of trout, there are fishing and simultaneous leaf-viewing opportunities closer than you think. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division highlights the five delayed harvest streams available to anglers.
“Georgia trout streams are designated as seasonal, year-round or delayed harvest, and different streams offer varying populations of rainbow, brown and brook trout,” said DNR Trout Stocking Coordinator Perry Thompson.
“The delayed harvest streams have special regulations from Nov. 1 (through) May 14. Since these delayed harvest streams are regularly stocked and the trout are caught and released, catch rates remain high, making them a great destination for new and seasoned anglers alike.”
The five trout streams managed under delayed harvest regulations are:
- Toccoa River located 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 the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area, from Steele Bridge Road downstream to Ga. 53)
- Smith Creek at Unicoi State Park
- Chattahoochee River in Atlanta, Sope Creek, downstream of Johnson Ferry Road, downstream to the U.S. 41 bridge
- Chattooga River, from Ga. 28 upstream to the mouth of Reed Creek, on U.S. Forest Service land bordering South Carolina.
“Remember, these streams are catch and release only during the delayed harvest season and also are restricted to artificial lures with one single hook from Nov. 1 (through) May 14,” Thompson said.
In addition to the excellent fall fishing opportunities delayed harvest streams provide, there also are ample year-round trout fishing opportunities in a number of Georgia streams.
These designated year-round streams are open to fishing throughout the year.