Moving from Ohio, one of the things my husband and I are so excited about is fishing!! Especially Trout Fishing. We fished all the time in Ohio and mostly caught catfish and perch. Our catfish, at least the ones we caught, were never bigger than 10 pounds, mostly 4-6 pounds. So you can imagine our excitement when we researched all the different types of fish and the size of these fish here in the Northern Mountains of Georgia.
The Blue Ridge mountains of Georgia have been designated as one of the premiere spots for trout fishing. There are over 4,000 miles of trout streams in North Georgia. The season begins the last Saturday in March and ends on Halloween. A fishing license is required for those 16 years and older. Licenses can be obtained online at Georgia Department of Natural Resources or at most gas stations, marinas, and any local Wal-Mart will have them. You can also call 1-800-275-3474 for additional information.
Bait!! Who knew there were so many options and theories on what is the best bait to reel in that magical trout you have been waiting for. Some of the top picks are: The Rebel Wee Craw, the Trout Worm, Smithwick Rattlin’ Rogue, Blue Fox Vibrax and Master Twister Micro Crawfish and Mite. Whew…..lordy…when we fish in Ohio we just use – The Worm…LOL
I am amazed at the never-ending rivers, lakes and stream in the area, so how do you know where to go? Well for those novice fisherman like myself and my husband, there are numerous popular streams that are great and are heavily stocked and access is very easy. If you are having trouble hooking a fish, there are many locals nearby fishing that will be willing to give you a hand and some advice which in turn just may help you hook that fish. If you are looking for something more secluded and adventurous, there is an abundance of streams that cut through the remote forests but hiking is a must to get there.
As this may be an all day adventure for you, make sure to bring along some water, snacks or pack a lunch, sunscreen and a cooler to take your prized trout home in.
I have a list here of some spots to fish in while in the Blue Ridge Mountains:
The Toccoa is stocked above Blue Ridge Dam about every other week during trout season. Most of it is on private land, but much of the section along Rt. 60, near the town of Margaret, flows through National Forest. The river below the dam is very broad in most areas, making it a good choice for fly fishermen. Trout are also stocked regularly in this section. A popular way to fish this area is to float-fish from the dam downstream approximately 15 miles to McCaysville. Use caution. Water levels can rise suddenly. Check dates and times for water releases from Blue Ridge dam at 800-238-2264
SHALLOWFORD BRIDGE/Above the Dam
Aska Road, Blue Ridge Old steel one-lane bridge over the Toccoa River. Fish under the bridge or along the dirt road to the right following the river on the Benton MacKaye Trail. This is a Delayed Harvest Area, stocked in early November for catch and release only through mid-May.
Blue Ridge A very popular place to fly fish for trout in the tailwaters of the Toccoa River below the Lake Blue Ridge Dam. Call in advance for water-release information 1-800-238-2264. This park also has ball fields, playground equipment and picnic areas.
River Road off of Highway 60, McCaysville. Beautiful park with good trout fishing on the Toccoa River. From Blue Ridge take Highway 5 into McCaysville. Turn right onto Highway 60 then drive a short distance and turn right on River Road. The park has a playground, picnic pavilions and restrooms.
Forest Service Rd. 69 off State Rte. 60, Between Morganton and Dahlonega. The Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery is located on Rock Creek. This creek and other nearby streams are stocked with trout from the federal hatchery, which is open year round. Rock Creek also supports good populations of wild trout, including native brook trout in some of the high elevation tributaries. This area is highly used.
Hwy. 60 South between Morganton and Dahlonega.
This area offers camping, hiking and trout fishing. Fishing in Cooper Creek and Mulky Creek for stocked and wild trout is popular. From Blue Ridge, take Highway 76 east to Morganton; turn right on Hwy. 60 south toward Dahlonega for 16 miles. Turn left on Forest Service Road 4 for 6 miles.
Forest Service Rd. 58, southeast of Blue Ridge in the Blue Ridge Wildlife Mgmt. Area. The creek and its tributaries are managed to imitate a natural stream with an unharvested trout population, to provide a unique experience that emphasizes catching wild trout for fun, rather than harvest. If you’re lucky and catch a very rare trophy trout that is 16 inches or longer, you may keep it. All smaller trout must be released immediately. Artificial lures only.
Forest Service Roads 22, 64 and 73 off State Rte. 2 west of Blue Ridge.Inside the Cohutta Wilderness there are 45 miles of fishing opportunities on the Jacks (March – October) and Conasauga Rivers (open year round). The Jacks is not stocked, but it contains reproducing trout populations. If you want real wilderness, this is the place. The Forest Service has a detailed map of the wilderness. It is wise to have this map if you plan a fishing or hiking trip to this wild area.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources publishes a comprehensive trout fishing guide to Georgia that can be picked up at the Fannin County welcome center. This link is also helpful: Angler Resources.