Georgia River Fishing Information
Chattahoochee River (Buford Dam to Roswell Road)

In addition to supplying nearly 70 percent of metro Atlanta's drinking water, the 48-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River between Buford Dam and Peachtree Creek offers some of the best trout fishing in north Georgia.  

For the current water release schedules call:  1-855-DAM-FLOW.

Prospects and Fishing Tips
Best Bets
BROWN & RAINBOW TROUT
Rainbow Trout
Prospect The Lanier Tailwater section of the Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam provides a constant input of clear, cool water that creates trout habitat. Releases from Buford Dam for power generation can make fishing difficult and dangerous, but fishing after the water recedes generally picks right back up where it left off. Rainbow trout have been stocked in this section since 1962 and are managed as a put-and-take fishery. Most of the rainbow trout encountered will be in the 9 to 12-inch range, but larger fish are stocked by Georgia DNR and some individuals may survive in the river for multiple years and can grow quite large. Approximately 180,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout are stocked annually in this section, though in some years the number can grow higher if summer conditions in the North Georgia mountains create a need to reallocate trout from other streams. image
Technique For fly-fishing, use 4 to 6-weight, 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 foot rods with floating or sinking tip lines. Small nymphs and flies work well. Traditional patterns such as wooly buggers (size 8-12), prince nymphs (size 14; try bead-heads), or hare's ears (size 16) often produce fish. If fish appear active but are not responding to these patterns, try very small (size 18-22) black midge flies, both adult and pupa. In recently-stocked sections, patterns that are highly visible and/or mimic the pellets that are fed to hatchery trout (e.g. a Y2K pattern) can be highly productive. For spin-fishing, use a 5 to 7-foot rod with 4 to 6-pound test. Try 1/8 ounce spinners (e.g. Rooster Tail or Panther Martin) in silver, white, brown, green, yellow or orange or gold/silver spoons (e.g. Little Cleo). Also try 3 to 5-inch Rapalas in perch, trout, gold or silver patterns. For bait fishing, a similarly-outfitted rod will work well with natural baits such as corn, nightcrawlers, or Powerbait. Add split shot or other weight to the line to allow the bait to reach the current. A bobber or float may be used to suspend the bait within the water column. Please be aware that natural baits are not permitted between Georgia Highway 20 and Medlock Bridge.
Target Freshly-stocked rainbow trout will often initially remain congregated near the stocking location. Within a few days, they will disperse relatively evenly throughout the stocked location. Look for well-oxygenated runs with moderate current. Depth of rainbow trout may vary considerably. Look for structure such as eddies formed by rocks or downed timber. Maps noting access points along the river can be obtained either in person or online from the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.
Brown Trout
Prospect The Lanier Tailwater section of the Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam provides a constant input of clear, cool water that creates trout habitat. Releases from Buford Dam for power generation can make fishing difficult and dangerous, but fishing after the water recedes generally picks right back up where it left off. Brown trout have not been stocked in this section since 2004 and are now managed as a wild population. While most of the brown trout encountered will probably be in the 8 to 12-inch range, fish well over 20 inches are caught by anglers each year. The state record brown trout (18 pounds, 6 ounces) was caught in this section in 2001. image
Technique For fly-fishing, use 4 to 6-weight, 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 foot rods with floating or sinking tip lines. Small nymphs and flies work well. Traditional patterns such as wooly buggers (size 8-12), prince nymphs (size 14; try bead-heads), or hare's ears (size 16) often produce fish. If fish appear active but are not responding to these patterns, try very small (size 18-22) black midge flies, both adult and pupa. For spin-fishing, use a 5 to 7-foot rod with 4 to 6-pound test. Try 1/8 ounce spinners (e.g. Rooster Tail or Panther Martin) in silver, white, brown, green, yellow or orange and spoons in gold/silver (e.g. Little Cleo). Also try 3 to 5-inch Rapalas in perch, trout, gold or silver patterns.

To target trophy-size fish use larger streamers or lures that mimic baitfish such as sculpins or even smaller trout. During colder months, consider dead-drifting white streamers or using white inline spinners to mimic dead threadfin shad and/or blueback herring that have died in Lake Lanier due to cold temperatures and passed through Buford Dam.
Target Large numbers of fish should be present in wadeable shoal areas. Fish during clear, low flows. If water is turbid, a gold spinner or spoon may produce the best results. The largest brown trout are often found in deep runs surrounded by cover such as downed timber. Maps noting access points along the river can be obtained either in person or online from the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.
Additional Information
The section between Buford Dam and Peachtree Creek lies within the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) and is managed by the National Park Service (NPS). The Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) and NPS work closely to manage the land, river and wildlife. For more information about the area, call 678-538-1200 or visit http://www.nps.gov/chat.

For water release information from Buford Dam, call the US Army Corps of Engineers at 1(855) DAM-FLOW (326-3569) or visit http://water.sam.usace.army.mil/todaySched.htm.
 
Best Fishing Times Key
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