The crisp, swift-flowing waters of north Georgia’s rivers and creeks offer an abundance of trout angling opportunities this winter.
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 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 Georgia Highway 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. Highway 28 upstream to the mouth of Reed Creek) on U.S. Forest Service land bordering South Carolina.
Seasonal Trout Streams Open March 31
On the other hand, anglers anxious to tackle seasonal streams can prepare for opening day, March 31, 2012. Some popular seasonal streams include Cooper Creek in Union County, Chattahoochee River headwaters at Chattahoochee River WMA 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 located downstream of Blue Ridge Lake in Fannin County); Noontootla Creek Watershed; Dukes Creek (located 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. Where can you get a license? Buy it online or find a list of retail license vendors at www.georgiawildlife.com/recreational-licenses 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.gofishgeorgia.com or call 770-535-5498.