No matter your trout fishing skill – expert to beginner – you can find a great place to “wet a line,” according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.
“Anglers can readily find opportunities to catch any of the three available species of trout in Georgia, including rainbow, brown and brook,” said John Biagi, chief of fisheries management. “All trout streams are available year-round, with five streams having delayed harvest regulations through May 14.”
Delayed Harvest Streams
Anglers fishing on delayed harvest streams must release all trout immediately and use and possess only artificial lures with one single hook per lure.
The following five trout streams operate on delayed harvest regulations 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.
Year-Round Trout Hot Spots
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 the Chattahoochee River (downstream of Buford Dam near metro Atlanta).
Some additional notable streams include Holly Creek in Murray County, Tallulah River in Rabun County and Rock Creek in Fannin County. Lake Trahlyta in Vogel State Park is stocked periodically through the winter and provides an excellent reservoir trout fishing opportunity.
Anglers must possess a current Georgia fishing license and a trout license to fish in designated trout waters. Anglers must also possess a WMA 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 or 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/Trout or call 770-535-5498.