The Best 12 Places To Go Fly Fishing in Georgia (And How To Fish Them)

Georgia Fly Fishing Feature Image

Georgia is a state that’s brimming with rivers and streams across its northern section. These waterways are home to a variety of trout species, which means there are ample opportunities for fly fishing in Georgia.

There is no shortage of streams that feature wild and stocked trout throughout the north Georgia mountains, and we’ve compiled this article to list our picks for our favorite trout fly fishing rivers and streams.

The Best Fly Fishing Creeks in Georgia

Rock Creek

Georgia Fly Fishing Locations Rock Creek
Rock Creek is Georgia’s top fly fishing spot, featuring diverse trout year-round in its narrow waters.

Rock Creek is arguably the best fly fishing stream in Georgia. It’s located deep in the Chattahoochee National Forest, and Rock Creek runs next to the trout hatchery that is used to stock trout across most of the north Georgia mountains.

Anglers can expect to catch an abundance of different trout species, including rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout, throughout most of the year. Rock Creek is a relatively narrow waterway compared to most other creeks in the northern section of Georgia. Nymphs work well along Rock Creek during the spring and summer. Rock Creek is one of the few streams that hold trout throughout much of the year, thanks to its proximity to the hatchery.

Cooper Creek

Georgia Fly Fishing Cooper Creek
Cooper Creek offers prime fly fishing opportunities with stocked waters from the national fish hatchery in spring and summer.

Cooper Creek is another stream that is a favorite for fly fishing enthusiasts in Georgia. It’s located just a few miles away from Rock Creek in nearby Union County. Cooper Creek is an ideal location for families or groups to enjoy camping in the pristine mountains, as there are dozens of public campsites next to the creek.

The national fish hatchery stocks Cooper Creek throughout the spring and summer months, making this time ideal for fly fishing. However, there are wild brown trout that can be caught upstream of the bridge that sits just south of the campground. Cooper Creek can become quite crowded on holiday weekends, and trout fishing is usually best on weekdays when fishing pressure is light.

Noontootla Creek

Georgia Fly Fishing Locations Noontootla Creek
Noontootla Creek provides accessible public fishing spots, with tributaries housing the elusive southern Appalachian brook trout.

Noontootla Creek is a somewhat small waterway at its headwaters that runs through the Blue Ridge Wildlife Management Area. Much of this stream is public access, and there are various places where anglers can enter the creek and catch everything from wild rainbow trout to brown trout. Noontootla Creek eventually runs into the Toccoa River.

The state’s Wildlife Resources Division has special regulations regarding Noontootla Creek that allow anglers to use only artificial lures. Trout anglers are only allowed to keep fish that are at least 16 inches long. Some of the tributaries that feed into Noontootla Creek hold the elusive southern Appalachian brook trout.

Smith Creek

Georgia Fly Fishing Locations Smith Creek
Smith Creek stands out for its thriving trout population, offering a haven for fly fishing enthusiasts seeking diverse wild fish species.

Smith Creek is a small stream located in north Georgia that’s well known for its trout production. Fly fishing anglers can expect to catch a number of different wild fish species on Smith Creek and it is one of the smallest of the state’s delayed harvest waterways. The best time to fish Smith Creek is usually during the early spring once trout are beginning to feed on the various insects and flies that hatch around this time.

Located above Lake Unicoi, Smith Creek is a great place to get future generations involved in fly fishing as it sits just a few miles north of Helen, Georgia—one of the state’s most popular mountain vacation destinations. The creek is heavily stocked with rainbow trout throughout the spring and summer, and fly anglers can find success using various egg or hare’s ear patterns.

The Best Fly Fishing Rivers in Georgia

Toccoa River

Georgia Fly Fishing Locations Toccoa River
Toccoa River offers wide stretches ideal for casting any length of fly, with varied water speeds accommodating diverse fishing techniques.

There are few rivers in north Georgia that equal the majesty of the Toccoa River when it comes to fly fishing for wild trout. The Toccoa’s headwaters are located in the upper part of the Chattahoochee National Forest, and the river flows down below Blue Ridge Dam. Most of the Toccoa River is wide enough to cast a fly fishing of any length, and there are various parts where the water speed varies and allows anglers to use a variety of different lures and patterns.

The upper Toccoa River is heavily stocked with brown and rainbow trout throughout the spring and summer, and there is a delayed harvest rule in place from mid-summer through the remainder of trout season. Fly anglers can usually rely on elk hair caddis to fish the Toccoa River, and nymphs also work very well at times.

Chattahoochee River

Georgia Fly Fishing Locations Chattahoochee River
The Chattahoochee River offers fly fishing enthusiasts diverse opportunities to reel in impressive trophy-sized brown and rainbow trout.

Many fly fishing enthusiasts would likely put the Chattahoochee River in the top spot among the best fly fishing Georgia rivers, and rightfully so. This lengthy waterway runs from the mountains around Helen, Georgia, all the way into Lake Seminole at the Florida-Georgia state line. The upper Chattahoochee River is packed with a variety of different trout species and it’s not uncommon for anglers to catch trophy-sized brown trout and rainbow trout in its water just south of Helen.

Multiple parts of the Chattahoochee’s upper section are stocked with trout during the spring and summer, and there are numerous places where an angler can go fly fishing. The lower Chattahoochee River is not as productive as the upper, and anglers should seek out a float trip for the best chance of landing a trophy brown trout along its waters. Fly fishing anglers can look to find bites on elk hair caddis, nymphs, dry flies, blue-winged Olives, and many other patterns along the Hooch.

Chattooga River

Georgia Fly Fishing Locations Chattooga River
The Chattooga River entices with its diverse trout population amidst stunning Appalachian scenery.

The Chattooga River is another one of our top picks that is located along the Georgia-South Carolina border in the northeast corner of the state. This freestone river is formed by a number of small Georgia streams joining together as they flow southward from the Appalachian Mountains.

Anglers can expect to catch brook trout, rainbows, or brown trout along the Chattooga River throughout much of the year. Wild brown trout are found in the upper Chattooga, while rainbows are usually stocked along its southern section. Fly anglers should look to use woolly buggers, nymphs, and various egg patterns to catch the monster browns and other trout species found along this river.

Jacks River

Georgia Fly Fishing Locations Jack's River copy
Jacks River boasts unparalleled opportunities for fly fishing enthusiasts, offering a secluded haven amidst its pristine, untamed waters.

One of the lesser-known trout fishing rivers that features outstanding opportunities for fly fishing in the state of Georgia is Jacks River. This river is located in the Cohutta Wilderness in north Georgia and is home to a number of giant brown and rainbow trout. The main thing preventing many anglers from making the trip to Jacks River is access, as the Cohutta Wildlife Management Area only allows foot traffic through the sprawling 96,000-acre property.

Jacks River is not stocked with trout, but it is home to some giant wild brown trout. Fly anglers can look to catch these big browns on nymphs or dry flies throughout most of the year. The Jacks River is not for the faint of heart, but those willing to make the extra effort will find it to be among the best fly fishing in Georgia.

The Best Fly Fishing Lakes in Georgia

Black Rock Lake

Georgia Fly Fishing Locations Black Rock Lake
Black Rock Creek boasts a serene 17-acre expanse that features well-worn paths and ample opportunities for fly fishing and bass angling.

Black Rock Lake sits in Black Rock Mountain State Park, which is located in north central Georgia just a few miles from the Tennessee state line. This lake is only 17 acres, but it is heavily stocked with rainbow trout throughout most of the year, making it ideal for fly fishing.

Access to Black Rock Lake is not an issue as the lake features a well-worn footpath that encircles the lake, as well as a pier that allows anglers to fish sections of the inner lake. Many anglers will use spinning tackle, but there are plenty of opportunities for fly fishing enthusiasts to catch a keeper-sized rainbow or even largemouth bass. Many of the same lures that work along the nearby rivers will usually work for catching trout in this lake, and this is a great option for introducing kids to the world of fly fishing, as there is plenty of trout to be caught.

Lake Burton

Lake Burton Georgia Fly Fishing
Lake Burton Creek teems with huge brown trout and offers many accessible spots to catch these impressive fish.

Lake Burton is an obvious choice among our top selections for fly fishing lakes in Georgia. This is mainly due to the fact that the lake is home to the Lake Burton Fish Hatchery, as well as the ample number of larger fish in the area. This lake is home to monster-sized brown trout, and many anglers find that these large fish bite better when the weather is exceptionally hot.

Lake Burton Stretches more than 2,700 acres, and there are numerous places fly anglers can access this waterway. There are plenty of blueback herring in Lake Burton, but anglers can still use egg patterns, as well as dry flies to catch some of the brown trout swimming in this deepwater mountain lake.

Lake Trahlyta

Georgia Fly Fishing Locations Lake Trahlyta copy
Lake Trahlyta boasts abundant rainbow trout, making it an ideal spot for introducing beginners to fly fishing.

One of the more overlooked trout fishing lakes in Georgia is located in Vogel State Park. Lake Trahlyta is a somewhat small, 20-acre lake that features a large population of rainbow trout. This is a great choice for introducing youngsters to fly fishing as the lake is stocked on a weekly basis throughout the spring and summer, which makes catching fish fairly easy—even with a fly rod.

The lake allows anglers to use kayaks and canoes to fish, and it’s recommended that you use these to maximize your chances of catching a trophy rainbow trout. Trout on this lake will often bite just about anything that’s thrown at them shortly after being stocked, and any type of egg pattern usually works best.

Winnfield Scott Lake

Georgia Fly Fishing Locations Lake Winnfield Scott
Winnfield Scott Lake offers serene pavilions with easy access for fly fishing, creating an idyllic haven for diverse angling experiences.

Winnfield Scott Lake is located just outside Suches, Georgia, in the heart of the Blue Ridge mountains. This small, 18-acre lake is much like Black Rock Lake and Lake Trahlyta in their size and makeup as far as fish species. There are the occasional smallmouth bass caught in Winnfield Scott Lake, but most anglers fish for trout and largemouth bass using spinning rods.

Fly anglers will find easy access and a well-kept number of lakeside pavilions that provide shade. The lake is full of stocked rainbows and brown trout, as these species are stocked on a regular basis throughout the warmer months of the year. Most of the stocked trout prefer brightly colored lures as this more closely resembles the food they are used to eating. However, fly fishing anglers can usually trigger the natural predatory instinct of these fish with any type of dry flies.

What Gear Do I Need to Fly Fish in Georgia?

Georgia’s rivers and streams are full of opportunities for those willing to venture into the mountains. If you’re planning to fish in most of the Peach State’s waterways, you will need to have a good pair of chest waders to stay dry. It’s not necessary to have insulated waders as the water rarely gets cold enough to require such, but fly fishing in the cold months of fall and winter is usually a good time to opt for neoprene or insulated waders.

It’s also good to pack a fly fishing stick to help stabilize yourself as you wade along the slippery rocks found in Georgia’s rivers and creeks.

When Is the Best Season for Fly Fishing in Georgia?

Late spring is always considered the best time for fly fishing, but there is some debate that the fall season is more favorable. As most fly fishing anglers know, brown trout spawn in the fall, and most of the rivers where browns are found will be teeming with hungry trout during this time. The state’s hatcheries will begin stocking trout in late March, and this is the perfect time to hit any one of the creeks or rivers mentioned above.

Do I Need a License to Fly Fishing in Georgia?

Yes. A Georgia fishing license is required for adult anglers over the age of 16, even if you only plan to fish for one day. You can easily purchase this license online prior to your fishing trip, and be sure to keep a copy or take a photo of it as many of the streams are in areas where cellphone reception is non-existent or weak.

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Donny Karr is a respected fishing writer and passionate fisherman who loves targeting largemouth bass and a range of other species. He's a specialist on using the latest gear and techniques to boost fishing success.
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