Updated: Apr 21
While just about any time is a great time to get outdoors and enjoys Georgia’s beautiful mountain streams. If you’re planning a visit to North Georgia to do some trout fishing or you’re a local simply looking to catch more fish, knowing the seasonal changes that occur in different trout streams is very important. The activity level on different streams can be dramatically different throughout North Georgia. Larger waters at lower elevations often fish better than higher elevation streams during the winter months, and the opposite is typically true in the wintertime. Understanding why this occurs is a great start on figuring out where you need to be fishing.
Fly Fishing North Georgia During Winter
Winter is the hardest time for most people to get outside and fish. The wild trout in the higher elevation headwater creeks in North Georgia can make the choice to stay home a bit easier as they are tight lipped and move very little through the colder months. However, on the lower elevation larger creeks and small rivers, trout can be feeding quite regularly and in predictable water. Trout in these rivers will congregate in deeper holes (between 3’ and 5’) with slower current. If you stumble upon these spots, you can have a great day catching trout after trout. Fly fishing on private waters can be just as good due to the supplemental feeding keeping the trout’s metabolism high in the cold water. On warm days during the winter the bite can be outstanding on these private waters for numbers and large trout. The last note to make about winter is that larger trout will be on the move. Winter is the best time to find trophy fish moving through public water. If winter rains raise the water levels during this time of year, be on the lookout while searching your favorite trout stream. You might not get many or any bites, but you may just land the largest trout of your life.
Fly Fishing North Georgia During Spring
The warm weather heralding the coming of spring raises the metabolism of trout considerably. This means fish will begin to leave their winter holes for a larger variety of water and start eating more heavily. While the wild trout streams will still be slow into April, the private water streams and stocked public streams should be red hot. Many public waters are stocked heavily again in March, so there should be high populations of trout in all of them. Watch out for high water following rains. This scenario can blow out many larger creeks and rivers and limit fishing to the upper reaches. Focusing on these waters will be the best use of your time. Fish will be found using shallow and deep water. Just remember that the fish in shallow water will be a bit more spooky but much more willing to eat.
Fly Fishing North Georgia During Summer
As the cool spring mornings disappear and hot afternoons become more prominent, trout will begin looking to the water’s surface for food. This is when the wild trout fishing on public water shines. On our average public water half day trips (3.5-4 hours) we can expect at least two dozen bites. We hardly ever land all these strikes, but the willingness for these trout to bite is through the roof. Some on stream adjustments with our rig will typically end in landing more of these strikes. The late spring and early summer bite on private and larger water can also be great as hopper patterns can see excellent action before the water gets too hot. During the dog days of summer many of these private waters will close for a couple months and many of the stocked public waters will be fished out. This is the perfect time to start exploring new waters. You can be sure if there are trout in a small stream, they will come up and eat a fly during the summer. Exploring at this time of your can pay big dividends during the other times of year when the bite may be more difficult. Late summer and early fall would be my choice for beginners who would like to get started in fly fishing here in North Georgia.
Fly Fishing North Georgia During Fall
Fall might be the all-around best time of year to fish. All types of waters will be very productive. Larger waters will be reopening as well as the private waters. These trout have likely not seen a fly in a while so some of the best days can be had. The wild trout water will be just as productive in the fall. Dry flies are still the go to. The only tough conditions in the fall will be low clear water form drought, the never ending passing of leaves on a windy day that constantly ruin your best drifts, and the occasional hurricane blowing out creeks. The mild temperatures and breath-taking fall colors make any trip this time of year worthwhile.
Now that you have an idea about what each season has to offer. You just need to decide where to fly fish in North Georgia. No matter what part of the Georgia Mountains you are in, there should be a stream fishing well close by. If you still would like some help, give us a call. We would be glad to be your North Georgia fly fishing guide.