Updated: May 24
North Georgia Trout Streams
The trout fishing has continued to pick up as waters across the state warm. The recent rains have brought the water levels of rivers and creeks up causing the trout to spread out. Streamers are an excellent way to probe large areas for trout. Hatches have begun to pick up around mid-morning and with it, the trout activity. The best hatches have been happening on the windy days following a passing front. The hatches of blue wing olives, black caddis, and march browns will shift to yellow sallies, grannom caddis, and quills this month, with sulfurs showing up later into April. Size sixteen to eighteen dry flies have been the best imitations when you begin to see the trout rising but, larger patterns will become more effective in coming weeks. When things are slow, large nymph patterns (stonefly and caddis) have worked well. Many other local fish in streams and rivers will begin their annual spawning ritual so don't overlook egg patterns if suckers and chubs are around. The end of the month should see all of these patterns pick up as well as the fishing. Not everyday has been best for dry flies. Though hatches may be in full swing, the trout are still swinging and missing on a fair amount of their rises. In these situations, adding a dropper or emerger pattern will lead to more hook ups.
Trout have been stocked in nearly all of North Georgia’s seasonally stocked streams. The crowds in these areas have been heavy no matter where you’re fishing in North Georgia. You can take a look at what streams have been stocked in our Blue Ridge Trout Fishing Guide, Helen Trout Fishing Guide, Ellijay Trout Fishing Guide, or Dahlonega Trout Fishing Guide. After visiting several popular waters following the initial late March stockings, these heavily trafficked streams have already been mostly cleaned out. The streams stocked weekly have had more stocked trout find refuge following the heavy rains that have limited much of the catch and keep anglers' hauls and dispersed the trout into areas with less pressure. Junk flies are still the go to for these stocked trout, especially when the water is high following rains.
Tailwater Trout Fishing
The tailwaters of the Chattahoochee and Toccoa have both been fishing well with recent stockings. Generation on the Chattahoochee below Lanier has changed as the COE is trying a new strategy to limit the peak water generation levels in attempt to improve the quality of the river corridor. After generation, the water levels can take a bit longer to reach their lows so be sure to pay closer attention to the Lake Lanier generation schedules and use some additional caution with the new norms. If they do pull on these rainy days, it is typically for shorter periods. Rainbows have been stocked in the river so expect heavier visitors on the days the river is fishable. And as always we highly recommend releasing any of the wild brown trout caught in the river.
The Striper have begun their heavy run up the lake. While some remain scattered throughout the mid and upper end of the lake, look for the rains over the next week to push these striped bass upstream on the Chestatee River and Chattahoochee River. Striper moving upstream will stage along the deeper outside bends of the main channel and just below creek confluences. Look for white bass to be mixed in whether your fishing the Chattahoochee, Chestatee, or Etowah River. Clousers and other small baitfish imitations will see more action from all species on the river while the larger fly patterns, such as a drunk and disorderly or hollow point, will catch the eye and entice the larger striper.
For anglers looking to learn more about trout fishing and fly fishing North Georgia, our latest articles on Fly Fishing the Appalachian Trail and What Trout Eat will teach fly anglers the insects and other food items that trout are looking for in the local rivers and creek as well as some of the most scenic wild trout destinations in the state.