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Georgia Trout and Striper Fishing Report for March

Updated: Feb 29

North Georgia Fly Fishing Guide

Spring has arrived really early this year and the trout and striper activity has picked up considerably. The warmer days and rains we have had for the last two weeks in February have warmed the creeks and lake into the mid to upper 50s. Still seeing plenty of midges and winter stoneflies across North Georgia with BWOs and black caddis joining in on the festivity. A couple species of small caddis (size 16 or smaller) have begun emerging leading to a productive dry fly bite on the small mountain creeks. Both Brook trout and wild rainbows have joined in on the action. The tandem dry fly rig is having the best luck for these wild trout. I have been leading with a size 14 or bulky size 16 caddis or stimulator pattern then trailing with a thin size 18 or 20 caddis, mayfly or midge pattern in the rear. On days when the activity is slower, a dropper will clean up what doesn't fall for the dries.

Check out our articles on the best flies for North Georgia and What Do Trout Eat to get a better idea of what the trout are looking for. The trout have begun to venture away from their winter holes and into some skinnier water so don’t be afraid to venture away from the overfished pools and target some faster water, especially on a warmer day. These patterns should remain consistent in the coming week as it looks like the mild weather will be hanging around.

The stocked trout waters including the Georgia Delayed Harvest Streams should also be buzzing with activity as they will be restocked after a rough ending to February. Have your junk flies ready and be prepared to fight the ensuing crowds of anglers ready to get outside this spring. Only one more month until we see our local waters restocked once again. Our private waters have been stocked for the spring, so if you’re looking to give fly fishing a try, now is a great time to cut down on the learning curve. Check out our North Georgia Fly Fishing Trips page for more details.

The lower Chattahoochee River has been a rollercoaster as fish activity has been sporadic with the more frequent rainfall. If you can dodge around the irritating generation schedule, there are plenty of trout to be had. Junk flies and midge patterns are still the tickets with some modest midge hatches popping off on warmer days following generation. Don't overlook the mouths of the feeder creeks as they begin to warm much quicker this time of year. Larger browns will be on the move looking for easy meals as their spawn has wrapped up and they recoup their energy while heading back to their normal haunts.

The striper bite on Lake Lanier is finally on the rise after being incredibly sporadic for the last month with fish being spread out. Most fish have found their way to the mid lake area or above and are beginning to congregate as they roam the shallows. Main lake and secondary points with a fair amount of bait (not too much bait) are what you will be looking for. Striper are cruising fast and can be difficult to keep pace with. Use what is left of the birds and keeping your eyes on the horizon for any surface activity on overcast days. Schooling fish should be moving fast to corral shoals of bait so make your casts count as the feeding frenzies tend to not last long. The dock light bite has also been fair if you can manage your way onto the lake in the early AM. Use stealth when approaching these lights as the fish do see a good bit of pressure in these areas. The striper will be on the feed if they remain unspooked.

Trout Species of North America

Want to learn more about trout? Our latest pages on the Trout Species of North America and Trout Species of the World dive into the many species of salmonids including trout, char, taimen, salmon, and lenok. Learn where to find them and a little bit about what makes each of these species special to anglers around the globe.

For more technical topics, our new article, where we break down How to Fish a Fly Hatch, goes into detail about the thought process and methods you should use when trout begin to rise with hatching insects. With incoming rains and hungry browns on the move and looking for big meals, the spring months are perfect for throwing a streamer. Our Fly Fishing Streamers article will get you ahead of the curve and ready for whatever conditions come your way.

If you would like to learn more about fly fishing or fishing North Georgia, check out our tips and techniques articles to get you prepared for spring trout and striper fishing. Best of luck this Spring!

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