North Georgia Trout Fishing Report For January

Updated: Apr 21


North Georgia Fly Fishing Guide Service

The warm weather that oddly hung around throughout December seems to be gone. Our first major cold front has pushed through the mountains and left a bit of snow and ice behind in it's wake. The good news is the recent rains have engorged the creeks and rivers, bringing them back to their normal winter flows. The fish can now find a bit of sanctuary in the deeper pockets and troughs. The higher water has also pushed up a good many of the trophy trout onto public waters. Keep and eye out for these behemoths as the move from pocket to pocket upriver. If you locate one, chances are there is one or two more in the same area. Look for these movements to continue throughout the month following medium to heavy rains.


The bite throughout North Georgia should progressively get more and more tough. The trout on the DH waters have been thoroughly pounded into submission. So if you can stomach it, drop

down to smaller 18,20, or smaller along with light tippet and you can still net the all the trout you manage to not spook. If light tippet and small flies is your thing, the bite on the Lanier tailwaters is also back. The water has finally cleared from fall turnover and the fish are feeding well. Warm/mild afternoons have been leading to increased midge hatches and the trout fishing improves along with the afternoon temperatures. Hatches in the mountains have been fair as well. Per usual, there hasn't been any large hatches but I've seen small caddis and stoneflies coming off the water nearly every afternoon. It wont be long before we begin seeing the Blue Wing Olive hatches. Have your emerger and small profile dry fly patterns ready when you begin seeing the BWOs appear. Fly patterns between size 16-22 will work best. Be prepared to cycle through sizes until you can find what the trout are looking for.


For any streamer fisherman, January is the time to shine. Whether your throwing a big wooly bugger, clouser, or a real meaty fly pattern with some bulk, make sure you are keeping your bait down in the water and bump the bottom of the bigger holes. This is the time of year you can find the big trout being a bit gluttonous and taking advantage of an easy meal.


The private waters are the best bet during winter as the fish tend to eat more regularly and see much less pressure this time of year. Expect a warm afternoon to really activate the trout. Junk flies and small (size 18 and 20) natural patterns will work best.


The wild trout on public water will continue to slow. Look for overcast days where you can keep a lower profile for these trout. The lower angle of the sun will always cast your shadow further than normal, tipping off these fish. I've found increased hatches on these overcast days (mostly midges) so the trout will be a bit more active than normal. This is also a good time to explore some new streams as the undergrowth is a bit more dialed back than normal. If you do manage to find some trout, remember that you can have 2-3x as much success in these places during the warmer months.


If you get stuck inside, check out our other articles on tips and techniques that will put you on more fish in 2022. Learn WHEN to find trout and WHERE to fish for trout, to plan your upcoming trips along with the BEST FLIES that you will need on the water




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