Updated: May 24
Clayton is often overlooked by many fly anglers in Georgia due to the town being a bit farther from metro Atlanta than other towns such as Helen, Dahlonega, Ellijay and Blue Ridge. Along with this distance factor, if anglers are going to make there way up to the area, the extra half an hour drive into North Carolina often places anglers on more productive waters. However, Clayton does boast some of Georgia's most productive trout fisheries for both wild and stocked trout. With plenty of available stretches of water to fish on the Tallulah River and Chattooga River watersheds, you can spend an action packed weekend on the water and still have plenty of streams to explore on future visits. To better understand how to bring these trout to the net, our articles on What Trout Eat and Best Flies for North Georgia will help you get more trout to the net.
Fly Fishing Stocked Trout Streams in Clayton
There are about a half dozen stocked trout streams in the area around Clayton. Much like many of the other stocked trout fishing in North Georgia, these trout can be easily fooled with most junk flies. Eggs, worms, and mop jigs are the best way to draw attention from the trout. Once they've been picked over or become acclimated to their new environment, smaller, less intrusive flies will produce more trout. The larger stocked waters in the area are the Chattooga River and Tallulah river. Plenty of access and camping is available on these streams. The smaller stocked creeks are tributaries to these larger rivers and are stocked frequently throughout the year.
The Chattooga River begins in North Carolina and forms the border between Georgia and South Carolina once it leaves its NC headwaters. The Chattooga offers some of the best year round fly fishing opportunities in the state. To learn more about the river or the Chattooga River Delayed Harvest Section, check out our Chattooga River Trout Fishing Guide.
West Fork Chattooga River Trout Fishing
The West Fork of the Chattooga River does see some stocked trout at times of the year, but its biggest draw are some of the wild trout that transition in and out of the smaller stream throughout the year. Understanding when these transient trout come and go is the difference in either having a great day on the water or going home emptyhanded.
Warwoman Creek Trout Fishing
Warwoman Creek is one of the more popular trout streams around Clayton. On the larger side of the small creeks, Warwoman offers something to all anglers. The creek not only has a fair number of stocked trout released throughout the season for the catch and keep anglers who frequent the area, but also a healthy population of wild trout further up the tributaries that attract more fly fisherman. Wild rainbow trout, the occasional brown trout, and native brook trout can be found in different stretches of the headwaters and adjacent tributary streams.
Sarah's Creek Trout Fishing
Sarah's Creek fishes much like the upper stretches of Warwoman Creek. Some stocked trout can be found during the spring months, but it is most anglers looking for wild trout on the small blue lines that make their way up the creek in search of the colorful wild trout.
Tuckaluge Creek Trout Fishing
Another great option for anglers looking for a healthy wild trout population with plenty of bites in a few hours of fishing. Dry flies are the way to go on Tuckaluge as the surface action seems to nearly last year round.
Tallulah River Trout Fishing
The Tallulah River is an excellent place for beginning anglers to learn the sport of fly fishing. Above Lake Burton, the Tallulah River is wide and shallow with boulder and rock outcropping providing excellent habitat for the resident trout. Plenty of stocked and wild trout can be found throughout this section of river giving young anglers a better opportunity to refine their skills with different challenges. Use caution when wading as the river bed is uneven throughout much of the river. Springtime offers the largest trout populations on the main river but high waters can make wading difficult in places and the thick shoreline vegetation isn't the friendliest to anglers. Summertime is a great time to visit the headwaters of the Tallulah as the dry fly bite will be excellent. The headwaters is home to mostly wild trout that the catch and keep anglers aren't interested in. The lack of pressure means more bites for the anglers willing to make the trek upstream. All three species of trout can be found in the upper section of the river. The headwaters are home to one of Georgia's best brook trout populations for anglers looking to cross the native trout off their list. Fall and winter bring spawning runs of trout up the Tallulah from Lake Burton. As the weather cools in the fall and some rains raise the river levels, brown trout will be the first to make their way upstream, followed by rainbow trout later in the year. With good timing and a little luck, you may come across these trout in the trophy size range. The high protein diet of blueback herring in the lake allows some of these trout reach bigger sizes than you would normally find in North Georgia.
Coleman River Trout Fishing
The largest tributary of the Tallulah River, the Coleman River offers easily accessible fishing for wild trout. All three species can be targeted in the smaller river as it makes its way down from its headwaters in North Carolina. Another great option for fly fisherman looking to target trout on a dry fly during the warmer months of the year. Anglers can find modest insect hatches on the Coleman and Tallulah throughout the year. Though trout don't exactly reach the point where they become selective, you will see activity levels rise when insects begin to emerge.
Timpson Creek Trout Fishing
Timpson creek is a smaller trout stream stocked from early spring through summer. Trout will come and go from the stream, but with good timing the trout can be easy pickings. Access can be found of of 162 just west of Clayton.
Wildcat Creek Trout Fishing
Wildcat Creek is one of the most popular trout streams in the state. This is because it sees similar numbers of stocked trout as the big names like Coopers Creek, Rock Creek, and Dicks Creek. While crowds can line the banks in the Spring when there is good weather on the weekend, there are plenty of trout to go around. You can access the creek via Wildcat Road just west of Lake Burton.
Moccasin Creek Trout Fishing
Moccassin Creek runs parallel to Wildcat creek just to the north. Moccasin Creek is home to one of Georgia's State Trout Hatcheries. The hatchery is located at the creek's mouth on Lake Burton. A special regulation area can be found here for anglers over the age of 65 and younger than 11. This is a great location to introduce your kids to trout fishing or fly fishing. Think simple on these waters. Woolly Buggers and flashy worm patterns are enough to fool most of the trout here.
Tiger Creek Trout Fishing
Another small trout stream found just south of Clayton, Tiger Creek is stocked in the spring but is quickly emptied by anglers who stay up to date on the schedules. Visiting anglers will find better luck along some of the other streams in the area.
Stonewall Creek Trout Fishing
Stonewall Creek is located near Tiger Creek just south of town. Unlike Tiger Creek, stocked trout in Stonewall stand a fighting chance to escape and find cover before being caught. Anglers can even find some wild trout here above the falls, though if wild trout are your sole target, the other headwater streams nearby offer a better opportunity.
If you're looking for the best cabins and lodging for trout fishing in Clayton or for other trout fishing destinations in Georgia, check out our Blue Ridge Fly Fishing Guide, Ellijay Fly Fishing Guide, Helen Fly Fishing Guide, Dahlonega Fly Fishing Guide, and Blairsville Fly Fishing Guide to learn where you can find more trout this year. If you know where you would like to fish but are just getting into fly fishing or need some help getting over that initial learning curve, take a look at our North Georgia Fly Fishing Trips. We can get you over the hump and ready to explore all North Georgia’s beautiful trout streams.