Long before I ever saw or wet a hook in the fertile waters of the famous Chattahoochee River, my mother had introduced me to its beauty through the eloquent words of Georgia’s best poet, Sidney Lanier, from his poem, The Song of the Chattahoochee:
Out of the hills of Habersham,
down through the valleys of Hall,
I hurry amain to reach the plain,
run the rapid and leap the fall,
split at the rock and together again,
accept my bed, or narrow or wide,
and flee from folly on every side,
with a lover’s pain to attain the plain,
far from the hills of Habersham,
far from the valleys of Hall.
The Chattahoochee River system in North Georgia begins in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains just above the Alpine village of Helen and descends through numerous sections of whitewater during its journey to Lake Lanier. For most fishermen and nature lovers, most of this gorgeous trek is totally inaccessible. However, thanks to a specially-designed, 18 foot aluminum boat that incorporates both a tunnel hull and a jet outboard motor, I have been able to open the fabulous fishing and picturesque scenery to my clients for wildlife tours, fly fishing, or specialized fishing for rare species like the shoal bass. I also use this boat to allow clients to comfortably access the Chattahoochee River below Lake Lanier. After passing through Lanier, the “Hooch’s” cool waters that teem with rainbow and brown trout continues another 45 miles into downtown Atlanta. Anglers using Swirleybirds have nearly 100 miles of diverse opportunities in a setting that would inspire any artist.