As the young man sat staring at the huge stack of unfinished paperwork on his desk, his mind wandered off to another time and place… He had cast his tiny lure into a shaded area beside an old fallen tree that formed a small eddy along the fast -moving water of the river. Suddenly, a flash of silver appeared through the refracted light of the crystal-clear water like the jagged streak of a lightning bolt! The diminutive lure instantly disappeared.
Before the youthful angler could react and crank the small handle of his ultra-light reel, the fish sped directly toward him. Several yards from the astonished fisherman, the huge, native rainbow trout leaped clear of his watery environment. The brilliant red stripe shimmered in the blinding sunlight as the fish displayed its beauty at close range prior to throwing the tiny spinner past the young angler’s head and disappearing in a shower of spray beneath the fast water.
Surely this action transpired in some faraway trout paradise like New Zealand, Argentina, or Alaska. Not so! It happened in one of the wild rivers of North Georgia, less than a two hour drive away.
Early Morning Solitude Thousands of miles of trout streams and rivers wind through the southernmost part of the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia. This includes standing populations of trout from below Buford Dam to midtown Atlanta on the Chattahoochee River, which is made possible by the release of cooler waters from the depths of Lake Lanier.
Most of the mountain trout waters of the Peach State are both well stocked and easily accessible. Nevertheless, for those who seek solitude, relief from the summer’s heat, and a place that could satisfy the daydreams of the most avid purist, Georgia still has the solution.
Such rewards require dedication, imagination, and some hard work. First, none of the really lightly trod areas of northern Georgia are easily reached, and they are certainly poorly publicized. With proper study of detailed maps, help from governmental agencies and advise from experienced mountain anglers, however, one can turn mystery into exciting reality.
Detailed maps of the Chattahoochee National Forest are available from the U.S. Forest Service Information Service. For many other areas, quadrangle maps with finer detail can be purchased from the Map Unit of the Georgia DNR. Also, excellent additional information is available in the book, “Trout Fishing in North Georgia”, which is available from most book stores.
With more than five million people living less than two hours by car from almost any of Georgia’s northern borders, one would naturally assume that every place in those cool Blue Ridge Mountains would be occupied. That, however, is far from the truth. In reality, the wild rushing waters and virgin-appearing pools of remote areas can only be reached by backpacking and solitude is still a possibility. Therefore, armed with the proper information, one can enjoy a portion of Peach State trout fishing known and enjoyed by a very select group.