Fly fishing in Dahlonega, Georgia, is a fantastic experience for anglers of all skill levels. Located in the center of the North Georgia mountains, Dahlonega gets less press than the surrounding North Georgia towns like Helen, Blue Ridge, and Ellijay, but offers the best access to trout fishing throughout the North Georgia Mountains. With its crystal-clear streams and abundant trout, Dahlonega’s popularity is sure to rise for fly fishermen and tourists alike.
Chestatee River Fly Fishing
One of the most popular places to fish in Dahlonega is the Chestatee River. The Chestatee is a medium-sized river that flows adjacent to the town of Dahlonega and provides some of the best fishing opportunities in the area. The river is known for its large, wild rainbow trout, and it's not uncommon to catch fish that are over 20 inches long. While much of the river runs through private land, the headwaters lie mostly on areas accessible to the public. Dicks Creek, Boggs Creek, Frogtown Creek, and Waters Creek are the main tributaries to the Chestatee River. These creeks possess either stocked trout, wild trout, or a mix of both. The upper section of the Chestatee River is where you'll find the best fishing. This section of the river is characterized by deep pools, fast runs, and riffles, which provide great habitat for trout. The water is crystal clear, so you'll need to be stealthy and careful not to spook the fish. If you're looking for a challenge, this is the place to be. The lower section offers anglers the opportunity to catch shoal bass, largemouth bass, spotted bass, and seasonal walleye ad striper runs as anglers drift closer to the north end of Lake Lanier. Much of this lower section is only accessible by kayak or other small watercraft.
Etowah River Fly Fishing
Another great place to fish in Dahlonega is the Etowah River. The river is known for its not known for larger numbers of trout, but its upper tributaries are a great place to catch both wild and stocked rainbow and brown trout. Many of the stocked sections of these feeder streams are fished out relatively soon after they are stocked but adventurous fly anglers can find healthy wild trout populations by putting some miles on their boots and exploring the rarely visited portions of these creeks.
Amicalola Creek Fly Fishing
The largest feeder stream of the Etowah River that holds trout is Amicalola Creek. The upper section of Amicalola Creek is stocked throughout spring and early summer at the Wildcat Campground. After July, the water becomes too warm for trout as the ponds and lakes upstream warm the creek to unsuitable levels for the trout. This section of the river is characterized by long runs and deep pools, and it's a great place to catch stocked trout. The lower section of Amicalola Creek is home to one of North Georgia’s Delayed Harvest Streams. Here the creek is stocked heavily from November to May with catch and release regulations. This can be a great place for beginners to start the fly fishing process. Heavy rains can blow out this section quickly in winter and spring. This makes the Fall months the best time to visit as the water is low and the slick rocks that are scoured over the bottom easier to navigate.
For fly fishing gear, a 9-foot, 5-weight rod is a good all-around choice for fishing the Dahlonega area, but you may want to go up or down depending on the size of the river or stream you're fishing. A floating line is the best choice for most situations. For the best flies, it's best to keep it simple. Dry flies, nymphs, streamers, and junk flies in sizes 12-18 will cover most situations. Some popular patterns include the Elk Hair Caddis, Pheasant Tail Nymph, and Woolly Bugger. It's a good idea to bring a variety of patterns and sizes to match the hatch and keep the fish interested. Check out the selection at the Fish North Georgia shop on your way up to reload on any gear you may be missing.
Fly Fishing Dahlonega for Beginners
If you're new to fly fishing, or if you just want to improve your skills, there are several Dahlonega Fly Fishing Guides that can help. These professionals have years of experience fishing in the area, and they can help you find the best spots and techniques for catching trout during every month of the year.
Things To Do In Dahlonega
One of the best things about fly fishing in Dahlonega is the scenery. The North Georgia mountains are known for their beauty, and the rivers and streams in Dahlonega are second to none. Helton Creek Falls, Black Falls, DeSoto Falls, Amicalola Falls are just a few must visits of the area, all of which have trout nearby. As you fish, you'll be surrounded by stunning mountain views and the sounds of nature. It's the perfect way to unwind and enjoy the great outdoors. The best wineries are also within a short drive of town along with some easy hikes to lookouts on the Appalachian Trail. Whether you're an experienced angler or a beginner, there's something for everyone in Dahlonega, Georgia. We dive into more opportunities to go Fly Fishing in Georgia with our articles on Fly Fishing Blue Ridge, Fly Fishing Helen, and Fly Fishing Ellijay.