Fly fishing in Ellijay, Georgia, is a truly unique and rewarding experience. Nestled in the heart of the North Georgia mountains, Ellijay is home to a number of rivers and streams that provide some of the best fly fishing opportunities in the region. Whether you're a seasoned angler or a beginner looking to learn the ropes, Ellijay has something to offer.
Trout Fishing Ellijay
The first thing to know about fly fishing in Ellijay is that it's all about the trout. The area is home to both wild and stocked trout, and the fish are abundant and active throughout the year. You can expect to catch both rainbow and brown trout, with the occasional stocked brook trout as well. The best fishing is found from late winter through early summer when the local streams are stocked regularly.
Cartecay River Fly Fishing
One of the most popular places to fish in Ellijay is the Cartecay River and its tributaries. The Cartecay River is a tributary of the upper section of the Coosawattee River and is where you'll find the best fly fishing. The Coosawatee River is formed where Mountaintown Creek meets the Cartecay River. The river is relatively narrow and shallow, with plenty of riffles and runs that provide great habitat for trout. The water runs clear during low water but can dirty quickly after rains. Much of the Cartecay runs through private property where visitors can find good private stream fishing on their rental cabins, but several stretches are open for public access though they are stocked more infrequently.
Mountaintown Creek Fly Fishing
While the public section of Mountaintown Creek is further north toward Blue Ridge, GA, the private sections of the lower portion of Mountaintown Creek near Ellijay support populations of stocked trout. Some of these sections are home to trophy trout waters available to the visitors of the many rental cabins that line the creek. The trout in these sections grow to the 20-24” range thanks to the catch and release regulations set by the landowners of the properties.
Small Stream Fly Fishing in Ellijay
If you're looking for a more secluded fishing experience, there are plenty of smaller streams and creeks in the area that offer great fishing as well. These streams are typically less crowded than the larger rivers, and the fish are often more eager to take a well-presented fly. Clear Creek, Turkey Creek, Owltown Creek, Turniptown Creek, and Amicalola Creek are just a few options nearby that are stocked in the Spring and early Summer. One thing to keep in mind when fly fishing in Ellijay is that the weather can be unpredictable. The area is prone to sudden rainstorms, and the water levels can rise quickly. It's important to keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared for changing conditions. These heavy rains can blow out the larger stretches of water for several days.
When it comes to gear, you'll need a good fly rod, reel, and line to get started. A 9-foot, 5-weight rod is a good all-around choice for fishing in Ellijay, 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, but you may want to bring a sinking line as well if you plan on fishing deep pools or runs for trout, bass, or seasonal striper. For flies, it's best to keep it simple. Junk flies for stocked trout along with various dry flies and nymphs, in sizes 12-18 will cover most situations. Some popular patterns include the Elk Hair Caddis, Pheasant Tail Nymph, and the always popular Woolly Bugger. It's a good idea to bring a variety of patterns and sizes to keep the fish interested, especially if they are choosy. On your way up, be sure to stop by the Fish North Georgia shop to pick up all the gear you will need for your trip.
Ellijay Fly Fishing For Beginners
If you're new to fly fishing, or if you just want to improve your skills, there are plenty of Ellijay 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 fish even when the conditions are tough.
One of the best things about fly fishing in Ellijay is the scenery. The North Georgia mountains are known for their beauty, and the rivers and streams in Ellijay are no exception. Clear Creek Falls, Long Creek Falls, and Fall Creek Falls are great destinations for visitors along with the numerous apple orchard and vineyards scattered among the hills. To learn more about Georgia Fly Fishing, check out our other articles on Fly Fishing Blue Ridge, Fly Fishing Dahlonega, and Fly Fishing Helen.