The Smart Fisher’s Guide to Trout Fishing in Georgia

The Smart Fisher’s Guide to Trout Fishing in Georgia

Georgia is home to some of the world’s most pristine and beautiful trout fishing streams. The 4,000 miles of trout streams in Georgia are regularly stocked to accommodate the over 100,000 trout anglers currently enjoying the Peach State’s bountiful waters. Relax in the shade and catch dinner at any of these gorgeous trout fishing spots.

Where to Find Trout in Georgia

Lake Rabun

One of six man-made lakes that follow the original course of the Tallulah River, Lake Rabun provides hydroelectric power for the city of Atlanta in addition to having a competitive fishing reputation. Nestled in the northeastern corner of Georgia, Lake Rabun enjoys a lovely backdrop of mountainous terrain without getting too far away from civilization. With the most recent rainbow trout size record of seven pounds and eleven ounces, set in 2006, Lake Rabun is the perfect place to start a trout fishing adventure and maybe even set a new local record.

Chattahoochee River

The Chattahoochee River produces almost a third of the 1.1 million catchable trout stocked annually. The perfect combination of public access and a lot of fish makes this spot a tremendous place for trout anglers of any background to catch wild and stocked brown and rainbow trout.

Chattooga River

The Chattooga River flows along the border of Georgia and South Carolina, which provides a unique opportunity to catch wild and stocked trout that are provided by both states. The lower end of the river is heavily stocked with trout, and upstream houses wild trout water that runs through Ellicott National Wilderness Area. A trail along the riverbank provides easy access to either side of the river and the scenery of one of the prettiest canyons in north Georgia.

Best Times to Fish for Trout in Georgia

Although trout fishing is permitted all year in the state of Georgia, with plenty of tremendous luxury lodging, there are certain times of year that can be more fruitful than others.


Cooler temperatures cause fish to move slower and have a slower metabolism. Therefore, smaller bait with a slower action is the suggested approach to trout fishing in Georgia’s winter months. Warm water on the surface sinks to the bottom and sends the cooler water to the top, creating a colder surface temperature which causes trout to linger deeper underwater.


Summer is a nearly perfect time for trout fishing in Georgia. Long summer days allow anglers to spend more time out on the water. Most trout fishing areas are open 24 hours a day, but some have restrictions on fishing times. Select fishing areas in Georgia do not allow night fishing, so the longer days in summer can help travelers get the most out of a Georgia trout fishing trip.


Generally speaking, spring is the optimal time to fish for trout. The combined effect of warmer temperatures and newly abundant food sources creates a perfect storm of healthy and vibrant feeding trout that can be easily tempted by lures. Fish stocking takes place between March and September, which also makes for a more robust fishing experience.


During fall, delayed harvest streams are a popular way to trout fish. Streams that aren’t able to support fish during the summer months but are cool enough during the winter months for trout survival are stocked between November and May. However, the trout in these streams must be released back into the water upon capture.

Tips for Trout Fishing

Once you’ve decided on your ideal fishing season, it can be helpful to know a few tips to make your trip a success.

  • Patience is critical. Trout tend to float in fixed positions, so finding slower water can increase the chances of landing a fish.
  • Read up on license requirements and restrictions before heading out to any fishing area.
  • Find a shady area. Trout thrive in temperatures between 52 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Never forget to bring water, sunscreen, and a phone inside of a waterproof casing in case something happens.
  • Common trout fishing techniques include casting small inline spinners and spoons with ultralight tackle. Bait-fishing is very common as well. Red worms, nightcrawlers, crickets, mealworms, kernel corn, and processed baits are top-shelf choices.

With these tips and more, you’ll be a pro trout fisher in no time!

Guided Trips Around Georgia

There are so many tremendous trout fishing opportunities in Georgia that picking a path can feel overwhelming. Luckily, plenty of talented guides can make an amateur fishing trip feel like a professional outing.

Reel ‘Em In

Reel ‘Em In is one of the oldest and most reliable Blue Ridge fly fishing guide services in Georgia. It’s open all year, with the exception of Christmas and Easter.

On The Fly

On The Fly provides reasonably priced excursions that guide anglers through a lovely list of trout fishing hotspots, including Noontootla Creek, Hemptown Creek, Upper Toccoa River Headwater, Toccoa River Tailwater, and Nottely River.

Plan Your Trip at the Lake Rabun Hotel

Lake Rabun Hotel is the idyllic home away from home for any vacationing explorer in northwestern Georgia. Nestled snugly in the thick of Georgia’s beautifully lush greenery, Lake Rabun Hotel is a doorway into a blissful trout fishing adventure while still maintaining some of the luxuries of civilization. Choose from any one of its personalized rooms, award-winning food and drink, and abundance of activities to fill your days and evenings with experiences, unlike any other getaway. Book your stay in our stunning lodging now!

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