Big Fish Opportunities on Public Waters

Jeff Durniak, GA WRD Northeast Region Fisheries Supervisor

WHERE (Increasing order of difficulty)
Delayed Harvest (DH) Waters – Smith Creek, Amicalola Creek, Chattooga River, Hooch in Atlanta
Nov, Dec
Big and ugly flies (ex: woolly bugger, peach egg), and lures (Crème, Bobblehead worms); fish them along the bottom in deep pools! Add a dropper.
DH Waters
Apr, May
Big and ugly deep; match hatch on top; #10 yellow stimulator at dark
Public access waters adjacent to stream sections with supplemental feeding (ex: fee fishing): Soque, Hooch, Dicks, Hiwassee, Nottely, Toccoa, Noontootla.
Reasons to leave (voluntary/involuntary)1) After floods
2) During droughts
3) Spawning

Think big bait, lures, or flies for big trout. Be legal – baits, access (must have written permission for private lands)
Lake Lanier Tailwater (Hwy 20- Holcomb Bridge)
Nov, Feb-Apr
Trophy hunt: think big baits fished deep (nightcrawlers, Yozuri pin minnow, big streamers. Contact local guide services
Blue Ridge Tailwater
See Lanier tailwater. This has a developing quality brown trout fishery.
Dukes and Waters creeks

1) High and Muddy (they can’t be too muddy)

2) LowandClear

1) Big and ugly- #10 pink San Juan, #6- #10 buggers, white zonkers; all with a ton of lead a foot above the fly

2) Long & light leaders with tiny flies: #16 soft hackles, #18 pheasant tails, #20 WD-40

Chattooga River – BB falls to NC line
Nov, Mar-May
Big baits (crayfish), lures (Rapala) and flies (buggers, stoneflies, muddlers) fished in heavy cover in slow water at dawn and dusk
Lower Jones, Noontootla
See Dukes and Waters
Big (14 inch plus) resident browns, migrants from downstream waters
Lake Burton (June 2008 GON article)
1) November 2) Aug, Sept

1) Big flies fished in deep pools of tributaries 2) Troll lures or drift bluebacks 40 feet deep near dam

Rabun Rendezvous Returns!

Saturday. February 18, 2023

Dillard House Conference Center. Pig Pickin’ starts at 4:30 pm, Dinner at 6:30 pm. Read more.



Rabun TU Supports Smithgall Woods Regional Education Center

Smithgall Woods Regional Education Center offers programs for students of all ages in cooperation with the Georgia DNR& Wildlife Resources Division, State Parks and Historic Sites Division, and Pioneer RESA. Teacher workshops are held to help teachers learn more about North Georgia’s ecosystems and the unique opportunities available at Smithgall Woods. Learn More


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Call to Action! Attention All Rabunites!

If you are out fishing and see a stream conservation need (erosion control, bank restoration, trout structure maintenance, etc), contact the Georgia Council. Details here.


Rabun TU Supports Casting for Recovery

Casting for Recovery (CfR) provides healing outdoor retreats for women with breast cancer, at no cost to the participants. CfR’s retreats offer opportunities for women to find inspiration, discover renewed energy for life, and experience healing connections with other women and nature.

For more information check out their website: