A haven for fly fishers

The Mountain Traveler - Summer 2018

Rabun County is crisscrossed with streams, lakes, rivers and other waterways. As such, it is one of North Georgia’s best destinations for fly fishing.

Some of Rabun County’s most popular fly fishing locations include the Tallulah River, the Chattooga River, Moccasin Creek, Warwoman Creek and Black Rock Creek, just to name a few.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources stocks 14 bodies of water in Rabun with trout, and those areas see the most activity among fly fishers. However, there are hidden gems to be found off the beaten path.

“There are tons of guys who follow the stocking trucks,” said local fisherman Scott Low. “But there are lots of little secret spots off the beaten paths too, like some tributaries and the whole west fork of the Chattooga. There’s not much more exciting than finding a great spot to cast a line.”

Part of what makes Rabun such an appealing destination for fly fishers, Low said, is the fact that most of the fishing spots are public.

“With all the national forest land, most of the places to fish are public, and that’s why I think Rabun is really the fly fishing capital of Georgia,” Low said. “Fannin County is generally regarded as the fly fishing capital, but the thing over there is that a lot of the places (to fish) are private.”

A wide variety of trout can be caught in Rabun, such as rainbow trout, brown trout, tiger trout and lake trout. However, the only variety of trout indigenous to Rabun County is brook trout, Low said.

Rabun County also features some popular resources for people looking to get into fly fishing, including the Hatch Camp and Art Farm, run by Low, and the local chapter of Trout Unlimited 

The Hatch Camp, located in the Warwoman community, features fly fishing lessons, guided fishing trips, a fly shop and fishing along a private stream for seasoned fly fishers.

At Trout Camp, hosted by the Rabun Chapter of Trout Unlimited, kids learn the basics of fly fishing and how to be good stewards of the streams. 

The best way to learn is by doing.

“I’ve been fly fishing for years, and I still learn something new every time I go out,” Low said. “And when you’re starting out, one of the best ways to improve is to go fishing with someone who’s better than you. It’s addictive, and once you start, you might not want to stop.”

This story comes from our free publication, Mountain Traveler magazine.

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