Miller Watson, our Tuckasegee guide from Hookers Fly Shop in Sylva, went to Western Carolina University and indicated he might have skipped a few classes to fish. What makes the Tuck so special is the pristine water that feeds it. Here you can find rainbows, browns and brook trout. You will find stocked and wild browns and rainbows. Also, stocked brookies. The “grand slam” of the river is to net all three. Biggest in boat for Miller was a 27” wild brown.
Trekking through what seemed like a rainforest filled with rhododendron, we followed Harrison Beckwith, our guide from Brookings Cashiers Village Anglers, to the Chattooga River. From shop rat to guide, Harrison Beckwith has been fishing in and around these area waters since he was 6. He takes great pleasure in helping others have a successful day on the water. His shop (and now Instagram) name, River Wizard, is so perfect!
Our time in North Georgia was filled with fishing, good food & drink, music, camping and more. We fished 2 of the rivers on the Trout Unlimited (TU) Top 100 Trout Streams list, the Chattahoochee and the Toccoa. We actually fished two different parts of the Chattahoochee River. We fished the tailwater section near Atlanta with Chris Scalley of River Through Atlanta and then fished the Upper Chattahoochee with Chuck Head of Unicoi Outfitters in Helen. We fished the Toccoa tailwater with Hunter Morris of Unicoi Outfitters and Fly Fishing North Georgia. We also fished the Toccoa above the dam and had great fun catching these beautiful rainbows. Their color was amazing. I know getting to the mountains in North Georgia may be hard for some, but for all of you that fly in, out or through Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport…. you have no excuse not to call Chris Scalley and go fishing. Just do it! And take a few extra days to go see Unicoi Outfitters in Helen. For now, click on “Read More” for highlights about this incredible special part of the world and watch the video highlighting our time in North Georgia.
Hunter Morris is a renaissance kind of guy with a background in business, fly fishing and music. We were lucky enough to spend the day with him recently talking about all three while floating and fishing the Toccoa River.
In setting up our adventure into North Georgia, we contacted Unicoi Outfitters in Helen. Jimmy Harris, co-owner of Unicoi Outfitters, befriended us and really helped us set things up for a great 4 days in the area. While we were in the area, Jimmy recommended we come out to an education event being held at Smithgall Woods State Park and on Dukes Creek. When we arrived, we walked in on Ron Thomas, a guide for Unicoi Outfitters and creator of Tie 1 On, a series of fly tying classes and videos. Ron was talking about fly tying and had the audience engaged and ready to start tying. These two were perfect for our first authentic ramble.
We spent a great half day with Chuck Head of Unicoi Outfitters fishing the Upper Chattahoochee River. This portion of the Hooch (as its know to the locals) is much different than the tailwater that runs out of Lake Lanier near Atlanta. Chuck was able to put us on fish using both nymphs and streamers. Watching these big, beautiful fish chase streamers was truly a highlight. Their aggressive pursuit of the streamers is simply amazing to watch. Almost as much fun as catching them…. almost.
The Chattahoochee is truly an “urban” fishery. There are over 7 million people living in the greater Atlanta area, driving over the river to and from work… yet there are 48 miles of trout water and over 11,000 linear acres of protected land along the river. If you are EVER in Atlanta, get away from Hartsfield International Airport and come see Chris and the team at River Through Atlanta. Hope you enjoy this short video highlighting the sights and sounds of the river. Fish on!
River Through Atlanta owner and lead guide Chris Scalley took us on an awesome all day float trip down the Chattahoochee River. We had a blast and caught some beautiful rainbows and brownies. This is an amazing fishery and having Chris guide us along the way made it extra special. He’s a native and has been fishing the river for decades.
In part 2 of his interview, Jimbo discusses fishing the Guadalupe. What to bring…. how to fish…. fly sizes that work best… what kinds of flies. Yes…. this is the part I know you’ll want to watch and take notes on. Jimbo gets into details to help make your trip more productive. Enjoy!!!
In part 1 of his interview, Jimbo Roberts, Head of Fisheries for the Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited (GRTU) chapter discusses a bit of his fishing background, but focuses on the fishery itself and how GRTU got involved. Amazingly, it started with beer!