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Can You Fly Fish in Winter in Georgia?

Can You Fly Fish in Winter in Georgia?

Tuesday, 03 October 2023 11:38

It’s hard to believe the new year is already upon us. We’re fortunate to experience all four seasons here in Georgia. From spring through autumn, temperatures are warm and enough to spend time outside exploring all that makes our state special. While getting outdoors may not be your first thought this time of year, you don’t have to neglect nature during winter. 

One of the questions we hear often is whether you can go fly fishing in Georgia during the winter. The answer is a resounding yes! You can absolutely go fly fishing in north Georgia during the cold months. In fact, some find it’s the perfect time of year to get in the water and chase some of the area’s finest trout. 

Why You Should Go Fly Fishing in Georgia During Winter

In case you need some compelling reasons to go fly fishing in Georgia during winter, here are a few:

1) Because You Can 

If you can go fly fishing, why wouldn’t you? The fact is, you can go fishing all year in Georgia, so why wouldn’t you?

Wintertime presents challenges for many outdoor pursuits, including hiking, mountain biking, camping, and other water sports. As fall transitions into winter, popular tourist attractions like zipline excursions and whitewater rafting could be forced to close. 

Even when the temperature decreases, many of our renowned trout waters are still open and accessible to anglers. Fish don’t stop biting during the cold months, either. This is the time of year to wade in the water. 

2) Our Temperatures Are Fairly Mild

Even though it may be a little chillier in north Georgia than in Atlanta, the average highs are still in the low 50s and lows in the low 30s. Since many of the locations where we conduct excursions are located at lower elevations, the weather is often fairly mild. In other words, the Soque River may be chilly, but it won't be brutal like out west. 

Many of the other highly regarded trout streams in the nation are located in areas that are almost always inaccessible during winter. There is always a place to drop a line in our region.

3) You Won’t Be Fighting for Space on the River

To retreat from the frenetic pace of the big city, many people head to the highlands of north Georgia. You're likely comfortable with seeing as few visitors as possible if you're coming to our region from Atlanta, Chattanooga, Charlotte, Raleigh, Birmingham, Knoxville, or any boisterous, hectic urban location.

But in the summer, you'll frequently discover that the most picturesque places are also the busiest. You could have the river all to yourself in the winter. Even though the weather can be ideal for catching a lot of big fish, many visitors will often avoid going outside. Fly fishing in the winter is the ideal activity for spending time alone or with the fewest number of people possible outdoors.

4) You Can Find Trophy Trout in North GA

Blue Ridge, GA, is the county seat of Fannin County, often considered the Trout Fishing Capital of Georgia:

“There are 100 miles of trout streams in Fannin County. Georgia's Blue Ridge is the Trout Fishing Capital of Georgia! According to Georgia Outdoor News, the Toccoa River is one of the region's rivers that hold the characteristics required for anglers to find big trout.”

Beyond the Toccoa River, big fish can be found in the Soque River. A shorter tributary of the Chattahoochee, the river's thirty miles are located entirely within Habersham County, Georgia. Its headwaters begin a few hundred feet below the Appalachian Trail on Tray Mountain, just north of Batesville.

If you want to have a chance at a true trophy trout, there is no place better in the southern United States than the Soque River 

Fly Fishing in North Georgia with Turning Stone’s Fly Fishing

Turning Stone's Fly Fishing has been guiding float trips, wade trips, and lake trips in and around Blue Ridge, GA, for years.  

Winter Float Trips With Turning Stone's Fly Fishing

Our guides will help you every step of the way find the right waters in which to fish during winter, cast dry flies to rising rainbows, target large browns with big streamers, or cover lots of water with a dry/dropper rig picking up all the river has to offer. 

Winter Wade Trips With Turning Stone's Fly Fishing

Wade trips are one of the best ways to explore the vast number of fisheries in our area. We have a number of float trips available in north Georgia and throughout western North Carolina. 

Winter striper trips can be especially fun and productive, with anglers catching fish well over 25 inches, but our lakes fish well for other species all year round.

Do you need a getaway, a break from city life in Atlanta or some other large urban area? Then a winter fly fishing excursion can be just the answer. Reach out to our team for a guided float, wade, or lake trip this winter!

Written by:

Gordon began fly fishing as a teenager in southwestern Pennsylvania, where he was raised. He has snagged great catches from as far away as Nevada, California, and Belize. However, he and his wife decided to settle in western North Carolina, where they started Turning Stones. Gordon is a Certified Casting Instructor for the Federation of Fly Fishers and the  Southeastern Coach of the USA Youth Fly Fishing Team.