skip to main content
Winter Fly Fishing

Winter Fly Fishing

Thursday, 03 November 2022 11:08

Nine months of the year, the weather in western North Carolina and northern Georgia is perfect for getting outdoors. Temperatures are often cooler near the rivers and waterways around Batesville, Clarksville, Franklin, Cashiers and surrounding areas during the summer than in nearby cities like Atlanta and Charlotte. Yet, in spring and fall, the air feels significantly warmer than the higher elevations around Highlands and Boone. 

New residents and people visiting from out of town wonder whether winter weather makes fly fishing impossible. We are happy to report that our area is uniquely supportive of trout fishing throughout the year, even during winter.

Not only is it possible to fish here during the coldest months of the year, but you may also find it is the perfect season to chase prized trophy trout. From October through May in north Georgia is the absolute best time to hook into these beautiful giant trout.


Here is what you need to know about fly fishing in the winter near north Georgia and western North Carolina. 

Why Winter Is a Great Time to Go Fly Fishing

1) You Can Go Fly Fishing During Winter

Why should you go fly fishing during winter? Because you can. What more reason do you need to explore our amazing trout waters and spend quality time in nature? 

Many outdoor activities are more challenging during winter, like hiking, mountain biking, camping, and other watersports. Zipline tours, whitewater rafting, and other popular tourist attractions may close as fall fades to winter. However, many of our prized trout waters remain open and available for anglers even as the mercury drops. 

With the right gear and guides, your winter fly fishing excursion can be comfortable, and you can expect to catch plenty of fish. 

2) You Will Have the Area to Yourself

Many people retreat to the mountains of north Georgia and western North Carolina to escape the hectic pace of the big city. If you’re traveling to our area from Atlanta, Chattanooga, Charlotte, Raleigh, Birmingham, Knoxville, or another loud, frenetic urban area, you are probably okay with seeing as few tourists as possible. 

However, during the warmer months, you will often find the most beautiful areas to be the most crowded. During winter, you might just have the river to yourself. Even though conditions may be perfect for catching numerous large fish, many tourists will still tend to avoid getting outside. Fly fishing during winter is the perfect time to get out and be by yourself or with as few people as possible in nature. 

3) The Weather Is Not as Bad as You Might Think

While you might be picturing icicles and frostbite, it’s often not as cold as you would expect. Many of the places we lead tours are in the lower elevations, so the temperatures remain relatively moderate. In other words, if it’s not all that cold in Atlanta, then it won’t be too cold on the Soque River. 

Many of the other prized trout waters in the country are in places that are nearly inaccessible for months of the year. In our area, there is always somewhere to drop a line. 

Where to Go Fly Fishing During Winter

Throughout the year, the north Georgia Mountains are a fantastic destination full of amazing options for top-notch outdoor enjoyment, including fly fishing. The Soque River is one particular river that is well suited for fly fishing with its slow-flowing lanes over sand and rock bottom, strong runs of rapids, and deep pools. It is the perfect place to fish during winter.

Fly Fishing on the Soque River in North Georgia During Winter

What makes the Soque River a great fly fishing destination during winter?

  • Availability: The Soque River in north Georgia is available to be fished from October through the end of May. If you want to go fly fishing in the winter, it is one of your best solutions. 
  • Proximity: The places in which we lead tours on the Soque River are less than two hours from Atlanta and relatively close to Charlotte, Chattanooga, Columbia, Greenville, Charleston, and many other southern cities. 
  • The Trout: If you want to have a chance at a true trophy trout, there is no place better in the southern United States than this river. The guides at Turning Stone’s Fly Fishing can help you find some big, beautiful fish on the Soque River. 
  • The Beauty: The headwaters of the Soque River start on Tray Mountain, just north of Batesville. It's located just a few hundred feet below the Appalachian Trail. The area is absolutely stunningly beautiful. 
  • The Guides: Like many of the best trout waters in north Georgia and western North Carolina, the Soque River is governed by regulations that mean you have to pay careful attention to where exactly you get in the water. However, the guides at Turning Stone’s Fly Fishing lead groups on the Soque throughout the winter months, so we can get you where you need to go. 

Fly Fishing During Winter in North Georgia and Western North Carolina

If you’re planning a fly fishing excursion on the Soque River or anywhere else in western North Carolina or north Georgia, the experienced and expert guides here at Turning Stone’s Fly Fishing are here to help ensure you have a safe, productive, fish-filled trip. Contact us for more information about guided fly fishing tours on the Soque River in north Georgia. 

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.