It’s Springtime in the mountains. Flowers are blooming, love is in the air, and a young man’s thoughts turn to….fishing! As does anyone else who loves to fish. Trout season usually starts at the end of March and runs through the end of October, but there are also year-round streams in White County (home of Helen, Ga). So if you love to fish, here are some options for you to consider when vacationing in Helen, Georgia.
Hatchery conditions were good this winter, and recent rains have contributed to good flow in the local streams and rivers. The Chattahoochee River runs right through downtown Helen, but upstream from Helen anglers can find peaceful spots to fish away from the tourists in the Chattahoochee Wildlife Management Area. Access is fairly easy and you can fish year round.
Another place close to Helen is Duke’s Creek, in the Smithgall Woods Conservation area, considered “The Holiest of Holies” in Georgia Trout circles. It is rated as one of the top 100 trophy trout streams in the country, and is catch and release only- so be sure to take a photo of that big one before you let it get away! Hours and times for fishing are limited, so please see their website for details.
Lake fishing is also very popular in North Georgia. Lake Burton is about a twenty minute drive from Helen, and Lake Lanier is about 30-40 minutes. Catch world-class trout, bass, and walleye- Georgia Lake Fishing will be your guide. Half-day, full day, and even night trips, they have options to suit your needs and interests. See their website for pricing and other information.
The Soque River is another option close to Helen, Ga, that may be less crowded but is very peaceful and scenic. Riverside Trout Fishing offers a guide service for fishing this “best kept secret” river that runs through nearby Habersham County. Conditions on this river are ideal to support prolific numbers of trout. Check out Riverside Trout Fishing’s website for more information.
Need gear while in town? Unicoi Outfitters has a full service fly fishing shop just outside of Helen. They also offer classes on fly fishing, as well as guided day and half-day trips on the Chattahoochee River or even on private waters. Check out their website or stop by the shop while in Helen.
Don’t forget to get the proper licenses to fish- to fish for trout, you will need both a Georgia fishing license and a trout license. In addition, you will need a special recreation pass if you fish in certain wildlife management areas. Licenses can be purchased at local sporting goods stores or by calling 1-800-366-2661.
It’s no accident that some of our cabins are decorated with fishing themes, or have names that evoke the sport (such as Angler’s Haven or The Sportsman). Come on up, catch some trout, and cook it on the grill at your cabin! Let us know if we can help with accommodations or information on fishing in the Helen area.
Do you have a “fish tale” to tell about fishing in the North Georgia Mountains? What spot would you like to try?