Despite being a wild trout river, there is a robust population on the Little with fish populations in the 2,, per mile range, and can grow quite large by any standard. Ian says it never gets old seeing black bears several times a month—or the occasional turkey and river otter. After the bridge, bear right to stay on Little River Rd. Pull off at a convenient location or continue until you reach the Elkmont Campground. Here you can access the upper portions of the river and its tributaries via the Little River Trail.
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Trout need cold water to survive, so it is no wonder that those states deep in Dixie do not immediately jump to mind when discussing fly fishing for brooks, bows, and browns. Georgia is easily overlooked because of its reputation for sweltering summer heat and vast areas of low, coastal country. Head up to the mountains of north Georgia, however, and you find a different story.
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You can fish for one hundred percent wild trout and be challenged, even if you are an advanced fly fisherman who has been fishing for life. Klewein should know: he has been fishing and guiding in north Georgia for the better part of his life. Klewein says one of the best places to hook a trophy Georgia trout is on the Toccoa River, just outside of Blue Ridge.
The Toccoa River is a tailwater that flows out of Lake Blue Ridge just east of the town, and it is stocked with rainbow and brown trout. Wade fishing at four public access points is an option, but Klewein recommends a drift boat, canoe, or kayak for covering as much water as possible. Above the lake, the upper Toccoa is still relatively large and also holds decent trout, although the water temperature rises during the peak summer months.
Klewein says the upper part of the river is a gorgeous stretch of water and there is a two-mile delayed harvest section near the top of the lake. Several small tributaries, like Noontootla Creek and Rock Creek, also flow into the upper Toccoa and hold wild trout. If you are after the big boys, however, there is only one place to go.
A tailwater equals big water, and big water equals big fish…if you can catch them. Even though the fish are stocked, Klewein insists to land that lunker, you still have to be on top of your game. Two, you just have to fish smart and be skilled enough to make the cast you need to fool those bigger fish.
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To wade, enter the river at one of three other access points — Tammen Park just below the dam, Curtis Switch Road, or Horse Shoe Bend Park in McCaysville — just be sure to enter and exit the river at these points as the river is flanked by private land. The creek itself is a medium to small freestone stream marked with several small waterfalls, nice runs, and deep pools.
Several small tributaries feed into Seneca, giving the creek water quality that is unsurpassed in the state and allowing it to support a healthy population of reproducing, wild rainbow and brook trout. The walk in refers to accessing the best stretches of Seneca Creek, which unlike most streams on this list does not have roadside access. There is a total of 10 miles of fishable water in a steep gorge, the perfect opportunity to pack in a tent and fish for a few days, especially given the liberal camping rules of the area.
Knotts has been fishing the trout streams of his home state for nearly 40 years and still does not tire of this creek, mainly because of the solitude and beauty of this mountain stream. On Seneca you are virtually guaranteed to have the water to yourself on any given day. Look for a small parking area at the Allegheny Mountains trailhead and follow the path along the creek.
Magazine See all. October Mountain Getaways 27 Sep September Best Bike Parks 30 Aug August The Parks Issue 02 Aug It's easy to fall into a rut with some sort of a rhythmic jerking cadence, but often some variation would result in more fish by the end of the day. In addition to noting which presentations produce strikes, always watch your lure and the water just behind it from the time the lure comes into sight. Polarized sunglasses are important for this.
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Trout are notorious followers, and if a lot of fish are following but none are quite committing, that means you're close but not quite there. Vary your presentations first, and if that doesn't trigger strikes, start experimenting with colors, sizes or styles. Most minnow plugs used in trout waters will fall in the 3- to 4-inch range, but in large streams that have big trout in them, using a 5-inch Rattlin' Rogue or Lucky Craft Pointer might be the key to attracting a larger grade of trout.
Along with appealing to larger fish overall, bigger lures can be cast farther and create more flash and vibration for getting the fish's attention during periods of heavier flow. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the smallest Rapala Countdowns and Rebel Minnows made can be tough to beat in small waters and even in larger rivers where the prevalent forage fish are 1 or 2 inches long. Along with looking at a lure's length, it's important to consider its shape and the bulkiness of its profile. A Rapala Husky Jerk, for example, is a notably larger lure than a Rapala Original Floater, even though both are the same length.
Neither is necessarily better or worse. These are just differences that must be considered as you look at the water and consider conditions and the likely mood of the fish. Another critical distinction of among various minnow baits is their buoyancy. Floaters, suspenders and sinkers each have advantages, and it's important to match the buoyancy to the waters fished and the situation.
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Floaters run shallower overall and are generally better for fishing over timber or other snaggy cover. Suspenders allow you to pause the bait and hang at the same level where the trout just watched it dance. Sinkers allow you to fish a much broader swath of the water column. You can fish deep pools by counting a sinking bait down before beginning the retrieve, but you can present the same lure shallow by keeping it moving and holding your rod tip high.
Beyond those differences that are obvious from looking at a lure or reading its package, various jerkbaits that look fairly similar have very different actions. XCalibur Twitch Baits and Rapala X-Raps, for example, have a tight wiggle when cranked steadily but they dart very erratically when you jerk them.
Rogues move much more subtly, even when jerked, doing more of a wobbling glide, without much side-to-side darting. Picking the specific lures that suit the rivers you fish and the types of presentations you favor requires experimentation. You don't need every size and color of every minnow bait ever made, but if you strive for variety with brands and basic models as you begin playing with jerkbaits, you'll soon discover the unique personality of those that best suit your trout fishing.
You'll also learn slight differences in maximum running depths that will be more specific than what you can read on a package. A final distinction that cannot be ignored is color, and effective jerkbait color patterns range from the most basic silver or gold and black combinations to highly realistic imitations of various trout foods. Among the most effective patterns for big brown trout are the baby trout patterns, with the darker tones of brown trout patterns often working best on dark days and the lighter rainbow colors shining when the skies are bright.
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Instead it's a visual aid for Bedford, who wants to be able to track his lure as he works it around cover. Bedford swims his lure as close as possible to the thickest cover he can find, knowing that's where the big browns like to lurk. The bright spot provides just enough visibility for him to track a plug's path, even at full running depth, which allows for much more precise presentations.
Another thing that commonly helps Bedford catch more fish is tying a snap to his line instead of tying his lures directly to the end of the line. For jerkbait fishing, the snap provides the same benefit as a loop knot, allowing the lure more freedom to swim uninhibited. A more significant benefit, though, is the capacity to change lures quickly. Bedford carries only a handful of lures in the stream each day, but each is carefully chosen, and he'll change frequently as he fishes.
If he comes to specific hole that's a foot or two deeper than most of what he has been fishing, for example, he might take snap off a Bomber 14A and replace it with an XCalibur Deep Twitch Bait. Once he has worked that specific hole, whether that calls for five casts of five minutes of casting, he'll switch back to the lure he had been using. Similarly, Bedford often will fish the same potentially productive run first with a plug and then with a spinner because switching lures is such a simple matter for him, and often the second lure will produce a fish on the exact casts that yielded nothing with the first lure.
It's not at all difficult to remove the stock treble hooks and put a larger singe hook on the back split ring, and hook-up rates tend to be very good as long as the new hook is sufficiently large for the size of the lure and plenty sharp. These special regulations streams are actually among the very best places for using jerkbaits for big trout because the fish often see almost nothing but flies and traditional in-line spinners most days.
Muskies hunt baitfish with great aggression as temperatures cool in the fall. Make the most of See More Other Freshwater.
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