The north Georgia mountains (part of the Appalachians and my long-time home) hold many secrets, one of which can be found in shallow and narrow mountain creeks that dot the hillsides. Colorful rainbow trout sparkle like jewels in these mountain creeks and if you know how to catch these swimming jewels, you can fry up a mouth-watering mess of fresh trout right on the creek bank and eat like a king. Grab your fishing rod and come on down to my neck of the woods and use this beginner’s guide to trout fishing in north Georgia mountain creeks.
Rods and Reels
Trout rods for mountain creeks are short and limber, making it easy to cast the hook right where you want it while avoiding getting tangled up in the overhanging mountain laurel that grow creek-side. A limber rod is needed to prevent pulling the hook out of the delicate flesh of the trout’s mouth after he has taken the bait. Use any reel type that you are comfortable with, however, fly-fishing gear is not usable in most of the small trout creeks in the small mountainous creeks.
When it comes to hook size, the smaller the better, an 8,10 or 12 size hook is your best bet. Trout are smart and if they see the hook, they will not bite. Always cover the entire hook with the chosen bait and select lures with the correct hook size for trout fishing.
Local fishermen keep a trout rod, a couple of lures and a can of corn in their truck so when they pass a known trout creek, they can stop and wet a hook in hopes of catching supper.
Whole kernel corn is a favorite bait of both trout and those trying to catch them. Cheap, easy-to-use and hard-to-resist make a can of corn a staple item in tackle boxes around here. Some Georgia mountain creeks can be fished with lures only, some allow for use of live bait, whole kernel corn and salmon eggs (another trout favorite) can go either way, check with the local DNR for regulations pertaining to the particular creek you want to fish.
Never wear white when trout fishing. Trout are easily spooked by noise and objects, so wear dark colors and be quiet when fishing for the nervous rainbow-colored fish.
Trout fishing requires a lot of walking, both in the water and on the creek bank. Knee-hi rubber boots are sufficient (locals bare-foot it) in most Georgia mountain trout creeks, but know that wet creek rocks are extremely slippery and odds are that you will fall into the water during a day of trout fishing, so bring a change of clothing.
Fish your way up the creek to avoid disturbing the waters and alerting the trout to a predator heading their way. Cast bait into a still, dark spot of water under a tree branch and let it float down, always keeping the bait moving to entice the trout to bite.
Georgia Outdoor News