Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing the Chauga River South
The Chauga River is a little known and far under used
trout stream that's located in northwestern South
Carolina. Recent improvements in the quality of the
water in the middle and lower sections has helped but
the upper, headwater sections offers the most for those
willing to put a little effort into their fishing.
The Chauga River is thought of by most anglers as a
put-and-take fishery and much of it is. The main portion
of the river is regularly stocked in many areas. The best
sections of the stream are far from any roads. It flows
through a wilderness through a very rugged canyon or
gorge like area that requires a good bit of hiking to
reach. The Chauga River has lots of casscades and
waterfall and plenty of white water.
Although the main stream has some stem-bred trout and
holdover trout from previously stocked trout, most of the
fish that are caught from the Chauga River are those
most recently stocked.
The Chauga River isn't exactly a small stream. Many
areas of the stream average as much as forty feet wide.
It begins in the mountains near the little town of
Mountain Rest and eventually flows onto the Tugaloo
arm of Lake Hartwell.
The main part of the river is stocked where there are
accessible sites for fishing. The remote areas of the
river are stocked from helicopters during the Fall. Most
of the wild trout reside in the uppermost reaches of the
stream as well as the many tributaries. Some of the
tributaries are on private land but it is very doubtful
anyone that asked permission would be turned down to
fish the tributaries that are on private property..
Don't under estimate the effort required to reach these
backcountry areas of the Chauga River. It is wild country
that's very difficult to reach in areas. It requires long
hikes on less than ideal trials. The stream doesn't have
a nice trail that follows alongside it like South Carolina
and Georgia's more popular Chattooga River. Some
sections don't have a trail. In most headwater areas
where you can reach the stream, you will be limited to
fishing within the confines of the stream.
There's another little known fact outside the local area
about the Chauga River. It holds some very large,
holdover brown trout in the main part of the river where
during the Summer the water is marginal for rainbows
from a water temperature standpoint.
The state of South Carolina has done a great job of
improving the Chauga River. They are stocking
fingerlings in some areas, fitting lakes that feed tributary
streams with bottom release devices to keep the water
cooler, and many other things that are greatly
contributing to this river's ability to support trout.
The trout season follows the general South Carolina
Spring is the best season to fish the river
The water can get a little warm during the hot summer in
the mainstem but it stays well oxygenated and cool in
the remote areas of most of the uppermost sections.
Autumn is a good time to fish the river.
Fishing during the winter can be good on warm days.
Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies for the
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Photo Courtesy Steven Lamb
Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 to 12 ft., 5 or 6X Nymphing:
71/2 ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rod:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Loon Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (email@example.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
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U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via