Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Conasauga River
Most of the approximate fifteen mile long stretch of the
Conasauga River lies within the Cohutta Wilderness
Area of North Georgia. This means you will have to use
foot power to fish most of the stream. Fly fishing the
Conasauga River isn't exactly an easy task. These are
rugged mountains. It's a part of the Chattahoochee
The stream has wild rainbows inside the Cohutta
Wilderness Area along with some wild brown trout
and brook trout in the high elevations of its headwaters.
The stream inside the Wilderness Area hasn't been
stocked in several years. The average rainbow trout is
small but some of the brown trout are very large. They
have been caught over 20 inches in length. The water
stays mostly clear even when it's at a high level. It flows
north from Betty's Gap to where it joins Jacks River near
the Tennessee state line. The fishing season on the
Conasauga River runs year-round.
The Conasauga River starts from a number of very
small tributary streams in the southern part of the
wilderness area. The mountains surrounding the valley
are as high as 4,000 feet. At the point it flows out of the
wilderness area, it's a good size stream. It picks up
rainfall and melting snow from a large area of land.
During the Summer, by the time the stream flows out of
the wilderness area, it begins to lose much of its cool
water temperature making it very marginal for trout. The
rules and regulations have prevented the state of the
valley to remain in a natural condition mostly unaffected
by man without any type of development. Since all travel
is limited to hiking (there are some trails where horses
are allowed) it has reduced the visitors to the relatively
few who go to the effort it takes to see it and fish its
waters. In fact, most of the visitors are hikers and
You can get to the stream with about a three mile hike
from Bettys Gap on Forest Service Road # 64. Getting
to the trailhead requires several miles of travel over dirt
roads. The Conasauga River Trail will take you to the
river. Once it reaches the river, it crosses it at several
locations. The Hickory Trail accesses the lower section
of the river and takes you to the Conasauga River Trail.
The other trails that access the middle part of the river
are just too far and steep to take unless you are more
into hiking than fishing. Primitive camping is allowed n
the Wilderness Area.
The river has several species of stoneflies and a few
species ofmayflies and caddisflies. Winter stoneflies,
Little Yellow Stoneflies, Little Brown Stoneflies and
Needle stoneflies make up the majority. Quill gordons,
Blue Quills, American March Browns, Light Cahills and
Sulphurs, make up the majority of the mayfly population.
You fish the Conasauga River the same way you fish
any of the small freestone mountain streams. You have
to stay hidden and get good drag-free drift or you can
forget catching the wild trout that inhibit the streams
inside the Wilderness Area.
You can fish the stream anytime of the year.
Spring is the best time of year for fly fishing the
Conasauga River because of the hatches.
The best fishing is confined to the brook trout waters.
Autumn is a great time to fish. The fall foliage along the
stream is beautiful. Brown trout spawn in the fall.
Warm days can provide decent trout fishing.
Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Flies for the
Conasauga River Georgia
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Photo Courtesy Steven Lamb
Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 - 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 Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
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.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $100 are shipped via
|More Georgia Trout Streams:
We have Perfect Fly website pages on
each of these other fine trout streams.
Click the links for fly fishing information
including descriptions of the streams,
fishing guide, a fly fishing report, hatches
and recommended trout flies, fly fishing
gear and equipment, USGS stream data,
local weather and much, much more
Copyright 2018 James Marsh