Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Tallulah River Georgia
Fly fishing the Tallulah River is more a product of its
small tributary streams than the river itself. The creation
of Lake Burton slowed down the flow of much of the
river. It begins in North Carolina and proceeds through
four lakes before reaching the Chattooga River about
sixty miles away. The upper section of the Tallulah River
has about five miles of public access. This area lies
above Lake Burton and extends up to the North Carolina
state line. It has both wild rainbow and brown trout but is
still stocked with additional fish. This section of the river
is medium size, averaging about twenty to thirty feet
The uppermost tributary is the Coleman River which
begins in the Coleman River Wildlife Management Area.
U. S. highway #70 crosses the river above Lake Burton
near Clayton. Its headwaters begin in the Nantahala
Wilderness Area as a very small stream. Fly fishing the
Coleman River is best from its confluence with the
Tallulah River upstream to the Coleman River Scenic
Area. There is only a small section of public water above
there because it flows through some private property
sections. The stream also becomes very small. The
Coleman River isn't stocked. It has a population of wild
rainbow and some wild brown trout. Native brook trout
are in its headwaters. The lower section can be
accessed from Forest Service Road #70.
The next downstream tributary of the Tallulah River is
Moccasin Creek but it flows into the upper part of Lake
Burton rather than the actual river. It begins in the Lake
Burton Wildlife Management Area. A fish hatchery is
located on the stream just outside of the Wildlife
Management Area. The stream is damed to get use of
its water and then flows through Moccasin Creek State
Park and on into Lake Burton. Anglers that fish the state
park must be under 12 years of age or older than 65.
This part of the creek is heavily stocked with larger trout.
The stream within the Lake Burton Wildlife Management
Area can be accessed via the Hemlock Falls Trail.
Above an area of water falls, Moccasin Creek contains
wild rainbow and brown trout and there are some below
the falls where the stream flows though a gorge. The
stream flows though a valley. This is a very nice area to
fish but requires a little effort to reach.
The next tributary that enters Lake Burton from the
Wildlife Area a mile farther down the lake is Wildcat
Creek. Fly fishing Wildcat Creek is a little different than
fly fishing Moccasin Creek but Wildcat Creek is stocked.
It's heavily fished by the bait guys. The best option to
fish this stream is to fish up near where the stream
enters the Tray Mountain Wilderness Area. There are
more wild trout than stockers upstream and of course,
less bait fishermen. This area can be accessed via
Forest Service Road 26-1. It follows along the creek but
of course that only makes it easier for others to access.
This stream is capable of being a very good wild trout
stream if it was managed properly.
All in all, the Tallulah River still has some good fly fishing
opportunities if you pick and choose the exact locations
to fish. Fly fishing the Tallulah River can be a lot of fun if
you do that.
You can fish the stream anytime of the year.
Spring is the best time of year for fly fishing the Tallulah
River because of the hatches.
The stream fishes okay during most of the Summer.
Autumn is a great time to fish. Brown trout spawn in the
fall and become easier to catch during the migration.
Warm winter days brings some good fishing at times
Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies for the
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Photo Courtesy Steven Lamb
All images provided by Steven Lamb
For cold & warm water fly fishing see
www.georgiaflyguide.com for a Guide
trip give us a call The Lambster @
Above images are from the
Coleman River, Tallulah River
tributary and Wildcat Creek,
Lake Burton tributary.
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 $50 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,
access, location, species of fish, a fly
fishing guide, a fly fishing report, hatches
and recommended trout flies, fly fishing
local weather and much, much more