Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2. Little Yellow Stoneflies
3. Slate Drakes
4. Needle Stoneflies
5. Little Yellow Quills
11. Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
Fly Fishing Tallulah River Georgia
The fly fishing opportunities on 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 wide.
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. The best part to fish is 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. These trout probably average
close to those in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 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. This is a beautiful stream that is a little larger than
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 Coleman River still has some good fly fishing opportunities if you pick
and choose the exact locations to fish.
Copyright 2010 James Marsh
Images provided by
Steve Lamb, owner
Georgia Fly Guides.
Steve and his guides
fish these streams. To
the left Steve and one of
his guides. Brook trout
below, wild rainbow
below that and one of
the typical plunge pools
of the Tallulah River