Your Blue Ridge Trout Guide FAQ

It’s no secret that the best fishing in Georgia happens in Blue Ridge. With affordable guides, phenomenal fly-fishing and unmatched catch rates, no other town comes close.

Scenic Fishing Paradise: The Lower Toccoa River

Feel free to pack your tackle box and head to Lake Blue Ridge. You’ll find multiple types of bass, plus walleye and catfish that pair perfectly with hushpuppies.

But we recommend that everyone – and I mean everyone – try fishing for trout in the Toccoa River at least one time. Once you get a taste of angling in the Trout Fishing Capital of Georgia, you’ll be hooked!

Holdin' a Big One! image courtesy @cfrost921

When is the best time to try fly fishing in Blue Ridge, and what kind of trout can I expect to catch?

Trout season runs the last Saturday in March through October 31st. Toccoa’s fishing hours begin 30 minutes before sunrise and end  30 minutes after sunset. Night fishing is not permitted.

Brook, brown and rainbow trout make up about 75% of game fish in the Toccoa. On average, the trout tend to be 10 – 14 inches long, but we’ve known fishermen to land a catch up to 15 inches. 

The record? On Feb. 28, 2021, Joe DiPietro (a veteran trout guide) caught a brown trout that weighed 18 pounds 2.4 ounces and came in at 32 inches long. 

Do I need a fishing license?

Anyone 16 years or older needs a fishing license in Georgia to fish on public land. Even if you head out with a guide, you generally need a fishing license. Georgia also requires a trout stamp in addition to your basic fishing license if you want to catch mountain trout. You can purchase your license online here.

Noontootla Creek Farm Big Trout Catch image courtesy @ncfga

Should I hire a local trout guide?

Whether you are new to trout fishing, introducing your kids or grandkids to the sport, or you’re an experienced angler looking for the inside track, hiring a guide is always a good idea. 

Most of the guides in Blue Ridge have been fishing these waters for years and years and years. Their local know-how, ability to read Mother Nature, and experience with the living river can yield a larger catch.

Here are five reasons why you should consider a Blue Ridge trout guide.

For Newbies

Gear. Your trout guide will provide all the gear you need for your trip. If you don’t have fly-fishing equipment (or you want to try new flies and rods) then a guide will be your most affordable means of equipping your adventure.

Guidance. If you’re new (or rusty) then a guide can offer direction with casting, knot tying, and more. Even a small bit of counseling can make the difference between a rewarding and enjoyable trip, and a frustrating expedition that ends with a baloney sandwich instead of a trout dinner.

For Advanced Anglers

Access. The most important benefit a guide provides to a seasoned fisherman is access to trophy fishing waters, usually on private property. Whether you’re wading or floating, access to the right location is everything.

Optimizations. Even if you’ve been fishing for ages, the guides in Blue Ridge know what to use and when to use it. Changes in season and water flow make all the difference when it comes to choosing the right tackle.

How can I make sure I have a great guided trip?

It’s a guide’s job to communicate with you about the trip, even before you get out on the water. But you can increase the likelihood of your return (on fish and fun) by asking questions upfront and sharing your expectations with the guide before you hire them, to ensure the outfitter is a good match.

Be sure to share your skill level with the guide. Are you new? Do you have any equipment? If you are a seasoned angler, have you fished the Toccoa before? Was it recently or a decade ago?

Ask if the fishing guide provides lunch, and if they don’t then ask about the best places to pick up a brown bag near your meeting place.

Once you’re on the water together, ask questions about why the guide is making certain decisions (if they don’t offer the information.) Why are they changing flies? Why are you moving from one location to another?

Don’t be shy about asking what you did wrong (and what you did right!) A great guide is also a great teacher, offering you a chance to learn how to improve on your next cast…and your next trip.

Finally, if your guide – like most of Blue Ridge’s trout guides - was helpful, patient, thorough and fun, then be sure to say thanks with a monetary tip and a good review. Find the best trout guides in Blue Ridge.