Running the border between Northeast Georgia and South Carolina, the Chattooga has some very beautiful qualities and no Taco Bells nearby. This is because the river is on U.S. Forest Service land and is included in the Federal Wild and Scenic River System, and is protected from development to keep it free and wild. It’s a larger river but not so big you can not find a place to cross. At times of high water, crossing could be more difficult.
Keep in mind that a South Carolina license is required to fish in any of the streams entering the river from the northeast side. Some nice feeder streams make up the Chattooga giving you other places to fish than the main river.
The river is open to year-round trout fishing. Having stocked Rainbows, Brook Trout and some wild Browns. Some of the best fishing is in the Delayed Harvest section which runs from Reed Creek, down to Hwy 28, see map.
The trout population in the Chattooga is consistent from the North Carolina border down to Big Bend Falls. Brown trout of up to 10 pounds have been caught from the Chattooga, but these trout can be quite finicky when it comes to taking a fly.
Because of the quality of the fishing and the chance catch a wild brown, the fishing pressure can be heavy to moderate. Getting rainbows to take a fly is not too difficult for the average fly fisherman. Flashy flies like pheasant tail flashback or lighting bug should do the trick.
This lower part of the river was made famous as the site of filming for the movie Deliverance during the 1970s. It is just as inaccessible today as it was when the film crews were there. So if you hear banjos look over your shoulder and keep a watchful eye out.
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