Planning Cohutta Fly Fishing Trip: Need advice

2:28 p.m. on September 15, 2010 (EDT)
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I am planning a weekend fly fishing trip to the Cohutta Wilderness in mid October. I am looking for some advice on headwater destinations in the cooler portion of the Conasauga River where I do not need to hike any more than 4 miles to reach the river. We want to camp for two nights and remain stationary to hit different spots up and downstream from the campsite. Any suggestions on trailheads and directions to a proven trout portion of the river?

6:17 p.m. on September 15, 2010 (EDT)
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Welcome bama,

I wish I could help, I just don't know that area very well. I fished Conasauga Lake many years ago on my way to the Georgia Mountain Fair for some bluegrass music.

When I was there the lake level was very, very, low.

You would probably get some good advise from a Southeastern fishing forum, have you tried that yet?

I would also suggest considering traveling just across the state line into TN and fishing the Hiawassee River. You would be guaranteed to catch trout, and working the river from a base camp can be done with vehicle or on foot. It is an excellent tailwater.

12:46 p.m. on September 16, 2010 (EDT)
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Hey Hunter:

I will try Southeastern Fishing forum. Thanks for that advice.

I haven't fished the Haiwassee but am well aware of it's abundance. I have done some fishing on the Tellico myself. We chose the Conasauga because of the isolation and just wanted to get a little deeper into some rarely touched portions of the river. However, we are probably either going to head to Tennessee if the weather turns on us, or possibly stay in the area of north Georgia and find a suitable spot. Problem is that we are only going to be gone for a couple of nights and we would like to fish some narrow runs. A little more our style I guess.

Have you ever fished Jacks River?

3:48 p.m. on September 16, 2010 (EDT)
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Bama,

The Tellico is also a great river to fish I think, I love the area.

Yes, I have hiked along the Jacks River, I remember the stream crossings, it has been a while though. When I posted last night I had forgotten that Jacks river was in Cohutta / Big Frog. Seems to me the trail was about 17 or 18 miles long with a waterfall at the halfway point. Past the falls there was less traffic and a greater chance of having some solitude.

You sound like you enjoy fishing smaller streams, I do too, I like finding remote areas that see little if any fishing pressure.

Here's a photo of Hiawasse for you:


I sure hope your weekend works out to be a great trip, I'm past due for a fishing trip myself.

Best of luck.

2:13 a.m. on September 17, 2010 (EDT)
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Bama, your in luck.
The past couple years Ive become obsessively drawn to the Cohuttas.

Good choice on opting the Conasauga over The Jacks River Watershed. Personally, I think its just as good if not better with less the dayhiking crowds and trail traffic flocking to the Jacks River trail system for the falls. Its probably close to my favorite mountain river. But don't get me wrong, Jacks is also a gorgeous river.

Your best bet would be to start at the northern terminus of the Conasauga River Trail itself (Foot trail #11). This will start you at the northern end of the river and the trail is a fairly easy flat jaunt South along the riverside with several randomly dispersed camping spots along the way. from the trailhead itself, its quite literally less than 2 miles to the River.

To get to the Wilderness from I75, take the Tunnel Hill/Varnell exit until you intersect highway 411 at a small community called Cisco (going from memory here so a quick google-mapping would do the trick too). From Cisco, Take Old GA Hwy 2 to the boundry and take a right going up onto FS-17, across from a small ranger station on the left. Go for a few miles on FS-17 until you come to the Conasauga R. Trail sign for FS-17B on your left. this road goes a couple hundred yards to the trailhead.

Another option would be to enter the wilderness by the Hickory Creek Trail Southern terminus (Foot trail #10). This trailhead is a tad farther to the South and would lead to the center of the Conasauga watershed intersecting the River in a couple miles at the Rough Creek Tributary. Again, its around 2 miles to the River itself. From experience.. Fording the river at this point you'll find several clutch camping spots along the Conasauga R. and Hickory Creek Trails.

Either way you choose to enter you can follow the Conasauga R. trail South alongside the river at your own pace. A few miles farther to the South is a focal point and intersection of several trails in the wilderness, an old logging camp called Bray Field. There are plenty of flat camping spots there.

...yep as I said, pretty infatuated with the area. I can't necessarily speak as far as proven trout portions, but surely towards getting your bearings on the area. Hope this helps with your planning.

good luck!

12:00 p.m. on September 17, 2010 (EDT)
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renegade887,

How would you rate the river trail? Easy to Difficult.

Does the trail follow the river closely, or does it wander off and return?

I'm glad you could help Bama out.

3:43 p.m. on September 19, 2010 (EDT)
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Sure thing Trout,

The River Trail I would give a fairly easy to moderate rating. The most difficult parts being getting into and out of the gorge itself. Other than that the trail is easily followed over slighty rolling hills at the river's edge most of the way. I would say at any given section the river is within eye sight the majority of the time. Also, come equipped with gore-tex, because its second only to the Jacks R. trail as the wettest trail in the Wilderness with SEVERAL crossings. And with that, in my opinion.. one of the most scenic.

6:59 p.m. on September 20, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks renegade887.

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