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countr21 04-21-2013 04:29 AM

Need help with a backpacking trip to GA or NC
Hello all,

I am from Colorado and do lots of fly fishing and backpacking trips in the Rockies. I originally grew up in Georgia, and will be in Marietta (Atlanta) for a week during mid May and want to squeeze in a 2-4 night backpacking trip to hook into some backcountry Appalachain trout. Even though I grew up doing some minor backpacking in the north Georgia mountains, I never fished back then and know almost nothing about where to find decent backcountry fishing.

I'm basically just looking for places to get started so I can do a little research of my own. I've obviously heard of GSMNP, but that's a little too far out of my driving range. I want to keep the driving time below 4 hours so that limits me to north GA and the Nantahala part of NC. I prefer designated wilderness areas inside of national forests (no motorized equipment, foot or horse travel only) i.e. Brasstown, Chattahoochee, and Cohutta National Wilderness areas in GA. Or the Nantahala National Wilderness Area in North Carolina, etc.

I am a very experienced backpacker and mileage is of no concern. I can easily carry my pack 15 miles per day over rough trails. In fact, I prefer hiking deep into wilderness areas where the fishing pressure is greatly reduced. I'm not looking for anyone's secret spots just point me in the right direction as far as general areas that hold decent backcountry fishing. And if anyone is interested, I would gladly trade some hot tips from the Rockies in return for a hot tip that I can use in GA or NC. Anyone that has perused the Rocky Mtn Forum for long knows that I am regular member there and have posted dozens of threads and pics of some incredible spots in the Colo, Wyoming, and Montana backcountry.

As for the fishing questions, is mid-May a decent time to fish in the southern Appalachains? Is there a runoff issue like the ones that blowout the western rivers in June and July? What are the standard flies? Adams, wooly worms, buggers, pheasant tails, etc? I will have a nice car (family loaner), but can't drive it down any rougher back roads to access the trailhead. But maintained dirt and gravel roads are okay. And I'll have a time window of a week so hopefully can plan around any serious weather that comes through.

I look forward to getting back into the mountains of my youth. Backpacking and fly fishing the Rockies has become a passion for me.........finally getting to do it back in the Appalachains is highly appealing to me. Exploring new and unknown areas is what fly fishing the backcountry is all about :D

Thanks for any help

Oh yeah, even though I do harvest trout from some backcountry fisheries in the Rockies, this trip will be C&R only.

chechem 04-21-2013 06:28 AM

Re: Need help with a backpacking trip to GA or NC
You really should go to the Smokies. Plenty of excellent circuits there, plenty of fishing knowledge, and plenty of fish.

Sorry, but can't help beyond that; never fished GA or NC (except in the Park).

mcnerney 04-21-2013 09:05 AM

Re: Need help with a backpacking trip to GA or NC
Countr21: Sent you a PM.


rbaileydav 04-21-2013 11:49 AM

Re: Need help with a backpacking trip to GA or NC
Would love to share some ideas but can't in public. is my email

Red Owl 04-21-2013 02:36 PM

Re: Need help with a backpacking trip to GA or NC
I agree about the Smokies. If you are going to hike in you can reach Brook Trout waters. Good trails and campsites all over, the problem is narrowing the search, too much good water. If I was backing in it would be either Deep Creek or Hazel Creek (need a ferry over Fontana). Thewre are several good books on fly fishing in the Smokies.

countr21 04-21-2013 03:19 PM

Re: Need help with a backpacking trip to GA or NC
I just did a little "driving distance" search on google and it's only 3 hours from Atlanta to Knoxville, so the GSMNP is well within my range!!! Yay! Looks like that's where I'm going. Thanks for the help everyone.

And for anyone that sent me private msgs and emails.....look for a response soon!

Thanks again


yonder 04-21-2013 05:11 PM

Re: Need help with a backpacking trip to GA or NC
Atlanta to Bryson City, N.C. is about 3 hours or so...according to google maps. I recommend the N.C. side of GSMNP for backcountry fly fishing. Lots of trails and water to fish, with plenty opportunities for native brookies. Good luck and tight lines.....:) If you decide on the N.C. side, let me know.

kicker19 05-08-2013 08:36 PM

Re: Need help with a backpacking trip to GA or NC
PM coming your way.

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