Twilight is descending on tiny Rock Creek Lake, a pond in the hills above Suches.
Pink light hovers in the trees. The crickets trill. Barking frogs send up a serenade that sounds like a smoker’s cough.
This mild North Georgia mountain evening should be a perfect night for fly fishing. And we’re in a good place. Rock Creek Lake, in the middle of the Chattahoochee National Forest, is warm on the surface, but a few feet down it’s chilly. Twenty feet down it’s cold as hell.
“You can float on your back here,” says our guide, Louis Cahill, “and if you let your legs dangle down, they’ll freeze right off.”
Trout, who have no legs, like it cold. So the trout are here.
Click below to keep fishing in North Georgia with the AJC’s Bo Emerson and his guide Louis Cahill.
MORE ON THE NORTH GEORGIA MOUNTAINS
NORTH GEORGIA FISHING HOLES
Duke’s Creek. Located in the Smithgall Woods State Park in Helen. Trout fishing is permitted on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, with a reservation. Call ahead. The park gets booked solid on weekends, but Cahill says there are no-shows; $5 parking. 61 Tsalaki Trail, Helen. 706-878-3087, www.gastateparks.org/SmithgallWoods
Noontootla Creek Farms. High quality trout fishing on private land. All visitors, in parties of one or two, are accompanied by a guide. Half day: $230 for one person, $350 for two. 3668 Newport Road, Blue Ridge. 770-891-9903, www.ncfga.net
Chattooga River. Above the Russell Bridge across Ga. 28, in the far northeastern corner of Rabun County. Parking available at Russell Bridge.
Toccoa River. In the tailwaters below the Lake Blue Ridge dam in Tammen Park. Call in advance for water-release information. 6650 Appalachian Hwy, Blue Ridge. 800-238-226, 800-238-6650.
Rock Creek. Below the Rock Creek Dam and Rock Creek Lake. This area benefits from the trout regularly released from the Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery. 4730 Rock Creek Road, Suches. 706-838-4723.
Blue Ridge Fly Fishing. Guided trips, classes and gear. Public wades $180 for one, $225 for two. Private wades:$275 for one, $400 for two. 490 E. Main St., Blue Ridge, Ga., 423-803-2733, www.blueridgeflyfishing.com
Brigadoon Lodge. Perched on a bend in the Soque River, Brigadoon offers guides ($175 a day), and lodging ($200 per person a night) and high quality trout fishing on a privately held section of the river. 8137 Highway 197, North Clarkesville. 706-754-1558, brigadoonlodge.com
Unicoi Outfitters. Helen, Ga.’s premier outfitter: fly shop, lessons, gear, guided fishing on private streams, $120 to $230 for a half day, $180 to $340 for a full day; P.O. Box 419, 7280 S. Main Street, Helen Ga.; 706-878-3083, www.unicoioutfitters