Noontootla Creek in northern Georgia is a gem of a wild trout stream that harbors rainbow and brown trout, some of which grow to sizable proportions.
Interested in checking out Noontootla Creek and seeing if you have what it takes to catch its' wily trout?
With the help of our DIY guide, you can plan the perfect getaway to Noontootla Creek. We’ll tell you where to go, when the fish are biting, and what you need to take. Plus, we’ll even offer an overview of the creek and why it should be on your list, travel tips, and more.
Let’s dive right in.
Fly fishing Noontootla Creek in Georgia
Noontootla Creek gets its start on Springer Mountain, near Frying Pan Gap. It begins in the Blue Ridge Wildlife Management Area, flowing as a tributary of the Upper Toccoa River. This medium-sized freestone stream offers a good population of wild brown and rainbow trout, along with some native brook trout.
This is a catch and release only creek, except that you can keep one trout up to 16 inches long. Live bait also isn’t permitted on this creek, so you’ll need to bring along plenty of artificial lures. We’ll talk about what the fish like later on.
This creek offers fish that run from 6-12 inches, with some of the browns being a bit larger. There are also several tributaries of the creek that flow into the headwaters, which is where the brook trout are rumored to hide out. This stream is not as crowded as you might expect, either.
Noontootla Creek Map and Fishing Access Sites
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Even in the fall and spring, access is good in most areas, and yet there are few anglers to be found. A lot of people assume that if they see no traffic, the stream is no good. However, if you stick around, this one will definitely deliver for you.
The stream almost entirely follows Forest Service Road 58, which offers access to the best spots to cast a line. There is private property outside of the wildlife area, including one “pay to fish” setup that allows you to get a guided fishing tour of some of the “best waters” on the creek. There is also private property that you just need to stay off of, so keep that in mind.
This creek is interesting because it has several different types of hatches, but none seem to be in excess supply except for stoneflies. The diversity of insects is impressive, but they’re all found in small populations.
Best Places to Fish Noontootla Creek
You can find the brook trout up in the headwaters, located around 3000 feet, where Three Forks comes together (the three tributaries-- Stover Creek, Long Creek, and Chester Creek). This area is supposed to have the best population of native brookies, but there isn’t a lot of confirmation on that.
Downstream a bit, you’ll find plenty of pools and runs that offer prime spots to cast a line and get the attention of the rainbows and browns. You can find ample parking and pull-off access along the creek, thanks to that Forest Service Road that runs alongside it.
Perhaps the most important part of this creek, as with others in the state, is the issue of the private or “pay-to-fish” properties that are found throughout. Please respect the private portions of the creek and stick to the public access area to ensure that you’re not encroaching on anyone’s land.
If you have the money and want to treat yourself to an experience, one of the private fishing tours might not be a terrible idea. However, that defeats the purpose of your DIY trip in the first place, right?
Best Time to Fish Noontootla Creek
Spring always offers a good opportunity for fly fishing, thanks to the aquatic insect hatches that keep the trout alert and hungry. The summer does offer some fishing in the areas of higher elevation. However, there may be days or spots that are too warm for the trout to be found.
You will enjoy fishing in the fall with the beautiful scenery and the cool weather. Plus, brown trout are spawning so they are plentiful and easier to catch, making it almost child's play (yeah, right). If you want a little more of a challenge, check out the winter months. You’ll need to stick to the warmer days to catch anything during winter but it's makes for a fun outing.
As far as time of day, this creek doesn’t see a big difference there. Because it’s not very busy, it’s not going to matter when you fish as much since the fish aren’t used to it. You’ll always have better odds than in a more popular creek.
Fly Box - What You'll Need
Noontootla Creek has a variety of stoneflies that the trout love, including Giant Black stoneflies. The creek also sees hatches of mayflies such as Blue Quill and Cahill's, and some caddis as well. Terrestrials include ants, beetles, and sculpin are also on the menu.
Here is list of general fly pattern recommendations for Noontootla Creek:
- Yellow Sally (#12 - 16)
- Yellow Humpy (#10 - 18)
- Parachute Sulphur (#14 - 18)
- Parachute Adams (#12 - 22)
- Light Cahill (#10 - 18)
- Elk Hair Caddis (#8 - 16)
- Yellows Stimulator (#8 - 14)
- Chernobyl Ant (#8 - 12)
- Griffith's Gnat (#16 - 24)
- Pheasant Tail (#12 - 20)
- BH Hare's Ear (#12 - 20)
- Rainbow Warrior (#14 - 22)
- Pat's Rubber Legs (#4 - 12)
- Golden Stonefly (#6 - 10)
- Tellico Nymph (#12 - 18)
- Zebra Midge (#16 - 22)
- WD40 (#16-20)
- Y2K Egg (#12 - 16)
- BH Wooly Bugger (#2 - 6)
- Sculpzilla (#4)
A 9-foot 4-wt fly rod with floating line is perfect for fishing dry flies and small nymphs on Noontootla Creek. A tapered 9-foot leader, with tippet size 3X to 5X to match the flies you are throwing, is pretty standard.
Noontootla Creek Fishing Report
Area fly shops, guides and websites that can provide a Noontootla Creek fly fishing report and update on current conditions are listed below:
The state of Georgia requires that all people who are 16 years of age and older have a valid fishing license. There are resident and non-resident sport fishing licenses available.
You can purchase a Georgia state fishing license and learn about the most current regulations through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Trip Planning Tips
This creek is located in the Chattahoochee National Forest, just southwest of Highway 60 and north of Dawsonville and Dahlonega. You’ll need a car to get to the creek, so rent one if you’re flying in from out of town. Accommodations can be found along Highway 60 and down into the nearby cities.
Highway 19 runs south into Atlanta and those who are flying in can book a flight here. Of course, because of its proximity to the city, it may have some weekend pressure from the locals, so consider that in your travel plans. Camping is also plentiful in the National Forest area.
Looking for more places to fish? Check out our DIY Guide to the Best Fly Fishing in Georgia
Feature image by Scott Long