Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Chattooga River - near Clayton - South Carolina

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Throughout the day 18-24 Zebra Midge, Mercury Midge
Blue Wing Olives Overcast days 18-20 Sparkle Dun, Pheasant Tail
February Midges Throughout the day 18-24 Zebra Midge, Mercury Midge
Blue Wing Olives Overcast days 18-20 Sparkle Dun, Pheasant Tail
March Blue Quills Afternoon 18-22 Blue Quill Dry Fly
Little Black Stoneflies Afternoon 14-18 Black Stonefly Nymph
April Blue Wing Olives Overcast days 18-20 Sparkle Dun, Pheasant Tail
Hendricksons Afternoon 12-14 Reddish Brown Dry Fly
May Caddis Afternoon 14-16 Elk Hair Caddis, Mercer's Caddis Poopah
June Selective Trout Morning & Evening 18-22 Blue Wing Olives, Sulphur Duns
July Terrestrials Throughout the day 10-14 Ant Patterns, Beetle Patterns
August Terrestrials Throughout the day 10-14 Ant Patterns, Beetle Patterns
September Terrestrials Afternoon 10-14 Ant Patterns, Beetle Patterns
October Blue Wing Olives Overcast days 18-20 Sparkle Dun, Pheasant Tail
Blue Quills Afternoon 18-22 Blue Quill Dry Fly
November Midges Throughout the day 18-24 Zebra Midge, Mercury Midge
Pedestal Egg Mid-morning & Mid-afternoon 14-16 Pheasant Tail, Hare's Ear
December Midges Throughout the day 18-24 Zebra Midge, Mercury Midge
Blue Wing Olives Overcast days 18-20 Sparkle Dun, Pheasant Tail

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Chattooga River near Clayton is one of the top destinations for fly fishers with various hotspots known for the abundance of fish. Here are notable spots:

  • Bull Sluice: This exceptional spot is known for large Rainbow and Brown trout.
  • Section III: A six-mile stretch of the river laden with smaller, but plentiful, trout species.
  • Ellicott Rock: Features a mix of Brown, Rainbow, and the native Brook trout. This is the point where Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina borders meet.
  • Sandy Ford: Another great location with a decent population of Rainbow and Brown trout.
  • Earls Ford: Ideal for both fishing and camping, this spot is known for Brown and Rainbow trout.

Remember, the Chattooga River is catch-and-release only, so ensure you follow all regulations while enjoying the fishing experience.

Best Access Points

The Chattooga River, located near Clayton, has a plethora of fantastic access points for fly fishing. Here are the best points:

  • Burrell’s Ford: This easy-access site is a popular starting point for many anglers. It offers a thriving Brown Trout population.
  • Earls Ford: Accessible via Earls Ford road, it provides extensive wading areas for an ideal fly fishing experience.
  • Highway 76 Bridge: Bordering Georgia and South Carolina, it offers abundant opportunities, particularly for Rainbow Trout.
  • Section 3: Known for its rapid currents and adventurous atmosphere, Section 3 is a pristine fly fishing spot. Please note that this site is not suitable for beginners due to the river currents.

Always ensure you have the necessary permits and licenses before you hit the water. As always, practice catch and release to sustain the fish population for generations to come.

Local Fish

  • Brown Trout – Known for their fighting spirit and are typically caught on dry flies, nymphs, and streamers. They are considered a top species for fly fishing on the Chattooga River.
  • Rainbow Trout – Rainbow trout are a popular target for fly fishers due to their beautiful colors and readily attacking a wide range of fly patterns.
  • Brook Trout – The only native trout of the Southeast, the small but vibrant brook trout can be found in the headwater tributaries of the Chattooga River.
  • Smallmouth Bass – Though not as common as the trout species, smallmouth bass are a strong and acrobatic species that provide a fun challenge on a fly rod.
  • Largemouth Bass – In the lower sections of the river, the less common but larger Largemouth bass can also be pursued with a fly rod.
  • Redeye Bass – This unique species, also known locally as “Coosa Bass,” provides a special opportunity for fly fishers in the Southern Appalachians.
  • Bluegill – While not as commonly targeted as trout or bass, bluegill are still a fun species to catch on a fly and can often be found in the slower, warmer sections of the river.
  • Chain Pickerel – Though rare and often overlooked by fly fishers, chain pickerel can provide a thrilling surprise when hooked on a fly.

About The River

If you love breath-taking wilderness or thrilling white water rafting, you’ve got to check out the Chattooga River near Clayton, Georgia. Recognized as a National Wild and Scenic River in 1974, it’s a true gem with a rich history that dates back millennia.

  • The river’s name is actually derived from the Choctaw words for “rock” and “come to”, wonderfully capturing the spirit of its rocky terrain.
  • Interestingly, the Chattooga marks the state lines between Georgia and South Carolina, and for centuries has been an important route for trade and transportation.
  • Its fame skyrocketed when it featured in the 1972 thriller “Deliverance”, although the movie somewhat darkened the river’s image.

Rafting enthusiasts make a beeline for Section IV, known for its turbulent waters and challenging rapids. The Chattooga River personifies adventure and beauty, serving as a reminder of the untouched and raw grandeur of nature.

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