August Stream: Noontootla Creek
I am placing a lot of trust in my readers this issue. I am about to review my favorite stream in Georgia. The place is Noontootla Creek. Before I go any further I need to make a few things clear about this resource. The stream is ARTIFICIALS ONLY, and strictly enforced. The creel limit is ONE trout per day that MUST BE 16 inches or larger. Any smaller fish must be immediately released into the stream unharmed. Camping is allowed along the stream, but there are only two official campsites and most often these are taken. If you camp in an unauthorized site, you will most likely see a citation.
Those are the stated laws, now here are the unspoken laws. The stream is regarded by most of its anglers as a fly-fishing only stream. It is one of few excellent, although extremely challenging, areas left for the fly-fisherman in the region. If you absolutely must use spinners it is imperative that they be single hook so as not to kill every fish caught. It can be extremely hard to remove a treble hook from a small delicate fish. Fishing etiquette is most important on this stream. All of the fish in the stream are wild and very wary to a clumsy angler. Finally, most anglers on the stream practice 100% catch and release, this is the only way that the stream can keep it's reputation as being a trophy destination, so don't be alarmed if you decide to keep a 17 inch fish and someone sneers at you.
This is not a good place to begin learning about fly-fishing. The terrain is extremely rugged and steep and rarely will you be able to actually cast (most of the fishing relies on the shortened flip cast).
Needless to say this stream perhaps more than any other will test your skills to the greatest extent, and if you are lucky, find the right pattern, make good presentations, and don't scare the fish, you might just have a chance at doing battle with a mammoth trout in strong water.
I visited Noontootla six times this month and on all but one visit caught fish. On my second visit I landed 15'' brown and on my last visit a 17 1/2'' brown. Most of the fish in between were very small, around 4-5''. I also managed to injure my leg and get poison ivy, but it was worth it. You can find general directions to Noontootla on the clickable Georgia map.
Noontootla is not for everyone, but it is perfect for some. If you would like more information on Noontootla, (like specific directions) or would like to arrange a fishing trip with me to this stream, please email me.