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Chattooga River South Carolina

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 11:59 -- jmaslar

The Chattooga River begins in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina fed by sereral springs and abundant rainfall. From here it takes a fifty-mile journey to LakeTugaloo between Georgia and South Carolina.  It flows southward for ten miles in North Carolina, and then continues for forty miles as the state boundary between South Carolina and Georgia bisecting Ellicott Rock Wilderness. On its journey, it drops nearly one-half mile in elevation. 

The Chattooga watershed is made up of 180,000 acres in three states (SC, GA and NC) and composed of private and public lands.  The Chattooga is a free-flowing river with no upstream dam to control the flow.  As such it responds rapidly to rainfall or drought conditions.  There are numerous rapids up to Class V, followed by calm pools.

Since May 10 1974, the ChattoogaRiver has been protected along a 15,432-acre  corridor as a national Wild and Scenic River.  The ChattoogaRiver is also famous for its beautiful scenery and also as the site for filming the Deliverance,  The Chattooga River offers what some have described as the best trout fishing within the state of South Carolina, and indeed very good for such a southern state.

For wild trout fishing the best area is between the North Carolina State line and Burrells Ford.  The entire river lies within the Chattahoochee, or the Sumter National Forest with the exception of a few tracks of private land downstream of the Highway 28 bridge.  

The SCDNR state stocks the trout fingerling from Burrells Ford downstream for about five miles. Along this stretch of the river, there is plenty of food for the trout to eat and they can grow nicely.  However, due to river conditions, there is very little spawning occuring here, as a result, do not expect to see many wild trout.

There is a delayed harvest designation on the Chattooga River starting at the Highway 28 bridge and going upstream for 2 1/2 miles.  The stream becomes warmer and somewhat wider in this area. Be sure to check out the SC fishing regulations.


The early season will provide the best fishing usually from April to June


Spring is obviously the best season to fish the river due to its southern location.


The water can get a little warm during the hot summer even though it often provides some shade.


Autumn is an excellent time to fish the river as it is one of the most beautiful times of the year.  In addition to that, it offers an excellent opportinity for catch and release fishing of brown trout, because they are spawning during this season.


Due to the southern nature of the Chattooga River, the winter is one of the most productive seasons.

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Geographical Location: 
Type of Stream: 
Freestone of medium size
Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout
Northwestern NC near NC & GA.
Nearest Town: 
Clayton, Georgia and Cashiers, NC

You can access approximately 14 miles of the stream the stream from

Burrells Ford Road
or state highway 28.  For hiking, there are several good trails such as the Chattooga River Trail.  It runs beside the east bank of the Chattooga River from a Burrell's Ford trailhead near the river, to an intersection with the East Fork Trail, then to Ellicott Rock and then joins Bad Creek Trail, and Ellicott Rock Trail

Another way to access the Chattooga River is by paddling. 


Check out our full color, waterproof map and fly fishing guide measures 11" x 17"

Scroll down to view the Google Map

License and Other Information: 

See our Chattooga River Hatch Chart before hitting the river.


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