Noontootla Report

Thread starter #1
Fished some of the public section of Noontootla Creek this morning. Got there as early as I could for not camping the night before - about 8:30am. Was about 63 degrees when I arrived - much cooler than the 90+ of most of the metro.

Saw a few campers, bikers and one other fisherman. I think all the other anglers were smarter than us to stay home.

Water was a bit murky - looked like it had rained a bit Saturday evening. Water was still pretty low in most spots however. I had a few bites but landed nothing. Started with dries, switched to some nymphs and even chunked a wooly bugger.

It was nice to beat the heat for half a day but fishing left a little to be desired. Could just be my skills but I'm blaming it on the conditions and temps. May take a couple months off of North GA trout fishing until temps come back down.
 

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Danuwoa

Redneck Emperor
Fished some of the public section of Noontootla Creek this morning. Got there as early as I could for not camping the night before - about 8:30am. Was about 63 degrees when I arrived - much cooler than the 90+ of most of the metro.

Saw a few campers, bikers and one other fisherman. I think all the other anglers were smarter than us to stay home.

Water was a bit murky - looked like it had rained a bit Saturday evening. Water was still pretty low in most spots however. I had a few bites but landed nothing. Started with dries, switched to some nymphs and even chunked a wooly bugger.

It was nice to beat the heat for half a day but fishing left a little to be desired. Could just be my skills but I'm blaming it on the conditions and temps. May take a couple months off of North GA trout fishing until temps come back down.
Great picture, man. That’s pretty.
 
Nice pic! Fishing can be tough this time of year. Dingy water often improves it. And no day on a trout stream has been wasted.
 

northgeorgiasportsman

Moderator
Staff member
I've heard that stream gets fished hard due to the special regulations
It does. I think lack of enforcement of those special regulations has rendered the stream less than what it once was, but it was once special. And still can be. It does get hit pretty hard though.
 

Bream Pole

Senior Member
Years ago in the late 60's, there was a forest service road that you could take that took you on a winding route with multiple switch backs to the top of the mountain where the Noontootla begins as a spring coming out of the ground. I used to take that route and enjoy the wonderful peace and tranquility of the mountain top. On an occasion or two I took an ultra light spinning rod and would go down the other side of the mountain that paralleled the stream and stop and fish some. Only remember catching one small rainbow. Never saw another person. Beautiful stream/river. I did see a very large trout on one trip in very small water. It was a catch and release stream in those days as I assume it still is.
 
Thread starter #8
Years ago in the late 60's, there was a forest service road that you could take that took you on a winding route with multiple switch backs to the top of the mountain where the Noontootla begins as a spring coming out of the ground. I used to take that route and enjoy the wonderful peace and tranquility of the mountain top. On an occasion or two I took an ultra light spinning rod and would go down the other side of the mountain that paralleled the stream and stop and fish some. Only remember catching one small rainbow. Never saw another person. Beautiful stream/river. I did see a very large trout on one trip in very small water. It was a catch and release stream in those days as I assume it still is.
It is effectively a catch & release stream because you can only keep 1 trout per day and it has to be over 16" I believe. Like others have said, I'm not sure these regulations have been enforced. They are certainly not posted anywhere along the creek or at least where I fished.

I did begin walking up towards the mouth of the smaller tribs near Three Forks park where the AT crosses over the streams (Stover & Chester). There weren't many trails and I didn't feel like bushwhacking with limited time to fish. I may have to go back and push up the hills to see if there are any wilds in those less accessible holes.
 

GLS

Classic Southern Gentleman
I learned how to fly fish on this stream. I picked it because of its regs and the fact that it was both easily accessible from Athens and had wild fish. I started fishing there in the late 1960s. Back then there was always talk of "locals" keeping fish caught with bait. In all the years I fished it, I saw two trout caught over 16", both browns. A girlfriend caught one on a roostertail and I caught the other. Mine was just over 16" . I first saw it opening day and fished for it throughout the season, usually spooking it with a few casts. It lived in a small pool ,the size of two cars end to end with a broken surface. When spooked, he'd run and hide under a large boulder that served as a ledge on the left bank fishing upstream. It was low water in July when I saw him in the tailout under broken water. I flipped a dry Muddler to it and it rose, inspected and refused. I flipped it out again and he ate it. I had the fish mounted but I lost the mount when the house burnt to the slab years later. I caught it on a 6 wgt. 6' glass rod that I built from an E. Hille Angler's Supply blank. I keep that image of seeing and catching that fish on permanent rewind in my head. Another image was the old mountaineer who worked out of the phone booth sized creel check out station. Tall and lanky, he wore Junior Sample-styled bib overalls and was always barefooted. I suspect he had a trout or two for supper more than occasionally from the stream. What a great little stream it was then. Probably still is. Gil
 

Sixes

Senior Member
I use to fish that a lot in the late 80s and early 90s. Never caught any big fish, but routinely caught some solid one.

I do remember it used to have a lot of low hanging hornet's nests and if you were not careful, you would be running mad trying to get away.

My best was a 20 inch brown across the mountain out of Jones creek on an artificial.

I hung a couple of giants in Waters creek after a quick thunderstorm got the creek dingy. Lost one and broke off on the other.
 
Above the Kiosk it's fished out eventhough their are posted regs-TOO MANY people with the Covid-19/school out/riots. Barley can get by the parked cars/trucks-
Have you seen the traffic!!!! CRAZY- I bet DNR will be charging for camping/parking real soon:(
 
IMHO, this creek was allotted the 16-inch limit to appease the fledgling C&R crowd, who wanted a C&R creek. In the 90's many of us unofficially lobbied for more C&R creeks or even a Fly Fishing Only creek, but we were told that there wasn't enough trout water in Georgia to do that. That was also the reason the Hooch in Helen couldn't be DH water - people were limited in where they could fish in winter ( in YR streams, which were few and far between back then) so we couldn't possibly make the Hooch "DH" back then. Now? Aren't all creeks and rivers open YR? No reason the Hooch in Helen couldn't be a fantastic, large, easily accessible DH river. Politics maybe, but other than that, what a great winter DH that would be - and Helen would benefit too I think. Ah, but what a can of worms. ;)
 
I have fly fished this river several times in the past 2 months. Mostly caught grubs and fingerlings. I will admit that I am not the finest fisherman, nor could I tell anyone the right tackle to use, tactics, or best time of year to fish it. For me, the peace of being on th river is my first priority, followed by a hope of glory. The most frustrating thing for an average fly fisher who is new to an area is the not knowing if your are standing in waters that simply offers no chance.

I suppose with the warmer temperatures right now it is not the best time to be out on creeks and streams. I have resigned the pole for now, and will spend the time researching better opportunities for the Fall and Winter. Opportunities that get me away from the city and people.
 
I love seeing reports on this creek because I already know what people will say. It was beautiful but rough fishing. Thats exactly what it is, every single day of the year. Wild Ga trout are very weary. Hard the catch the little ones 12 inch and smaller. Darn near impossible to catch anything bigger. I saw an 18 inch brown in the noontootla once, but he saw me preparing my lunch in Douglasville the night before. You have to literally be as stealthy as a ninja. One cracked stick or a pebble stepped on too hard, and that fish 15 yards upstream is already gone. I truly think the noontootla has the most weary trout in all of Georgia. Creeks that feed into it though are a totally different story. If you enjoy crawling through some of the thickest rhododendron ga has to offer, try walking up any tributary. I took my profile picture up one of them.
 
I think anyone's best bet for seeing a trout in Noontootla over 16 inches is to hook a tiny one. If there's a monster around, he will at least come out and take a look, and maybe a swipe at it, too. Once upon a time, in a deep hole under a huge rock, a trout of at least 20 inches came out and took a swipe at my buddy's freshly hooked baby rainbow. We were far upstream and several falls up from the private water, but anything is possible and it could have been a stocker that moved up - but either way, it was one heck of a big trout on public water. Doubt I'll ever see that again, even if I fished every day. That's one of the great things about fishing, isn't it - there's always the possibility of an amazing surprise or something you haven't seen or experienced before. Georgia has plenty of great wild streams, too - btw. Don't get stuck on the more famous ones like I did and miss out fishing other places. :) One day you may be too old or too fat or have bad knees and not be able to crawl and scramble anymore. Enjoy it while you can, young whippersnappers.
 
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