Wade Trips on the Chattahoochee River

Skill Level Range = 1 – 5

Fly fishing wade trips on the Chattahoochee River are offered to our customers on a year around basis by utilizing both public and private river access points. These trips are offered either on a half-day or full day basis. Half days are defined as either morning or afternoon — not midday. Full day trips usually begin around 9AM and end at approximately 5PM; however, at times these hours may be shifted in order to take advantage of optimal fishing conditions. Some driving time may need to be added to either meet your guide at a specified location, or to be driven by your guide to the river access point. Our guides will contact you ahead of time to arrange all details for your guided trip.

Payment for guide services is either by cash or check. Additional time may be purchased at the rate of $25/hour for either full or half days.

A wade trip to fly fish for trout is what most people relate to when they think of fly fishing. In addition to planning your strategy to position yourself for the very best drift in the “right” water, all of the elements of fly fishing come into play — the wind, the effect of varying currents, line mending, and selecting the right fly for the particular situation or hatch. The nuances of such situations is what makes fly fishing an exciting and oftentimes challenging sport. It’s really not just about long, beautiful casts though for some this is the ultimate experience. It’s more about enjoyment and immersing yourself, for a brief period of time, in all there is to feel and sense in this sport we call fly fishing.

About river conditions and Equipment (What to Bring)

Due to the fact that the Chattahoochee River is a tailwater fishery, water releases from both dam structures on the river often dictate water levels and clarity. Also, severe rain storms will at times muddy the river to the point that it becomes un-fishable. Under severe conditions, we will ask that you postpone your guided trip to a future date with more favorable fishing conditions.

The client must furnish all of their own equipment including boots, chest waders, a wading belt, heavy socks, polarized sunglasses, pair of nippers & forceps, and a hat if desired. Especially during the Spring to Fall time period, be sure to bring along some sunscreen as the reflection off the water can increase your chances of a severe sunburn. Wear comfortable clothing that matches the weather conditions and include a rain jacket if the weather looks inclement. The use of a wading staff is recommended for safety purposes but is not always necessary. A Georgia Trout Fishing license is required. Lastly, for stress relief, bring along a sense of humor!

If you don’t have a fly rod & reel, one can be provided for your use. The ideal fly rod is 8 1/2 – 9 feet long, 5 or 6 weight. Suggested leaders are 7 1/2 to 9 feet long, 3X – 5X tippet size. Floating lines are generally used 100% of the time. Extra tippet material should range from 4X – 6X. Flies can be provided if desired.

On Full Day wade trips, pack a lunch to bring with you; or, with advance notice, a pack lunch can be provided for a fee of $12 per person.

The Chattahoochee River Tailwater is a year around Fishery

Fall & Winter:

From November 1 – May 14, wade trips concentrate on the Chattahoochee Delayed Harvest section of the river — or at least until the caddis start appearing in the upper river sections around the first of April. Midges, Blue Winged Olives, and Black Stoneflies are the predominant hatches during the Winter months.


As the water warms in late March & beginning of April, wade trips are also conducted on the upper river sections below Buford Dam. To fish between Buford Dam and Highway 20 Bridge, an approved life vest (PFD) must be worn at all times. April brings out the Black Caddis hatch on the river which usually lasts until early June in the upper sections. This is the #1 hatch on the river. Excellent dry fly fishing takes place at this time of the year. Nymph fishing also begins to pick up in the upper sections of the river as the water warms.

Sulphurs often come off in the Delayed Harvest section during the month of May following the lower river caddis hatch.


In mid-June, there is usually a Japanese beetle hatch along with the first appearance of other terrestrials such as ants. BWO’s continue to come off sporadically.

Summertime is generally a potpourri of various “stuff” with attractor patterns often working well in addition to small hoppers, stimulators, beadhead softhackles, midges (nymphs & dries) and green meanies (in deeper areas).

Early Fall:

In the September – October timeframe, Blue Winged Olives and October Caddis are the predominant hatches. As the water begins to cool in the Fall, it’s time to switch over to stripping Woolly Buggers and baitfish imitations again along with fishing stoneflies, midges, and still looking out for Blue Winged Olive (BWO) hatches.