This is your final boarding call for the Tallulah Gorge (GA) area
collecting trip this weekend. At present, we are a party of eight, from 4
different states, with a few "maybes" still hanging out there in
cyberspace. That leaves lots of room for any more of y'all who would like
to join us. You may contact me by email up until about 4pm tomorrow, or
just show up and surprise us!
Some of us will be staying in nearby Clayton, GA, Friday night. We will
take in some snorkeling Friday afternoon/evening, and meet the main party
at Tallulah Gorge the next morning for a full day of collecting. GA fishing
licenses are available at the Walmart on US Highway 441 in Clayton, or you
can buy them online at GreatLodge.com and be ready to go when you arrive.
GA non-resident fishing permits cost $3.50 for one day, $7.00 for seven
days, or $24.00 for the whole year. Trout stamps are an additional $13.00.
If you buy online, add a transaction fee of $1.25.
Here is our projected itinerary:
On Saturday, July 13th, we will gather in Tallulah Falls, GA, at Tallulah
Point Overlook at 8am.
We will tarry there until 8:30 to allow for any late arrivals or on-site
fish swapping. To reach the Tallulah Point Overlook, go to the intersection
of US Highway 441 and GA Highway 15 Loop. This is very near the 21 mile
marker on US 441. Follow GA 15 Loop 8/10 of a mile to the Overlook. It has
a row of shops and is clearly marked in huge block letters. Recently, we
have had folks lost in the directions, so I have tried to fool-proof it for
you this time. Be advised that this is a "rain or shine event." However, if
there is bad weather, we may adjust the itinerary as we go to avoid any
possibility of flash flooding. In mid-July it shouldn't be a problem!
Several of us will be arriving the afternoon of 7/12 and doing the motel or
camping thing. Most of the good motels are in nearby Clayton, GA, and
camping areas are abundant on US 441 all the way from the Gorge northward
to the NC state line. If you are interested in joining us on Friday
afternoon for some snorkeling, I'll be at the Shoney's Inn in Clayton
The excursion on Saturday will involve four main stops in a giant loop that
will bring us back to our starting point. Each has been carefully scouted
and the route itself offers an absoultely breathtaking trip that begins at
Tallulah Gorge, winds northward through what becomes the foothills of the
Blue Ridge Mountains, cuts back southward to the Chattooga River, then west
again back to our starting point. Apporoximately 90 minutes are planned at
each stop. So, if you miss the starting gun, you will have an idea of where
to find us at any given time of the day.
1. Approximately 2 miles south of Tallulah Gorge near the 19 mile marker on
US Highway 441 is Big Panther Creek. We will go down directly beneath the
highway bridge. There is adequate pull-off room, but be advised that there
is no parking allowed on the NE side of the bridge. In this stream I have
found both bandfin and yellowfin shiners. The water is usually clear enough
2. From here we will travel approximately 23 miles north to the Little
Tennessee River near the intersection of US Highway 441 and GA Highway 246.
Approaching from the south side on 441, turn right onto GA 246. Make an
immediate right turn onto Retreat Lane. Bear to the right at the first and
second forks on this gravel road that terminates in a hayfield beside the
river. This property is owned by Ms. Kitty Wise, who has graciously granted
us access that day. If she comes down to check on us, y'all remember to
thank her. (-:
3. As we come back out on GA 246, we will turn right and travel 15 miles
along one of the finest stretches of road in the South. As we cross the NC
state line, GA Highway 246 becomes NC Highway 106, where we will begin
climbing into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and skirting the
edge of the Nantahala National Forest. (BTW, the bounty on fugitive Eric
Robert Rudolph is still in effect if you're looking for some extra cash!)
You'll notice an almost immediate drop in the heat and humidity as we climb
this extremely winding road. If you are prone to car sickeness, your
drammamine tablets are definitely called for at this time. We will stop for
lunch at an excellent barbeque restaurant in Highland, NC, just after we
turn south on NC Highway 28. A hardware store at this location sells 1-day
NC non-resident fishing licenses for $10.
3. After we eat, we will go about 5 miles south on NC Highway 28 and turn
right on Blue Valley Road for one half mile. Then, we turn right on Clear
Creek Road for 7/10 of a mile to the bridge over Clear Creek. This is an
obscure, overgrown stream that is not easy to enter, but well worth the
effort. In very brief sampling recently I found yellowfin shiners of both
the yellow finned and orange finned varieties in the same pull of the net.
Make sure you release any trout immediately as most states will not
negotiate with you about trout found in your collecting bucket.
4. As we retrace our path back out to NC 28, we will go south for 8 miles,
crossing back into GA, and arriving at the Chattooga River, which forms the
border there between GA and SC. This river is quite popular, and we may
have to work our way around fishermen, etc., and endure the ever-present
"gawk factor." After a brief backtrack up GA 28, we will turn left on War
Woman Road, and follow it 17 miles westward, coming out again on US Highway
441 in Clayton, GA. If you are not thoroughly pooped or too loaded down with
fishes at that point, Stekoa Creek is nearby.
This is a resort area, so the motel rates are not really cheap on the
weekends. About the best I found for a double room is $71 at the Shoney's
Inn in Clayton, GA. For reservations call 1-800-334-2214. Campsites near
the Gorge (some with electricity) run about $20 per night.
So, do you want to wait and read about the trip later, or would you rather
be a part of it? Come on down! (Or "up" to you, Doug!)
All The Best,
Steven A. Ellis
NANFA GA Regional Representative
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