Jacks River Brown Trout
Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Jacks River Georgia
Jacks River runs parallel with Georgia's Conasauga
River. It's in the Cohutta Wilderness Area and is a
tributary of the Conasauga River. I don't really
understand why it is because Jacks River is larger than
the Conasauga River. It joins the Conasauga  not far
from the Georgia-Tennessee state line just inside

Almost all of its waters are in either the Cohutta
Wilderness Area or the Chattahoochee National Forest.
Unlike the Conasauga River, Jacks River is formed
outside of public areas on private property. Jacks
River's West and South Forks merge to form the main
part of the river and both of these are on private

None of the upper river lies within a developed area but
it is accessible by roads. Like most small headwater
streams, these little branches are almost completely
enclosed with limbs that helps keep the water cool. They
hold a  population of native Appalachian brook trout.

One main feature of Jacks River is its sixty-foot high
waterfall. It's the only area of the river than gets much
attention from visitors. Most of the river sees very few
people and most of them are hikers and backpackers.
Few anglers fish this stream even though it contains a
good population of rainbow, brown and brook trout. The
reason for this isn't the lack of good fishing
opportunities. The lack of popularity stems from the fact
It's difficult to access. Those that go to the trouble to
hike to Jacks River are usually well rewarded. Its trout
are said to be larger than those of its neighbor, the
Conasauga River. Most of them are rainbows but there
are some brown trout and like its neighbor, it also hold
some large brown trout over 20 inches in length.

Jacks River Trail follows almost the entire length of the
river. It only crosses the river about forty times. You
have an alternative route to get there - Penitentiary
Branch Trail. Now I don't think I would want to watch the
movie "Deliverance" and then travel there on
Penitentiary Branch Trail, even though the movie was
filmed on the other side of the State of Georgia. Jacks
River may have been a better place to have filmed it. I
do wonder how Penitentiary Branch Trail got its name. I'll
bet I could make a good guess. It accesses the middle
section of the river but it's very steep and tough to
travel. The Beech Bottom Trail access the lower part of
the river. It's a long way to the river using Beech Bottom
Tail though. In other words, there isn't an easy access to
Jacks River. This helps keep the entire river in a wild
and rugged state for those that do want to go to the
trouble to fish it. Backcountry primitive camping is
allowed in the Cohutta Wilderness Area.

Jacks River depends on rainfall and melting snow for its
water. It is a pure freestone stream, so the water levels
vary greatly with the weather patterns and changes in
the season. It can be low in the late Summer and early
Fall and it can be dangerous to wade across  Jacks
River Trail during high water. It stays relatively clear
though, even after heavy rains.

If you want to explore some new streams and be as
assured as you could possible could be that you will not
be bothered by other anglers, Jacks River is a stream
you may want to try. Get ready to do some hiking and
make sure you fish with a partner. The rugged, remote
terrain along Jacks River wouldn't be a good place to
break a leg, especially if you were alone.

Seasonal regulations-check current conditions.
Spring is the best time of year to fish the river because
of the hatches.
The best fishing is confined to the brook trout waters.
Early autumn is a great time to fish. The fall foliage
along the stream is beautiful. Brown trout spawn in the

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Flies for the Jacks
Type of Stream

Brown Trout
Rainbow Trout
Brook Trout

Small to Medium

North Central Georgia

Nearest Towns

Seasonal = check current regulations

Fair but lots of hiking required

Non-Resident License
State of Georgia

National Weather Service Link

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Flies
Jacks River Georgia
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Photo Courtesy Steven Lamb
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More Georgia Trout Streams:
each of these other fine trout streams.
Click the links for fly fishing information
including descriptions of the streams,
access, location, species of fish, a fly
fishing guide, a fly fishing report, hatches
and recommended trout flies, fly fishing
gear and equipment, USGS stream data,
local weather and much, much more