Chattooga River, SC
Match wits with Appalachian browns
The Chattooga may be best known as the whitewater backwoods of Deliverance. But before it starts roiling, the river rolls gently through Appalachian woods, offering miles of classic trout water. The Chattooga River Trail starts in Georgia, but you should head 20 miles north, to the Ellicott Rock Wilderness, where browns and rainbows mix with the odd eastern brook trout. Above Burrells Ford Campground, hemlocks and wild rhododendron crowd the shoreline where three states meet, making the casting nearly as challenging as the catching. From the Burrells Ford trailhead, follow the river trail up the east bank for 3.1 miles to Ellicott Rock. The water here is often clear, so try light leaders and a delicate upstream presentation.
Order up the smoked ham at Oinkers BBQ in nearby Clayton, GA, where “swine dining” means everything is slow-cooked and fresh.
Head east 14 miles from Clayton to New Burrells Ford Road (FR 708); turn right (west) for the trailhead near the river.