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July Stream Review - Smith's Creek

Looking for a place to take the family while still being able to enjoy a full day of quality flyfishing? Smith's Creek may be what you are waiting for.

As any mountain traveler can testify, Anna Ruby Falls is a destination not to miss. The source of the falls mark the intersection of Curtis and York Creek which tumble 153 feet to form Smith Creek. Although fishing is not permitted near the falls or along the hiking trail to the base, it is permitted from the end of the parking lot downstream all the way to Unicoi Lake and beyond to the Chattahoochee. The trophy trout below the overlook at the visitor center are a site to see. Here you can purchase handfull of pellet food and fatten up the local fish or hike up the half-mile foot path to the base of the falls.

For the fisherman Smith creek offers some unique opportunities. The lower portion near the picnic area is heavily stocked and can provide a day of fun for a youngster with a pole and a can of corn. The upper portion however offers a different scenario. Although the upper section is fairly small, it contains a wealth of medium to large pools where fish will hold.

Although I have yet to see one in its waters, it is said that Smith Creek is one of the rare Georgia jewels that contain Georgia's only native trout, the brook trout. I have spent quite a bit of time at Smith Creek over the last several months and have enjoyed good fishing on most of my outings. Most fish will range 5-9" and can be taken on almost anything that is presented correctly.

Another interesting affection of Smith Creek is the possibilty of hooking into a trophy fish. Several times a year, during the heavy rains, the trophy fish at the visitor center are known to drop down to some of the lower pools and are rarely retrieved which means that there are likely a few 18" plus fish in the fishable section below the parking lot. They would most likely be taken on their daily staple a pellet, or pellet imitation, something I have been meaning to try.

Anna Ruby Falls/Smith Creek is open from 9 a.m. to dusk most days and can be reached by heading north out of Helen. Go one mile and turn right on 356 and look for the sign on the left to the parking area. A park pass is required and can be purchased at the park for $2.00. The Anna Ruby Falls Visitor Center can be reached at 706-878-3537.

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