Brothers, Ken and Gus Gustafson wading the Chestatee River.

Photos courtesy of Capt. Gus
Capt. Gus holds a trophy rainbow trout.
Brothers, Ken and Gus Gustafson wading the Chestatee River.

Every now and then it’s nice to fish different places! When my brother, Ken Gustafson of Charleston, SC suggested a fly fishing trip for trophy rainbow trout, I jumped at the opportunity.

Ken had developed a friendship with fishing and hunting guide, Marc Thompson (, who has access to over 4000 acres of private hunting and fishing grounds. We fished a stream full of rainbow trout, some over thirty inches in length, on the Chestatee River near Dahlonega, Ga. The land and area surrounding section of the river is known as Frog Hollow.

Our fishing expedition began with a twenty inch rainbow on the first cast. As a rule, to catch a fish on the first cast is a bad omen, but not on this day! Brother Ken landed three fish from a pool beside a set of beautiful rapids before I had my first strike. All the while, the three of us marveled at the beauty of the North Georgia foothills and the Chestatee River Valley’s fabulous fishing.

Like any fishing trip, catching them is only a small part of the total experience. We stayed in a one hundred year old log cabin nestled on the side of a mountain. Two hundred feet below was a fast moving stream. This sparsely populated area had an abundance of wildlife. We saw numerous deer during our stay. But the most exciting moment came when Marc was grilling on the deck and two bears came to eat the seeds from the bird feeder.

The second morning started much like the first, with Ken catching the first two and me taking pictures of his success. The final rainbow was hooked at 10:30 a.m. and we bid farewell to each other and to Frog Hollow.

Stocking Stuffers:

  • Filet Knife w/sheath – $9.99 up
  • Fishing Cap – $7.99 up
  • Fishing Pliers – $7.99 up
  • Plastic Fishing Tackle Storage Boxes – $3.99 up
  • Sabiki Flies – $1.99 Pkg. up
  • The Angler Magazine – free – available at tackle shops and sporting goods stores

Proverb – A fishing rod is a stick with a hook on one end and a fool on the other.

Tips from Capt. Gus: To see fish and objects under water, wear a good pair of polarized sunglasses.

Hot Spots of the Week: Spotted bass and hybrids are feeding on the surface early and late. Others are suspended in water to sixty feet wherever they find baitfish during the day. When fishing deep, baits of choice are drop-shot rigs, jigging spoons, bucktails and Alabama-rigs. Anglers with live baits are catching their share on shad, herring and shiners (bass minnows). White perch are hitting small minnows and Sabiki rigs, as usual, in the same areas where spotted bass and hybrids are feeding.

Good starting spots are in the old river channel between markers 18 to 24, or Hicks and Stumpy Creeks above the Highway 150 Bridge. Farther south, are concentrations of fish in Mountain, Little, Reed and Davidson Creeks. That’s a lot of water to cover, so to save time, watch for diving sea birds and clusters of boats fishing in deep water.

Lake Norman is about 1.5 feet below full pond and 2.5 feet below at Mountain Island Lake. The water surface temperature is in the high fifties and low sixties.