Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Fly Fishing for Spotted Bass on Georgia’s Etowah River

Andy Bowen is happy to release a spotted bass
Fortunate to have discovered the Barnsley Resort several years ago, each successive visit further reveals outdoor endeavors to enjoy. Any visit includes the sporty feeling that comes with driving the twisting roads that lead to Adairsville, located in the foothills of North Georgia about an hour North of Atlanta. One can stay in the brand new Inn at Barnsley Resort, and tour the ruins of the 19th century manor house located behind the formal gardens. Lots of activities are based on their property but a fishing trip for spotted bass required a drive to nearby Cartersville to link up with the guides from Cohutta Fishing Company.

What A Cast!
While the resort does have ponds for guests to fish in, they also sensed the need to present other options that might appeal to the sporting gentleman. Local business owner and lifelong fly fishing enthusiast Andy Bowen agreed to provide guide services from his Cohutta Fishing Company, named after the Cohutta Wilderness Area located in extreme North Georgia. As a much younger man I ventured into the Cohutta mountain area to camp and to fish for coldwater trout, and when that trip was over I was hungry and had a new respect for the vertical terrain of that area present in every trail and stream.
Clack-A-Craft Ready To Fish
Lucky for me the fishing trip for spotted bass on the Etowah River involves a lazy boat ride downstream in a 15-foot Clacka Craft drift boat under the command of a fishing guide. Head guide Garner Reid would handle the two oars on the boat while Andy Bowen would fish from the bow and I would cast my fly from the aft position. We put in at Hardin Bridge and floated one section of what is know as the Etowah River Water Trail, finishing up at Rome Highway. I was required to purchase a Georgia fishing license but Cohutta Fishing Company provided the rods, flies and all the necessary knowledge for a successful trip.

To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

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