Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Outfitter in Helen, Georgia

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Unicoi Outfitters

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Outfitters

Phone icon706-878-3083 Email iconflyfish@unicoioutfitters.com Link iconunicoioutfitters.com
7280 S. Main St.
Helen, GA 30545

Orvis is pleased to offer our travel customers access to two valuable services: Global Rescue travel membership and IMG Signature Travel Insurance℠.

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The Story

Enjoy the expertise of the staff at Orvis-Endorsed Unicoi Outfitters when you go fly fishing in Georgia. If you're coming to the Atlanta, Georgia, or Greenville, South Carolina area and have some leisure time at your disposal, Unicoi Outfitters can have you on the water fishing in less than 90 minutes. We have USFS special use permits to guide on the Chattooga River (America's first designated Wild and Scenic River as well as 26 streams in the Chattahoochee National Forest across north Georgia.

In addition to the multiple public fishing opportunities, we have access to several private streams managed for trophy trout, including exclusive access to the 1.5 mile section of the Chattahoochee River at Nacoochee Bend adjacent to our shop.

The guide staff at Unicoi Outfitters are all fanatical fly anglers with a passion to introduce their guests to the amazing fishery resources found here in north Georgia. From the novice to the experienced, we cater your trip to your wants and desires. If you're traveling solo or as a family or business group, we have the ability to outfit everyone and give them a truly unique angling experience.

In 2022 Unicoi Outfitters celebrates 28 years serving the fly-fishing community, offering the best in guided fishing, fly-fishing tackle, and supplies in north Georgia.

In 2018, Unicoi Outfitters was honored to be chosen as the Orvis-Endorsed Fly Shop of the Year. This honor is given to only one Orvis-affiliated shop each year and is a measure of our commitment to provide the very best in angling opportunities to our guests. We have also been recognized as a Gold Level Business Member of Trout Unlimited for our contributions to the conservation of cold water resources in the Southeast. Our role as a leader in the conservation of our fisheries is at the heart of all we do. Come to north Georgia and experience the diversity!

Unicoi Outfitters opened in 1994 on the banks of the Chattahoochee River outside the quaint Alpine village of Helen, Georgia. Since those days of erratic operating schedules because staff members decided to go fishing rather than open the shop, we have grown into a fully-stocked shop that carries all the best in fly-fishing gear and is open every day of the year except Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our goal is to help you have the best angling experience possible when you hit the water. The experienced staff in our shop will guide you in selecting the most appropriate rod, reel, line, flies, and accessories to improve your odds for a successful trip regardless of whether you are joining us on a guided trip or fishing solo. We’ll even give you a map showing you the best places to fish and tell you how to fish them.

We stock fishing kayaks, the largest selection of coldwater and warmwater flies in the region, an extensive inventory of fly tying materials, vises and tying tools, technical fishing apparel, boots, waders, and quality polarized eyewear. We think you’ll find Unicoi Outfitters to be the most well-stocked small fly shop you’ve ever visited. And if we don’t have what you’re looking for, we’ll order it and have it shipped directly to you.

Gear Recommendations:

For trophy trout, a minimum 5 wt. outfit is required. 7 wt. recommended for shoal bass and 8 or 9 wt. for stripers.

Chest waders are recommended for wading trips.

What to Bring:

  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Georgia fishing license and trout license if fishing in trout streams (may be purchased online or at the shop)
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Snacks
  • Water


  • October-June: Trophy trout fishing on private waters
  • October-June: Public water fishing for wild and stocked trout
  • November-May: Lake and river fishing for striped bass
  • April-November: River fishing for shoal bass


Rainbow, brown and brook trout on private trophy water, stocked, and wild fish on public streams. Shoal bass in the Chattahoochee River. Landlocked striped bass and spotted bass in Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River


Fishing with Unicoi Outfitters typically involves southern Appalachian mountain and foothills streams with moderately-easy access to all but the most remote wild trout destinations. Some hiking along developed trails may be necessary when accessing the Chattooga River or on walk-in wade trips for shoal bass. All of our private trophy trout streams offer very convenient access with very little hiking.

Typical Weather:

  • FALL: Average high temperature between 61-79 degrees F; average low 36-56.
  • WINTER: Average high 50-54; average low 27-29.
  • SPRING: Average high 62-77; average low 35-50.
  • SUMMER: Average high 83-86; average low 59-63.

Average rainfall is 4-6 inches per month, with the fall being slightly drier.

Guided fishing starts at $230 per half-day.
Complete pricing information is available at www.unicoioutfitters.com/rates

What is Provided:

Guided fishing includes rod, reel, waders, and flies.
Clients are welcome to bring their own gear.

Do you take children on fly fishing trips?

We find that children 10 and over can have a great time fishing with us.

Can you handle group outings?

We feel we can provide a great experience to groups of 10 or less and regularly host small corporate groups.

Do we have to provide our own gear?

Unicoi Outfitters welcomes you to bring your own gear if you like. If you would prefer, we can provide you with appropriate Orvis gear at no additional charge on our guided trips. Flies, waders and boots are all part of the package. Just bring your hat and sunglasses and we're ready to go!

Is it all fly fishing or do you offer any conventional gear fishing opportunities?

All our trout fishing trips are fly fishing only. We do offer both shoal bass and striper trips using conventional spinning tackle.

What if I've never fly fished before?

Unicoi Outfitters prides itself on teaching newcomers to the sport, and we have a special introduction to fly fishing called the Gilligan Special'it's the three hour tour that leads to a lifetime of adventure!

Additional Activities:

Northeast Georgia is a tremendous region of historical significance in the development of our country. The evidence of Pre-Columbian Native Americans communities is found all along the rivers we fish. Our area was home to the Cherokee until gold was discovered on Dukes Creek and thus began the tragedy of the Trail of Tears.

The influx of Europeans to north Georgia was marked by severe mining and logging to the point of decimation of the mountains and the streams during the 1800s. Thankfully, Mother Nature is resilient and today you can only find remnants of these activities hidden among the almost 900,000 acres of the Chattahoochee National Forest. These days it's whitewater rafting on the Chattooga River, hiking into the depths of Tallulah Gorge or climbing to the top of Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia. The Appalachian Trail begins on Springer Mountain just a little over an hour west of our shop. If you're looking for an adventure for the day, there are numerous waterfall hikes and mountain bike trails in the area.

If entertainment is your goal, the Alpine village of Helen, GA straddles the Chattahoochee River and provides many of the family activities found in and around amusement parks.

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