Chattooga River, an Aerial View

Hey everyone! If you subscribe to our email newsletter you’ll have already heard the news that we’ve added a Mavic Pro drone to our camera equipment collection to get some really cool shots of places that we explore! If you haven’t subscribed yet you can at the top of this page or click here! Email is how we get in contact with all of our readers about new content, upcoming posts, and adventures! In the last email, I let everyone know of plans to check out the snorkel hole at the Conasauga River, camp out for the weekend, and get some of the first shots in the mountains with the new drone. Sadly, as Georgia weather is as unpredictable as always, the trip got rained out. We were going to spend the whole weekend there, but it stormed all weekend. So that promise got postponed, and for that, I apologize. Because that was the only weekend that work and other obligations have allowed for the whole weekend to be spent in the woods, we took a day trip to the Chattooga River this past Saturday where we’ve been backpacking many, many times.   The Drone The Mavic Pro. It was …

Camp • Plant Trees • Change Lives | Madera & Bone On Sportswear

Hey Guys! I have HUGE news! If you follow us on facebook you’ve probably already heard the news, but I can go a bit more in depth here at Explore-North-Georgia.com. I’ve been chosen to be an ambassador for an amazing company called Madera Outdoor & I’ve been sent some gear to check out from a company called Bone On Sportswear! This is a huge step for Explore North Georgia, as our follow count is just picking up! So thanks to you guys, this is possible! Bone On Sportswear –  First off, huge thanks to Eli at Bone On Sportswear for setting me up with some amazing fishing gear. I’ve had the chance to check out the Outfitter Shirt, Sunset Henley Shirt, and the Heritage Chambray Shirt! The quality of these shirts are literally unmatched. The Outfitter is definitely my favorite though. It’s durable, versatile, and on top of that, it even looks amazing. I’ve worn it out on the water and to look nice going to dinner with my girlfriend’s parents. What more can you ask for in a shirt? Definitely, check them out, you won’t regret it! Check this Bone On Sportswear video out! Madera Outdoor – Second, I’ve been …

My First Go At Fly Tying

Over the past month or so I’ve been doing my best to learn how to tie my own flies. So far it’s becoming more and more of a success. Although I’m shooting big goals a bit early, I might as well share them. I’m hoping to master the art, and be able to get a shop opened up here at Explore-North-Georgia.com to sell the flies that I tie, and some supplies as well! Fly tying so far has been amazing. It’s a great skill to pick up, as you learn the characteristics of the flies that you fish with, you can still be involved with fishing at times that you can’t get out on the water, and it’s a great way to express creativity. I’ve always had this idea that fly tying would be extremely difficult, hard to learn, and more expensive than I can even imagine. Not that I was surprised, but this is mostly true. I’ve learned that you have to be very patient in the learning process. You have to be able to accept when your fly doesn’t look exactly how you planned it to, you’re going to waste some expensive supplies on flies that turn out …

The Fundamentals of Outdoor Safety

The Fundamentals of Outdoor Safety Staying safe in the woods to me is one of the most important things to plan for when preparing for a trip to the woods. Whether you’re camping, fishing, rock climbing, alone or in a group, you name it, it’s always important to have a plan just in case disaster strikes. The most common issue that I’ve ever run into while camping is cuts, bruises, and scrapes. These are pretty much unavoidable if you ever plan on camping, but that doesn’t mean to be careless. Thankfully I’ve never been alone when these things have happened so I’ve always had help getting my hands on a first aid kit and someone to help me bandage a wound up if it’s bad enough. The second most common issue (per my experience) are encounters with wildlife. Jacks River Falls is my go-to weekend backpacking spot. At Jacks River alone I’ve seen three different species of snakes, wild boar, and foxes all on the same trip. Thankfully I’ve never had an encounter with a bear, but I know they’re out there.   Being Prepared First off, let me say that you can never be too prepared, because you never …

Keep On Keepin’ On; Brown and Wild Rainbow Trout

Okay guys, sappy post time! Last Saturday the weather was forecasted to be nice, so what is there to do other than fish? I wanted to try a new place, but I was having a hard time deciding where to go. I have a book called “Fly Fisher’s Guide to North Carolina and Georgia” (click to find it on Amazon) so I decided to browse through it and see what I could find. I had the set intentions of catching a native brook trout or a brown trout as I’ve never caught either of these before. I wasn’t sure where to go other than the Chattooga (where I watch a good friend catch a beautiful brookie), but I only had the one day to spend, and it’s about a mile and a half hike to the best spots to fish there. I kept looking and looking and it seemed like Coopers Creek was going to be my best option, but I was dead wrong. I got to Coopers Creek around 6:45 AM, and it was nothing like I’d expected. It was wider than most of the small streams in Georgia that I’ve experienced, and with all the rain we’ve had …

Check Out These Helpful References!

So, this is a bit different than our other posts, but I wanted to make an update so everyone knows the option is here. If you look at the top menu of the site under “References” you’ll find links (“Georgia DNR Quick Links”) to Georgia DNR’s website where you can find weekly stocking reports, phone numbers for DNR Rangers, purchase fishing licenses, etc. I’ve also added “Fly Shops/Outfitters” and “Trout Fishing Regulations” tabs in the drop-down menu for quick reference. The “Trout Fishing Regulations” page is more or less copy and pasted off of the DNR website, but there’s a link in that post that will take you to the actual DNR website. It will have all the info you need to stay within the rules and regulations of trout fishing. The “Fly Shop/Outfitters” page has a list of phone numbers, websites, and map locations of the fly shops that I prefer (based on staff, selection, and convenience). Alpharetta Outfitters is my favorite one as their staff is phenomenal. They’re knowledgeable, helpful, and extremely friendly. I would highly recommend taking your business to them. The Fish Hawk is another good shop, although their staff seemed a little bit quieter and reserved. …

Leave No Trace, Do Your Part!

Pack In, Pack out! Leave No Trace, in my opinion, is one of the simplest concepts to understand, and it should be extremely important to anyone and everyone who is stepping out of the world to enjoy nature. Leave no trace (also known as “Pack in, pack out”) simply means that when you get off the trail or leave one site to go to another, there should be no evidence that you were ever there other than some footprints and fresh ashes where you put out your fire. One thing to consider is that leave no trace doesn’t only mean take your trash with you when you leave, it means to be considerate of what’s around you. Take care when hanging hammocks or slacklines to make sure that you don’t damage the trees, choosing a clear spot for tents and not disrupting undergrowth, and respecting wildlife are major factors. Food   Something that many people don’t think about is packing out extra food or food scraps. When you make a dinner and have leftovers, pack the extra with you. The food we eat is not intended for animals and can make them sick. If it’s a natural food such as …

Backpacking Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for the Beginning Backpacker

In our most previous post, we talked about preparing for your first backpacking trip. We covered basics of clothing (layering and protection from the elements), choosing a basic shelter setup, sleeping bags, ground pads, and several other backpacking basics. Our goal for this post is to provide a little bit more in-depth explanations and “how-to’s” on basic backpacking skills. Some of the areas that we’ll cover in this post are; packing efficiently, starting a fire in wet conditions, keeping you and your gear dry, a simple first-aid packing list, and a handful of little shortcuts that will make your trip a little bit easier and less expensive if you don’t already have all of the latest greatest gadgets. If you have any added tips or suggestions please leave them in the comment section below! Packing   Knowing how to pack correctly is critical, especially when it’s a long trip or a multi-day trip. Properly packing will both save space, and reduce the weight of your pack, making the physical stress of carrying your gear a little bit easier. The good thing about saving space is that you’ll have room in your pack, so your gear isn’t ripping the zippers. Also if …

Preparing For Your First Backpacking Trip

Per my experience, you can never be 100% prepared for your first trip. There’s always going to be that one thing you forgot, that one thing you didn’t prepare for, or the one thing you didn’t even know that you would need. I remember my very first backpacking trip to the Chattooga River Trail. It was a bit of a crazy trip, to say the least. It was three of my close friends and me, all at the age of sixteen. I wasn’t sure what I needed to pack, or how to pack light. I hiked the 6-mile trail with an overly heavy sleeping bag (for “car camping”) that my parent’s handed down to me from years before, I wore a pair of heavy work boots, a 60L pack that was so full I had to start hanging things off of the back of it, and way more food (and not substantial food), all for a two-day summer trip. I swear for a week my entire body ached in ways that I never knew it could. This all being said, don’t misunderstand me and think that you have to go out and spend a fortune on gear, especially on your …

GoPro Karma Grip Test at Smith Creek

My Experience The GoPro Karma Grip is a must-have tool if you plan on using your GoPro for well, anything the GoPro is supposed to be used for other than stationary mounting. I recently acquired my Karma Grip as a gift, and it’s been the most useful filming tool that I’ve used yet, aside from the GoPro itself. As you’ve seen in the 2017 Compilation Video (if you haven’t, it’s on the home page) most if not all of the video is a bit shaky. This is fine if you’re not looking to make anything of your video, or you specifically are wanting a shaky video (to each their own). The Karma Grip solves this issue, in my opinion, far better than I expected. This past weekend I headed up to one of my favorite fishing spots that I recently posted about, Smith Creek, to give it a try for the first time out in the field, and I was honestly shocked at how smooth the video turned out. The Karma Grip includes a mounting ring that allows you to mount the grip on any mount that you would typically mount just your GoPro to, so I decided to give …