It’s no secret that I love to fly fish on Lake Martin, and around the Lake Martin area.
Yes, I know this evokes images of tweed wearing nerds looking for trout that don’t exist in the Alabama heat. However, the reality is that you can fly fish for anything you can catch by conventional tackle, but it might be a little more difficult. I tell people it’s kind of like hunting deer with a bow and arrow versus with a rifle.
Lately, we have had a real growth in the fly fishing community in our state. I get asked all the time where to fly fish around the Lake Martin area, where to stay, and what to do. I now have a different answer for that question
There is a new local spot called The Destination Resort. It is located between downtown Dadeville and Lake Martin. It is not on the shores of Lake Martin, but it is located on Sandy Creek. Sandy Creek feeds into Lake Martin.
The Destination has four glamping tents set up and also a main lodge. I think this would be a great spot for a fly fisher, or group of fly fishers to come and stay to explore our area.
I shot a video recently to explain this, so please see the link above.
But basically, if I were new to the Lake Martin area this is what I would do: Day One – I would hire East Alabama Fly Fishing. They have multiple float trips available on the Tallapoosa River. The Tallapoosa River is what flows into and creates Lake Martin.
East Alabama Fly Fishing is a great group of guides that are super nice, instructive, and knowledgeable about our area. They float down the Tallapoosa in inflatable rafts like you would see out west. They can accommodate two anglers per raft. They have multiple guides and rafts, so if you have a large group, they can help you out. Anyway, I would spend the first day at least with them; if not two days. They can show you the ins and outs of the Tallapoosa, where to put in and where to take out, etc. They can also school you on our local fishes like the Alabama Bass (aka Spotted Bass) and the Tallapoosa Redeye Bass.
In my opinion, the Tallapoosa Redeye is what you should be after. It is a local fish that exists nowhere else except in the Tallapoosa river drainage. It has been called the Brook Trout of Alabama because of the type of water it likes, how it lives and how it eats. It is a smaller fish, but super aggressive and a fun catch. After you spend the day guiding with East Alabama Fly Fishing, you can retreat to The Destination for your supper and perhaps some time to wade in Sandy Creek and fish there.
If you decide to go and have a self-guided trip on Day Two, I would suggest renting kayaks and floating the Tallapoosa yourself. There are multiple companies now that can help you do this. One of them is called Tallapoosa Wilds. They rent kayaks and also offer a shuttle service. They can give you all the details on how to manage the stretch of the Tallapoosa that is very popular. It is between Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, and Jaybird Boat Landing. Tallapoosa Wilds can help you out.
There’s also a new business called Float Alabama. They rent rafts and kayaks, etc. They also would be able to help. But again, if you do not feel confident on Day Two, I would just get East Alabama Fly Fishing to help you again. At the end of your own self guided float, you can retreat back to The Destination, perhaps fish Sandy Creek again, and relax.
I am super excited that we have more resources around Lake Martin now for fly fishing. If you are a fly angler like me, and live near, or like to visit Lake Martin, please let me know. I have created a Facebook group that is dedicated to Fly Anglers of the Lake Martin area.
It is for folks that not only fish on the lake, but also fly fish in the Tallapoosa and Coosa Rivers.
If you decide to hire any of the above folks, like The Destination Resort, East Alabama Fly Fishing, Tallapoosa Wilds, or Float Alabama, please let them know that John Coley sent you! I’m sure you will have fun!