As the spring-fed Soque River tumbles through the Appalachian foothills less than two hours north of Atlanta, it takes a wide turn where it passes the stone-and-timber Brigadoon Lodgecreating a spectacular habitat for wild trout. From the slate patio, surrounded by 300-year-old rhododendrons and old-growth hemlock stands, watch arm-length rainbows and browns lurk in clear green pools while mist rises off the distant Blue Ridge Mountains.
ROOM & BOARD: Along the steep bank of the Soque (pronounced SOH-qwee) sits the main lodge, Brigadoon, and its two cabins, Craggamore and Oban. All 15 guest rooms have hardwood floors, Persian throw rugs, and antique angling decor. After an epic day of fly-fishing, watch the sun drop below towering oaks from the requisite rocking chair on the lodge's front porch as tree frogs start their evening chirp. Then head for the cherry-wood ten-top in the communal great roompast a baby grand piano and richly upholstered furniture that smacks of the aristocratic hunting establishments of the Old South. It's the stage for pecan-crusted trout, wild-mushroom risotto, and bananas Foster.
OUT THE BACK DOOR: Thanks to a strict catch-and-release policy, this private two-mile stretch of river has the region's highest concentration of trout. Put away the rod and hike the neighboring 750,000-acre Chattahoochee National Forest, or mountain-bike nearby Unicoi State Park. DETAILS: $125 per person, plus $300 daily fishing fee; 706-754-2229, www.briga-doonlodge.com