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Coming Soon to a Georgia River Near You!!


    This picture (above) was taken on the Chestatee River above Lake Lanier. According to the Hovercraft Atlanta website, the Chestatee offers good cruising as far as twenty miles above the lake.  Having just stumbled upon this website today, I am not sure if I want legislation passed to prevent this or if I want to start saving for a hovercraft of my own. It sounds like one of Jim Nielson's new fishing innovations! According to the (admittedly not much) research I did today, you can cruise your local river at top speeds of 30 to 50 miles per hour, and a tankful of gas can get you around 100 miles. The bad news is that a hovercraft will set you back just a tad, as the recreational models (like those pictured above) start at around $10,000 or so. Don't despair, however. You can purchase kits and build your own for a couple thousand bucks and I saw used hovercraft for around $1,000.

    The picture above was taken at Horseshoe Rapid on the Chattahoochee above Lake Lanier. Many of you have braved this rapid or possibly pulled a shoal bass from here. I wonder if these guys caught any? I guess my main concern with these things is safety. I'm not in the habit of having to look both ways before crossing the river, and I'm pretty sure my canoe would lose in a collision. 

    Well, since I don't live in Atlanta anymore I believe I'm safe. The rest of you might need to have airbags installed in your kayaks or wear crash helmets to the creek, but I ought to be safe. Think again, Sam!! The picture of that joyrider above was taken at Sprewell Bluff on the Flint River. You can check out the different rivers frequented by Atlanta Hovercraft on their website, but the Coosawattee, Etowah, Chestatee, Little, and Chattahoochee rivers are but a few of the rivers that have been visited by the hovercrafters along with a bunch of premier smallmouth streams in North Carolina and Tennessee.

    I'll admit this much: It looks like fun. It also seems like hovercraft probably have a minimal negative effect on the environment. It could be worse. At least they aren't using dredging machines to help them search for gold like they do on the upper Etowah. One website even touts the benefits of hovercraft to fishermen seeking to reach that special, secluded spot. Hmmmmm... It does present a few possibilities.

    Still, my first reaction to hovercrafters on Georgia rivers is not positive. I could change my mind on this, but I don't think what my outdoor experience needs is a bunch of noise and boats whizzing by at 40 miles per hour. I can go to any lake for that. I doubt that the hovercraft is going to be a huge craze or present a statewide menace to the rivers we love so dearly, but to me, this is certainly not a positive development. I'll be interested to see what others have to say about "Georgia River Flying" on the GRF Message Board. In the meantime, I'm going to start saving up in case this hovercraft thing catches on. 


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