Hiwassee River, Reliance Tn.
The Tennessee Valley Authority has been giving us a mixed bag as far as the release schedule goes, but that’s about the only uncertainty that we have on the river right now. The fishing here on the Hiwassee is good. Our guides are reporting high catch rates using a wide variety of flies and spinning tackle. All the standard nymph patterns seem to be working very well, but the bead head prince and a bead head Cadillac pheasant tail seem to on the top of the list. We are having some very nice hatches on the water. Hendrickson’s have been coming off for the past month along with a nice mix of other bugs. As May gets closer we will start seeing more of our Sulphurs as the month goes on and the dry fly fishing will be excellent. If you planning on fishing the Sulphur hatch here on the Hiwassee be ready with a variety of patterns to match the hatch as sometimes the fish will get picky. If you have not fishing on the Hiwasse River lately, then you need to come see what you have been missing.
Tellico River, Tellico plains Tn.
This is the time of year when the Tellico River really starts to shine its brightest. The water has warmed up just enough so that the bugs will hatch and on any given day you never know what you might see. The water levels are usually running about right this time of year as well. The main hatch for a bit was the Quill Gordon, but they have slacked up some and we are seeing a nice mix of bugs on the sunny days now. Deep nymphing and swinging streamers have been the most productive fishing techniques for us on our past several outings, but anglers need to be ready to switch it up with a dry fly on a moments notice.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency is stocking the main river on a weekly basis, so it is closed to fishing on both Thursdays and Fridays. However all of the tributary streams are open 7 days a week and they are fishing very well. Make sure to get your daily permit if you are planning on fishing in the Tellico/Citico area it's an easy thing to forget about and the rangers will be more than happy to remind you of this if you forget.
Holston River, Strawberry Plains Tn.
Nestled into the hills of East Tennessee lies a portion of the Holston River that is an excellent tail water fishery, that is if you like both trout and small mouth fishing. The section of river that I am speaking of is not a secret, it is fairly well known to many people across our great state, but it is often overlooked by many anglers. Technically you could say that we are fishing on the headwaters of the Tennessee River as the dam itself is located 52 miles upstream from the confluence with the French Broad River.
I think it’s fair to say that most of the people that fish the Holston come to the upper sections of river where there is an abundance of trout. There are roughly 20 miles or so of trout water on the Holston River below Cherokee Dam. Now the lower portions may only hold fish while the water temperatures stay cool enough to sustain them, but as with most tail water fisheries the trout will move upstream to find more suitable habitat during the later summer months. Rainbow trout are the primary species we catch here on the upper sections with the occasional brown or two thrown into the mix. We have a nice average size of fish here with 12-14 inch trout being very common and fish in the 18-20 inch range are caught on a regular basis as well. The Holston is home to a very large population and variety of caddis and midges. In the early spring the caddis hatches that occur here are prolific. The bugs are plentiful and yes, like the trout on just about every other river the fish can be picky.
Holston River is an excellent spring time fishery for trout on the dry fly. When the caddis start the fishing can really heat up and keep anglers of all skill level busy. If you like variety on a fishery then you need to come fish the Holston. The trout are fat, fiesty, and we won't even start to talk about the smallmouth. The Holston River is one of the best spring time fisheries in the state. It usually only takes a person one trip here and they quickly realize why.