The United States Forest Service manages the commercial use of the Tellico River watershed, located inside of the Cherokee National Forest. Southeastern Anglers is permitted by the United States Forest Service to operate inside of the Cherokee National Forest in the Tellico River Watershed.
The Tellico Watershed is located in the Cherokee National Forest of southern Tennessee. It’s one of the largest freestone trout streams in the east. The Tellico River is a rough and tumble stream the holds trout for over 18 miles between the headwaters in North Carolina and the town of Tellico Plains. The Tellico is stocked heavily during the spring and summer seasons and requires anglers to purchase a daily Tellico/Citico permit. The area also offers numerous small streams that are full of wild rainbow, brown and native brook trout. These smaller streams include The North River, The Bald River, and Sycamore Creek.
Tellico River Insects
The Tellico region is a wade only destination. The best times of year for visiting the Tellico are from April through early August and October through March. The best insect activity occurs in early spring through mid-summer as we see everything from yellow sallies to large black stones, olives to green drakes, and black caddis to grannoms. Summer time fare often includes ants and other terrestrial patterns. Nymph fishing is very productive on most streams before and during the peak hatch activity.
Tellico River Delayed Harvest (DH)
The fall season begins with the start of the Delayed Harvest (DH). The DH begins on October first and runs through the middle of March. During this time, a large section of the Tellico River is operated under Delayed Harvest regulations. Fishing is limited to single hook artificial flies and lures only and all fish must be released immediately. These regulations make for a fun and exciting fall and winter fishery.
The watershed is located along the Cherohala Skyway, which is a scenic roadway across the mountains into North Carolina. Many travelers enjoy the ride and the views from the mountaintops. Tellico Plains offers dining and some lodging and cabin rentals. Historic downtown Tellico Plains offers shopping at antique and specialty shops and a museum on the Skyway highlights the southern Appalachians. The Tellico is located 35 minutes from the Hiwassee River.