Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Trip Report - Hiwassee River 9/11


I had hoped this would be a striper report. I have been hearing rumors about good striper fishing on the Hiwassee lately, so I went there on Monday (9/10) lugging a big nine weight and flies the sizes of small birds. That evening I threw every big streamer in my box until around . Nothing. Tuesday morning I was back on the river at and beat the water to a froth again for stripers but they never put in an appearance. So that’s why we’re going to be talking about trout.
Anyway, around I noticed a few trout rising here and there, so I threw the nine weight back in the tube and broke out the five weight. The trout were a lot more cooperative and I caught several rainbows in the 10-12 inch range, all by swinging a ginger soft hackle pheasant tail. Fished the Towhee Creek area first until around and then hit Big Bend for a couple of hours. Plenty of fish in both areas.



TVA was pulsing the water releases at Apalachia. One turbine on for an hour (around 1200 cfs if memory serves) and then off for three hours. I took several water temp. readings as I fished and the temperature was consistently in the 62-63 degree range. Not bad, especially for this river at this time of the year. In years past the Hiwassee has had some issues with 70 plus water temps during late summer. Obviously this isn’t ideal for the trout, so it was nice to see the colder temps. I think this bodes well for fall and winter up there. There could be some great fishing up on the Hiwassee later in the year. Didn’t see much in the way of hatches or insect activity. I saw a few caddis fluttering around but that was about it. I figure the sporadic rises I saw were trout picking these bugs off.
Haven’t been to the Hiwassee in a while and it was good to be back. I learned to fly fish on this river, so I have a bit of a soft spot for the old girl. By all accounts, it has been a good year up there. Water temperatures have stayed low and the fishing has been excellent. I don’t fish the Hiwassee as much as I used to because I’ve developed a taste for small mountain streams and solitude. This river is a big tailwater and sees quite a bit of use from anglers, tubers, etc. If you’re looking for solitude, this isn’t your river. It was crowded even on a Tuesday. Still, few rivers can match the Hiwassee for sheer beauty. The scenery alone is reason enough to make the trip. It also happens to be full of trout (and striper, though I’m beginning to have my doubts). If you’re considering a trip, go here for all the info you’ll ever need about the Hiwassee. Also, remember that this is a tailwater and the TVA release schedules are important. The river is largely wadeable with 0 or 1 turbine releases like what I saw today. A two turbine release is another story. The cfs jumps up to 2800 and you do not want to be caught out the middle of the river when that release comes through. Go here for TVA release schedules. Go to “Reservoir Info” and then click “Apalachia” in the dropdown box on the right side of the screen.

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