Mountain Fishing, Fly Fishing, Trout, Bass, Rivers, Lakes, Trout Streams
Follow us on... Twitter Become a Fan... Highlander on Facebook Mountain Blogs... Highlander Blogs Mountain Events
& Festivals
Calendar of Events Sign up for
Highlander Newsletter
Messages from the Mountains

Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountain • Lakes • Rivers • Trout Streams

Book a Guided Fishing Trip...

Fishing Report...April 2012

  • The DH section of the upper Toccoa River in the vicinity of Dial… The guides of Reel Angling Adventures are taking advantage of good seasonal river flows to float not only the special-regulation waters off Aska and Old Dial roads, but we’re extending the float into a 4 ½-mile run through the upper Toccoa’s best trout water. The river is running at prime flows and brook trout have been the main attraction the last few weeks! Looks the GDNR stocked ‘em strong, as the majority of trout taken by our clients throughout the stretch have been brookies up to 14 inches! Dry-fly action is on and off, but watch for trout rising on the seams. Drop a Tan Caddis or Blue-Winged Olive on the twists and turns and you’ll get their attention. Otherwise, keep deep-dredging with stonefly nymphs and pulling streamers. Those stand-bys are taking fish daily.

  • The Toccoa River tailwater at Blue Ridge Dam… A couple untimely thunderstorms ran the lower Toccoa River dirty just the day before two client trips, so we lost those floats on this great tailwater to Mother Nature. Still, numbers of trout caught on the tailwater continue to grow strong but the riverway has been relegated to wade-fishing only for more than two weeks. TVA is running water releases at just 120 cfs, which is too little flow for floating a drift boat. That leaves public opportunities to the public-access sites at Horseshoe Bend Park (McCayesville), the Curtis Swith Road access site operated by the TVA, and Tammen Park, located in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Dam. The usual suspects are taking trout – various spinners and spoons – but don’t overlook the seasonal fly patterns to include Quill Gordons and Hendricksons. To support the community's call for special fishing regulations on the Toccoa tailwater, please see the regulations proposal (dated Sept. 8, 2010) and the reports of the follow-up public meetings on the matter by visiting the website of the Toccoa River Watershed Coalition at: http://toccoariverwatershedcoalition.org/Watershed_conservation.html#dec2meeting
  • The DH section of the Nantahala River, NC... is fishing as normal for April -- it's GREAT! And it’s better yet later this month after the state stocks its last segment of browns, ‘bow and brookies under the special-regulation period. With water temperatures already at 60 degrees, the spring fishery is expanding quickly through the boulder gardens. Don’t overlook those long stretches of braided water. Some days, you’ll find fish at every seam, chute, lane and plunge. Dry-fly fishing now centers on Hendricksons and tan Caddisflies, but try fishing them with a small dropper nymph such as Copper John patterns in green, natural and burgundy body colors. The “Nanty” is your best nearby location for completing the Appalachian Slam -- catching brookies, browns and rainbows in the same day from the same water. And some of those fish caught can easily stretch beyond the 20-inch mark of a trophy trout.
  • The Hiwassee River tailwater at Reliance, TN... is fishing very well, but TVA has our guide team restricted to wading trips only. For several weeks, the powerhouse operation has been under the seasonal “pulse” schedule. Daily, this means the TVA operates one turbine for one hour, then shuts it down for three hours, before running it again just one hour and shutting it down again for three hours. This pattern is typical of the daylight hours, but TVA has been operating under this schedule around the clock. With drift boats out of the picture for now, look for great wading conditions up and down the riverway, with the best water standing in reach at the key shoals. Hendricksons, tan Caddisflies and March Browns keep the dry-fly action fast and furious. Some anglers choose to scatter from the riverway when the pulse flows approach and run their anxiety levels up. But in just an hour or so, the flows fall back and the next three hours leave the entire riverway once again exposed to your best wading period of the year. Large boulders, sharp ledges, deep troughs and woody debris point your way toward catch rates of 20 to 40 trout a day (well more on the best days!). Streamers, nymphs and dry flies all have their place on this most beautiful of places to throw a fly line.
  • The DH section of the Chattooga River... on the GA-SC border southeast of Clayton is 3 miles of the what arguably is the prettiest trout water across the southern Applachian Mountains. This special-regulation fishing area, upstream from the Highway 28 bridge, are features an environment that repeats the traditional riffle-run-pool setup of classic trout streams. While nymphs take their fair share of trout anytime here in the spring, the great underwater fly-fishing is sustained right now with even better dry-fly fishing. Water temperature is a few degrees higher than historically normal flows, but it’s kicking off strong hatches of tan Caddisflies, brown Stoneflies and Hendricksons. We’ve seen a few giant Hexagenia mayflies fluttering around, but your best bet with dries remains the patterns noted above in sizes 14 and 16. Drop a nymph a couple feet under the dry and get ready for action! One of the best choices is a natural-colored Copper John, size 16-18, which does a great job simulating both the Hendrickson and tan Caddisfly nymphs. Fish the tandem rig through riffles and keep an eye out for the flash of a trout taking the nymph, Catches here include browns, rainbows and brookies, with true 20-inch-plus trophies possible on any given cast.
  • Wild-trout waters across the Appalachian Mountains… Don’t miss the early opportunities to get into the back-country of the tri-state region and get your share of great fly-fishing for wild browns, ‘bows and brookies! Seasonal streams are all open again in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina and, along with the annual streams, prove to be some of the best fly-fishing trips offered by Reel Angling Adventures. Few fishing trips are as pleasing to a fly-fisherman than those that take you poking around these small to medium-sized tributaries that plunge steeply through gorge areas that are accessible only on foot. Some of the best action comes on dry flies of many patterns because the wild browns, rainbows and brookies are opportunistic feeders. These streams are relatively infertile; therefore, many patterns take fish regularly in the pools, runs and riffles that lay among the shadows of tall hemlocks and thickets of rhododendrons. One of the best is one you can easily see yourself – the venerable Stimulator. Try it in a yellow pattern, but keep it scaled back to a size 12 or 14.
  • And if you're a bass fisherman, the bite for spotted bass at lakes Blue Ridge, Nottely and Chatuge... is improving, as the spots move into staging areas just a couple weeks ahead of prime spawning period. Spots are taking crankbaits, hair jigs and spinnerbaits in water from 4 to 12 feet deep. Smallmouths at Lake Blue Ridge already appear to have backed off the primary spawning areas, but the spots are replacing them daily. Pick an especially warm afternoon with cloud cover for the top action, but fish can be caught on any day in almost any condition when you're in the right place with the right lure. A couple catches of magnum bluegills on the crankbaits has me wondering if the spring spawn of these brute-sized bream is moving ahead of schedule. Could be. The water at the surface last week was 63 degrees. We’re exploring the bream beds next week, so watch for our next fishing report for an update on this great meat-fishing opportunity.

Fishing Report...March 2012

  • The DH section of the upper Toccoa River in the vicinity of Dial is running a little high, but deep-dredging with nymphs and streamers are taking fish daily.
  • The Toccoa River tailwater at Blue Ridge Dam, which suffered the abuse of the TVA in September 2010, is clearly producing better fishing, with several 20-inch-plus trout reportedly taken over the winter months. Numbers of trout caught on the tailwater are also improving along the length of the riverway, so it looks like the heavy stockings made by the GDNR over the last several months are helping to restore the action the Toccoa tailwater has long been known for.

    To support the community's call for special fishing regulations on the Toccoa tailwater, please see the regulations proposal (dated Sept. 8, 2010) and the reports of the follow-up public meetings on the matter by visiting the website of the Toccoa River Watershed Coalition at:
    http://toccoariverwatershedcoalition.org/Watershed_conservation.html#dec2meeting

  • The DH section of the Nantahala River, NC, is fishing as normal for March -- it's GREAT! If you've never fished this blue-ribbon winter/spring fishery, you owe it to yourself to enjoy a trip into the scenic Nantahala River gorge. Dry-fly fishing is busting out on the "pretty days" and those "pretty days" are going to get more frequent as the weather continues to warm through spring. This is your best nearby location for completing the Appalachian Slam -- catching brookies, browns and rainbows in the same day from the same water. And some of those fish caught can easily stretch beyond the 20-inch mark of a trophy trout.

  • The Hiwassee River tailwater at Reliance, TN, is fishing very well. The upper two miles, where drift boats are easily working the water under the flows of a single generator at the Appalachian Powerhouse, features long "flats" water that's punctuated underwater with large boulders, sharp ledges, deep troughs and woody debris that point your way toward catch rates of 20 to 40 trout a day. Streamers, nymphs and dry flies all have their place on this most beautiful of places to throw a fly line. The lower 5 miles of the usual 7-mile upper river fishing area is fishing well, too, with dry-fly action growing daily under the spring sunshine. However, the flow of one generator across this section makes the many riffles, boulder gardens and large shoals difficult to wade for anglers of all skill levels. Side channels are clearly a safer wade than the primary river channel, and where the river widens to more than 200 yards across, there are plenty of pools, runs and other areas in the braided water to cast a dry, nymph or streamern to the river's numerous browns and rainbows.

  • The DH section of the Chattooga River on the GA-SC border southeast of Clayton may be the prettiest trout water -- in one of the prettiest canyons -- of all across the southern Appalachian Mountains. Three miles of the river, upstream from the Highway 28 bridge, are under the special regulations of delayed-harvest fishing through an environment that repeats the traditional riffle-run-pool setup of classic trout streams. The great underwater fly-fishing here of the cold months will be sustained with even better dry-flly fishing through the spring months thanks to the river's strong populations of aquatic flies. Some of the finest hatches of tan and olive Caddisflies; Baetis, BWO, Hendrickson and Sulphur Mayflies ; and giant Golden Stoneflies will emerge over the next three months. Catches here include browns, rainbows and brookies, with true 20-inch-plus trophies possible on any given cast.

  • And if you're a bass fisherman, I can attest that the bite for spotted bass and smallmouth bass is on the mark right now! Pre-spawn conditions are at their best on lakes Blue Ridge, Nottely and Chatuge, with the bass moving up to pre-spawn staging areas on the points and long primary banks where the bottom is best for spawning. Crankbaits, hair jigs and spinnerbaits are all responsible for a share of the great bite taking place in 8 to 15 feet of water. I imagine fly-rod anglers could have a good time, too, with both smallmouths and spots that are feeding aggressively ahead of the spawn. Pick an especially warm afternoon with cloud cover for the top action, but fish can be caught on any day in almost any condition when you're in the right place with the right lure.

Report by Bob Borgwat

Use the links below to find Fishing Sites

Lake, River, Trout Stream and Fly Fishing in the North Georgia Mountains

Lake, River, Trout Stream and Fly Fishing in Western North Carolina

Lake, River, Trout Stream and Fly Fishing in Tennessee River Valley and Mountains

Lake, River, Trout Stream and Fly Fishing in South Carolina UpCountry.

 

Plan a Fishing Trip Today....
Fishing Trips in the Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Great mountain adventures is offering the "Best Fishing" available in the Mountains. We create a fishing trip, designed specifically towards your needs with a professional fishing guide to guide you to make the most of your fishing adventure on the Finest Lakes, Rivers and Streams in the Southern Appalachians!

Trout Treks • Bass Fishing • Wade Trips • Pan Fishing • Fly Fishing Instruction • Private Trophy Trout Waters • Drift Boat Trips. So much water to choose from and an adventure you'll never forget...click for more information.

Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains
Sign up for the Blue Ridge Highlander Newsletter, Messages from the Mountains
to find out first about our new feature stories, road trips and special offers


Your e-mail addresses will not be sold or given away to anyone.

Highlander Privacy Policy

Let our visitors tell you about the Highlander...


Click the feathers to go to the Highlander site map...
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountain Highlander

 

 

designed, produced and hosted by
Travel and Real Estate Guide to the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, including North Georgia, Western North Carolina, Tennessee River Valley and Up Country South Carolina

The Blue Ridge Highlander logo, all photography, design, graphics, artwork, writing, digital images, etc are the Copyright ©
of C. Wayne Dukes and Sherry Bell Dukes. 1996 - 2014, except where otherwise stated. All rights reserved, reproduction,
downloading, and/or duplication of any sort is strictly prohibited, all violations will be prosecuted. Legal Policy.
If you have any questions, or comments, regarding this site, e-mail the Highlander.

Blue Ridge Smoky Mountain Highlander