The Hiwassee River is not as well known as other rivers in the south but it is a great trout stream. It is also the same river as the Hiawassee River of Tennessee, just seperated by a border and a few dams. The river is one of the best places to fly fish during the winter months. One reason is because it is very easy to wade in the winter months when the power needs of the region are less, and the water is reduced going through the power plants.
The fly-fishing on the Hiwassee begins just below the Chatuge Dam and provides roughly 18 miles of fishing. You will find healthy native Rainbow and Brown Trout in this river. Most average around 12” but you will also get some over 20” at times.
Like most Rainbow Trout you are sure to enjoy the aerial show they put on. If you happen to find a few Brown Trout in the Hiwassee don’t be surprised if they are some what bigger. This is a great fishery because the cold water in this stream provide every thing a wild trout needs.
Both Mayflies and caddis flies are abundant on the Hiwassee, and the fish seem eager to take the dry. Some patterns you may want to try would be Blue Winged Olive Emerger, RS2, Harrop’s CDC Olive and Hemmingway or Matthew’s Caddis. If they aren’t taking from the surface give Prince Nymphs, Copper Johns, or larger Stone Fly Nymphs.
There is plenty of access to the river just look for a spot along the road or enter near a bridge. Fire's Creek Road off of state highway 64 runs along side the Hiwassee giving the wader plenty of opportunity to enter the stream.
You can fish during the summer months even though power is being generated, but it will be a lot easier to navigate when it is not producing power. You can also use a drift boat on this river, which may be a little easier because of the flows and private property. It is up to your personal preference.
Here is a hatch chart for the river.
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