The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency Implemented a Delayed Harvest (DH) program on the Appalachia tailwater section of the Hiwassee River during the 2011-2012 seasons. This is the first DH on a tailwater river in the state. This 2012-2013 season will be second year of the program and anglers from across the southeast should be keeping an eye on this one. Over the Course of the season last year the river was full of fish and anglers were constantly reporting catches of fish in the 12 -16 inch range throughout the winter season.
With the arrival of the spring season the river was fishing like a champ. TVA was operating the river on a one generation schedule and the fishing was great. I can personally think of at least a dozen trips from this spring where we started out fishing dry flies and continued to do so all day long. By the end of the D.H. season we were noticing a remarkably better catch rate for larger sized fish. Temperatures have held strong all summer this year and we should have plenty of hold over fish to start out with this year. That in combination with the D.H. season starting up for the 2nd season things should get very interesting in Reliance.
The Hiwassee can be fished both on foot and by boat with the 2nd option being my preferred method. The “Wass” can be waded on both one and two generators, but anglers need to be familiar with the area they are fishing in and exercise plenty of caution while wading on high water. The river can be wade fished very easily on a one generator flow rate. Anglers will have a wide variety of places to choose from for wading opportunities. Now wade fishing on two generators is a little more difficult and there are fewer places on the river where anglers can wade safely. I do like to fish the river on low water flows, but over the past dozen years or so of fishing this river. I personally think that the Hiwassee fishes better with a high water release schedule.
Our guides use McKenzie style drift boats to float fish on the river. This is by far our preferred method to work with people on the water. This style of boat allows us to carry anglers anywhere on the river with all of the comforts and amenities of a mobile fly shop. We offer float trips as long as we have at least a one generator release throughout the day. The river fishes very well on both a one and two generator flow schedule. Again I will say it even if no one else will, “The river fishes better on a one generator flow schedule from the top all the way down".
For more current and up to date information please give us a call and let us help you plan you next day on the water.
The Delayed Harvest regulations for the Hiwassee River are as follows.
Catch and Release
only from October 1rst 2012 – February 28th 2013.
Artificial lures only and the use or possession of any bait is prohibited.