Not only are we blessed with a proliferation of mountain streams, but large tailwaters filled with trout as well. We float the Clinch, Holston, and Tuckaseegee Rivers. You’ll fish from a drift boat which provides a stable, comfortable platform from which to fish. This is e a casual and relaxing method of fishing since anglers don’t have to worry about scaling steep river banks or wading slippery streams. Trout in these rivers are often larger than those in the mountain streams.
Full Day Float for One Angler – $400
Full Day Float for Two Anglers – $425
Floats are a great way to get on fish that may be otherwise inaccessible. However, these trips are not ideal for anglers that have never been on the water. More instruction can be given on a wade trip than a float. Floats are limited to 2 anglers per boat. We provide the flies, drinks, and lunch. We also keep extra rods in the boat if you need the gear.
What to Expect On Our Tailwaters
Spring is the best time to fish the Clinch River tailwater below Norris Dam. We most commonly fish nymphs, but there are often some rising fish to tempt with a dry fly. Sulphurs begin hatching by late April and dry fly fishing hits its peak in early May. Streamer fishing is also productive on this river. While streamers can work at any time, we prefer to fish them when the water is high.
The Holston River below Cherokee Dam has some of the best dry fly fishing we’ve found in East Tennessee. Caddis hatches bring numbers of strong fish to the surface. The Holston also has prolific hatches of crane flies, midges, and some mayflies. Nymph fishing is effective, but often passed up in favor of the excellent streamer fishing that the river offers. Rainbows are common and browns are apt to make an appearance at any time. Smallmouth bass also present in the Holston and we’ll occasionally hook a few while fishing for trout.
Summer brings continued action on the big rivers, but things are less predictable than the spring. Water releases from the dams may provide unfavorable flows at times. We also turn our attention to smallmouth bass. These explosive gamefish are overlooked by many anglers. In fact, the rivers we fish rarely see fishermen since most serious bass fishermen fish lakes and the average river fisherman in this part of the country targets trout. Poppers and streamers can provide superb action.
Autumn & Winter
TVA begins to lower reservoir levels by Labor Day so water levels on the tailwaters can be high. Many years the Clinch River has excellent flows for floats and we’ll spend the bulk of our time there. Nymphing can be very good and anglers who like to strip streamers can turn some large trout.
Some years we’ll see high flows on the Clinch and turn our attention to the Tuckaseegee River in western North Carolina. This river provides superb fishing from a drift boat during high flows and even continues to fish well through the winter months. This is an excellent first time float for many anglers since long casts are not required. Rainbows and browns are common.