Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Hiwassee River Trip

The Towee Take-out at the End of Day I

Jim and I headed East for a couple days to try our luck at the Hiwassee River. Jim's plan was to catch some fish and relax. My plan? Go catch some fish, but mostly take the drifter down the often talked about, sometimes overplayed  and always exciting river. I checked-in with Rob and Garrett, and they met us there on the first full day of fishing and boating.

The Hiwassee has been designated a Tennessee State Scenic River and as it winds through the valley, the river offers Class I, II and III waters. The name Hiwassee is said to be taken from the Cherokee word "ayuwasi" and means place at the foot of the hills. The boating was a lot of fun and the fishing wasn't bad either.

Jim "The Stick"
Jim and I hit the water after lunch the first day and found the afternoon hatches light. The fishing was tough and we were on the clock against the generation schedule. When the water is turned off, boating can quickly come to a boat grinding, and boat stranding halt. We made the upper float of the Hiwassee without hitting a rock. It was a small victory, but a victory none-the-less.

We Caught Some of These
The second day we stopped by the fly shop for directions down the river. As the guys at the shop began telling us the lines and the places to avoid, it was apparent there were some nasty ledges to stay to either side of that. We headed to the ramp/zoo. The ramp was abuzz with soon to be kayak, canoe and rafting captains. We launched the boats and went for an opening in the crowds. Jim was into fish right away and boated several while I watched wave after wave of recreational boats take to the river. 

I Did a Lot of This
We stopped along the way, fishing runs, chutes and pools. Rob and Garrett were having luck, but it was Jim's day. Jim was tuned into nymphs and as much as I tried he was reluctant to get into dries. But after some particularly nasty ledges I talked him into a Thunderhead on the TFO. We found a long pool and Jim began hitting the bank. He was rewarded with a brown trout that rose to the dry while the fly was passing under an overhanging tree limb.

Garrett Waiting on the Next Section

You Know It Is The Right Place When You See These
Although we did catch some fish, my focus was the boating and I had a blast most of the day. We got the drifter hung a few times, but we made some good runs too. The river can be a punishing ride, as it's known for and several times the bottom on the boat was all that saved me from having to rework some fiberglass this week. If you plan on going and boating, it wouldn't be a bad idea to take a map of the river and get some pointers from the locals.

Just Another Day on the Hi
Next week we will be back on Middle Tennessee tailwaters chasing those holdover fish. The upcoming month of September has potential to be a very good month around here. The fish should be moving into their best feeding lanes to fatten up. So if you are ready to get out there let us know and if you are just going to wet a line let us know how you did when you get back. We like to hear those reports too.

1 comment:

  1. That is one nasty river as far as all the rocks go. Glad you guys had a good time though and got into some fish...