PDA

View Full Version : Tailwater Question


Birdman
02-23-2010, 11:59 AM
I have a sqare-back grumman canoe with a 3.5 hp motor that I have been using for warm water fishing on the upper clinch (above the reservoir headwaters), and the holston (above the John Sevier dam but below the convergence of the N and S forks). Now that I'm trout fishing I'm interested to know if this setup will work for the S. Holston, the Watauga, or the Holston (below the Cherokee dam). I would like to do some tailwater fishing this year for trout. Will this work or will I have to have a drift boat or pontoon?

Thanks,
Birdman

rockcreek
02-23-2010, 02:59 PM
I have a sqare-back grumman canoe with a 3.5 hp motor that I have been using for warm water fishing on the upper clinch (above the reservoir headwaters), and the holston (above the John Sevier dam but below the convergence of the N and S forks). Now that I'm trout fishing I'm interested to know if this setup will work for the S. Holston, the Watauga, or the Holston (below the Cherokee dam). I would like to do some tailwater fishing this year for trout. Will this work or will I have to have a drift boat or pontoon?

Thanks,
Birdman

it is all up to you if you feel good with it go for it but you will need to watch your generation shedules and go with low water only you dont wont to be pushed a round on tail waters in a canoe

Birdman
02-23-2010, 03:45 PM
Forgot to mention that I'll have the stabilizers that keep the canoe from flipping. :biggrin:

Tellico Angler
02-23-2010, 04:19 PM
There is no such thing as keeping a canoe from flipping on a big, fast flowing tailwater. Don't let those stabilizers give you a false sense of security.

Birdman
02-23-2010, 08:01 PM
So, when the generation is low to none will it be too shallow for me to travel these rivers with my canoe?

pineman19
02-24-2010, 10:30 AM
Birdman,

I have never had a canoe or boat on the Clinch, but have paddle quite a few other rivers. IMO, your canoe will work fine when they are not generating on the Clinch, as others noted the problem will be when they are running one or more generators. I wouldn't do it, but I think you could have a great time paddling when the water is low, I just wouldn't want to get caught out there when the water starts rising.

Troutman
02-24-2010, 11:08 AM
I've floated the Holston river from Indian cave to Nances Ferry many times in a canoe on low water and on 1 generator. Its an easy float with only a few places of tricky navigation. Would not do it on more than 1 gen. Have not floated the upper section.

Birdman
02-24-2010, 11:36 AM
Good information there, thanks. I guess this would hold the same for the others like the South Holston and Watauga?

rockcreek
02-24-2010, 12:07 PM
Good information there, thanks. I guess this would hold the same for the others like the South Holston and Watauga?

Hey Birdman if you like fishing tailwaters i would get a drift boat they are so much easier to fish out of and you have a lot of room to move a round!

MadisonBoats
02-24-2010, 09:08 PM
I would not float the Clinch in a canoe on one generator or above. Too many submerged obstacles that like to fold canoes and flip them on their side. I know about 4 or 5 instances last summer involving this problem.

old east tn boy
02-24-2010, 09:19 PM
I've floated the Clinch in a canoe, a small one at that (12 footer) with one generator running. It can be done but it is tricky. Don't even think about it without a PFD worn at all times! Also, it's a fast trip to the hwy 61 bridge from Peach Orchid. You'll be doing more paddling than fishing though. Unless you can find dead calm water near the bank don't anchor! I tried that once and had to cut the rope or flip.

Birdman
02-24-2010, 09:53 PM
Thanks to all for your input. It sounds like it's one generator max. I'm not sure that some saw in my original post about the 3.5 hp motor. I would like my trips to consist of me putting the canoe in the water, motoring upstream and then floating and fishing back to the truck because I don't have the option of floating downstream to another vehicle. I'd like to hear from someone on the South Holston and Watauga as well.

MadisonBoats
02-24-2010, 10:16 PM
You can do that on the S. Holston; but, leave the motor at home. Also, you will have to portage that river with another vehicle unless you can get someone to drive your vehicle downstream for a buck.

Motors are pretty useless in my mind for the tailwaters. Yeah, you can go upstream-but, you will be at risk of hitting shoals, etc. to do so and you will want the river to be at a lower level for the best fishing. I sheared 5 props on the Clinch last year and I have two different motors. I never take them. I do take my trolling motor.

Birdman
02-24-2010, 10:30 PM
You can do that on the S. Holston; but, leave the motor at home. Also, you will have to portage that river with another vehicle unless you can get someone to drive your vehicle downstream for a buck.

Motors are pretty useless in my mind for the tailwaters. Yeah, you can go upstream-but, you will be at risk of hitting shoals, etc. to do so and you will want the river to be at a lower level for the best fishing. I sheared 5 props on the Clinch last year and I have two different motors. I never take them. I do take my trolling motor.
Would it change anything to tell you I have the Mac's River Runner Prop Saver on my motor? I use it all the time in my local rivers that I mentioned in my original post and hit shoals and rocks all the time and the prop saver does it's job. Sorry I have all these questions. I would just like to pick the brains of everyone who has experience on these waters. I've always felt it's better to learn from others mistakes so they are not repeated. My setup will go in pretty shallow water as well as swift water. I've had it in the Holston above John Sevier when the flow was in the 6-8 kcfs range with no problems.

MadisonBoats
02-24-2010, 10:45 PM
Sounds like you are at the point where you will just have to give it a try to find out. If you want to fish the Clinch in a canoe do so when it is not generating. Otherwise, you get pushed way too fast to fish in a relaxing manner....

Birdman
02-24-2010, 11:02 PM
Sounds good. Thanks for all your help. Guess I'll have to just give it a go and see what happens. Grouse season ends this weekend :frown: so I hope to get out there and give it a try soon. :biggrin: It's hard to be passionate about so many hobbies but it sure keeps me going.

Birdman
02-24-2010, 11:12 PM
Hugh or Randy - Would you have any input about the Holston, South Holston, and Watauga?

Randy Ratliff
02-24-2010, 11:36 PM
..............

Birdman
02-25-2010, 08:57 AM
As far as a square back canoe, the Watauga is good for it except in two spots. The first is at the Bee Cliff on the upper river, down from Wilbur Dam. It is a class 3-4 rapid depending upon how much they are pushing on generation. The other place is in the Quality Zone just down river from the Caddis Riffle. Some call it the "Goat Hole" or "Chicken Charlies", we have had to rescue folks in canoes and kayaks from these two places throughout the years. The Watauga has sections you can float without generation, lower 1/3 of the river system, and the top 2/3rds has some float and wade on low water, but fishes best under generation.

The South Holston only has one rapid that can be tricky and that is just below Hickory Tree Bridge leading to Jack Praters takeout. The South Holston has to be floated on the upper and middle sections during generation. There is some deeper water on the lower river leading to Bluff City that can be floated at low water. Trying to float on low water in the upper and middle river will put you out there among many waders and you will mostly be dragging.

Hope this helps.
Randy - Thanks! This is the exact detailed description I was looking for. Not knowing these sections of river and how things operate there, I was needing to know what I should/shouldn't do. I appreciate the tip on not floating on low water amongst the waders. I had thought this might be an issue. Great info and thanks again!