View Full Version : Harpeth to soon be a winter trout haven?

big irish
10-23-2006, 11:47 PM
In an article in The Tennessean today I discovered the TWRA is going to stock adult trout in the Harpeth River just west of Franklin, once in mid-December and then again in February. The article suggested such winter stockings were likely in years to follow. Does anyone want to weigh in on this? As an intermediate flycaster with limited trout-stalking experience, this sounds like a great way for me to spend some winter days. Since I moved to Franklin one year ago, I've fished the Harpeth about a half-dozen times, mostly in warm weather. It took me awhile to find a few decent access points, but when I got ont the Harpeth I always caught a bunch of fish, mostly smallmouth in the 5-10 inch range and a ton of redeye and bream. Aside from some slow/wide runs, the Harpeth 'west of Franklin' is largely wadeable and should be a blast to converse this winter in search of these stockers. Does anyone think these fish will not survive very long...or be harvested very soon after they're dumped? What fly would you present to an adult hatchery fish in new water? Is anyone in the Franklin area happy to see this opportunity? msh

10-25-2006, 03:53 PM

I was thrilled when I read the article in the paper the other day. I've been driving a hour and a half to where ever I decide to fish.
I'm down in Thompson Station...so pretty much everything is a long way off.
I've only been fly fishing just under a year so I'm not really an expert to be giving you advice, but I do think this will be interesting this winter.
I wouldn't let them wait around too long before trying to take a few...I would bet they'll be fished pretty heavily.
As far as how long they'll survive...I had the same question. The river is in pretty good shape as far as I can tell, so as long as the temps are cool, they should hold up.

Long story short...I can't wait to just drive 20 minutes to fly fish for trout. Good luck this winter and maybe I'll see you out there.


big irish
10-25-2006, 10:28 PM
Deedub: Where have you been fishing around mid TN? Are you strictly after trout or do you also visit warm-water streams? I too have only been fly-fishing a little over a year; 100% self-taught and totally addicted. With 3 young kids and a demanding job my trips aren't as frequent as I'd like...nor does time always permit me to spend 2 hours in the car each way. I'm always looking for a partner in crime to share my limited knowledge of the local water with. Email me sometime if you're interested in hooking up for some weekend fishing jaunts...especially on the Harpeth in mid-December! msh

10-30-2006, 02:37 PM
I've fished the Harpeth for smallies a lot in the last five years, although I occasinally end up with more spots, largemouths, rock bass, white bass, or crappie. I normally don't like the idea of stocking trout in every possible stream, but I think it is a great idea in this case. The Harpeth is a nice river to be so close to Nashville, but has had problems in the past, like Franklin dumping a bunch of sewage in there when it storms. The trout stocking will draw attention to the river, and hopefully keep it cleaner. I hope all the rich -- um I mean influential -- Trout Unlimited guys around this area will feel a greater need to keep their thumbs on the people who affect water quality. There are about 1 million people in Nashville and the surrounding counties, and the trout fishermanwho have had to drive an hour or two to get to trout, and this will definitely catch their eyes.

Also, 10-inch trout make good food for magnum largemouths. :) And I actually caught a pretty nice channel cat 2 weeks ago in there on a woolly bugger.

Attempting to answer your questions, I see no reason that the trout won't thrive until about May, when every last survivor will cook to death. As for a fly to use... I think that won't matter much. I think the biggest trick will be to find their haunts. Any fly is going to work for them, especially stuff like san juan worms, and wooly buggers, and gnats.

Although I think that they will draw angler attention, the Harpeth is LARGE, and the question about whether or not they will be fished out really depends on how many places along the length of it that they stock. If it is just that area west of Franklin, then I think that they may spread out so much (especially downstream) that they become scarce from that, and not the fishing pressure. I think that knowledge of where the hatchery truck dumps will be extremely valuable. ;)

Good luck!


10-31-2006, 09:57 AM
They will more than likely be stocked where there is plenty of public access unless the "influential" are pushing it towards strict property owners. It's all about license sales, i have no problem with that part.
The banks will windup looking like the Caney, corn cans, powerbait jars, fast food wrappings & such.
There will be poachers taking over their limit, there will be little enforcement, there aren't enough TWRA guys/gals to cover everything.
I can't figure out why they won't stock Watauga Lake in Centennial Park, after all they do stock the lake in Shelby Park. I could go play during lunch if they stocked Watauga.


10-31-2006, 07:40 PM

I've mainly fished the tail waters @ Tims Ford dam and just below Center Hill.
I'm heading to east TN this weekend to fish. Has anyone ever fished the Sequatchie River in Cumberland Co. The TWRA apparently stocks it at some point.


11-02-2006, 06:44 PM
The article said that they will be stocking just east of franklin. I think this would probably be in the Page area. I have been down there a few times just to look around and it looks like great trout water. The only problem is that there is mostly private property on this section of the river so I am curious where they will stock at. If any finds out let me know.

11-03-2006, 04:51 PM
The TWRA newsletter (just got it today) says they will be stocking the Harpeth where it passes through Franklin City Park.
I assume that's off Hwy 96 (off to the right if your heading in towards downtown Franklin). We'll see how they do. I'm sure the corn will be flying, but maybe we can get a few. Good luck this weekend...I'm off to East TN to visit the folks and maybe do a little backwoods fishing.


11-03-2006, 07:31 PM
If it is through the park that's good for us. The bank is steep and I dont know of any places near there you can get down to the water easily (so hopefully the corn fisherman wont try it that hard). The water is alittle deeper there so you might want to take a canoe down.

big irish
11-04-2006, 02:54 PM
My money is on Pinkerton. Seems to me a hatchery truck has better access to the water at Pinkerton than other 'city parks' on the Harpeth like the Williamson County Rec Center or Fieldstone Farms Park. *If the Tennessean article was accurate when it referred to the stocking occuring 'east' of Franklin, it's got to be Pinkerton.

As an aside, is anyone interested in creating an informal group of local anglers to share information about fly fishing on local streams in/around the mid-state. *Obviously an established message board like LRO is a great resource for tailwaters, streams in the Smokies, etc. *I'm interested in less-crowded and smaller-scale locales in/around Williamson and surrounding counties. *I don't believe there hundreds of flycasters around here to begin with, so I doubt we'd cause crowding or abuse of the area waters. *I do think it would be great to share and/or rate public access points, network for private access points, find a fishing buddy on short notice, give/get specific small-stream advice, etc.

Maybe this should be another post? *I would volunteer to create a Google group or blog and keep it loose. *Does anyone think there would be interest? *msh

11-05-2006, 01:32 AM
I would be very interested in a that group. As for where they are going to release the trout I agree that it will probably be at pinketon park. I would rather see it at the rec center because in is easier to walk and there is a canoe access there. No matter where they decide to do it I am very excited to catch trout close to home. No more waking up at 4am to go to the Elk or the Caney....YES!