View Full Version : spawning areas

11-01-2006, 12:50 PM
I took Monday off of work and went fishing. ;) One of the local tailwaters closes certain areas to fishing on Nov. 1st to allow the fish to spawn over the next few months. I checked the TVA water release schedule and it looked great. When I arrived to the river after driving for two hours, I found the river to be running full. >:( *I decided to swing some streamers through the slow water next to the grass banks hoping for a large brown to attack it. I caught a couple of smaller fish about 12" but not what I was looking for. I worked downstream towards an island channel out of the main river current working the streamer back under the undercut banks. I decided to cross over the channel and when I stepped down into the streambed a giant Brown came out next to my leg and shot downstream. I figure it was over 25" maybe 30".
I should have known to fish an area before wading through it. Maybe next spring I will find him again. The best fish of the day was about 16". My point is, never trust TVA's schedules and be prepared for unexpected surprises! I am going to try to post a couple of pictures, but I am not sure if it will work.


11-01-2006, 01:20 PM
Amazing pics there troutman. I fished the Clinch on Sunday and saw some huge browns. Those tailwaters sure do hold some big fish.

11-02-2006, 12:14 PM
Nice fish and great pictures. Which tailwater were you fishing? Is it safe to wade at all when they are running water?

11-02-2006, 01:18 PM
Griff, * This is the South Holston tailwater. The river is safe to wade with 1 generator but 2 is dangerous. :-X I look for slower currents on the inside on river bends and also grassy banks such as in the lower pict. on the righthand side.
I stay out of the water as much as possible and 3/4 cast streamers that swing back along the edges. I also look for island channels that form in high water that are dry streambeds when the water is down. A drift boat or pontoon is best in high water on this river. Select areas are now closed to fishing until early spring for the spawn. Gas prices have kept me from visiting *very often this year, so I try to make the most of any time spent on the water. *:)* * Troutman

11-02-2006, 03:27 PM
There's only one generator on the South Holston. Also, the spawing closures open back up on Feb. 1st.

11-02-2006, 04:36 PM
RFowler, *Your right. What I should have said was that it's usually safe to wade when TVA pulses the 1 generator, but when they generate for extended periods, the river is too high and dangerous to wade out into the river. 2600cfm is a lot of water!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Troutman

11-02-2006, 05:27 PM
Great Pictures, how reliable are the generation schedules. I've been told they are not to accurate. Also be told that when the water goes up, the fishing turns off. I would hate to invest in a float trip just to have it ruined by an unreliable TVA schedule.

11-02-2006, 06:50 PM
TM, I figured that is what you meant. ;)


The generation schedules are pretty reliable for the most part on the South Holston. I've only been up there once where it was different from what was posted. Generation had been delayed from work at the powerhouse. A good way to gauge releases is to watch the weather. Recent rains will spur more generation and this is where things get a little iffy. Good stable weather patterns usually means the same for generation schedules.

"Also be told that when the water goes up, the fishing turns off." Hogwash! Somebody been lyin' to you!

11-03-2006, 11:08 AM
Thanks RFowler, Thats good to here about the water levels. My freind was floating the Watauge a few years ago, April I believe, and the water rose a couple of feet in a relatively short period of time. His guide remarked how unpredictable TVA has been. Must have been a raining spring as you suggest. But he also made the comment about the fish not wanting to bite. Maybe he just wanted to go home early. Any way I'm thinking about a float trip this winter. Ive been told, again, don't know whether to belive, that winter is a great time for float trips. Is that just some guides attempt to get a few bookings in the colder months. Any thoughts

11-03-2006, 11:14 AM
What rivers are best in the Jan, Feb, Mar time frame for float trips. Thats if the fishing is good.

11-03-2006, 01:29 PM
Any month you can get on the South Holston is a good month. The best time, in my opinion, for the South Holston is late June and early July. Reason... sulfur hatches. I prefer high water during this time because there's less people and lots of feeding fish. Any other time is good to excellent. I'm a guide up there myself but I've been down in Georgia for the last year helping my mother. If you want a recommendation for a good guide I'd be happy to do so. You'll want a guide that's going to give you more bang for your buck.

Rivers that I like thru Jan-March include the Clinch, South Holston, and Watauga. The Watauga and Clinch will be your best bets for a float because these rivers can be floated on low water. The South Holston is my favorite but you need water to float it or you will need for someone to set up a special trip up for you. Shoot me a PM and let me know what your are looking to get out of your trip. That is the most important thing.

11-03-2006, 10:10 PM
RFowler, I thinking very hard about doing more float fishing. At 51 I spend more time picking myself up from GSM park stream beds then is healthy. I've taken some incredible tumbles this year, the most memorable being a twenty foot head over heels free fall from the edge of the Little River road (don't tell my wife). I my younger days I enjoyed the challenge and was an accomplished rock hopper. Not so anymore. I ride now instead of walk when I play golf. It seams only appropriate that I start to "Ride" more when I fish. Thanks for the info.

11-04-2006, 03:26 PM
You should buy a boat then. Teach a friend how to row so you can enjoy it too. But there's still a lot of fishing you can do alone.

11-05-2006, 12:15 PM
I had a similar thing happen to me. I quess I was alittle too excited to get to the river and I got a speeding ticket. It was ok though because I was going fishing. When I arrived at the river they were generating. So not only could I not fish, but I got the ticket.