View Full Version : headed to watauga friday

milligan trout degree
08-14-2007, 11:10 PM
I've never fished the watauga before, though I've spent a lot of time around it. Of course, the 8 months I was near it, I didn't fly fish and have just taken that up this summer and now plan on hitting the watauga pretty often this school year. My first trip is coming up on friday morning and my second will most likely be early monday morning. A buddy of mine already knows the spot we're going to fish although I'm not sure where it is, but I'd like to know if anyone has fished it lately and if they have any fly suggestions. I haven't fished much tailwater for trout yet, but from what I've read, I should pick up some midges (creme/zebra) and maybe a few streamers for the browns. I don't have a clue as far as insect activity in the area goes for an idea about dry flies. Anyone know any more than I do?

Backcountry FF
08-16-2007, 12:53 PM

Let me just throw in that the Watauga seems to be a little more forgiving than some tailwaters in regards to fly selection. I have caught fish there using nymphs that I normally use in the mountains, not tailwaters.

I seem to have more luck with size 14 and 16 pheasant tails than any other nymph.

I wouldn't disregard the usual tailwater flies, but if they ain't hittin' those, try something out of the dusty old Smokies fly box. Good Luck!

milligan trout degree
08-16-2007, 10:18 PM
hey, i appreciate the help charles. i havent really fished any tailwaters with a fly rod yet, and i've only been fly fishing for about two months now period, so i'm still learning tons everytime i make a trip. i'll throw some pheasant tails, and i've got a lot of smokies flies. i've got all kinds of caddis i can throw up there.

08-17-2007, 08:53 PM
second on the pheasant tails, they'll work well there. I haven't fished there in a few weeks, but I'd imagine the sulphurs are still going crazy. carry a few different sulphur patterns in size 16 -12, and you should be good to go. depending on where you fish up there, don't be afraid to rip some big ugly streamers also. if you get into some of those stocked brookies up there, just use any fly you feel like, because they'll hit it.

milligan trout degree
08-18-2007, 12:06 AM
well i did hit watauga today at near crack of dawn. let me first say that the water was freezing and the breeze coming off the water was really cold. i was actually cold and could see my breath for the first hour or so till the sun really started coming up around the trees and the fog lifted.

i had what i would rate for myself as moderate success. this was my first time fishing any tailwater and making cast with any real distance while trying to avoid a lot of drag. i also just bought a new 4wt last night and was testing it out. i learned a lot as the day went on. i started fishing with a size 18 tan caddis when i got there b/c i saw fish rising a lot, but with no success. i didnt have any sulphurs on me, but definately will for my next trip on monday. i switched to a pheasant tail later and hooked up on a 12" bow. my personal best on a fly so far. i lost it on my next cast to another bow in a tree. i then put on a two tone prince nymph(i think, im still learning my flies) and hooked onto a brown, but long released it. later still, i found a hole with tons of trout just feeding like crazy. first i tried my prince, nothing, then a pheasant tail, nothing, then a parachute adams, another long release, then i tied on a zebra midge and caught a brown and bow on my next two casts. i moved on to another hole once they quit hitting there and hooked into a very nice bow. he fought like mad, everytime i got him to turn to me, once he saw me, he ran again and pushed my 6x to the limit. he finally released himself after a lengthy fight and left me feeling sick.

i am happy to say, that for the first time, i didnt miss any strikes. i only landed three, but i atleast got a hook set in the fish that were willing. this is a big improvement for me. i learn more and more everytime i go fly fishing. i move back to elizabethon this sunday, so i'll be on the watauga as much as i can for the next 8 months.

sorry no pictures, i fell in ramseys prong and now my camera wont turn on anymore. i'll have to get a new one.


Gerry Romer
08-18-2007, 10:02 AM
sorry no pictures, i fell in ramseys prong and now my camera wont turn on anymore. i'll have to get a new one. ben

You may have missed some earlier threads on cameras. All my not be lost. If it's a typical digital camera, open it up and remove the battery and the memory card. Place all pieces in a zip-loc baggie, fill it with ordinary white rice and seal it closed. Let it sit (preferably in the sun) for about 3 days then reassemble and see if it'll turn on. If it does you should be able to get your pics back.

You also may not. Sometimes if you try and turn it back on while it's still wet you can fry the guts.

But it's worth a try 'cause at this point you really do have nothing to lose.

Good luck,


milligan trout degree
08-19-2007, 12:01 AM
Gerry, the memory card still works. I put it in my computer so I've got the pictures. Thankfully. I tried the rice trick the night I dropped in the water and let it sit for three days. It has a rechargable battery and that doesn't come out. It will turn on now, but won't stay on. I think I might be out of luck. Luckily it was a cheapy anyway, and I won it in a raffle my high school held for graduation. I'm in the market now for a new digital though.


Gerry Romer
08-19-2007, 02:15 PM
Check with Plateau Angler. He's done quite a bit of research on cameras. You can probably locate most of the info by running a search of this board on the word "camera".


I went back and ran a search on "camera" and found the thread I was thinking of. The info you want starts on the second page of this thread.