View Full Version : Where to go? Tuck,Watuaga, or Caney?

09-19-2007, 05:40 PM
Alright guys, where should we head this weekend? We have yet to christen the above listed headwaters so input is needed all around! I'd love to hear some opinions accompanied by wade acess points, go to fly selections, and any other pointers another fellow fisherman has to offer. I really want to fish the Tuck, drooling, so any information on that water whether it be the recoomended water or notm, I'd love to get some info on it for future trips! I'm sure I'll get a buzz or two from PA and Byron about the Caney. I also had a great fisherman tell me I really need to give the Watuaga a go...Which are the better fisheries and why? Look forward to hearing some thoughts! We'll probably head out Sunday morning to where ever you guys tell us!


09-19-2007, 10:45 PM
tuck does not fishwell in summer months water to hot put and take fishery stock fish can,t survive the heat ,fish this river late winter and early spring. caney has been fishing well [info from friends who guide ]. all summer, expect large crowd on weekends ,may need to carry your own rock . [ midges all colors] and more midges and smaller midges i saw a photo of contents of a stomach pump from the caney it contained all color midges i was amazed at all the colors .so sooner or later they will take what color you have tyed on.

09-20-2007, 01:15 AM
I just spent a few days in East TN, Virginia, and North Carolina and man is the water low. I had virtually no luck fishing and was in several shops and all had the same reports; no water, no fishing. The Caney has been strong all year and I've had countless 15 to 20 fish days and a few 24 to 26 fish days. I fish the Caney 3 or 4 times a week and have found that white, olive and black zebra midges are great (20-22) and when they're releasing water, olive buggers are very strong. Go to the Happy Hollow access and go upstream about 150 yards. Fish river-right just before the big downed tree in the river and there are ALWAYS fish over there. If they're releasing water, go up about 75 yards and stay left. Fish off the bank as there is an awesome channel where the fish stack up like mad. Take some red asses also and you should have a great day.

09-20-2007, 08:32 AM
Check the flows for the Caney if you plan on coming this weekend. I'ts not looking good right now.

David Knapp
09-20-2007, 12:25 PM
About the Caney, be careful when checking the flows. They've apparently started sluicing so the schedule shows no generation but there is currently 1500cfs of water coming through because of the sluice gates being open... I'd fish elsewhere this weekend unless you bring a boat and some streamers...:cool:

09-20-2007, 08:56 PM
I live in Kingsport and would not advise wautaga unless you have a boat.

09-20-2007, 09:08 PM
Hey SimpliFly,

Excellent first post, almost like you read it in a book or something. Sounds like you definitely got Happy figured out. Ever fish downstream?:biggrin:

milligan trout degree
09-20-2007, 11:01 PM
I wouldn't overlook the watauga. It doesnt get blown up in hype, but its got some good fishing on it. And right now they're hardly running water at all. actually, during the week, I'm not sure when they're running. On the weekends, they've only run for a couple hours around six in the evening. I live in Elizabethton and fish the watauga usually twice a week. There's a number of access points too.

09-21-2007, 10:20 AM
This is a double post, since there are 2 threads concerning the Caney right now. Check out this article about its sluice gate being open:

link (http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070921/NEWS01/709210411)

The issue is apparently water quality in the upper reaches of Old Hickory Lake.

Gerry Romer
09-21-2007, 08:21 PM
This is a double post, since there are 2 threads concerning the Caney right now. Check out this article about its sluice gate being open:

link (http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070921/NEWS01/709210411)

The issue is apparently water quality in the upper reaches of Old Hickory Lake.

Not sure what your meaning is here.

Actually, as the thread reads, we are looking for guidance and recommendations as to where to fish this weekend. I wouldn't call it a double post. I'd call it fly fishermen looking for information about three different streams: the Tuck, The Caney, and The Watauga.

Gerry Romer

09-21-2007, 10:17 PM
Gerry, what I meant was that I was also posting the same link to the other thread titled "Caney Fork Releases?" In other words, that *I* was the one double posting. I should certainly have been more clear. My apologies; the way I wrote it seemed like I was calling this thread a double post. With all the ruckus I caused a month ago, I need to make extra sure that I post clearly. Again, sorry!

09-22-2007, 03:16 AM
Watuaga or the Hiawassee? There that's a little better. Snaildarter thanks for the link on the Caney, it was insighfull. I talked to Byron today regarding fishing the Caney and the sluicing. Byron said it had something to do with a new steam plant and water quality issues. Byron, had apparently been on the phone with some "officials" on Wolfe Creek and it's revolving around this steam plant. Mark the Caney off the list! Byron also mentioned that the Tuck would fish better in the winter month's which is what I've heard, alot!? So that leaves us with the Watuaga from my original post! I threw in the Hiawassee just for fun to see what type of response I get.

Milligan-I'm really interested in hearing some good wade in spots to fish! What's working right now..I hear there is a killer caddis hatch up there at times!? Any insight into fishing this water would be interesting to hear!

As for everone else what's going on, on the HI? I've fished it twice and by the sounds of things from other post's, it isn't fishing like the norm! I've heard a few other anglers talking about not fishing like usual with the water temperatures being as cold as they have been! What's working there right now? Got one day to tie, so help a brother out! The last time we went up there were Quill Gordons and Blue Quills coming off in droves! A Quill Gordon wet fly is killer in late Feb/March over there!!!!! A working dry and a bunch of nymphs would do the trick, I'm a converted nymph fisherman anymore..The nymph is a deadly tool! Period!

Thought's, suggestions, hate mail, all but one are much appreciated. The other, well, let's just say I get enough of it as it stands!

Thanks in advance!

PS~We will be departing good ol MURville Sunday morning for a day on the suggested water...anyone one else gonna be out an about sharing water with us! Let me know!

milligan trout degree
09-24-2007, 12:08 AM

Sorry I didn't get to respond soon enough about the watuaga. I've been out of town for the weekend. I guess you went today? How did it go? And where did you go?

I talked to a guy in a fly shop around here last week who said that the lower section of the watuaga was having some pretty big caddis hatches. I've been fishing closer to the dam than what we was speaking of, but I've had some luck with both orange and black caddis. I've also done fairly well with beetles. My best fishing however has come nymphing it. Small pheasant tails (size 18-20 beadhead or not) and zebra midges have caught a lot of fish for me.

My favorite access point in actually in downtown Elizabethton. Its actually a city park and easily accessible. If you know where Pal's is on hwy 321 (about a mile past walmart) hang a left and then the first left past the twins stadium, go about two blocks and you'll see the river. This isn't really a "spot" as much as it is a big open section of river bordering a walking trail. So it's not like I'm giving away anyone secret spot, but there are a few specific holes and feeding lanes that always produce fish and sometimes a few above average fish. One guy showed me a 24" brown he found near death in that section. The fish had a puncture mark on one side and scrapes on the other. It must have been snagged in the side and the fishing line cut it on the other side during the fight. I think the man who found the fish gave it away to some other anglers down the river some.

But anway, this is a nice place to start. There's a lot of fishable water there. Enough to spend a day or two at, depending on how much you like to move around. You could also fish the trophy waters at Smalling bridge, but there's not a lot of wade access to that area.

Gerry Romer
09-24-2007, 01:39 AM
Sure coulda used your post before we headed out this am. Seeing as how we knew practically nothing about the Watauga, everything was pretty much a best guess. I'm sure Brett will have a post up sometime tomorrow, but for now I'll just hit the highlights.

We managed to get on the road by about 6:30 and took the scenic route of beautiful 11E all the way from Knoxville -- we won't be doing that again:eek: . We began our fishing adventure with some early combat fishing at Wilbur Dam -- we won't be doing that again -- however, I did manage to catch my first fish on a fly that I tied and it just happened to be an 8" brookie :biggrin: . I know you can't see it, but I'm doing the Happy Happy Joy Joy dance!!

As the crowd continued to thicken, we decided to find some less crowded quarters. A guy Brett talked to while we were gearing up had told him to head down to the "steel bridge", find a place to park and hike down to the water. Or, go on into hunter and look for the TVA access under the Hunter bridge. Well we drove by it at least twice and finally decided to head up the the SoHo.

Hit Webb's market for lunch (Encore of Happy dance here) and headed up the Big Springs section. Gawked at a herd of monster carp. Gawked at a smaller herd of cows out for a stroll and a quick dip in the SoHo.

Hit the weir pool for a couple good size browns and then hiked down the trail to just below the first set of power lines and fished our way back up to the weir pool picking up good sized browns and bows the whole way. Once again, the fly of the day on the SoHo was Hugh Hartsell's Rockhold Sulfur Emerger dropped about 2' below a para adams or CDC sulfur. That fly is definitely fish candy.

Then on the way out we noticed that the new fly shop at the SoHo was still open - 6:30 pm on a Sunday?? Met Matt Champion and spent about 45 minutes swapping lies and buying flies. Neat little shop and very handy. We told him we had started out on the Watauga and he proceeded to tell us precisely the same thing you just posted... fish the section in town 'cause it hardly ever gets fished 'cause everybody thinks that if it runs through town there can't be any decent trout there - probably even the same people who would pay for a day permit to fish right in front of the Ripley's Aquarium :redface: . Anyway, he took my map and marked it up for me so now we know for "Next Time".

And, yes, there will be a next time.;)

Gerry Romer

09-24-2007, 04:20 PM
We decided on fishing the Watuaga. I became impatient and disgruntled early, so we left and decided to fish the South Holston. Not sure which was the better chioce. Anywho an omen was upon us I'll leave you with a picture and tell you the full report is on my page! Just spent two hours trying to back post about the smokies I spent Saturday tooling around by Metcalf Bottoms. If your headed up to fish that water, which I wouldn't reccomend based on personal beliefs I've also posted a lil bug sampling report. It's accompanied by a few familiar pictures of the water levels! Here's the pic!

Byron where does this rate on the CFS????????? By the way it fished I'd say very far from intermidant!

An Omen! That's I'll I'm sayin!
I hope everyone else had a good day on the water!

09-24-2007, 04:58 PM
Nice report, good to here SoHo is fishing good. Sorry Watauga didn't work out for you better. It can really fish good. River Ridge Campground has also closed so that is one less place to access point.

Man though you can't diss the Burg, LOL.

09-24-2007, 05:36 PM
Hey dude we all need to hook up sometime soon for a float. Dying to see how Doug's Hyde is! Hope's all is well your way, thought about coming by there this weekend but stopped short in Townsend. What u mean the burg? Dis the burg! I'm clueless, I blame it on not enough time on the water here lately!

Seriously though, hit me up the next time yall get out, **** I'll row all day and watch you two land the pigs!


10-08-2007, 10:18 PM
Do not miss an opportuniy to fish the Watauga. South Holston gets the Ginger treatment, but the Watauga is the Mary Ann you really want to fish. Decent access, nice fish, not too crowded and fun! Keep an eye on generation schedules during the week. I've ended up on the far side or the river watching for rising fish and not for rising water. However, you don't want to miss an opprtunity on the bountiful SoHo. So fish both.

10-09-2007, 10:42 AM
South Holston gets the Ginger treatment, but the Watauga is the Mary Ann you really want to fish.

Now you've opened a can of worms...

So you're saying if you only had one opportunity, it would be Mary Ann and not Ginger...

10-09-2007, 11:03 AM
We had em both! How's that! See my other report!

10-09-2007, 10:09 PM
The SoHo, most of us would agree, is a more technical river. It offers up its treasures to able prospectors. It is often not easy and that is its joy. To the well-schooled and experienced it is a beautiful companion. Its midge activity and stretched out-hatches are always(almost)present. The Watauga will tolerate various tactics and can be forgiving. It holds many big fish and many surprises. Those surprises are its joy. Things can suddenly get exciting on the Watauga. They are different beauties making a choice difficult. If conditions are ideal on both rivers onthe same day, I would got to the S. Holston. Ok I admit it. Also, a BBQ sandwich at Ridgewood tips the scale.

10-11-2007, 03:39 PM
Also, a BBQ sandwich at Ridgewood tips the scale.