View Full Version : Hi everybody

12-20-2007, 05:48 PM
Hey guys (and gals),

Joined the forum on the recommendation of ACinEastTN (thanks Aaron!).

I grew up in Oak Ridge, but have been living out in Colorado for the past 14 years or so, heading back to ET a couple times a year.

I'm heading back next week for Xmas and was thinking about bringing the fly rod, but thought I might check in with ya'll and see what the word was. I'm probably 30 minutes from Norris and was thinking about hitting the tailwater, but haven't fished in TN for years and years and only have rocky mtn. freestone streams to base my opinions on.

Hope you're all well, and any advice is appreciated!


PS - Anyone know the regs offhand for getting an out-of-state license, and the chances that I can get one on Christmas week?

Byron Begley
12-20-2007, 06:59 PM
Hi Ian,

Thank you for joining. Great to have you here.

You can buy a 3 day or 10 day license online from TWRA. You will need a trout stamp. The fishing could be great on the Clinch. I'm over in the Smokies and don't fish there often so I don't know. I'm sure others on here can help you.

Here's the link: https://www4.wildlifelicense.com/tn/


David Knapp
12-20-2007, 10:32 PM
Welcome to the board! If you don't mind driving a bit farther, I would highly recommend a trip to the South Holston near Bristol. It has been fishing well including some very large browns. I'll be fishing over there at least a day or two and you're welcome to join me if you are interested... Hopefully someone else will chime in on the Clinch, I don't fish there much as I have other tailwaters closer...

Gerry Romer
12-20-2007, 11:43 PM
Here's a link to another thread on this board. Similar request from another new member. Good info there that should answer your question.

Also, the search and archive functions on this board are pretty fierce. Search button's at the top under the page "dashboard" and the archive button's at the bottom right corner when you scroll all the way down. Tons and tons of valuable info store there on practically all the waters of the region for any season.

Welcome! Dive in!!



12-21-2007, 12:00 AM
Thanks for the shout out. So if you are talking about the Clinch River then there are some guys on this board who can give you some great up-to-date reports on how it is fishing. Gald to see you joined up. If you do decide to travel further east I could help you out a little more by putting you on some fish. Just send another message and I will be more than glad to help.

Side note- I actually met another guy through facebook whom I guided on Watauga. He was from Minnesota and traveled here about a month ago while his home was having 8 degree days. Always welcome a fishing partner as I do most of my fishing alone.

:smile: Holidays,

Are you close to tri-cities? If so, like I said above, I am always looking for a partner. I live on the Watauga and am only 20 min. from SOHO. Love to do some fishing over the holiday.

Gerry Romer
12-21-2007, 11:57 AM
Hey Aaron!

Any word yet on what's happening with the campground on Smalling Road? I'd love to get access to the trophy section thru there, but with limited to no access for wade fishing it looks like drifting is the only way to go. Maybe I just need to rent a cabin on the other side of the Smalling bridge....


12-21-2007, 01:14 PM
I drove out there about a month ago and a sign was posted saying the campground after Sept. I couldn't say when it will reopen. If I were to guess it would be early spring. There is the cabin as an option, but i have never stayed there so don't have an opinion. Trophy section is almost impossible to get to without a boat. I live further upriver. I know there is some wading opportunities up towards Wilbur Dam. Two things with that: it is more wader friendly as far as water depth-and it seems to be more layed back about public access. It can get hairy if they start to generate because you are so close to the dam.

Gerry Romer
12-21-2007, 06:29 PM
Thanks Aaron.

Last time I was on the Watauga was around mid-September. We ran into a couple of guys from Johnson city who were very helpful. They were under the impression it was still open and were quite disappointed when we drove over there with them and they saw the sign for themselves.

It turned out that one of the guys was a Realtor from Johnson City. I told him I'd heard the property had been sold and he got on the phone immediately to try and get to the bottom of it. After a series of phone calls, he was able to determine that the campground had, indeed, bee sold. I though he said to a guy in Atlanta and my son thinks he said Alabama -- either way it was to an out-of-state buyer. They couldn't determine if the buyer had family in the area or what the deal was so it just kind of came to a dead end.

I was wondering if there was any new local talk of what might be in store for the campground.

On our first trip to the Watauga, Brett and I started out at Wilbur dam and did quite well in spite of the combat fishing. We had to leave when the spin fishermen started casting at Brett's feet every time he'd get one to hand. I caught my first fish on a fly I had tied there... a nice 8"-9" brookie. :biggrin:

On subsequent trips we fished the Sycamore Shoals Park section, and another section off Lovers Lane. I can definitely see the attraction that the Watauga has for so many people. That's why I'm hoping that whoever bought the campground will the $5 per day parking practice or something similar.:rolleyes:

Please keep us posted if you hear anything. Thanks.


David Knapp
12-21-2007, 11:32 PM
Aaron, I live between 2 and 3 hours away but will be spending the holidays in the mountains... I'm always glad to have company. If you're interested in meeting up sometime, send me an email (you can find a link to my email through my blog under the "view my profile" section). I'm leaving Sunday though so contact me soon if you want to meet up next week...


12-22-2007, 02:30 PM
Just got back from fishing. I talked to a guy about the campgraound today. He confirmed what you said about the out-of-state buyer. I think he said Florida, but nevertheless it has been sold. This is nothing more than campfire talk but he said the campground would be shut down for good and the new owner would be building a house there. This is going to make it very tough to get to trophy section w/o a boat. Next time you go up river near the dam there is a parking spot along the side of the road before you cross that last bridge, the name escapes me. I would guess a mile and a half drive down from the dam, or before you get there depending if you prefer 12in or a foot.

Another spot to wade is down from Sycamore. You can either get in at the Eliz. VFW and wade down or try the TWRA parking lot and go up. TWRA lot is off Blevins RD. This is a good access point that I use often. Many of the guides use this as a put in for the trophy section. It normally has alot of bait fisherman but they will fish the water right in front of the lot. If you will wade up river there is very rarely other anglers. There is a large bend in the river and you can fish your way up to the VFW or vice versa.