Originally Posted by mstone
There are special regs on the browns up there so you would think you might see more. Even back when the river fished much better, I never saw that many browns caught. The hardware guys would take some nice ones though. Some days you will catch a few but most times you don't know that their in there.As far as fourteen inch fish.....They seem to be few and far between. Someone may say different, but as many fish as I have caught up there, they certainly are not there in any kind of numbers. Summer water temps over the past few years affect the holdover fish I'm afraid. I personally don't think that the insects are there like they use to be. The caddis are way off. Like you said though, its a beautiful river, one of our prettiest. Do some walking and get away from the roads.
I haven't fished the Hiwassee in over a year now, and it is in large part because I made the same observations you just mentioned. Now I may be wrong, it may still be a great river. However, the last few times I fished it, I was not very pleased with the quality of fish.