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Thread: First Watauga Experience

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Knoxville
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    1,168

    Default First Watauga Experience

    Went up to Watauga this past weekend and braved the heavy showers. It paid off. The fish were extremely willing to take flies, and were not very picky about the fly. Morning saw intense nymph action, and the afternoons saw sulfurs and tan caddis hatching. We were catching so many fish that I lost count. However, I did manage to get my first ever East TN slam in the most unlikely area. Actually, all four of us who were fishing there managed to catch a slam. I managed to catch a very balanced ratio of bows, browns, and brookies. The largest brown was only around 12", while we caught a quite a few bows in the 13 - 15" range. However, the biggest surprise of the weekend was the 9+" brookie I landed. Not as pretty as the little ones in the smokies, but still a beauty to look at. After my last two trips to the Bristol and Johnson City area, the Watauga and SoHo are now by far tops on my list of destinations in East TN.

    Travis

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    1,141

    Default

    Travis,

    I fished Watauga once with a buddy about five years ago. We went to the smalling bridge area and sycamore shoals. We didn't to to good and I think it was because it was in the dead of winter (feb). Does anyone know if there's good access in Elizabethtown? I have been curious about fishing Wilbur lake also but no one seem to have any experience there since I didn't get any response in my previous thread.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Watauga Access

    Hans,
    I don't recall seeing any access inside Elizabethton's city limits. Once you pass through elizabethton heading toward Wilbur dam, there is a small access point along the road. It just looks like a little pull off into a field, but the water is extremely slick and spring creek like in that area. I can't recall if it is on Blue Springs Rd or Steel Bridge Rd. I can tell you to not waste your time going past the steel bridge you come to before the dam. The water is all slow, deep, and extremely treacherous.

    We were down at the smalling bridge area 90% of the time and it was crawling with fisherman on Saturday, but Sunday we had it all to ourselves.

    Travis

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    127

    Default

    There is plenty of access on the Watagua in Elizabethton and around hunter as well as down stream. Get a good atlas and go explore all of the river crossings, as well as roads that go along the river. You'd be surpirsed at the amount of access

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default

    Thanks Travis, I also felt that it was crowded and a little bit limited on access. I do think I remember hearing about some access in Elizabethtown.


    Maurer! Do you know of or have you heard of any access points downtown Elizabethtown. There's supposed to be some kind of city park there?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Maryville, TN
    Posts
    800

    Default

    I may have read this wrong, but I swear that somewhere I read that there is fishing in the Industrial park in Elizabethton, as you drive into town. It looks like Cherokee Industrial Park is off of US321 and that Cherokee Park Dr goes right to the river. Could that be correct?

    There is also this map from TWRA:
    http://www.state.tn.us/twra/gis/trou..._Doe_River.pdf

  7. #7
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    Jan 2006
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    You are right, I think that's what I've been thinking about. It is supposed to be somewhat close to downtown.

    Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Also Sycamore Shoals in Elizabethton.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Seymour, TN
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    1,471

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    The Watauga has lots of access points in Elizabethton. It gets crowded though with the ever increasing numbers of anglers both fly and bait fishermen and some of the access points have now become no trespassing due to inconsiderant fishermen leaving trash and parking on private property without permission. There is also the increased presence of outfitters float trips on the river and "some" of them are not considerate of the wade fishermen. My last trip to the trophy section was met with 5 drifters with 2 anglers each stopping and getting out to fish within 10 ft. of me. I like to fish it during the winter now, less pressured waters and still catch decent fish.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Greeneville, TN
    Posts
    751

    Default

    Hello all,

    I am curious if the brookies they are stocking are of the southern variety or the northern variety. I hope to be exploring this stream in the future, especially after the weather cools down.


    Thanks,


    Neal

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