River Profile :Hiwassee...or Hiawassee

The Hiwassee or Hiawassee as its spelled in Georgia is a tailwater fishery that gets its humble beginnings near Unicoi Gap in Georgia than flows through North Carolina and into Tennessee. Several sections get attention but Ive always been most interested in the water in Tennessee, specifically that in Cherokee National Forest.

Exerpt from Southeastern Anglers Website:
The Hiwassee Tailwater fishery begins in the Cherokee National Forest as it flows from TVA’s Apalachia Powerhouse. The tailwater section is about 21 miles long. The scenery on the Hiwassee tailwater is unparalleled, as it was the first river in Tennessee to be recognized as a State Scenic River. The upper river features an abundance of whitewater, deep runs, fast riffles, and big shoals that provide excellent fish habitat. The tailwater contains mostly rainbow trout and brown trout, with the average size running between 10” and 12” inches with larger trout possible.
The Hiwassee River is most noted for it’s wonderful dry fly fishing, as top water action can be found most anytime of the year. The hatches change with the calendar, as we’ll see many species of insects throughout the year. Our year begins for us in the spring with the early mayflies followed closely behind by the large hatch of grannom caddis. Late spring ushers in true blue winged olives and the beginnings of the sulphur hatch. The little yellow mayflies wrap up just as the large isonychias are beginning to get active in the summer heat. The Isonychias are one of our premier hatches as everyone loves fishing large dry flies and the hatch lasts through the summer and into late fall. Our Hiwassee River guides have their own special patterns. Big October Caddis keep us busy through the late fall as we wrap up the year with little baetis and white streamer patterns. The winter season can see many faces, sunny 60-degree days or gray, blustery days where the high temperature never reaches 40. The fishing holds well as the winter bite can range from baetis, little stoneflies, or even large white streamers for shad kill fish. this is delayed harvest season for our largest trout of the year.

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