MAY: Hiwassee River (Trout)
The Hiwassee River tailwater, which begins at Apalachia Powerhouse, 10 miles or so downstream of Apalachia Dam, offers two different opportunities to trout fishermen: during periods of non-generation, the river’s broad shoals are largely exposed, dividing gentle pools and trickles of moving water. With either generator (or both) turning, the Hiwassee becomes pushy and deep and a little bit wild. Access is far more challenging on high water, but the fish feed more aggressively. Whether high or low, the Hiwassee is loaded with trout, with both rainbows and browns in the mix, and during May, the fish feed aggressively. Abundant and diverse hatches create very good dry-fly fishing for long-rod anglers; however, spin- fishermen can do very well with in-line spinners or minnow plugs. The best fishing typically is in a 2 1/2-mile-long section upstream of the Reliance Bridge where the road leaves the river, allowing only hike-in or float-through access. Be sure to check the regulations before going out.