The Watauga Riverkeeper and MountainTrue regularly test publicly accessible waters. The Watauga river is located in east Tennessee near Johnson City and is just a hour north out of Asheville North Carolina. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Wilbur Dam Canoe Access (7) Riverside Dr. is one of my favorite places to wade on the Watauga because of how easy it is to access and the amount of water you can cover. Watauga River 321 Access Upper Gorge Park is sampled weekly from May 1st to September 30th. December 11th The Watauga River tailwater flows from Wilbur Reservoir near Siam TN to Boone Lake near Johnson City. In 2015, an access trail to the Watauga River opened and a small parking area built. I preferred to park at the “Twins” baseball filed and work my way up and down the river. Classic Whitewater of the Watauga River Gorge. Courtesy of TWRA Region 4, Watauga River map of towns and highways within the watershed, Courtesy of TN Department of Environment & Conservation, Watauga River map of state designated natural areas, Watauga River map of hydrology within the watershed, Watauga River map of ecoregions within the watershed, Watauga River map of dams within the watershed, Watauga River Map of counties within the watershed, Products honoring every river and lake in the USA. I hiked the trail when the dam was generating and I turned around once I came upon the river rising upon a boulder on the trail. The trail parallels the river for another ¾ of a mile. I wouldn’t go there strictly for the hiking – other than to explore it for the first time, view the seasonal wildflowers and vegetation or if I was walking a dog. Sulphurs are hatching on the watauga as well. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The property was purchased to protect the state-listed Carolina pink (Silene caroliniana). Watauga River, Watauga Lake & Watauga Gorge. The riverbed in this area is pretty muck rock and those rocks can be slick. There is a lot of shallow water and canoes and small rafts are popular. Described as having a “rugged landscape harboring a diverse plant community,” the natural area includes white ash, bitternut hickory, eastern red cedar, chestnut oak, white oak, eastern hemlock, tulip poplar and yellow buckeye trees. Either wading trips or float trips to fit your fishing adventure, from beginners to experts, fishing with Champion Outfitters guide … “If they are not generating, just be careful. © 2013-2015 Localwaters/Mark Martin. So the wading can be a little dangerous at times. Definitely don’t be wading if they are generating anything,” Turgeon said. Cherokee City Park (2) Wading the Holston River . River Information Species: Rainbow, Brown and Brook Trout Angler Type: Boat or Wade Access Type: Public and Private General Flies: Midges, Nymphs, Sulphurs and Streamers. Call the TVA for more info about the release schedule at 865-632-2264 or click to TVA site. This trout filled tributary of the Holston is a mere 1 hour, scenic drive from Asheville. Over time, these shale fragments slide down the mountainside, resulting in shale debris on the canopy floor. When it opened to the public in 2015, the group installed the entrance sign for the access. On Steam Plant Road, you’ll also see a property owned by former Capt. Anglers with a simple map will find no shortage of places to fish and will have a great time pursuing this river’s big trout. The problem with the uppermost parts of the Watauga River in this area is access, or I should say the lack of The Watauga can be waded when they are not generating power and fished from a small boat anytime. The Watauga is very close by, and there are public access areas within a 20-minute drive. “If you can get out there and wade those spines of those rocks to the channel and fish, that channel is usually pretty good fishing,” Turgeon said. Access Type: Public and Private General Flies: Midges, Nymphs, Sulphurs and Streamers Suggested Gear 8 ft to 9 ft 4, 5 or 6 weight fly rods Fishing and River Description The Watauga River is one of my most favorite rivers. For more adventures along the Watauga River in NC and TN, whether it’s in the river, lake or gorge, click to the homepage of On the Watauga. Current fly fishing reports and conditions for South Holston River in Tennessee! Note that close to half of the trail along the river frontage is cut short whenever the TVA’s Wilbur Dam is generating upstream. will take you up to the dam, with the river access road running down to the left before the dam. The wide-open stretch of river is also a favorite among beginner fly fishermen and women. After crossing into Johnson County, the Watauga River is first impounded by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Watauga Dam, creating the 6,430-acre Watauga Lake. The ... Watauga also offers Smallmouth opportunities between the 194 Bridge and 321 and can be fished from a canoe or wading. Find out where the action is, what the water conditions are and everything you need for a successful day on the water! Public access is extremely limited on this river, which in turn limits the number of anglers you’ll see. People on foot will walk the trail along the river, collecting the trash and litter, and fishing guides and kayakers will boat out the hefty haul. It’s actually a manmade waterfall as Blue Water Industries quarry discharges water into the Watauga River. Watauga River is a river in Oak Grove, TN in Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park, John And Landon Carter House State Park, Cherokee National Forest, Blue Ridge, Appalachian Mountains. Sycamore Shoals (4) Site Management Division of Natural Areas - East TN office, 3711 Middlebrook Pike, Knoxville, TN 37921, phone (865) 594-5601; Division of Natural Areas, William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower, 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 2nd Floor, Nashville, TN 37243, phone (615) 532-0431. There are plenty of public access points to the Watauga River, and a few popular ones are at Valle Crucis Community Park and the Watauga River Gorge Access Area. WATAUGA RIVER: Note: Due to runoff from a recent fire the Watauga has suffered a major fish kill in the area below Elizabethton. This area is primarily used by anglers walking down to the river and fishing on the bank or wading in the river. Full day, half day, multi-day trips available. The area is favored by anglers who can access the Watauga River through the natural area and enjoy trout fishing there. Looking up the mountainside, the slopes are fragile. Just like the Holston, it is a TVA regulated river… The Lower Gorge River Access at Guy Ford Road near Bethel is the put-in to the classic Watauga Gorge. The map below will get you close to the river access. This access project was made possible by the Division of Natural Areas, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, which patrols the area, the Tennessee Valley Authority, which operates the Wilbur Dam upstream, and the Overmountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited (OMTU). The Watauga river starts in Boone NC and flows west into east Tennessee into ... Wading access can be limited since property holders own the riverbed and can deny entry. The majority of the water that feeds the Watauga is held in Watauga Lake, but just below Watauga Dam is a second smaller lake called Wilbur. Thomas Gourley that is marked with a plaque. Undeveloped and unoccupied since the ‘50s, this natural area is managed by the State of Tennessee. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Guided fly fishing trips. The first 14 miles of the river below Wilbur … We do both Wade and Float rips. maintain the trail and sponsor cleanup days, Tennessee’s Department of Environment and Conservation site. Rainbow trout | Photo Copyright: Justin Chew. See also: Best Spots for Trout Fishing in Arizona You will then cross railroad tracks and drive past a church. As for the fishing in the bluffs area, “It’s real good,” according to Ryan Turgeon, current president of the Overmountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited. I also saw a small boat drift by with a couple fishermen, looking to catch some of the trophy-size trout that this river is famous for across the Southeast. Access-Very good access on both sides of the river. Fly fishers aren’t as aware of the Holston River as they are the South Holston, Watauga, Clinch, and Hiwassee tailwaters because of access issues. “There are big flat rocks and they are sloped down in crevices. The Watauga River rises from a spring near the base of Peak Mountain at Linville Gap in Avery County, North Carolina.The spring emanates from the western side of the Tennessee Valley Divide, which is, at this location, congruent with the Eastern Continental Divide.On the other side of the divides at Linville Gap are the headwaters of the Linville River in the Upper Catawba Watershed. Make sure when you check TVA river flows you look at Wilbur Reservoir not Watauga. CAUTIOUS WADING IS A MUST. This area is sponsored by the Overmountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited. The trail to the Watauga River Bluffs is.25 miles, while the trail along the river is.75 miles. Fishing and River Description The Watauga River is … It helps to take a wading staff to keep your balance on some of those rocks.”, Aside for catching fish, Turgeon said, “Midges, size 20 or smaller, are usually the hot ticket down through there.”. Linville River. Find Jewish Therapists, Psychologists and Jewish Counseling in Boone, Watauga County, North Carolina, get help for Jewish in Boone. Our guides KNOW the Watauga River. Boating and Fishing Site Access Map This map is intended as a guide only, and its content is subject to change without notice. Because the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Wilbur Dam is located upstream of the bluffs, the river rises rapidly whenever the TVA releases water from the dam for generation. The river is about a 100-feet here. Bordering an old General Shale mine, the bluffs drop more than 200 feet to the riverbank. The trail is cut short when the TVA releases water from the Wilbur Dam. Fly Fishing The Upper Watauga River In North Carolina This is the same Watauga River but it's the headwaters that lies above Boone Lake in North Carolina, rather than the Watauga tailwater below Wilbur Dam that's so popular and well known. Required fields are marked *. Five years later, the nonprofit transferred the property to the state. However, most of the trophy section is only accessible by boat. The headwaters of the 78.5 mile long Watauga, begin at Peak Mountain in North Carolina on the western slope of the Eastern Continental Divide, and end at its confluence with the South Fork of the Holston River. Get the latest up to date fly fishing report for Trout fishing in South Holston River with the top producing flies and recommended equipment to get you into fish. USA Aggregate (5) Wilbur Dam Rd. More on that below. It is home to the largest-known population of the Carolina pink. The Carolina Pink blooms in April, May and June and likes a moist, partly shady environment and well-drained rocky soil. The bluffs area is open from sunrise to sunset. The Watauga River Bluffs State Natural Area is a 50-acre, rugged reserve open to the public in Carter County, Tennessee. Boat ramps and access areas Watauga River. It is best if one generator is running if you intend to use a drift boat. “It’s just a beautiful area down there.”. Gourley was given this property on the banks of the Watauga River when it was the frontier for his service during the American Revolution. After winding around a while this road parallels the river for quite a distance and provides easy access for wading and floating. Source Information The Watauga Riverkeeper, housed at the MountainTrue, monitors the Watauga River Watershed for E. coli, a bacteria found in the waste (feces) of … The trek to the river is about ¼ mile of easy hiking through a wooded area. Watauga River One natural feature that all park visitors enjoy is the Watauga River, which flows along the Park’s northern boundary. Brown trout are no longer stocked in this stream but the TWRA does stock several thousand rainbow trout in this water every year. Though this area has been accessed for decades, it’s the newest official public access along the Watauga River in the Boone NC area. When hanging out in the bluffs, you will likely see drift boats with anglers floating by on the far side of the river, where a deep channel exists. © 2013-2020 Localwaters. When hiking the area, I saw brittle cliffs of shale and its crumbly chips on the ground nearby. While the Watauga River headwaters offer a unique fishery with wild brook trout, big brown trout, and smallmouth, the Watauga River Tailwaters offer anglers with trophy catches, including big brown trout, a healthy striper population and rainbow trout. Also, they remove brush, fallen trees and cut the grass along the parking area and trail. The park provides areas for wading and play in the shallow, slow-moving waters. The map is intended to reflect the approximate location of water access generally available for the use of sportsmen/sportswomen. The headwaters of the Watauga River are found on the slopes of Grandfather Mountain in Watauga County, North Carolina.The river then flows across the Tennessee state line at Johnson County.. A picnic table exists near the riverbank and two benches are located at the trail head. The Appalachian Trail crosses the Watauga River at Watauga Dam.The tailwater is stocked with rainbow, brook and brown trout by the Tennessee Wildlife resources Agency. In 1993, General Shale sold the property to The Nature Conservancy. Suggested Gear 8 ft to 9 ft 4, 5 or 6 weight fly rods. The parking area accommodates about 8 … Inside the bluffs, the flower is “mostly concentrated in an open dry chestnut oak forest occurring on the west-to south-facing upper slopes” of the state natural area, according to a Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation info page. brown trout in this river. when the fish arent rising, size 16 split case nymphs, and flash back pheasant tails are working. A picnic table exists near the riverbank and two benches are located at the trail head. All Rights Reserved except where noted and attributed. They pick up trash that washes ashore. Hunter Bridge (3) It has great Blue Wing Olive hatches in early spring and the Caddis hatch that follows can rival most western hatches. Watauga river has been having longer periods of low water offering plenty of wading opportunities. It is shallow on the near side bordering the state natural area. The parking area accommodates about 8 vehicles. September 18, 2020 The Lower Gorge River Access site off of Guy Ford Road in Watauga County is open to the public thanks to the collaboration of … Sounds kind of like the bluffs. In summary, the Watauga River Bluffs trail is a great way to access the river by foot. The Watauga River is one of Southern Appalachian Anglers top picks for wading and floating fly fishing trips. Fore more details about the Watauga River Bluffs State Natural Area, click to Tennessee’s Department of Environment and Conservation site or call the Division of Natural Areas East TN office at 865-594-5601. Bear left onto Horseshoe Dam Rd., then turn right at intersection onto Wilbur Dam Rd. Blevins Bend (1) Cherokee City Park (2) Hunter Bridge (3) Sycamore Shoals (4) USA Aggregate (5) Watauga Dam (6) … Once you turn onto Steam Plant Road look out for Quarry Falls in the distance. Nearly 3 miles below Watauga Dam, is the TVA Wilbur Dam, which forms a much smaller but very deep reservoir known as Wilbur Lake. Another notable river system for trout is … Aside from cleaning up and maintaining the area, the OMTU also extended the trail by 1/3 of a mile in 2018. Use contact form for fair use, licensing requests or information. The only thing to note is to bear right when you come to a t-intersection in a neighborhood-like area near or along Steam Plant Road. Let us custom design your next fishing trip. Asked for any suggestions when fishing in the bluffs area, Turgeon suggested folks be careful when wading. Course. Because there are no trash cans, leave no trace is the rule. The small parking area will be on the right after a one-tenth of a mile, when you will see signs for Watauga River Bluffs. Your email address will not be published. On Google’s Watauga River Map use controls to scroll, zoom, topography/terrain, charts, satellite, geography etc, TWRA boat ramps and Corps Of Engineers Watauga River Maps charts below, Boat ramps and access areas Watauga River, Blevins Bend (1) In all, you could expect to hike 2 miles round-trip if exploring the entire trail. When hiking the area, I saw a local family with several kids splashing around in the water, enjoying the Watauga River. The OMTU meets a couple times a year to maintain the trail and sponsor cleanup days. View a map of this area and more on Natural Atlas. There is not a great deal of access for the wading angler but a few locations exit. Watauga River For me, the best trout water in East Tennessee is the Watauga River. For a fly fishing trip call 423-213-8129 For a shuttle on the Watauga river call Kellie at 423-213-8126 The online maps seem to get confused once I got near Steam Plant Road. There was quite a bit of trash along the trail when I hiked, but that’s because this area happens to strain a bunch of trash from the river. The rest is all on private land,” Turgeon said. The Watauga has both wild trout water and delayed harvest designations and has plenty of public access. A very wide section with deceiving deep trough. In 2015, an access trail to the Watauga River opened and a small parking area built. I mean, there would be better places to do that. The trailhead is located at the parking area. Your email address will not be published. Because of the hike, this would not be a good place to put-in a kayak or drift boat. Watauga River: Riverside Dr. To find this stretch, use 108 W Riverside Dr, Elizabethon, TN in a GPS. The upper section offers some public access, for wading. Watauga River The Watauga tailwater (below Watauga and Wilber dams) provides much of the same type of year-round trout fishing as does the Holston. During cleanup days, the OMTU will partner with the Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts (APEs) to cleanup the these recreational areas. All Rights Reserved •, Our business is driven by custom requests, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window). Walking the ¾ miles of trail along the riverbank and lower slopes of the bluffs, you will see plenty of wildflowers and ferns like Jacobs ladder, hepatica, trout lily, spring beauties and trilliums – depending on the season, of course. With a few thousand feet of river frontage, the Watauga River Bluffs offers fishing within the “trophy” section of the river, a hiking trail along the river’s edge and general splashing in the water. Watauga Dam (6) Crossing the river can be done with a wading staff during no release of water. “That’s on the trophy section of Watauga River, and it’s the only public access on the trophy section of the Watauga River. Within its 16 miles of fishable trout water, the Watauga River has one of the only stretches of water designated as a trophy section in the state of Tennessee. Given this property on the water APEs ) to cleanup the these recreational.!, size 16 split case nymphs, watauga river wading access flash back pheasant tails working! 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