After spending two days on the South Holston near Bristol, TN, a few of us decided to float the upper Watauga River near Elizabethton, TN. When you hear mention of the Watauga River, many think of the Quality Trout Zone and the Caddis Riffle. Yeah those are the more popular areas of the river due to flows, fish numbers, and easy accessibility. So the upper and middle Watauga are usually overlooked by most, usually because on low water you will have to drag a boat over shallow shoals and high water is hit or miss. So if your timing is right, you can experience a different part of the Watauga and see some pretty scenery.
We launched two boats at Wilbur Dam and floated to Hunter Bridge this past Sunday. We started off with overcast skies and a slight breeze. We found a pod of rising fish right out of the gate, which was a nice change of pace. After we caught a few it was on to throwing streamers and nymphs. The nymph fishing at the many shoals proved productive, and streamers between the shoals. We tied into a few fish pushing 20 inches and as luck would have it they came unbuttoned. All in all it was a great day on the water with some decent numbers landed, the biggest being 15 inches. I even had to put on some sunscreen when the sun finally showed itself. To book a trip a float trip on the Watauga River call 828-446-5552.
Getting ready for the day.
In case you haven’t noticed, worm patterns are great for high water!