Fly Fishing on the Hiwassee River

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TFA 2015 Fall Meeting, Fly Fishing Outing, Oct 15 2015
(Please click here to print a pdf version of the information below.)

Leader: David Hudnall, 903.520.2229
Location: Hiwassee River (Upper Section) near Reliance, TN

The River: Spilling out of the Appalachia Powerhouse, six miles above Reliance, the Hiwassee River is considered a tailrace and its cool constant water temperatures provide for year-round trout fishing.  Its headwaters form on the north side of Unicoi Gap in Towns County, GA., and the Upper Section - where we will be fishing “ provides lots of exciting opportunities whether wading or drifting in a boat w/a guide. The river is heavily stocked each year but has many holdovers. Species include rainbow, brown, and some brook trout, average sizes range from 9-14 inches. Trout are regularly caught weighing several pounds, and trophy trout run 6-12 pounds.

Headquarters: Reliance Fly & Tackle Shop, located on the north side of the "Upper Section of the river, will greet us and provide last minute fishing options, supplies and gear.  From there, we will take a short drive up the Hiwassee toward the Powerhouse.  They can help with fishing licenses & trout stamps, and they carry all kinds of gear including flies, line, rods, staffs and snacks for sale.  And on a limited basis, they also have fly-fishing gear for rent such as waders, wading boots, wading staffs and rod-n-reels.  Those needing to rent equipment are asked to call them at least two weeks prior to arrival to ensure availability.  The Reliance Fly & Tackle Shop is located at 588 Childers Creek Road, Reliance, TN. 37369.  Phone: 423-338-7771. 

Requirements, Recommendations & Equipment: Participants are asked to sign-up for the Outing, proving name and cell phone #, & whether or not you will use the transportation provided by TFA.  Other requirements include TN fishing license & trout stamp, fly rod, reel & line, flies, chest waders and felt sole boots.  Also highly recommend a wading staff, fishing vest, hat, sunscreen, walkie-talkies, whistle, towel and a change-of-clothes.  Resident & non-resident fishing licenses/stamps are also available on-line and at most bait-n-tackle shops and major discount stores.

Flies: Blue Wing Olives begin hatching as the season cools off, and the egg and nymph patterns can be extremely effective during the "Delayed Harvest season, from October to February, in force while we are there.  During the Delayed Harvest, it's "artificial lures and "catch & release only!  Dry flies include Caddis (tan, green or grey, size16-18), Blue-Wing Olive (size 18), Sulphur (size 16-18) and Stimulator (orange, size 14-16).  Also try the Adams, Royal Wulff, Red Quill, Light Cahill, Black Ant, Muddler Minnow and Woolly Bugger.  Bead-head Pheasant Tail Gold-ribbed Hare's Ear and Tellico nymphs (size 16-18) are productive below the surface. Long light tippets are recommended when the river is low and flat, making a 3- or 4-weight rod preferable. 8.5 to 9 ft. 5-6 wt. rods are recommended when the river runs high and fast, and tippets can be strengthened and shortened.  Conditions don't just change from day to day on the Hiwassee, but sometimes from minute to minute.  More fishing info can be found at &

Transportation: TFA has arranged for transportation to and from the Chattanooga Downtown Marriott and the river.  Participants are welcome to take their own transportation but are asked to sign up for the Outing and notify the TFA/Outing Leader of your travel plans.

Meals: Lunch and drinks will be provided by TFA.

Distance/Directions: Its 61 miles from the hotel to the Reliance Fly & Tackle Shop “ so it's a 1.5 hr. drive, one way!
¢ From Chattanooga, we'll find our way to I-24E.
¢ We'll take I-24E to I-75N toward Knoxville.
¢ We'll continue on I-75N 19 miles to Exit 20.
¢ At Exit 20, we will turn right (east) onto US74/US64.
¢ We will follow US74/US64 east around the south side of Cleveland, and then turn right (east) again on the east side of Cleveland toward Ocoee, TN.
¢ We'll stay on US74/US64 from Cleveland to Ocoee.
¢ In Ocoee, we'll turn left (north) onto Hwy 411 & continue on Hwy 411 through Benton to Hwy 30.
¢ We'll turn right (southeast) onto Hwy 30 & to Reliance.
¢ We will now be following the Hiwassee River on our left.
¢ In the small community of Reliance, turn left (northeast) onto Hwy 315 and cross the river, and shortly thereafter you will see a set of railroad tracks.
¢ Cross over the railroad tracks and immediately turn right (southeast) onto Childers Creek Road.
¢ On Childers Creek Road, we'll follow the signs to our headquarters; The Reliance Fly & Tackle Shop, 588 Childers Creek Rd., Reliance, TN 37369, 423-338-7771.
¢ From the fly shop, we will all head up the river on Forest Service Road 108 toward the Powerhouse for our final destination/access points, which provide easy access for wading.

Heads-Up: Tail waters such as the Hiwassee are impacted daily by the TVA hydro-electric generation schedule. The river can be waded when the flow is low during zero or when 1 generator is running, and since the Hiwassee is broad”up to 300 yards wide in many places”anglers can wade even in high water in some places when 2 generators are running. The current can be deceptively strong in places, so wading staffs and felt-soled waders are recommended for solid footing. We're hoping for zero generation, but will depend on the folks at the fly shop for last minute advice.  TVA runs a 24 hour info line that provides generation schedule for the current day - and after approx. 6 p.m. will usually give the generation schedule for the next day.  1-800-238-2264. Push "4 to get the generation schedules, then push "22 for the Appalachia Dam/Hiwassee River.  Dam Release information is also available online at the TVA Lake Information Website.  If there is a generation occurring on the Hiwassee, we will plan to enter and exit the river accordingly.

For more info, please call TFA or David Hudnall, 903.520.2229

The $20.00 registration fee includes, lunch and refreshments. (Transportation Provided)