The delayed harvest season is in full swing now. TWRA has stocked the river with some very nice fish and good numbers of them. We've had great weather, including some much needed rain, and things are looking very promising for the winter fishery.
We've had good success throwing some big, meaty streamers on sinking lines, but also swinging some tiny soft hackles and even dry flies. The fish seem to be hungry and more than willing to cooperate with a good presentation.Water temps have remained in the low 60's and we have the occasional caddis and BWO flurry, but no defined hatches to speak of. The winter stones have not shown themselves yet, but the mild weather has certainly kept a varied mixture of insect activity going throughout the day.
The brown trout are certainly on the move looking to pair up for a successful spawn, but I can't say that I've seen any yet. They have lots of hiding places on a big tailwater like the Hiwassee, so you just have to have faith that they are there. Not easy to spot these fish when they are generating water, or any other time for that matter.
The TWRA will continue stocking efforts on the Hi during the delayed harvest season. Rumor has it that we already have some trophy size fish stocked, and even some brook trout are going to be thrown into the mix again this year. Looks like another great season in store for those of us who enjoy fishing the Hiwassee in the colder months. You should definitely give it a try.
Tellico RiverThe Tellico also has its own version of a delayed harvest season in progress now. Much like the Hiwassee mentioned above, TWRA stocks some very nice fish in here as well. The Tellico is a freestone stream, so the water levels depend entirely on rainfall here. Fortunately we've had a wet October so far and the levels are perfect for fishing right now. The water is also clear as can be, which helps us in our search for mature brown trout that are on the move and looking for a mate this time of year.
The typical streamer and nymph patterns continue to produce fish here year round. Stealth and presentation are the 2 most important concepts here. Like any freestone trout stream in the southeast, stealthy wading and appropriate colored clothing can make the difference. Running through the water or wearing your blaze orange hunting cap will probably not produce many fish for you during the day. Try to blend in and wade quietely though, and you may get a shot at a nice mature brown trout. Nothing like a good spot and stalk on a wild brown trout in gin clear water. If that doesn't excite you then you should probably find a new hobby.
Again, I haven't spotted any brown trout moving around on the Tellico, but I did spot 2 separate pairs of mating rainbows recently. I know, I know, before you bombard me with e-mails, rainbows are spring spawners, right? Well for the most part, yes. But they have been known to spawn in the fall as well. Maybe it was a so-called "false spawn" or something, I don't know, but they were definitely rainbows and they were definitely performing the spawning ritual. False spawn or not, it was still cool to watch!