Fishing Season: Year round

Hiwassee River - TN

Fishing Outlook & Conditions



Water Temp:


Dane Law's Tip of the Week

Excellent. Drift boats and inflatables on the upper river. Good flows, but low. We always like week days best. Some float and wade trips.

Directions open in app

Map of Hiwassee River

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby

Southeastern Anglers

5-Day Outlook as of 11/27/23

Delayed harvest in effect. Lots of god fishing here. Call Dane 770-655-9210. 11/27/23

Techniques & Tips as of 11/27/23

Drift boat on the upper river. Streamers and nymphs and be ready with some dries.

Local Species Available Year round

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    Rainbow Trout

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    Brown Trout

Dane Law's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
guides choice N/A

guides choice

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Dane Law's Recommended Gear

Description: About Hiwassee River

The Hiwassee scenic River in Reliance, Tennessee is a tailrace fishery. The constant water temperatures provide for year-round trout fishing. The Hiwassee tailwater begins in the Cherokee National Forest as it flows from TVA’s Appalachia Powerhouse. This section is about 21 miles long. The scenery on the river is unparalleled, as it was the first river in Tennessee to be recognized as a State Scenic River. The upper river features an abundance of whitewater, deep runs, fast riffles, and big shoals that provide excellent fish habitat. The Hiwassee River is most noted for its wonderful dry fly fishing, as top water action can be found most anytime of the year. The hatches change with the calendar, as we’ll see many species of insects throughout the year. The year begins in the spring with the early mayflies followed closely behind by the large hatch of grannom caddis. Late spring ushers in true blue winged olives and the beginnings of the sulphur hatch. The little yellow mayflies wrap up just as the large isonychias are beginning to get active in the summer heat. The Isonychias are one of our premier hatches as everyone loves fishing large dry flies and the hatch lasts through the summer and into late fall. Big October Caddis keep us busy through the late fall as we wrap up the year with little baetis and white streamer patterns. The winter season can be some of the best, with the larger brown trout being more active. The southeast Tennessee winters are mild compared to other parts of the country and winter fishing is under utilized. The fishing holds well as the winter bite can range from baetis, little stoneflies, or even large white streamers for shad kill fish during the winter delayed harvest season. •From October through March the river above Reliance is designated catch and release. All trout are protected under delayed harvest regulations.

Nearest Airport:

Chattanooga, TN.


Isonychias, BWO's, caddis.

Best Time to Fish:

10am - 5pm

Best Stretch:

Powerhouse to Reliance or below Reliance depending on flows

Best Access:

Train trestle boat ramp