The Watauga River is one of Southern Appalachian Anglers’ top picks for wading and floating fly fishing trips. 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. Watauga River has a history of holding 2000 fish per mile and offers anglers with an unforgettable experience.
Fly Fishing Watauga River
Fly fishing the Watauga River is an exciting experience. Spring through summer offers anglers with prime dry fly fishing. Insect hatches are daily on the Watauga Rivers 16 mile stretch. From mayfly variations as well as giant stoneflies and everything in between, the river is a fly fishing heaven. All of our guided fishing trips are equipped with top of the line equipment to allow for a successful day on the water. Typically 5 – 7 weight outfits are used for trout fishing while 7 – 9 weight outfits are used for striper fishing.
For anglers who love to streamer fish, the Watauga River holds a healthy baitfish population. Anglers get to decide to throw large shad imitation streamers all the way to articulated black leaches. The river stems from the Wilbur Dam where cold water is generated from Watauga Lake. This highly oxygenated water provides striper and trout alike, with plenty of forage.
Flies and Techniques
While there are many different techniques to be used on the Watauga River, SAA’s favorite method, depending on time of year, is dry fly and nymph fishing and streamer fishing. Dropper nymphs are used in deeper pockets to get down to bigger fish. When the weather is nice and the sun is out dry fly fishing is all too common. Many hatches including craneflies, sulphurs, caddis and blue winged olives can be found, so matching the hatch is very important. Streamer fishing can be very productive when the weather man dials down the ticker into the 60’s and 50’s. Streamer fishing can produce big catches so hold on tight as your guide rows you down the river!
Book A Trip
If you’re looking for an unforgettable fly fishing experience down the Watauga River with an experienced and certified fly fishing guide contact Southern Appalachian Anglers to learn more about our exciting fly fishing excursions!