Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Watauga River - Elizabethton - Tennessee

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Afternoon #18 - #24 Zebra Midges, Black Beauty
Blue Wing Olive Late Morning-Early Afternoon #18 - #22 Blue Wing Olive Emerger
February Midges Afternoon #18 - #24 Zebra Midges, Serendipity
Blue Wing Olive Late Morning-Early Afternoon #18 - #22 Barr's BWO Emerger
March Blue Winged Olives Midday #16 - #20 BWO Parachute
Hendricksons and Red Quills Afternoon #12 - #14 Hendrickson Parachute
April Caddisflies All Day #14 - #18 Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis
May Caddisflies All Day #14 - #18 Holy Grail Caddis Emerger
Sulphurs Evening #14 - #18 Sulphur Dun, Sulphur Emerger
June Sulphurs Evening #14 - #18 Sulphur Comparadun
Light Cahills Evening #12 - #14 Light Cahill Dry Fly
July Tan Caddis All Day #14 - #16 Tan Elk Hair Caddis
August Terrestrials All Day #10 - #14 Ant Patterns, Beetle Patterns
September Terrestrials All Day #10 - #14 Hopper Patterns
Blue Winged Olives Midday #16 - #20 BWO Parachute
October Blue Winged Olives Midday #16 - #20 Blue Wing Olive Emerger
November Blue Winged Olives Midday #16 - #20 Blue Wing Olive Dry Fly
Midges Afternoon #18 - #24 Zebra Midges, Black Beauty
December Midges Afternoon #18 - #24 Zebra Midges, Red Brassie
Blue Wing Olive Late Morning-Early Afternoon #18 - #22 Blue Wing Olive Emerger

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

Fly fishing on the Watauga River in Elizabethton is a popular pastime among both locals and visitors. Here are some of the best spots for a fruitful fishing expedition:

  • Watauga River Bluffs State Natural Area: This area is known for its optimal fishing environments and scenic beauty. It is incredibly rich in aquatic life, making it a haven for fly fishing enthusiasts.
  • TV Lane River Access: A well-maintained access point that is ideal for fly fishing. The waters here are fed by Wilbur Lake, which is prolific with trout.
  • Siam Bridge: This is a favorite spot for local fishermen. The clear and calm waters beneath the bridge are teeming with fish.
  • Stoney Creek: Located upstream from Elizabethton, Stoney Creek’s mountain trout provide fantastic fly fishing opportunities.

All these spots have unique features that make them ideal for a fun-filled fly fishing experience on the Watauga River.

Best Access Points

Located in Tennessee, the Watauga River – Elizabethton is an excellent spot for fly fishing. Notable access points include:

  • Siam Bridge: Public parking is available near the bridge making it an easy to reach fishing spot.
  • Stoney Creek: It merges with the Watauga River near Elizabethton. You can find parking spots along U.S.19E.
  • Blevins Road: It is close to Erwin Highway. There is a parking area available right near the river.
  • Riverside Drive: It runs along the Watauga River and great for walk-in fishing.
  • Wilbur Dam: Below the dam is a productive trout stretch. Parking is available for easy water access.

Please remember to respect private property rights and only use public access points or get landowner permission.

Local Fish

  • Brook Trout: This species is native to Appalachian region and very popular among anglers. It thrives in colder waters so it is prevalent in the upper part of the Watauga River.
  • Brown Trout: This fish is abundant in the Watauga River. It adapts well in different water conditions making it easier for fly fishers to target.
  • Rainbow Trout: This is one of the most targeted fish for fly fishing due to its beautiful coloration and energetic fight. The Watauga River provides an ideal habit for this species.
  • Smallmouth Bass: Predominantly found in the lower sections of the Watauga River where the water is slightly warmer. It is a popular target for fly fishers due to its aggressive behavior.
  • Striped Bass: This fish is a tough fighter making it a thrilling catch for any fly fisher. They are usually found in deep pools of the Watauga River.
  • Bluegill: Although not a trout, this species is quite popular for beginner fly fishers because it’s easy to catch. The river has an abundant population of Bluegill.
  • Walleye: Mostly found in the deeper parts of the Watauga River, Walleye provides a good challenge for advanced fly fishers. This species has higher nutritional value compared to other game fish.
  • Channel Catfish: This species is abundant in the Watauga River. It can grow to considerable size providing fly fishers with a fun and challenging experience.

About The River

Known for its sparkling waters and scenic views, the Watauga River is a significant part of Elizabethton, Tennessee history. This beautiful river, whose name in Native Cherokee language translates to ‘beautiful water’, has marked the landscape for thousands of years.

The Watauga River was a key resource locale for Native American tribes like the Cherokee, before European settlers found their way to these robust lands. These communities used the river for fishing and as a route for trade.

Highlights of the Watauga River’s roles over the centuries include:

  • Providing a natural boundary during the Revolutionary War era.
  • Serving as a source of power for mills in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Transforming into a prime spot for thrilling outdoor recreational activities in modern times.

Even today, this majestic river in Elizabethton continues to catch the eye of nature lovers, historians, and adventure enthusiasts alike.


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