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-- On Point: Dry Flies Take Summer Stage on Hiwassee/Toccoa Rivers

-- Catch a Striped Bass on a Trout Stream?

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#696 Blue Ridge, GA   

    #692 Blairsville, GA   

#640 Hiwassee, TN   

On Point: Dry Flies Take Summer Stage on Hiwassee/Toccoa Rivers

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Insect hatches of summertime that matter to the trout fishermen on the Hiwassee River (at Reliance, TN) and the Toccoa River (at Blue Ridge/McCayesville, GA) grow few and far between from July through September. Still, it’s dry-fly fishing that the guide team of Reel Angling Adventures is likely to share with their long-rodding clients under the summer sun.

On the Hiwassee River, the venerable Isonychia mayfly is again riding the summertime seams, chutes and lanes of the scenic river’s classy shoal waters. From Fox’s Run to the Stair Step, the pterodactyl of the local mayfly population regularly rides high through July on cloudy afternoons, leading to splashy strikes mostly at the jaws of the abundant rainbow trout of the Hiwassee. But drift your big-bug fake over the woody river banks and hang on! The next strike you get can be from one of the strong brown trout that have held over well from the 2010 fishing season.

However, the Isonychia (otherwise known as the Mahogany Dun or the Slate Drake) is largely a loner in the predictability category of summertime bug hatches. The bugs of summer on the Toccoa and Hiwassee rivers are a scattered mix of the usual suspects -- Olive Caddis, Blue-Winged Olive, Light Cahill and Golden Stone. And our guides expect them to be historically elusive in their likely summertime appearances. Try any of these on any given day -- leading your dry-dropper-dry set-up with the larger of the species. My favorite rig leads with the Dun in size 12 and is followed

by the BWO in size 18.

Terrestrials also play a role with summer trout -- especially on windy days, and especially on the Toccoa, where bordering woodlands are broken by both hay fields and manicured landscapes. At water’s edge, large patterns that resemble grass-

hoppers, crickets, beetles, bees and cicadas can fool the Toccoa’s (as well as the Hiwassee’s) rainbows and browns, especially, where a trough runs dark green. And you can take advantage of the buoyancy of the oversized dries -- try Dave’s Foam Hopper, Madame X , Yellow Stimulator or Chernobyl Ant -- by dropping a Golden Stonefly (size 8 or 10) under it. Woody debris, aquatic grasses and large rocks at riverside are perfect avenues for a stonefly’s escape from its watery environs.

In summertime, the guide team of Reel Angling Adventures floats daily on the Hiwassee River ; and both float trips and wading trips are executed every day of the week on the Toccoa River, depending upon variable water flows. High-water periods on the Hiwassee River are assured daily, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, starting at 10 am and ending around 7 pm. Toccoa River water levels are controlled by the Tennessee Valley Authority on a daily basis to control the upstream lake level, meet power demands and respond to downstream water needs. For more information and booking availability for float and wade trips on the Hiwassee and Toccoa rivers, call Reel Angling Adventures -- toll free: 866-899-5259.

Hiwassee River Tailwater Flows
(From Appalachia Powerhouse to site,
 times are approximate and subject to change by the TVA)
Site                                            Flow Time
Boat Ramp ............................................. 15 minutes
Fox's Run .............................................. 45 minutes
Towee Creek........................................... 60 minutes
Cane Island ................................... 1 hour 15 minutes
Big Bend ....................................... 1 hour 45 minutes
Stair Steps ................................. 2 hours 15 minutes
Little Rock Island .......................... 2 hours 45 minutes
Big Island -- Rock Garden ................ 3 hours 30 minutes

Hiwassee River Update -- Summer 2012

By Bob BorgwatFly-fishing on the Hiwassee River at Reliance, TN, is stronger this spring than in many years.

Keeping with summertime tradition, the Tennessee Valley Authority on May 26 resumed its annual high-water flows on the Hiwassee River at Appalachia Powerhouse. Located 7 miles upstream from the Reliance, TN, boat ramp, the powerhouse runs on a daily basis. The first generator spins at 10 am, running the river level up several inches through the Stair Step shoal 5 miles downstream. The second generator turns at 11 am daily and completes the daily rise of the river to a mark about 24 inches above minimum flows that otherwise expose the river’s bottom. The TVA guarantees both generators will spin until 7 pm.,


Marked by sculpted granite formed in ledges, potholes, pools, chutes, lanes, ledges and rubble, most of the river bottom during high-water flows is obscured from the riverside. It’s also a dangerous place to wade. However, trout anglers who fish the Hiwassee from drift boats work the river’s character-filled bottom and patchy grass for it’s rainbow and brown trout. Stocked every other week, hatchery trout provide the bulk of the summertime fishing action from the powerhouse through "the Stair Steps." Reel Angling Adventures works the river with both fly-fishing and spinning tackle, depending on the skill set and desire of its clients.


Stripers on the Run!       

No matter the method of fishing, a typical day’s catch of rainbow and brown trout can number upward of 30 or more fish. Yet, it’s the pull of a 20- to 40-pound striped bass that can leave even the most successful Hiwassee River trout angler forgetting the fun and fast action enjoyed on the upper portion of a full-day’s float. From the Stair Step to the Reliance railroad trestle, the high-water flows expose the Hiwassee’s striped bass river lairs to float-fishing anglers. The annual migration of the stripers into the trout water from the massive lower Tennessee River system historically runs from mid-May through September.


Indeed, the stripers can be elusive on any given day. But a single hook-up with a striped bass in the late afternoon, as the shadows of the surrounding ridges draw long onto the water, is rarely forgotten. In 2010 a 46-pound striper was landed on the boat of RAA guide Bill Stranahan. In 2011, RAA outfitter/guide Bob Borgwat led one of his clients to a 38-pound fish that marked the team's big fish of last season. Will you catch this season’s biggest striper?


Reel Angling Adventures is operating daily half- and full-day float trips on the Hiwassee River through September 2, based on availability. Book your outing for trout and/or striped bass now! For more information, call Reel Angling Adventures, toll free: 866-899-5259.

Fly-fishing is hot this summer season for numbers of trout, and anglers are reporting catches of some of the biggest trout in years! Don't miss it! Click hereClick here to book your trip now, or call toll free: 866-899-5259!

Catch a Striped Bass on a Trout Stream? Plan Your Trip Now!

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By Bill Stranahan

Known for its superb trout fishing, the Hiwassee River at Reliance in southeast Tennessee, offers up an unusually exciting opportunity in summertime for taking striped bass – BIG STRIPED BASS – and it’s a blast for anglers of all skill levels.

In summertime, big striped move into the trout waters of the Hiwassee River. And we’ve got the catches to prove it! (See the photos at right).

Chasing striped bass on the Hiwassee River is not your usual fishing trip, especially since catching these stripers is done on a river that’s regionally known as one of the finest trout streams in the southeastern US! Locating the bruiser “linesides” on the Hiwassee River is more like hunting and stalking for a trophy buck. Like a big whitetail, the Hiwassee's trophy stripers are limited in number, including only those fish that migrate during the summer months up the riverway from Lake Chickamauga on the Tennessee River.

The stripers that find their way into the cold trout waters of the Hiwassee do so because, starting in late June, the water temperature in the riverway around Reliance rises into the low to mid-60s.  Stripers tolerate those temperatures just fine, especially when they can dine on the Hiwassee’s tasty rainbow trout!

Last year, the guide team of Reel Angling Adventures took several stripers that averaged about 15 pounds in size. Guide Bill Stranahan

leads the team in both numbers of fish and size, tackling individual stripers in the 30-pound range in 2007, and, once again in 2008, landing stripers in late June that unofficially top 30 pounds!

Striper fishermen who share a drift boat with the guides of Reel Angling Adventures on the Hiwassee River have taken the stripers on both fly rods and spinning tackle. But no matter the method, hooking up on a Hiwassee River striper is not for the faint of heart. Your guide is looking for that one special fish – the one that makes you smile every time you think about the hunt, the chase, the fight and the landing of your Hiwassee River striper!

Your catch won’t always come easy. Hiwassee River striped bass are finicky fish and can swim across long distances from day to day. Some days we’ve got ‘em in our sights. Other days, the stripers prove elusive to even our best fishing secrets. If you are looking to come out and catch numbers of stripers, this is not the trip for you. But if you would like to get that chance for hanging into a trophy-class striped bass, there’s no more exciting place to take that dream fish than on a trout stream!

Reel Angling Adventures is booking drift-boat trips daily on the Hiwassee River at Reliance, Tennessee, for summertime stripers – and year-round trout, too! Trips start at 10 am and are available in both half-day and full- day excursions. For more information, call Reel Angling Adventures (toll free) at 866-899-5259. 

Hang into a summertime striper on the Hiwassee River at Reliance, Tennessee

Summertime's the right time to catch striped bass on the Hiwassee River at Reliance, TNHang onto that rod!

Known for its super trout fishing, the Hiwassee River at Reliance, Tennessee, produced this 30-pound striped bass for angler Dave Fletcher on a late June drift-boat trip.Known for its super trout fishing, the Hiwassee River at Reliance, Tennessee, produced this 30-pound striped bass for angler Dave Fletcher on a late June drift-boat trip.

Once the cold riverway temperature warms into the 60s in summertime, Hiwassee River stripers move into the trout waters to feed on the rainbows that make up the bulk of the local fishing action.Once the cold riverway temperature warms into the 60s in summertime, Hiwassee River stripers move into the trout waters to feed on the rainbows that make up the bulk of the local fishing action.

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Photos by Bill Stranahan / ©TBI 2007Photos by Bill Stranahan / ©TBI 2007

Reel Angling Adventures operates guided float trips and wading trips for striped bass on the Hiwassee River at Reliance, TN, seven days a week for fly-fishermen and spin-fishermen. In season on the Hiwassee, we take our shots at smallmouth bass, too! Bring your favorite tackle, or let our guides share their selection of quality rods and reels -- fly fishing or spin-fishing -- with you.  Click here to learn more! Or call toll free: 866-899-5259

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Trout fishing float trips in Georgia, Tennessee and North CarolinaFor trip reservations and information, contact ...   

            Reel Angling Adventures   

PO Box 12   

Suches, GA 30572   

 Toll-Free Phone: 866-899-5259   

Email ...   

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