Professionally Guided Fly Fishing Trips on the Hiwassee River and Surrounding waters in the Tennessee Valley.

 Hiwassee River Guides offers GuidedTrips in East Tennessee, Kentucky, & North Georgia. Guided trips on the Hiwassee, Clinch, Holston, Toccoa & Cumberland Rivers  targeting Trout, Smallmouth Bass, & Striped Bass.

     Hiwassee River Guides is a professional fly fishing guide service located in east Tennessee. Our Fly Fishing Guides provide excellent guided fly fishing trips on all of the tail waters in east Tennessee. Guided Fly Fishing Trips on the Hiwassee River are performed in whitewater Drift Boats by experienced operators. Float trips are performed using both traditional  Drift Boats, Rafts, motorized river jets. Hiwassee River Guides are very experienced knowledgeable on all the waters that where we offer trips. As well as being Licensed in East Tennessee and Kentucky our  Fly Fishing Guides have years of experience on all the big tail waters, including the Clinch River, Hiwassee River, Holston River, Cumberland River, South Holston River, and many smaller freestone rivers such as the Collins River, Ocoee River, & Tellico River as well as many more..  Hiwassee River Guides is a licensed and Permitted by the United States Forest Service, Cherokee National Forest for commercial operations on the Hiwassee River in Reliance, Tennessee. We are one of four licensed operators for the Hiwassee.

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​Hiwassee River,  Reliance Tn.

Appalachia powerhouse 1-800-238-2264 (#4,#22)

     The Hiwassee River located in East Tennessee’s southeastern most corner is our home water and we look forward to sharing the experience with all of our clients. A tail water fishery flowing through the Scenic Cherokee National Forest the Hiwassee is a larger river with a wide open western feel to it. Trout are main focus of anglers on the upper sections of the river. Depending on the season and water flows the Hiwassee has about 20 miles of trout water with some warm water species mixed in as well. Guided trips are scheduled based on the water release schedule from the Appalachia power house. Hiwassee River Guides uses Mckenzie styled drift boats for our trips on the river here. These boats are the safest and most comfortable way to fish and travel on the river.

Hiwassee River Guides is one of four permit holders for commercial operations on the Hiwassee River. If you are fishing here with guides make sure that they are an approved outfitter/guide service. We look forward to fishing with you, but if we are unavailable please contact one of the other permitted outfitters for the Hiwassee.

Hiwassee River Guides, Bill Stranahan,    423-208-8602

Southeastern Anglers, Dane Law,          1-866-558-7688

Tri-Star Outfitters, Steve Bryson,               423-519-6081

Reel Angling Adventures, Bob Borgwat, 1-866-899-5259

Water Release Schedule:


     Water flows vary on the river, but there is a method to the madness here. The preferred water flow for drift boat trips on the Hiwassee is a sustained one or two generator flow which is around anywhere from 1500-3000 cfs water release. During the summer months from Memorial Day through Labor Day there is a recreational water release schedule here which guarantees a set water release schedule. Because of this the Hiwassee has the most dependable and predictable water schedule of all the TVA trout waters. This schedule is generally one generator at 10am, two generators at 11am until at least 7pm. 

     There is also plenty of opportunity for wade fishing here as well especially during the early spring when TVA is trying to fill the lakes for the summer season. During this time of year the Hiwassee is generally operated on a pulse schedule with much lower flows. A typical spring schedule here is a one generator on for one hour, then no generator operation for three hours. When this water schedule is in effect an angler can wade the river just about anywhere he or she feels comfortable. At this water level we are still able to float and fish the middle and lower sections of the river.


     The Hiwassee is an interesting fishery, as it has a wider variety of insect life than any other tail water in the state of Tennessee. Because of this there is usually a good chance for some dry fly fishing on any given day throughout most of the year, you just have to be in the right place at the right time.

The rock star of the river is the Bi-Color Isonychia, the Hiwaasee is the only tail water trout fishery in the Southeast that i know of that has this hatch.

This is a good general Hatch Chart for the Hiwassee. 

- - - - - - - - -JAN---MAR---MAY---JUL---SEP---NOV---
- - - - - - - - ----FEB---APR---JUN---AUG---OCT---DEC 
early brown stone -- -X XX -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 
hendrickson ......-- -- -- XX -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 
blue wing olive ..-- -- -- XX XX XX -- -- -X XX XX --
grannom ..........-- -- -- XX -- -- -- -- -- XX -- --
brown caddis .....-- -- -X XX XX XX XX XX XX XX X- -- 
sulfur ...........-- -- -- -- XX X- -- -- -- -- -- --
cream & green ....-- -- -- -- -X X- -- -- -- -- -- --
golden stonefly ..-- -- -- -- XX XX -- -- -- -- -- --
isonychia ........-- -- -- -- XX XX XX XX XX -- -- -- 
light cahill .....-- -- -- -- -X XX -- -- -- -- -- --
yellow sally .....-- -- -- -- -- XX -- -- -- -- -- --
paraleps .........-- -- -- -- -- XX -- -- -- -- -- --
trico ............-- -- -- -- -- -- XX XX XX X- -- -- 
white mayfly .....-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- XX -- -- -- 
october caddis ...-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- XX -- --
winter stonefly ..XX X- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -X XX
midges ...........XX X- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -X XX

The Delayed Harvest Regulations for the Hiwassee River.

season starts on Oct 1 -- Feb 28
artificial lures with single hook only
catch and release, all fish must be released 

​     Starting in the 2011 season the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency implemented a Delayed Harvest (DH) program on the Hiwassee River. This is the only DH program in the state located on a tail water fishery. The DH section is from Appalachia power house downstream to the railroad trestle in between and the state park boat ramp in reliance.

Hiwassee River Stripers

 The average striper on the Hiwassee is anywhere in the 18-25lb range with many larger fish mixed in. This is a hard fight on any type of tackle, but it is unforgetable when you get one on the fly. Most years we start seeing fish in the upper river in june and fish on through october. On some years we may see a few fish a little earlier or later, this is mainly due to the water temperature in the lower sections of the river. This is big game hunting on a river, it is a lot of work, but the reward can be worth it.