Copyright 2015 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide to the Doe River Tennessee
This is a stream that is a little different from many because its headwaters are mostly on
private property in the rural area above the state park. There is also a lot of private
property below the state park. For the most part, you are limited to the Roan Mountain
State Park in the upper section of the river. That is not bad at all because the state park
has a lot of water and it is rarely crowded.
The stream is small in the section flowing through the state park. Most of it is completely
covered with tree limbs which is a good thing because it helps keep the water cool during
the summer. It can get a little on the high side temperature wise, but if there are no
drought conditions, the water normally stays below seventy during the hottest part of
summer. Casting is sometimes a little tricky. You need to make side arm cast, roll cast and
even some bow and arrow cast. The fish in the state park are mostly rainbows but there
are a few good brown trout mixed in with them. There is a mixture of stocked and wild trout.
The stream gets larger as it flows down highway #19 East. The farther down you fish, the
larger it gets. There are more brown trout in the lower section. The river is known for
having some very good sized browns in it. There are only a few access points along the
highway, but you can fish upstream as far as you want to. In places it is difficult to work
your way around the rocks, trees and deeper water, depending on the stream flow levels.
The part that runs though the gorge (where the stream leaves highway) is very rough. It
would not be a good idea to fish this area alone. If you got hurt you could get into a bad
situation. This area is also well known for its large brown trout. Below the gorge, the
stream widens out and flows mostly through private property into Elizabethton.
Although you can catch plenty of trout on the dry fly, your odds of hooking a larger brown
trout are far better on a nymph. When the water is slightly high and off color, streamers
work well on the larger brown trout. Of course as always with the browns, you will have a
much better opportunity if you fish during low light conditions either while it is cloudy or
early and late in the day. I should also mention that the brown trout spawn in the fall. In
October the large browns will start moving upstream and become much easier to catch.
Doe River Tennessee
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