Copyright 2015 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide to the Tellico River Tennessee
Basically, the lower end of the mainstem of the Tellico is large water with some large pools.
It's still mostly pocket water but there are some sections of long riffles. The upper end is
much smaller, of course. The lower end of the tributaries are small, but nothing like the main
river. In the little brook trout streams you will find a completely different type of stream. In
other words, there are about three different types of water in this watershed. How you fish,
depends mostly on the particular type of water and the time of year.
The stocked trout are fairly easy to catch. The large holdovers aren't. The wild rainbows and
browns in the North River aren't easy to catch. High, fast water helps make it some easier
because the trout have little chance to see the fly. When it isn't high, or is low and slower, it's
far more difficult and requires much better imitations. The wild brook trout (some were
stocked at least at one point) are easy to catch and the natives aren't really picky either.
The big challenge is catching the larger, wild brown trout. This is not all to do with the Tellico
River. These same general statements are true wherever you fish.
We love fishing the North River and Bald Creek. We are not so fond of the main river. One
reason is we spotted guys throwing trout from the top of a truck from about 100 feet above
the water. They bounced when they hit. We don't fish the stockers but if people are going to
pay for catching them, they deserve workers stocking them that are not that lazy. To bad
they didn't work for my construction company years ago. They would last 5 minutes. Sorry
but it gripes me to no end.
The North River was introduced to us by a man that had fished it all of his life. He is now
deceased but it was a pleasure to hear its history and to learn some of what he knew about
the Tellico and the North River. There are some big brown trout in the North River, and also
in Bald Creek. They are very difficult to catch but I have seen browns in the North River over
twenty inches in places I could almost jump over. One more tip on the North River. Don't fish
or stay in the campground during bear season, and I would guess its that way during deer
and turkey season also. You may end up shot. Beware of hunting season.
Bald Creek takes some work to fish. It's worth it to backpack into the stream if you can. This
is an under-fished river. It is rough to fish, especially in its lower end. It's very deep and
requires some energy to get around much. It's full of large brown trout also. Some guys I
know rate it at the top of their list of streams for browns. I haven't fished it that much, mostly
the North River. We have fished it a dozen or more times.
Don't get me wrong about the main river. The Tellico River has its share of huge brown trout
too, but they are constantly hiding from the people sight seeing and fishing. They are very
tough to catch except during the Fall spawning season when its much easier. We haven't
fished the delayed harvest area but we hear some good reports about it.
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Tellico River Tennessee
North River tributary of Tellico
Upper Main Tellico
I am from the area and thought I may
help some if people are coming to fish
the area. Bald River is good fishing
especially up high around the Holly
Flats camp ground. The main river is
no fun to fish especially on weekends,
however, Monday through
Wednesday are perfect for it's not full
of corn dobbers and they aren't
stocking. Lastly, North River is no
where near as busy during deer and
turkey season. Most of the game in
that part of the country are bear and
boar. so usually mid October and
early December are no good for
fishing because you may get ran over.
However, Bald River does not see as
much hunting action as North River.