NC Angler Forums banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
813 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
....really, it's Calderwood's neighbor Cheoah Dam that provides the conditioned air. Calderwood's canyon retains the cool air of Cheoah's hydro operation for quite a ways downstream when it generates hard. I spent all day on Calderwood this Thursday, 14 May 2015. By evening when I got back upstream to the launch near the Cheoah Dam, that cold air refreshed me mightily! Me and Rosie, the fishing dog, did a lot of casting and trolling and it was a warm afternoon.

We started out the day casting spinners at the top end. I didn't even start the gasoline engine when we launched. I used the electric engine to move out into the flow and started casting a yellow Roostertail. I got plenty of follows and finally hooked a small Rainbow that jumped and escaped. The water was 51 at the top end. By the time I got down to Slickrock Creek it was near 60. It was 65 down at the dam. The lake is still cool despite light releases from Fontana upstream as of late.

As soon as I got downstream about a mile and the water was deeper, I decided to troll a little plug on one line and a hoochie on the other. Whilst I was still feeding out line for the plug it was hit and I caught the day's first little 'Bow. That was the day's theme, little 'Bows. A friend who fished Calderwood a few days back said to expect some Brookies. I saw none. I caught 5 'Bows on a hoochie behind a mini-flasher. I replaced the little plug with a spoon on the downrigger set at 40 feet. I never got a hit on the 3 spoons I tried. By the time I trolled all the way downstream to the dam area it was 1 p.m. and hot. The fishing had hit afternoon lull.

After lunch I decided to troll back up lake but the spoons and hoochies didn't produce. When I was halfway up the lake I could tell they'd started generating. I could feel the coolness and I quit perspiring. When I got back to the launch, there was traffic on the ramp. I tied on a Blue Fox spinner to a spinning rod and trolled about the shallow top end and caught one last little 'Bow whilst waiting out the traffic. I kept 4 of the 7 little 'Bows I caught. The ones that seemed less injured got paroled.

I'm gonna try Calderwood again come late summer when some of the fish grow up a bit. I'm disappointed that the deep spoons didn't yield any strikes. There's some decent Browns lurking in Calderwood. At least I had a fish to give my sister who'd been teasing me about not catching anything the last couple of trips. Me and Rosie had fish too....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
For the last few years NC has been stocking rainbow trout exclusively in NC lakes with the exception of Lake Appalachia in Cherokee county. Browns are stocked there as well under a trophy trout program. Does TN still stock brookies and browns in Calderwood?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
813 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For the last few years NC has been stocking rainbow trout exclusively in NC lakes with the exception of Lake Appalachia in Cherokee county. Browns are stocked there as well under a trophy trout program. Does TN still stock brookies and browns in Calderwood?
TRWA's website says that they stock Browns, 'Bows, and Brookies. It's been several years since I caught a Brookie in there. I thought Carolina had stocked Brookies in there at some point....? Maybe I was mistaken? On Tennessee's stocking summaries, all I ever see listed is Rainbows. There's always been some Browns in Calderwood. We caught Browns occasionally back in the 70's. They, apparently, left Slickrock Creek for the comforts of the lake. I caught a pair of native Brookies on consecutive casts at one of Calderwoods little creeks one day back in the 70's. They too, apparently came out of Slickrock or Little Slickrock Creek and ended up in the lake. Both fish were 8 inches. I used to roam a lot of creeks that held Brookies and had never broken the 6 inch barrier in the, mostly, ditch sized streams that held them.

I've never been to Apalachia Lake. I've never heard anybody talk about fishing it. It looks nice in the pictures I've seen. I've been in the gorge below it where the river is all but drained. When I used to fish the Hiwassee River, below the powerhouse, I used to wish Apalachia Dam was gone so the whole river would be fishable. All I really know about Apalachia Dam was that it was hastily constructed during World War 2 to help power the Alcoa Factory to make aluminum so we could build planes. I've always suspected it might resemble Chilhowee Lake in many ways. Now you've made me wish I could fish it someday. Browns, I like Browns!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
813 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I know they put Lake Trout in there twice. I heard that North Carolina asked them to refrain from stocking Lakers because they would eat up all their stockers. That may or may not be true. The cold water and depth would make a very suitable Laker habitat. I've night fished with a lantern many times. You don't get the big baitballs you can get at other lakes. I don't think that Calderwood has the baitfish to support many Lakers. I know someone who caught a Laker on a crawler near the dam. They live so very long that there could still be some in there. I talked to some guys out on Chilhowee Lake two weeks ago that said they saw a few fish at 120 feet near the dam recently on their electronics and they believed it must of been Lakers. I don't think that Browns or Smallmouths would sit that deep. I don't think that there's any Catfish in Calderwood....?

I don't think there's enough food in Calderwood to support a Laker population. I believe you'd have to stock something for them to eat, beyond little trout, for them to truly thrive. Calderwood's cold water is just what Brookies and Lakers like. The Browns there are so hard up for minnows to eat that I had one follow me one night when we drifted down Calderwood with a float light for 'Bows one night. We accumulated about 50 minnows that were following us. I was fishing with crawlers. This Brown lurked under the boat for about 20 minutes and ate about half of the minnows. We looked right at each other several times. That was weird!

I wouldn't be surprised if there were as many as a few dozen Lakers left from the two stockings. They can live many decades. Their camouflage might very well be the depth that is their abode....?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
Appalachia Lake

There are two more pages to this article. It can be found in the NCWC website under the title "Contents Layout". It is all about the trophy trout program at Appalachia Lake.

When Powell Wheeler and Amanda Bushon, fisheries biologists for the
N.C.Wildlife Resources Commission, were conducting research on
Apalachia Reservoir in 2011, they found both good and bad. The
good was discovering the temperature and dissolved oxygen
profiles would support stocked trout. The bad was
the presence of invasive blueback herring in the
reservoir. That left the question of what to do.
“Like with any fisheries related issues,
we’re always asking ourselves ‘what’s the
best fishery we can create in a given situa -
tion,” said Wheeler. “Given the cold water
of the system, we felt that there was an oppor -
tunity to adjust how we managed the reser -
voir. Looking at the resource, we thought
about what could provide a unique fishery,
and trout was certainly an option.”
The notion of a trophy trout fishery in the
Southeast is not unique. Lake Jocassee in
South Carolina, Lake Moomaw in Virginia,
Lake Lanier in Georgia and Bull Shoals Lake
in Arkansas have been managed as trophy
trout fisheries for decades. Lakes may lend
themselves to trophy trout fisheries when you
have cold water and an abundance of forage
for trout to eat and grow.
The Apalachia project is a pilot study, and
the first reservoir in North Carolina being
man aged as a trophy trout fishery. And so far,
it’s succeeding.
Starting in 2012, a total of 5,000 brown
and rainbow trout were stocked in Apalachia
each year. Commission biologists began a
creel survey on the lake last December, which
will run through November 2015, to deter -
mine if the stocked fish are being harvested
by anglers. Biologists have also conducted
both gill net and electrofishing surveys to
determine the status of the trout population.
“Initial results are positive,” said Jake Rash,
coldwater research coordinator for the com -
mis sion. “We’re seeing growth and it’s clear
they’re taking advantage of the herring. The
long and short of it; I think it’s going to suc -
cess ful. I think it’s a real opportunity for us
to provide trophy trout and provide a new
angling experience for our anglers. We’re
optimistic it can be a desti nation fishery.”
It will be a
long destination
trip for most anglers
in the Tar Heel state. The
lake is west of Murphy, about
six-and-a-half hours from Raleigh.
Christian Waters is a fisheries program
man ager who oversees the fisheries man -
age ment program for the commission. He
said, “The reason we’re able to do this at
Apalachia is that the conditions are right for
this kind of fishery. At this point we have not
iden tified another system with conditions
like Apalachia.”
All stocked trout were marked with visible
implant elastomer (VIE) to denote size and
year of stocking. To differentiate between sizes
of fish at stocking, 10-inch fish were marked
with VIE in the left cheek and 14-inch fish
were marked in the right cheek. Different
colors of VIE were used each year, fish stocked
in 2012 were tagged with red, blue in 2013,
and yellow in 2014.
“Generally, when you look at studies on
reser voir trout stocking, they suggest stock -
ing larger fish. At that point they are more
likely to adapt to piscivory-eating fish like
blueback herring,” said Bushon. “To deter -
mine the size of each fish when stocked, we
utilized VIE marks. Color indicates year,
march
march • aapprrilil 2 2001512wwinincc 335
Opposite page: The commission employs gill
nets to sample for trout and have caught
trout up to 6 pounds. Above, to iden tify
which year they were stocked and what
size they were at stocking, the trout are
marked with a visible implant elastomer
on a cheek. Color indicates year, and which
side of the fish identifies size at stocking.
Trout
by thePound
The commission is utilizing an invasive forage base
to grow big trout for anglers.
WRITTEN BY MIKE ZLOTNICKI & PHOTOGRAPHED BY MELISSA McGAW
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,207 Posts
Experience with trolling for lake dwelling trout in SC's Lake Jocassee suggests that browns are generally going to hold pretty tight to flooded timber or other deep structure, while rainbows stay oriented to current in relatively open water. Browns also showed a marked preference for bigger lures, live baits and trolling speeds around 1.8-2 mph, with rainbows and bass generally hitting baits or lures trolled in the 2.5 mph range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
813 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There are two more pages to this article. It can be found in the NCWC website under the title "Contents Layout". It is all about the trophy trout program at Appalachia Lake.

When Powell Wheeler and Amanda Bushon, fisheries biologists for the
N.C.Wildlife Resources Commission, were conducting research on
Apalachia Reservoir in 2011, they found both good and bad. The
good was discovering the temperature and dissolved oxygen
profiles would support stocked trout. The bad was
the presence of invasive blueback herring in the
reservoir.....
l
Brown Trout should tamp down those Herrings over time. Apalachia Lake looks a lot like Chilhowee Lake and it's about the same size. As much as I'd like to fish it, I might never. There's no easy ways to drive there from here despite the distance, as a bird flies, not being so great. I searched U-Tube for "fishing at Apalachia Lake". There wasn't a single video of fishing. I did see a lot for sale with a lake view. I watched some motorcycle riders' videos of riding the roads near the lake and Murphy. I sure wouldn't take TN Highway 68 to get there!!!! That looks like the shortest route. It looks rough! It looks like the only practical way to get there is take U.S. 129 all the way to Murphy and then get on other roads. It appears that the only launch is right below Hiwassee Dam. One of the motorcycle videos started at Reservoir Road, the turn off I'd need, and then he drove down to Murphy.

There's so few roads across the mountains in Apalachia's area, coming from the west is rough or long.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
813 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Experience with trolling for lake dwelling trout in SC's Lake Jocassee suggests that browns are generally going to hold pretty tight to flooded timber or other deep structure, while rainbows stay oriented to current in relatively open water. Browns also showed a marked preference for bigger lures, live baits and trolling speeds around 1.8-2 mph, with rainbows and bass generally hitting baits or lures trolled in the 2.5 mph range.
Most of my Brown Trout fishing was on the lower Little T before TVA buried it. The Browns, the smaller ones for sure, liked the cover of undercut banks. Many times we saw the big ones roaming around chasing the little trout. I even had one strike and leave teeth marks on the back of a 14" 'Bow I was reeling in. Browns do like cover...till they get huge and fearless....

The north shore of Calderwood, near the dam, has lots of timber. I'll try my Brown lures through there hugging that bank a bit next time out. I was down in that area in the middle of the day this past trip. I wish I'd started down there. The fish upstream were so small. I've never caught a Brown over 14" in Calderwood but I lost one that looked to be about 5 pounds just up around the first turn, upstream from the dam, 2 years ago. I like that area of Calderwood. The bigger fish tend to be down there in my experience.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top