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4699 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Marty Owens
Hey I`m going to lake Santeelah next month. Anyone ever been there? how does it fish?
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I ve only been there one time, there are quite a few trout streams around the lake and some parking places on the side of the road with picnic table along the streams. There was one bait shop that was on one side of the lake and one that was also a boat rental place on the other. I did catch a couple of trout in the streams but I didn't have much luck in the lake. The water level was low at the time because it was a few years ago when we didn't have any rain for a while. there is also lake fontana, which is larger. the lake fontana dam you can go and walk across plus it is the dam used in the movie "the Fugitive" where Harrison Ford escapes and jumps down into the river.
You will enjoy Santeelah. Other than trout, the lake has some nice size smallmouth. Don't forget the bass lures. Fontana is another great lake.
Thanks guys for the input. I have been to fontana with my carolina skiff, we stayed at almond boat park, in their cabins,but the water is so darned deep there we didn`t catch much,(a few white bass at night) but it is a beautiful lake.thanks again...mark
mountain jewels

Fontana can be tuff. I have a houseboat on fontana and have fished it all my life. But, you asked about santeelah. It is a great lake. It has eveything Smallmouth, Largemouth, Walley, Trout and more. The secret to these mountain lakes is doll flys or hair jigs as we call em up here. Natural colors of buck tail work great. Tied on 1/8 oz jig head. Use very little hair much less than you would think. They will catch smallies,walleye and trout. Just cast it and swim it back slow dont try to work it on the bottom. They work great on funtana to.;) PS fontana dam was not in the fugitive. Cheowah dam the lake below it was.
alot easier to fish than fontana. I like the banks early in the morning with a rapala. use a light at night and dunk some minnows for smallies and walleyes
alot easier to fish than fontana. I like the banks early in the morning with a rapala. use a light at night and dunk some minnows for smallies and walleyes If I am not mistaken, it was the nantahala dam that the movie was filmed at, I may be wrong though, cheoah dam does not seem that shallow at the bottom.
all in all it was Tapoco Dam that he jumped from. I just remeber walking on fontana dam then driving around and going by another dam before getting out to the dragon tail. a guy told me that the movie was filmed at the dam an i thought he ment fontana but evidently he ment the tapoco.
Great advice on the buck hair jigs. I spin up myself. Deadly when tipped with a minnow for big smallies. If you find some breaking fish, throw a little cleo.
Mountain lakes

I was on fontana and santelah both this past weekend. The fishing on both is very slow. Trolling is the order of the day for now. Night fishing is your best bet.;)

The lake chain is Fontana,Cheoah and Calderwood. Tapoco is the name of the area near the dragons tail. You crossed Cheoah dam to get to the dragons tail. He jumped from Cheoah Dam. Look at the movie the dam in that movie is know wher near as big as fontana Dam. Look at the movie InDreams It was filmed in this area and shows fontana marina and shots on the lake. The dam though is Cheoah Dam. It must look better for Filming. One little foot note my Grandfather retired from Cheoah Power House. I Have been there many times. Cheoah lake is a fabuolus trout lake the cold water makes it perfect.:)
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