Watauga River

The Watauga River, being the tailwater from Wilbur Dam, stays at a temperature of 45-65˚ F year around. This makes it perfect for a variety of fish and insect species, perfect for fly fishing.

Watauga River Map


Fish - Per - Mile Average.

17 Miles

Wilbur Dam to Booke Lake


Wild Brown Trout Population

About The River

Originating from the slopes of Grandfather Mountain in Watauga County, North Carolina, the Watauga River flows into Watauga Lake - the third cleanest lake in the nation - surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest, and is formed by the Watauga Dam, followed by the Wilbur Dam; anglers can enjoy fly fishing all year round due to consistently low temperatures, and the river is home to a thriving population of rainbow and brown trout, with hatches that are ideal for blue-winged olives, sulphurs, caddis, and midges, as well as an often-overlooked abundance of scuds, which form a significant part of the trout's diet.

Watauga River Fly Fishing Trips

Watauga River fly fishing charters with Conrad's Fly Fishing Guide Service are the perfect way to enjoy a day on the Watauga River. Our Watauga River fly fishing guides are professional, experienced, and passionate about fly fishing. They will teach you everything you need to know about Watauga River fly fishing, from the best techniques to the best spots on the Watauga River.​

There's nothing quite like a day spent fly fishing on the Watauga River. The fresh air, the beautiful scenery, and the peacefulness of being out on the river are all great reasons to love fly fishing. But for man, the best part of fly fishing is the feeling of freedom that it gives.​
When you're out on the river, you don't have to worry about anything else in the world. It's just you, the river, and the fish. You can forget about your troubles and just enjoy being in nature. Fly fishing is a way of escaping from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and just relaxing.​

We offer half-day and full-day Watauga River fly fishing charters, so you can choose the length of time that works best for you, we also offer private Watauga River fly fishing charters for groups of up to six people.​

Contact us today to book your Watauga River fly fishing charter!


Watauga River
Fishing has been on fire producing large numbers of rainbows and brown trout. Fishing the Watauga river this time of year means be ready to adapt from using a size 20 zebra midge to dry flies on top. A attractor pattern with a Frenchie or midge will sure produce good numbers of fish.
Watauga River
Fishing has been on fire with the Caddis Hatch in full swing. Lots of browns and rainbows of all sizes feeding heavily.

Guided Trips