Watauga River TVA Water Release Schedule

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Tailwater generation schedule refers to the planned release of water from dams in a controlled manner, specifically in the tailwater section of rivers.

In the context of the Watauga River, which has a TVA-controlled spill-under dam at Wilbur Lake, the generation schedule dictates when and how much water will be released downstream.

The Impact On Fly Fishing

The impact of the TVA Tailwater generation schedule on fly fishing in the Watauga River is significant and can influence various aspects of the angling experience:

1.) Water Flow

The release of water according to the schedule affects the river’s flow. During generation periods, water flow increases, transforming the river’s character. This alteration in flow can impact the behavior of fish and the accessibility of certain areas for anglers.

2.) Wading Conditions

Fly fishing often involves wading into the river. When the TVA is generating water, it can lead to higher and faster flows, making wading more challenging and potentially unsafe. Anglers need to be aware of the generation schedule to plan their trips accordingly.

3.) Fishing Productivity

The change in water flow can influence the feeding patterns of trout. Some anglers find that fish become more active during or immediately after water releases, while others prefer fishing during low-flow periods. Understanding the generation schedule allows anglers to adapt their fishing techniques based on the conditions.

4.) Accessibility of Fishing Spots

The TVA Tailwater generation schedule affects the availability of certain fishing spots. Some areas that are easily accessible during low-flow periods may become submerged or dangerous when water is released. Anglers need to be aware of these changes to ensure a safe and enjoyable fishing experience.

5.) Planning Fishing Trips

Anglers who plan their trips around the TVA Tailwater generation schedule can optimize their chances of success. By choosing times when water flow is suitable for their preferred fishing style, anglers can enhance their overall experience on the Watauga River.

6.) Safety Considerations

Safety is paramount in fly fishing, especially in rivers with changing water levels. Being informed about the TVA Tailwater generation schedule allows anglers to prioritize safety by avoiding high-flow periods or taking necessary precautions when fishing in altered conditions.


In summary, the TVA Tailwater generation schedule is a crucial factor for fly fishing on the Watauga River. Anglers should regularly check the schedule, adapt their plans based on water releases, and prioritize safety to make the most of their time on this renowned trout fishing destination.

Contact our team of guides at Holston River Fly Fishing for updated river reports.

Want to learn more about our guided trips or reserve your date? We’re here to help you plan your fishing adventure. Contact us below to get started.

1 + 12 =