Learn more about Watauga River.
The Watauga River tailwater begins just below Wilbur Dam, in Elizabethton, TN. The stream is well known for its trophy rainbow and brown trout fishing. The upper section offers some public access, for wading. However, most of the trophy section is only accessible by boat. Within its 16 miles of fishable trout water, the Watauga River has one of the only stretches of water designated as a trophy section in the state of Tennessee. The trophy section is subject to special regulations which are strictly enforced by region four of the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency. The lower slopes of Watauga River Bluffs are rich with spring wildflowers and ferns that include hepatica, trilliums, spring beauties, Jacob's ladder and trout lily.