If your life motto is “born to fish, forced to work” then Anderson County is the perfect location for you. Our ultimate waterway has state record setting fish just waiting on you.
Day One-Fish the Clinch
The great thing about fishing the Clinch River is that you don’t need a lot of equipment. You could catch brown and rainbow trout all day long with a fishing pole and a can of corn or a tub of night crawlers. You could take it to the next level and wade into the clinch or bring along a kayak. Fly fishing is very popular but don’t feel intimidated if you like to fish with a spinning reel. If you are interested in wading, you will need waders because the water is 50 to 60 degrees year round. The Clinch River is also navigable with an aluminum boat when the water is being released upstream from Norris Dam. Download TVA’s app to check the release schedule. There are several access areas along the 13 miles of the Clinch. If you are fishing from the bank, the best areas are along the Songbird Trail/Weir Dam area and at the River Road Access. The River Road Access is also a great place to put in a kayak. f you have a boat, you will want to put it in at the River Road Ramp, Peach Orchard Ramp or at the Highway 61 Bridge Ramp. You can find all of these areas mentioned by googling them. Oh by the way, did we tell you that the Clinch is home to the state record brown trout weighing in at 28 lbs. 12 oz.
Day Two-Norris Lake Fishing
The first question you want to ask yourself when fishing Norris Lake is what do you want to fish for. Norris Lake is a great lake for striper and crappie. It is also a great lake for small mouth bass but they are a little more of a challenge to find. Don’t worry if you are having a hard time choosing between those three, there are eleven other species to choose from. The lake has over 800 miles of shore line so there are plenty of coves to fish or you can fish from the shoreline at the public access ramps and parks. We suggest that you get a guide for at least half a day so that you can make the best of the time that you have on the lake.
Staying another day? Musky on Melton Lake
If you are looking for a fishing challenge, try fishing for musky on Melton Lake. The mergence of the Clinch River with Melton Hill Lake and the presence of the Bull Run Steam Plant make for the perfect breeding ground for Tennessee Muskie all year long. Again, we suggest getting a guide to get you off on the right foot because it is a tricky fish to catch. You could even use the guide that caught the state record musky that weighed 43 lbs. 14oz.
Places to Eat
There are many locally owned and chain restaurants in Anderson County, but for this trip we recommend a couple of places that you don’t want to miss.
Coal Creek Smokehouse BBQ is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. All of their meat is dry rubbed and smoked low and slow with hickory, oak, and applewood. They have pulled pork, pulled chicken, chicken leg quarters, spicy chicken wings, bologna, candied bacon, St. Louis ribs, and much more.
You obviously love the water, so what better place is there to eat than on the water at Calhoun’s. BBQ is their specialty but they also have steaks, burgers and more. More importantly, they have a great shoreline view of Melton Hill Lake.
Clinch River Brewing – If you love craft beer and creole inspired food, you have to stop in Clinch River Brewing. The Brewery and taproom are situated within Norris Dam State Park and directly across from the Clinch River, so after a long day of fishing it’s a great place to kick back and enjoy a delicious meal and cold beer.
Where to Stay
The obvious place to stay is next to the place you are fishing. Norris Dam State Park is a great option because it gives you great access to Norris Lake and the Clinch River. They have cabins and two campgrounds. If you prefer a hotel, there are six located about 2 ½ miles from the Clinch River and Norris Lake at Exit 122 off of Interstate 75. If you are coming with a group, check out our website to find cabins and vacation rentals that will accommodate parties of 2 to 32.