Catawba River tailrace Caddis Hatch

Bridgewater Hydro

View of Bridgewater Hydro from on top of the dam

Well it’s that time of year……  Caddis Hatch time on the Catawba River tailrace!! Lots of bugs on the river but really inconsistent flows.  I’ll try to get some good pictures of the bugs but it’s tough to get them to stand still and say “cheese”.  In fact my 6 year old listens better than these bugs!


Noticed the Duke Power site said no generation for today, so I stopped by the tailrace on the way to work and caught a few fish but really just caught the urge to go back as soon as possible.  Well that meant as soon as the shop closed at 4pm I was heading back.  So I spent the day watching the clock and at 4 I was already in my waders and out the door.

Good ol Ross reel

Drove straight there as fast as possible, of course I followed all posted speed limits! ;-)   With the dam being less than 10 miles from the shop, this has become one of my afternoon activities.  Stopped my truck, strung up my rod and was heading to the river as fast as possible.  Saw a few caddis flying around this morning but this afternoon was a different story.

CADDIS EVERYWHERE!!  Check out this video of the caddis crawling up my waders. 

Was able to get the browns to eat my dry fly!!  In fact, landed 18 browns and 12 of them on the DRY!! In February to beat all.  Our Wilson Creek Caddis in size 14 is a bit light colored for these Caddis but the fish did not seem to mind.

66 degrees at 5:18pm gotta love NC!!


As soon as things were getting good Duke Power decided to turn the wheels and mess up my afternoon delight.  An incredible February afternoon.

This hatch should only continue to get bigger over the next few weeks.  In years past I’ve seen the caddis flies so thick you would suck them in with every breath.  Hopefully we’ll get another huge hatch of them this year.

Here’s a quick video show the boat launch area without generation and then with 1 wheel running 1500cfs. 

We only have a few days open for guide trips over the next two weeks so if you want to experience an incredible caddis hatch right here in NC better book your trip soon.

Remember all guided trips are on sale for the month February.  Book in Feb for any date this year and save.  Here’s a quick link for you….

2 thoughts on “Catawba River tailrace Caddis Hatch

  1. Awesome article. I live in Charlotte and have been hearing about this section from the guys in my local shop. How is the wading access and is there a decent place to park and fish a bit?

    I was considering going up to Lake Lure to fish the Rocky Broad on Sunday, but I’d rather fish closer to home, I just don’t know how to get there.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

  2. Wading access is limited to section just below the dam for the most part. River is best fished from a boat due to this limited access. You can park just below the dam (don’t block the ramp please) and fish right there and downstream a few hundred yards.

    Hope this helps!

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