The City of Norris was built out of necessity but it wasn’t built haphazardly. It was a planned community built by the Tennessee Valley Authority to temporarily house the workers building the first TVA dam, Norris Dam. The city’s ultimate purpose was to be a permanent town that demonstrated cooperative living and utilized the most modern convenience of that time, electricity
The houses, modestly built out of natural stone and native cedar, were fully electric, with ceiling heat and refrigerators which was quite impressive since only about two percent of resident of the area had electricity before the city was built. The houses may look scattered and misplaced but they were strategically placed in relation to the terrain and surrounding community common areas where families could work together to grow gardens.
TVA also built the once largest electrically heated structure in the entire world which functioned as a school for all grades, an adult education facility and a community center.
TVA owned and managed the city until 1948, when the government auctioned it off. A Philadelphia consortium bought the entire city of Norris, houses and all for just over $2 million and sold it in pieces, mainly to residents.
Norris has remained virtually unchanged since the early 1950’s. Residents still pickup their mail at the local post office, original home still line the meandering trails and the city’s inhabitants foster a community minded spirit.
The City of Norris is also the southern gateway to Norris Lake, home of the Norris Watershed and neighbor to the Clinch River.
Many experienced anglers who have shed the premier trout waters of the United States consider the Clinch River tailwater to be one of the nest trout sheries in the country. The clear, shallow, slow moving Clinch demands a stealth approach, delicate presentation, small ies and drag-free drifts. You can wade or drift in a boat.
Where is the Clinch River?
Nestled in the mountains of East Tennessee, the Clinch tailwater is 13 miles in length and flows from Norris Dam, at River Mile 80, to the Highway 61 Bridge near Clinton, TN, at River Mile 67.
What kind of fish can be found in the Clinch?
Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout and brook trout call the Clinch home. Almost all of the sh caught will be robust, wild, quality sh. The average trout will be 11 to 12 inches in length. Trout in the 14 to 16 inch range are common, and on most days one can reasonably expect to hook one or two sh in the 18 to 22 inch range. It is not unusual for a skilled angler to land a half dozen sh over 18 inches during the sulfur emergence in spring. Good mayflies typically hatch from May to June and a steady midge hatch can be predictable during the summer and winter months. The majority of the fisheries diets for the Clinch River consist of midges, black flies, sow bugs, scuds, and small caddis pupa. Also big streamers and terrestrials are always an effective alternative to dry fly fishing! Whether wading or floating; anglers can pursue dry fly, wet fly, or streamer fishing with spectacular trophy fish. The Clinch River Tail-water is stocked with rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout from March through September.
When to Fish
Fishing on the Clinch is good year round but it is great in late winter, early spring and late fall, early winter. If you are interested in wading, you will need to check TVA’s website at www.tva.gov.lakes.noh_r.htm to view the water generation schedule. If you plan on boating, you can launch your boat at the River Road TVA access.
Average fish run 7″ to 14″, while 18″ to 20″ trout are often taken. Rainbows comprise 80-90 percent of the catch. Almost all of the fish caught will be robust, wild, quality fish. Trout will average 11-12 inches in length. Fish in the 14 -16 inch range are common, and on most days one can reasonably expect to hook one or two fish in the 18-22 inch range. It is not uncommon for a skilled angler to land a half dozen fish over 18 inches during the sulfur emergence in spring. While rainbows comprise well over 80 per cent of the catch, browns do well in the river. The Tennessee state record brown, 28 pounds 12 ounces, was taken from the Clinch in the late 1980s. Browns over 30 pounds have been electroshocked and found dead by anglers. Spin fishermen float the river in boats during one- and two-generator flows in pursuit of these big trophy browns. Rainbows over ten pounds have been caught. The Clinch also contains assorted rough fish, and spin fishers take the occasional walleye and striped bass.
Visit www.tennessee.gov/twra/shlicense.html for Tennessee shing license information. You can purchase the appropriate license online or at the Wal-Mart located at exit 122, which is open 24 hours.
If you are interested in wading, you will need to check TVA’s website at www.tva.gov.lakes.noh_r.htm to view the water generation schedule. If you plan on boating, you can launch your boat at the River Road TVA access.
Where to Stay
There are hotels, cabins, condos and houses to rent near the Clinch River. A few are listed below or you can find more information here.
Enjoy a delicious, creative brew at Clinch River Brewing, the only craft brewery in Anderson County!
Located in historic Norris, TN, just below Norris Lake and Norris Dam, nestled into the hills of the 2700 acre Norris Watershed and trails, and directly across the street from the Clinch River, offering the best trout fishing in the Southeast.
Their unique location was the former home to the TVA Aquatics Laboratory, and full of local lore, mysteries, and a grand amount of history. Browse a bit at the Appalachia Outdoor Center, rent a kayak or canoe, hit the trails by hoof or bike, or simply contemplate the rainbow trout in the pond, sip a brew and be thankful for life!
As a way to honor the incredible talent of the craft beer industry in the area they offer guest taps as well as their own in-house hand crafted beer selection by Jordan Skeen (Head Brewer) and Alex Shirey (Asst Brewer/Mgr). Local legend, Chef Brandon Cruze, will also be whipping up light fare to pair with the brew.
Lenoir Historical Complex at Norris Dam State Parkinfo
The Lenoir Museum contains artifacts from Early Americana which were collected for over 60 years by Will G. Lenoir and his wife Helen and donated by the Lenoirs to the State of Tennessee. The Lenoirs strongly desired that the rapidly, changing times not wipe out an appreciation of the hard work and ingenuity that were a part of everyday life. They searched for, bought and stored away artifacts to preserve an understanding of that life. It was not just the artifacts they collected, but also the stories of the people behind them and their use.