Calderwood Lake in Tennessee
Calderwood is a small, 541-acre reservoir located within Blount and Monroe Counties in East Tennessee along U.S. Highway 129. The dam was completed in 1930 and impounds the Little Tennessee River. While most of the reservoir is located in TN, the only boat access is located in North Carolina, due to restraints with federal property and terrain.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee National Forest border this deep, 8-mile long, cold water reservoir. Cheoah Reservoir is upstream of Calderwood and Chilhowee Reservoir is downstream. A reciprocal licensing agreement between Tennessee and North Carolina allows anglers licensed by either state to fish by boat and in that portion of Slickrock Creek which constitutes the boundary between the two states.
Those wishing to bank fish must possess a valid license from the state land they are fishing from. This is especially important to anglers bank fishing from the primitive campground located in North Carolina where they must have a valid North Carolina license.
The primary game fish are trout, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Black Crappie and Rock Bass. Trout are stocked on an annual basis and thrive in the cold, clear water. Anglers should also be aware that the use of limblines and trotlines is prohibited.
Calderwood Lake Map
Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass are present, but the cold water limits the growth rates of these popular species as well as the number of them in the reservoir. The daily creel limit for all black bass species is five in any combination, but only two of them may be less than 14 inches.
Largemouth Bass - Some popular tackle is Silver Buddies, Carolina-rigged plastic lizards, 4-inch plastic worms, crankbaits, Shad Raps, Rapalas, Rat-L-Traps, spinnerbaits, buzz baits, and many more.
Smallmouth Bass - Fish live bait on the bottom, Carolina-rigged lizards, or cast firetiger or shad colored Shad Raps, Rapalas, and Rebels.
Other than trout, Rock Bass are the most abundant game fish in the reservoir and there is no creel or size limit.
Fish in rocky areas with small flies and plastic grubs, small spinners, and small live bait. They will also readily take fly rod tackle as well.
Crappie is present in very limited numbers. There is a 20-fish daily creel limit with an 8-inch minimum size limit.
Fish in downed trees in the early spring or late fall. Small minnows, plastic grubs, flies tipped with minnows, and small crankbaits work best.
Trout are stocked on an annual basis and do well all year in the cold, oxygenated water. The current creel limit is seven trout per day in any combination, except only two can be Lake Trout. There is no minimum size limit for trout but there is a daily creel limit of 7.
Bank fishing with corn, salmon eggs, or small live bait can be productive or use terrestrial fly patterns and tiny topwater plugs.