View Full Version : SoHo Question

03-13-2008, 07:25 PM
Just started fishing the SoHo after recently moving to the area and absolutely love it. Just had a quick question regarding wading. If fishing downstream from the grates, maybe 1/2 to 3/4 mile, you come to a gravel road and the bank and no trespassing signs nailed to trees. There is also a shed built on the side of the bank. In the water where the shed is there are several nice holes with big fish. My question is, is it allowed (not considered trespassing?) if you are actually wading in the water here or is it still considered trespassing?? Also if it is trespassing how far to an access point down the river must you go??



03-13-2008, 08:01 PM
You bring up an important question concerning fishing rights. TWRA has jurisdiction over the water, TVA has ownership of many of these waters, and even some of the bank surrounding it. That does not mean that some one does not own the land you need to cross to get to it. Many private land owners work with TWRA to provide access to trout streams in the middle of private land. I just depends. I have not heard of any forces posting of no teaspassing laws so it could be unwanted treaspassing. Once you are in the water you are good.

03-13-2008, 11:03 PM
I don't know for sure who is right or wrong, but I do remember a fairly good discussion before about wading past no trespassing signs.
From what I can remember the land owners own to the midpoint of the river.
If you were drifting and not touching the land below then you are ok, but once your on their half of the river it could get a little iffy. I think a lot has to do with that particular homeowner. My best advice would be to go and ask them to fish, and if they say no then move on and enjoy the other parts of the river.
Rleedy, try doing a search of this forum or the smokey mtn fishing forum and see what you get for results on this topic. A lot of good answers have already been given.
I hope this helps.

Gerry Romer
03-13-2008, 11:30 PM
If I guesstimate your measurements correctly, the gravel road you refer to and the barn structure are private property and heavily signed as such at the top of the hill ( beginning of the gravel road). If you drive just past the second parking lot on the left after the grates, you'll come up to another TVA access road on the right. Turn right there and go to the small parking lot on the right at the end of the road - about a quarter mile. If you were to go straight instead of turning off into the parking lot, you'd run straight into the chain that blocks off the top of the gravel road. From the parking lot, you can hike toward the river and take a trail down to the river. This is all TVA property. If you stay on the trail, it runs along the bank for a good distance. At the trails end, you will see an orange tipped boundary marker that indicates the end of the TVA property. You can easily access the river anywhere along the trail. Once you reach the end of the trail, you will be trespassing if you go any further along the bank, but once you're in the water you should be okay. We've waded this section many times and found some really nice fish there. The guy that owns the barn structure comes and goes from time to time. Sometimes he brings some kids along to fish. He's never said anything to me or any of the other fishermen that seem to congregate around the island. The last time my son and I were there. A guy working the farm on the opposite bank pulled over in his pickup to watch my son wrestle a good size bow out from along the bank. He seemed to get a kick out of it. I believe TVA also controls some property below this point, down near the bend, that can be accessed from the church somehow -- I haven't attempted that yet though. Hope this helps some...


03-14-2008, 07:36 AM
What and where are the "grates", that you are talking about ?


Gerry Romer
03-14-2008, 10:14 AM
I believe we're talking about the second weir dam - the one that runs across the river underneath the bridge just down from the South Holston River Fly Shop on Emmet Rd. The first weir below the dam is the corrugated weir constructed of wood in the shape of large W's. The second weir below the dam is built like a set of steps. That's the one accessible from the first parking lot on your left. The second parking lot on the left - the one with the rest rooms - gets you access to the corrugated weir and Osceola Island. Just past this second parking lot, on the right, is the TVA road I mentioned.


milligan trout degree
03-14-2008, 12:09 PM
Completely unofficial, and I don't have any special knowledge from anyone up high with the tva or twra, but from what I've heard, the water on the S. Holston is public below the high water mark. If that's true, as long as you're in the water, you're in good shape. Of course, this is just word of the mouth talk. I don't know for sure. I've never real had a time when I've had to worry about it. I've just always fished public places. I can tell you that if you fish at webb bridge where there is limited parking anway (just a couple spots on the far side of the bridge), and you park in the grass along the road on the near side, the guy living on the island will ask you to move. There haven't been any signs when I've been there and there are obvious marks of people parking there, but just a heads up if you decide to fish webb bridge. He's been polite about it with me, so nothing against the guy, but just a heads up that he doesn't much care for people parking there.

03-14-2008, 05:57 PM
As previously has been stated: In TN you have to take in to the consideration, that it all depends on if the river is declared navigable or non navigable. I don't know the exact criteria how this has been done. However, it has nothing to do with the size of the river. If the particular river you are thinking of is not declared navigable by T.C.A. (Tennessee Code Annotated) you can't wade it on private property as most likely, the old land grants from the 17th century still stand. I believe this is still the case on Clinch River for an example.

I have studied some law on this but I can' remember how it goes, but I do know that navigable rivers are public highways in TN.

You can find all this in the code but it' s just not easy reading for a layman. I really don't know in the case of South Holston but I rather err on the side of caution. I stick to public land.

I don't want to link to another site here since I don't know if LRO allows it, but check out American Whitewater's site. Do a google and it comes up.