View Full Version : info on the Holston below Cherokee

05-19-2008, 09:35 AM
I spend most of my time fishing on the SoHo and Watauga tailwaters. I am considering a trip to the Holston below Cherokee Dam. I know that public access is very limited. What are my wading options, especially how much water can I access below the dam? What are my floating options, what type of watercraft do I need? My boating options are probably limited to a canoe, If I were in a canoe, what would be the prefered generation? What are the parking situations, how much room? Lots of questions, any answers appreciated.

05-19-2008, 10:00 AM
We fish out of a canoe there quite often and I like it better with 0 generation. We can float a little, then stop, get out and wade awhile, and then move on further down until we find another spot to stop and wade awhile. Parking is good too. At both the dam and Nances Ferry.

05-20-2008, 06:24 AM
Can anyone tell me how long it takes the water to get to Nances Ferry? For example they are suppose to generate from 8 to 9 this morning. When will that get to Nances Ferry? And will that hour be something that you can continue to wade in or will you need to be out of the river? I noticed yesterday that they had a similiar schedule but the amount of water seemed to vary. I know that on the South Holston if they pulse you can wade and fish through it but if they give a full hour of generation you better get out. And I have found no way to determine before hand which it is going to be, the schedule reads the same either way, you can only tell after the water has been released. Anyway, back to the Holston, when can I expect released water to get down to Nances Ferry? Thanks.

Hugh Hartsell
05-20-2008, 09:00 AM
Mike, those 1 hour releases on the Holston are almost always pulses. It will take just a little over 5 hours to get to Nances Ferry and will hardly be noticeable when wading down there. You can continue right on fishing. If you see more than 1 generator posted, that is an entirely different story. It'll get there a little quicker and you can't wade in it.

05-20-2008, 01:26 PM
The fishing turns off on the upper parts when they run 1 generator. So if you're in a canoe, do it when they're not running. I also wouldn't suggest you try fishing from the dam to nances ferry in one day. i would float from indian cave to nances ferry.

as far as public access to wading goes, nances ferry is about it, but it's a nice spot.

05-20-2008, 09:27 PM
If you take a canoe down from Cherokee Dam, how long would it take to get to some good riffles to fish?

05-20-2008, 10:13 PM
Well, I made the trip to Nances Ferry today. Let me just say if you don't know where you are going it can be pretty tough to find. Would definitely go in a different way next time. We got there around 2:00 and there were a couple of guys taking out with stringers full, a couple of the fish were close to 20". We went up the river and jumped in to try our luck. My first time on this river and I really wasn't sure what to try, I had heard about the caddis flies, but I wasn't really seeing any and there really wasn't much activitiy. I had on a sulphur and decided let's see what happens. I caught a fat 14" rainbow that ran well down the river. Strong fish. I noticed fish would look at my sulphur, but didn't seem to want to eat it. So, I switched over to a small caddis and caught a couple more fat rainbows all around 14". Again really strong fish. A few sprinkles seem to really kill the action. About 1 hour later a got into a run and landed several decent (12-14") rainbows all caught on a size 20 parachute adams. But as I moved into a really good looking riffle I had several nice fish inspect my parachute adams only to decide against it. I caught a couple there, but at about 5:00 it really just kinda died down. The wind was terrible, I fished till about 6:00 and decided that I had had enough. My wife's uncle went with me. He decided to leave the fly rod in the car and try the spinning rod. He caught 4 or 5 all around 14". I guess I caught around 10 or so all between 12 and 14". All in all I'm glad that I got to check out a different river. While the fish were all fat and strong several of them had some pretty seriously worn fins and left you with the feeling they hadn't been long off the stocking truck. I didn't have a thermometer, but noticed that the water was pretty warm. The guy who was taking out when we arrived said they stock all summer and I couldn't help but wonder how long those fish can last in the summer time. Again, I'm glad I got to see the river, but I wish I had seen it during a really good caddis hatch.

05-21-2008, 01:17 PM
MtnMike I was up there this past weekend and got a water temp of 55 degrees just below the surface. That was a few miles up river of Nances. The water temps should be holding good. It maybe a couple of degrees warmer because of the long stretch of slack water before Nances, but air temps haven't been warm enough to have an effect yet. Rainfall and TVA will have the biggest effect on the cold water supply and water temps.

My understanding from TWRA is that they stock twice a year. Once in November and once in March. The trout with worn fins were probably stocked in March if I had a guess.

The fish on the Holston have good shoulder's, they are all healthy and good fighters. Fun to have a go at, but they know what they like and can be picky.

I saw caddis, cahill's and sulphur's coming off along with the every morning midge hatch that seems to occur.

Sounds like you guys were able to have a good afternoon of it.

05-22-2008, 01:15 PM
There have been summers where the water temperature stayed reasonable throughout and there have been summers when the water got too hot later on. It really depends, but it's may now and should be good for a while longer

05-22-2008, 01:25 PM
If you take a canoe down from Cherokee Dam, how long would it take to get to some good riffles to fish?

Right below the dam, down from the bridge a little bit. The bend in the river there has some nice riffles. You can't access them by foot because you would have to go through private land and/or a cement plant, but they are close. In a canoe i suppose you could float on down and paddle back to the boat ramp next to the bridge. oh, and obviously not while they're generating