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View Full Version : S. Holston [Report] 2/16/12


MadisonBoats
02-17-2012, 09:13 AM
I was able to get up to the S. Holston yesterday morning for a few hours and to fish on my birthday. It was raining pretty hard for most of the morning. However; the fishing was spectacular and they were very actively feeding.

I quit counting at 30 as it was starting to task me.:biggrin: This river is amazing! Fish rising all around you the whole time.

There was sporadic hatches of BWO adults and most never made it off the water. Dry fly and emerger BWOs worked very well. Really, I think you could throw about any pattern on this river and do well.:rolleyes: Except for brassies; I have never caught anything there with those flies.

However; I took most of my fish on my BWO/Black Fly Pattern I posted a few weeks ago. One variation; I did not weight it with lead or metal bead. I used a gunmetal glass bead to keep it light and to allow it to float high. Most of you that fish the S.Holston ripples know why and it helps keep the fly in the fish's snell window.

I did notice some odd observations in contrast to previous trips.
-I caught about 35% rainbow trout. That is more than my previous trips.
-Most of the trout I landed were smaller than my previous trips (12" or less).
-I did not land anything larger than (12"-13") inches.:redface:

*I also noticed several brown trout feeding on smaller fish and carrying them in their mouths. Here is a video of one of them:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gf1DlzgOATM

Great river and great morning on the river!

David Knapp
02-17-2012, 10:46 AM
Shawn, by feeding on smaller fish, do you mean smaller trout or is there a shad kill going on? :cool:

Knothead
02-17-2012, 10:51 AM
Good video! Big browns will eat their smaller relatives and cousins. I was helping stock browns on the Hiwassee several years ago. The guide I was with (furnishing the raft and oar-time) saw a large brown break the surface, chasing one of the stockers we had just put into the river.
FWIW, I recall reading in Sports Afield (when it was printed on animal hides and papyrus) about guys who would fish at night (where permitted) with big deer hair mouse patterns and catch huge browns.

MadisonBoats
02-17-2012, 01:39 PM
Shawn, by feeding on smaller fish, do you mean smaller trout or is there a shad kill going on? :cool:

David,
It looked like they were taking small brown and rainbows from the prey's coloration. About half-way through the video was the point were I could see that he was busy chomping on his catch and trying to get it down. I wished I had one of the new HD 2 so I could get better resolution or maybe enhance the video. I did not see any evidence of a shad kill. I first thought he had a plug caught in his mouth until I watched the movement. I got within a few feet of most of these fish. I saw evidence of this behavior is several different locations. So; I did throw a few streamers.:rolleyes:

kentuckytroutbum
02-17-2012, 04:13 PM
Shawn-

Thanks for the video. Unfortunately, it was very hard to view what was going on. Did you have a circular polarizing filter on the lens? If you're not familiar with CPL's they are great tools for shooting outdoors as they enhance colors, but they also reduce or eliminate reflections off of glass, water, or any reflective surfaces. Just a thought.

Bill

Corbo
02-18-2012, 12:04 AM
Shawn;

The fish in the video looked to be pretty good size, those you caught were fairly small.... so I wonder what might have happened if you threw a streamer?

Seems all the drifters claim the big ones are caught on streamers.... like most folks I find it hard not to fish dries when the fish are taking them.

Next time I head up there I may fish a five weight instead of my "normal" 2 weight so I can more easily chuck some big stuff to catch some big stuff.

****ed do I wish I lived in Bristol sometimes!

MadisonBoats
02-18-2012, 09:20 AM
Shawn-

Thanks for the video. Unfortunately, it was very hard to view what was going on. Did you have a circular polarizing filter on the lens? If you're not familiar with CPL's they are great tools for shooting outdoors as they enhance colors, but they also reduce or eliminate reflections off of glass, water, or any reflective surfaces. Just a thought.

Bill

Bill,
Sorry for the quality. I wish I had a better setup. I plan on getting an HD in the future. Look closely in the top center of the video and you can see the trout holding the fish.

Shawn;

The fish in the video looked to be pretty good size, those you caught were fairly small.... so I wonder what might have happened if you threw a streamer?

Seems all the drifters claim the big ones are caught on streamers.... like most folks I find it hard not to fish dries when the fish are taking them.

Next time I head up there I may fish a five weight instead of my "normal" 2 weight so I can more easily chuck some big stuff to catch some big stuff.

****ed do I wish I lived in Bristol sometimes!

Corbo,
The Soho has many shallow/riffled runs so I fish it light and active. Many of the feeding lies are tucked in tight between short runs. Streamers were very effectively on it. I do not think you have to throw big and heavy here to get takes. Just flashy:smile:. However; I can assume big and heavy would be great on higher flows there...

I loved throwing the dries Thursday. It was great and the rain worked perfectly at masking any flaws. Dry flies are my favorite and I wished I would have tied up more patterns for this trip.

No Hackle
02-18-2012, 01:44 PM
Thats my kind of trout,One that likes groceries! Great video.
Lynn

ChemEAngler
02-19-2012, 12:14 AM
Shawn,

Last time I was up at the SoHo, last Father's Day weekend, I saw a large brown swim past me with a bow in its mouth as well. I tried to get my camera out, but it was already gone. I don't know about you, but I got a weird feeling when I saw that in person. Just the fact that those browns eat rainbows that large. The one I saw was probably a 22 - 24" brown with an 8 or 9" bow.

MadisonBoats
02-19-2012, 07:34 AM
Shawn,

Last time I was up at the SoHo, last Father's Day weekend, I saw a large brown swim past me with a bow in its mouth as well. I tried to get my camera out, but it was already gone. I don't know about you, but I got a weird feeling when I saw that in person. Just the fact that those browns eat rainbows that large. The one I saw was probably a 22 - 24" brown with an 8 or 9" bow.

Travis,
Actually, it did kind of weird me out at first! Then, I kept noticing a few more. I guess the good thing is that there will be some big browns lurking in that river for some time to come. I think I should have worked some of the deeper holes with streamers a little more and I probably would have landed some bigger fish. However; I was having too much fun with dries in the shallow runs.

Trico
02-19-2012, 10:58 AM
It is amazing how big of a streamer even a 18 inch Brown will take. I was never much on streamers until last year. About this time of year I started throwing some streamers on a spring creek I fish. I kept going larger and larger. In my limited experience I think this is the way to target brown trout. By using streamers, if there is a healthy population of browns, I will catch 4 browns to every rainbow and maybe more. Most of the time I am just happy to catch any trout and targeting feeding fish with smaller flies is a lot of fun! I am hoping to get to Tenn. this week or the following and really want to get on the South Holston and if feasible maybe the Clinch.

cockeye valdez
02-21-2012, 09:29 AM
Shawn, I've been reading your post for some time and at last I can say that I have accomplished something you have not.
I have indeed caught trout on the S. Holston on brassies, BUT only when there are no hatches present, even midge hatches.
Usually, if I observe nothing, which in not common I will tie on a #16 brassy with a silver bead as a dropper and it has worked with good results.
However, I also fished the so.ho. this past weekend and dries and midge pupae did it for me.
I agree the fish are smaller and as I look at my previous journal entries I am logging fewer fish.
I think the river is changing due to the amount of rains we are receiving. Plus, and this maybe a greater factor, there are more people fishing or more accurately stomping through the feeding lanes than I have seen in years.
Well, you made my day. I have read you post about the Clinch and know I am WAY short of you there but finally "at last" I can say I've got one on you here.
I hope you take this in fun, it is truly me intent.
c.v.

MadisonBoats
02-21-2012, 10:31 AM
Shawn, I've been reading your post for some time and at last I can say that I have accomplished something you have not.
I have indeed caught trout on the S. Holston on brassies, BUT only when there are no hatches present, even midge hatches.
Usually, if I observe nothing, which in not common I will tie on a #16 brassy with a silver bead as a dropper and it has worked with good results.
However, I also fished the so.ho. this past weekend and dries and midge pupae did it for me.
I agree the fish are smaller and as I look at my previous journal entries I am logging fewer fish.
I think the river is changing due to the amount of rains we are receiving. Plus, and this maybe a greater factor, there are more people fishing or more accurately stomping through the feeding lanes than I have seen in years.
Well, you made my day. I have read you post about the Clinch and know I am WAY short of you there but finally "at last" I can say I've got one on you here.
I hope you take this in fun, it is truly me intent.
c.v.

CV,
I appreciate your reply and insight. I do not take offense to your post in any way.:smile: We are all different and fish differently. I try to be transparent and offer my insight when I post. I will have to give the brassies a chance again on the Soho. Also; I may have to try them on the Clinch when there is limited bug activity. I know I had a hard time Sunday Morning in the rain. It took me four hours to get 8 fish and I had to work hard at it.

cockeye valdez
02-21-2012, 11:53 AM
I've caught fish on the clinch using brassies but not many, had better luck with weighted soft hackle with, get this, a red bead head, casting up stream in heavy water.

I read in a book by Dave Hughes that bassies imitate cadis but I never see any on so. ho. If that is the case , probably a good bug for the Lower Holston.

Saturday was a different day, sunny then overcast with some wind. I will say, brassies don't work in thin water and that is where I caught all my fish.

c.v.

troutmanbrook
02-22-2012, 12:35 PM
Sounds like an awesome way to spend your birthday! I hate to admit it, but I have yet to fish the soho... or go to LRO.

Corbo
02-22-2012, 03:01 PM
Troutmanbrook

You are sooooo over due! Consider a trip as part of your education.... Like Shawn you have likely given all the Clinch Trout a name.

Perhaps the Clinch guys ought to carpool to Sevierville and pick me up so we can split the gas WHILE WE CAN STILL AFFORD IT!

Went a few weeks ago to soho and it rained; poor BWO hatch lasted about 30 minutes and no sulphurs.... they were eating wicked small stuff just under the film and wouldn't touch a bead head but we managed a few by dragging CDC's under the film just before they entered the feeding zone. YIKES!

cockeye valdez
02-23-2012, 10:37 AM
Corbo, if you decide to come up to the so. ho. you may want to consider bringing your own rock to stand on. I've never seen so many people slinging bugs. It is not uncommon to stand and count 35 fishermen above and below. I heard last week it was more than that at the picnic hole.

The new parking lot at the cul-de-saq only provided space for more people to park and go to the already over crowded corner of the river. I had to intervene with two guys last week. They were about to get into it, both are my friends and thankfully cooler heads prevailed.

I wish I could catch fish on the Clinch, the long drive, cost of gasoline and now the miserable masses don't make for an enjoyable experience.
good luck if you make the trip, I'll probably be standing in the water slinging bugs and swearing at the guy who just waded through my fish.
c.v.