View Full Version : Holston River Float Trip

05-31-2007, 10:19 AM
I've never floated the Holston but am planning to sometime soon. According to TWRA's site there are only two ramps. One right below Cherokee dam and another at Nances Ferry. Is this correct? If so, is this float do-able in a day? What kind of generation schedule is optimal for fishing the river? Any other pointers would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Hugh Hartsell
05-31-2007, 10:59 AM
03, the float from the dam to Nances Ferry is about 19 miles long and is way too much to try to do in a day. There is another ramp at Indian Cave which is on private land , but they allow the public to use it. You can float from the dam to the Cave and it is still a long trip. If you encounter any kind of generation, it will stop all the feeding that would be taking place except for some minor back pockets of water. The best purpose for generation is to catch it as you are nearing the end of your trip and it will help to finish the last part of the float without having to oar all the way thru.The last thought is what you hear from everyone. Have lots of Caddis patterns. Good luck.
Hugh Hartsell---East Tn.

05-31-2007, 04:22 PM
Does anyone know of any public boat access points between Nances Ferry and the Forks of the River?
PM's would be welcomed. Thanks

06-01-2007, 09:25 AM
About how long is the float from the dam to Indian Cave?

06-01-2007, 03:48 PM
troutman; don't know of any but if you find one let me know i have been lookin for a long time.

06-01-2007, 04:55 PM
Golfball03, it is about 12 miles give or take. If you get a one turbine pulse you can ride some of it to help get you down river. But if you have low water all day it is an all day adventure. I am talking from dawn till dark unless you seriously row or are able to motor through the flat sections of the river where there is little flow.

river rat
06-01-2007, 05:20 PM
It is right at 12 miles from the dam to Indian Cave. I would not recommend floating that in one day without a gas engine on the boat. However, TVA has been generating a lot in the afternoon lately, with 2 or more generators for several consecutive hours. The fishing is not good with that much water, but you could fish until they turn it on (1 or 2 pm) and ride the flow down to Indian Cave. Depending on how far downstream you are when they turn it on, it could be 2-3 hours before the water rises where you are. I only have a canoe, but a great float for me is the first 3 miles below the dam. There is no access for a trailer, but you can carry a canoe (over private land) to a vehicle. There used to be some public access where Buffalo Creek flows into the river (Grainger Co., Tampico), but last time I checked it was gated. That would be good if it were still open because it is about 6 miles downstream from the dam and just about right for a good trip. Maybe somebody else knows if it is still open.

06-02-2007, 09:06 PM
Thanks for all of the pointers. I went ahead and floated it today. The river was really foggy this morning. Since I've never navigated the river before, I didn't want to try in the dense fog. We held off and put in at 10am. It took us 8hrs to get to Indian Cave with lots of rowing in the slow stretches. We also got out and waded at a few spots.

It was foggy in spots and hazy all day until 4pm. There were some caddis coming off, but the fish weren't feeding. The fish we did catch were on a pheasant tail but it was a pretty slow day for us and everyone we talked to. There are definitely some great spots on the river, but I wouldn't do it again unless I had a motor. Also, to get a trailer in and out of the Indian Cave access, you pretty much have to have 4WD. Its a treacherous ramp.

By the way, does anyone know what the float is like from Indian Cave to Nances Ferry? I'd like to try that next time.

06-14-2007, 03:17 PM
Hugh or anybody else, What is the distance and float times from Indian cave to Nances Ferry on no generation? Also if you know from riverpoint subdivision to nances ferry. I will be in a kayak so it will be on low water or 1 gen. pulsed only. Thanks

Hugh Hartsell
06-14-2007, 04:58 PM
Troutman, the distance from Indian Cave to Nances Ferry is about 7 miles or so. It can be a long slow float with lots of oaring in some spots, but there are a couple of dangerous spots as well. l would estimate the distance from River Point to be about 4-5 miles to Nances Ferry. Lots of good smalie water as well as trout thru this section.

06-15-2007, 09:42 AM
Thanks Hugh, when you say dangerous spots, I will be in a white water kayak (inflatable). I should be able to either navigate it or would it be better to portage? I've run up to a class 3 rapid in this boat so far. Plan on going tomorrow morning but still watching the gen. schedules. The guy that is going with me has done it in a canoe with no problems. Wish us luck!.........Troutman

Hugh Hartsell
06-15-2007, 10:01 AM
Troutman, there is one spot in particular that can be a major problem and it just depends on how much water is flowing at the time. If you have enough depth, you'll have no problems. It is actually a small waterfall and some people get out and lead the boat thru the section. If there is enough water, you can shoot right on thru it. If too much water is flowing over it, it has a very dangerous back curl that can flip you or swamp you. You need to stay to your far river left and pull up to it and see if there is enough water to give you enough depth to miss a rock that is right in the middle of the place to shoot. If it looks skinny, I'd walk it thru. Good luck.