07-16-2007, 12:13 PM
Well, I finally made it up to the South Holston for the first time. We chose to just make a day trip out of it, so we left Knoxville at 5:00. Got to the river and found that there were plenty of small fish rising to some cream midges coming off and the occassional sulfur. As the morning progressed very few people were catching any fish, and they were very random. So, I chose to leave the dry fly fishing and fish some tiny midge larvae. That was probably the best decision I made all day. I caught a fish on my next two casts and my buddy and I managed to land about 15 fish out of one run in a matter of about 30 minutes. Once the pulse started coming we drove downstream and fished some other water. In this location I did not see any fish rising, but I could see some decent sized fish swimming around in a deep run that I found. So I tied on a big rubber legged prince nymph I had tied up the night before and dropped it about 3.5' below a strike indicator. I caught three 12" bows on my first three casts into this hole. On my next cast I saw a large fish flash at my nymph and then my strike indicator disappeared. I was so nervous that I got a poor hookset. That fish rocketed to the surface and came clear out of the water by a good foot and a half and was a big bow every bit of 20". He threw the hook, but settled back down into the bottom of the run. I decided to give him another try, and he struck again. This time I set the hook hard into him, and he surged straight into a tree top and wrapped me around some limbs and broke my line. I was shaking so badly I had to take some time to regain my composure after that. I eventually landed another 4 fish out of that hole before calling it a day at 3:00. Those fish put up a good fight with the 4wt, and their coloration was absolutely beautiful. It was one of the most exciting days of fishing I have had in a long time, and am already planning my next trip up there. I have a new favorite tailwater in East TN.