View Full Version : South Holston 9/8/07

Gerry Romer
09-12-2007, 11:24 PM
This post won't be as long as I had intended. Apparently my computer is sick. I had most of my post ready to go and the stupid machine sent it off into cyberspace.:mad:

In a nutshell:

Brett and I got to spend the entire day on the South Holston. We spent the morning on the SoHo about 3/4 of a mile below the weir dam. I stopped counting at 10! I stayed on top with a CDC Sulfur, while Brett was killing 'em by dropping an emerger off a para adams.

A word about that emerger. Brett was intrigued by a pattern he saw on Hugh Hartsell's website and he decided to tie up a few and try 'em out. Lemme tell you, Hugh has another winner on his hands!! The Rockhold Sulfur Emerger. We were into bows and browns alike. I found this interesting since all my previous trips were mostly rainbow expeditions. The browns were slamming that emerger!

Here's a typical brown...


And a typical bow...



We took a lunch break and, of course, after lunch things cooled off. We played around at the weir and watched a few crazies before deciding to head down to the road section. We found a nice stretch of water along Big Springs and pulled off. With little luck in the fast water section there, we worked our way upstream into some slower pools.

This pool was holding my best fish of the day.


I was working my way into the pool when I spotted a good size fish holding bottom below a ledge drifting in and out of a well-defined feeding lane. I was able to successfully cast my CDC Sulfur above him 3 times without spooking him. He wasn't interested. So I dropped the last imitation I had of Hugh's Rockhold Sulfur Emerger about 2 1/2' off the CDC sulfur. One good cast above him, a near flawless drift into his lane and he went for it. He rolled right into it and then proceeded to put up quite a fight. When I finally got him to the net, I couldn't believe his color... very intense reds on that fish.


It turns out that Brett was keeping score after all. This last pic shows his final count (we think) and the water temp he took in the middle of a pulse. All in all, a very successful and fun trip to the SoHo.


Two final notes:

1) All the fish we caught appeared to be very healthy, save one. Brett landed a bow that looked like it had just been bitten by a very large something. Sorry, no pic.

2) Fittingly, that last bow came out of a pool just a bit south of the Rockhold community.

Gerry Romer

09-13-2007, 02:08 AM
I blogged about this one! 4 hours of driving and 14 long, dedicated hours to a sport we've come to live and breath about. I first off wanna say that the "head'' count was not for bragging rights! More for show and tell! Ok, ok maybe for bragging! Maybe! I wanted a guy to come and spend the day with us on an unbelievable tailwater. He cancelled at the last minute and I told him I'd give him a head count accompanied by pictures to show him what he missed! I spoke with another buddy at work today, who says the guy who cancelled got to see the pictures and the official head count and was impressed! So maybe next time he'll tag along! As for Hugh!!! Hugh, you are an absolute evil genius and that's all I can really say! One day I hope to get to spend some time with you at your stomping grounds and have the pleasure of fishing beside you! As dad said, I saw the fly on your page, due to following your page as part of my daily regimine. The fly caught my eye when I read your report with that particular fly as the featured "fly of the day". I only had enough material to tie 3....Which proved to be quite depressing as they would be gone by lunch! I learned a few things about the pattern and how they wanted it presented. When we started hooking into fish the only pattern they wanted was your fly! No dry, wet, nymph, or other emerger pattern did the trick! Don't know what it was but it was fish candy! I hope your not upset with the usage of your pattern! It looked so darn buggy though I couldn't resist! I'm also learning alot about your flies at the moment after staring at road signs and community signs on our way home!:rolleyes: ;)

Any who here's a few additional shots and a full report is on my blogspot...and thanks for the idea PA...I stole it from you! I know the name isn't very original but I was just trying to figure out how things work! I'm in the process of changing a few things around..Check it out!





I'm still trying to figure out how this guy lived through this ordeal? Interesting picture! He looked like a brown got a hold of him!

09-13-2007, 10:11 AM
Sounds like a good time and nice looking fish. Any tying instructions for that emerger? thanks dave

Hugh Hartsell
09-13-2007, 10:41 AM
Gerry and Brett,
It looks like the two of you had a great trip to the South Holston. Let me compliment you on your report and the great pictures that you supplied with it. This is the type of thing that really keeps members looking and interested in this great flyfishing board.
I'm glad that the Rockhold Sulfur Emerger has worked so well for you and that you were able to look at the picture and tie a good resemblence of it. It is the finest tailwater fly that I have ever used and we want others to be able to try it when they are on the South Holston. I'll give the recipe for it in a moment.
Brett, I looked at your new blog and it is looking great. Keep up the good work. You and David have something to be proud of, and call your own.
Since Byron, Paula, and Daniel have given us all a great place to congregate and pass on our little fishing adventures and fly stories, let's conduct a little business and help them get some credit as well. I think that you 'll find all the ingredients to this wonderful fly in their store, so if you tie, give them a call, or drop in and purchase these materials. Most of them can be used to tie other flies as well. It might be appropriate to place this in Flytying.


HOOK: TIEMCO-2488 or 2487 #14-18
Weight: 4 WRAPS OF .010 WIRE
Thread: Unithread 8/0 Camel
Tail and body: Pheasanttail dyed Golden yellow
Emerging wingcase: One Sulfur CDC feather smoothed to the tips and tied in across the thorax and folded over to the hookeye
Collar: optional--Amber Sow Scud dubbing
Hackle- legs-wings Mottled brown hen neck feather or Hun. partridge feather ---1-1/2-2 turns_

The sparser that this fly is tied, the more natural it looks. It is at it's best when dropped about 24in. below a Sulfur Compara Dun

Get on the phone right now and order these supplies from LRO, for this great fly. You won't be sorry, and you'll get a ton of use out of them. Show us some pictures after you have made a trip and used the fly.

I wish you good luck, and I hope to see you on the stream.
Hugh Hartsell---East Tn.

David Knapp
09-13-2007, 11:38 AM
Brett, I checked your blog out and it is looking great...keep up the good work!

Hugh, that is very generous of you to share that excellent pattern. I'll definitely be tying some of those up to fish next time I'm headed up to the SoHo.... Thanks for the recipe!!!

09-13-2007, 11:43 AM
I am thinking about headed that way I do not want to steal any secret holes or anything but could you give me directions from Knoxville to a good place with some wading access?

09-13-2007, 01:48 PM
Wow, that is more than generous of you Hugh! I'll certainly second your props to LRO and say go get some materials from them! It was rather interesting to look at your recipie. Wow was I off! But even getting it close managed to work!

Hook-2457 size 14 (that's all I had enough to tie in)
Thread-Rusty Brown (Danvilles is my favorite thread)
Tail and Body-3 or 4 Pheasant tail fibers (Natural in color)
Emerging wingcase-CDC oiler puff (Sulfer or ginger in color)
Soft Hacle-6-8 pheasant tail fibers (tied in soft hacle style)

I fished it wieghtless, which is interesting.....and looking at your picture I swore it was pheasant tail fibers you were using for the softhackle. I'll make the attempt to get one tied up and get a picture up. Unfortunately I don't have the camera to take good close up pictures of flies!

I also really wanted to try the other sulfer emerger pattern you have on your site but didn't have the materials in time for the trip!

Pa, thanks for the excellent idea...it'll give me something to look and read when I can't get on the water. More importantly it will certainly bring back memories of the prior year and what worked well and what didn't work well! Thanks again for the great idea!

Hugh, again can's say thanks enough! It's good to have you around this board. The pattern was excellent and you just taugh me another thing or two! Keep up the excellent work of putting people on fish and creating new patterns!

BC1, I can't help you out to much with directions. Everytime we make the trip north we go a different direction. I think we were both cussing eachother because we get lost everytime....Dad will go another direction and I play MR. MAP and generally get us lost. This time we ended up in Virginia for about 15 minutes! I will say this, go to TWRA's web site or Download Google Earth and search Big Springs Rd. That's the road section of the tailwater and will get you close to the wier's...just follow the map upstream from there to the wier..It's my opinion that's where you'll wanna start. You can put in below the first set of wiers (the laberinth) or you can put in below the wier pool (below the laberinth and wier). From that parking area you will see a trail that leads into the woods. Just follow the trail until you find a spot fishable....It's all fishy water so don't worry about that! The water at the S. Holston doesn't really appear to move fast (by this I mean there aren't alot of fast moving riffles) so once you find what there eating and how there eating find a spot that fits that criteria, or you may spend all day tring to figure out what fly they want! I hope that made sense!

As for LRO, It's been wonderfull being a member to this board and being able to share, recieve and otherwise argue information. You guys provide a wonderfull service and I think I speak for most when I say were all Thankfull!

Thanks to all,

09-13-2007, 04:43 PM
Here are the two I created off of Hugh's pattern....I figured since the materials were slightly different ie; hook and hackle! They are both SO appropriately named!

The Rock Hugh! For those as slow as I that's ROCK YOU! Also tied with a Copper wire! Add a little flash...The fish don't seem to mind!


And lastly the pattern that I had originally tied from Hugh's picture also with different materials!


Hugh I hope you like! I did the best with what I had....One for your page maybe....A fan fare fly! Can't beat that!

Thanks Again,

Hugh Hartsell
09-13-2007, 05:12 PM
Brother, I don't see any reason why those flies won't fish. You did a great job! I really think that they should go on your blog. I'm afraid to put them on my site. That's too much competition??? Keep tying.

Gerry Romer
09-13-2007, 09:50 PM
I am thinking about headed that way I do not want to steal any secret holes or anything but could you give me directions from Knoxville to a good place with some wading access?

Take all of this with a very large grain of salt... and a Rand McNally

To start your day immediately below the second weir:

Take I-40 East to I-81 North to Bristol TENNESSEE (not Bristol Virginia like I did on Sunday) and watch for the exit sign for TN Hwy 394 for Blountville. Take Hwy 394 around the southwest quadrant of Bristol until it runs into TN Hwy 421 for about 1/4 mile to Emmett Rd., turn right and follow the signs to the dam. If you've never been there before, once you cross the bridge over the weir pool, you can park in the lot on your left and gear up (After securing/hiding personal belongings 'cause you never know...). As you walk down to the weir pool, veer off to your left and go under the bridge. The trail on your left going into the woods will take you down river pretty far and there are tons of places to wade in right off the trail.

If you'd rather start your day on the road section -- also sometimes referred to as the trophy section:

Take I-40 East to I-81 North to I-26 East to Johnson City. Take exit 36, Tn Hwy 381 to US Hwy 11E and head toward Bluff City. Wind your way up through Bluff City, following Hwy 44 and head down Dry Branch Rd toward the river. The river will be on your left. Follow Dry Branch to Forrest to the new bridge. Take the new bridge across the river and look for a road on your right - I think it's Riverside Rd. and turn right. When you get to Weaver Pike take a right and go back across the river. The river will be back on your left and you will begin to see small gravel turn-outs along the left side of the road. You are now on Big Springs Rd. This is a fairly straight section of road that follows the river and offers quite a number of different types of fishable water. Just be sure to look for public access areas as some of this section has private access areas that aren't well-marked. One thing to look for is TWRA fishing regulation flyers posted on poles and trees in or near the turn-outs. If you stay on Big Springs Rd., you'll eventually come back out to Hwy 44 which will take you back toward the dam and the weir dam.

I hope this helps. And I hope that if I've screwed up somewhere, someone will correct me and keep this poor soul on the right road. :biggrin:

Gerry Romer

Gerry Romer
09-13-2007, 10:00 PM
Get on the phone right now and order these supplies from LRO, for this great fly. You won't be sorry, and you'll get a ton of use out of them.Hugh Hartsell---East Tn.

If I may return the favor...

Those of you not yet into tying your own can simply order them from Hugh's website. Go to Hugh's website, click on Tailwater Trout Flies and order the one from the top row, third from the left. Order a bunch 'cause the fish eat 'em like candy!


Hope you don't mind Byron, Paula, Daniel...


09-13-2007, 10:10 PM
Sorry, no pics. But thought that I would share that the SoHo is still fishing well. Nice report guys. Congrats with the flies. We took fish on a variety of flies today. started with blue wing olives and dropped a small nymph off of it in the morning. I caught most of my fish on the dropper while my buddy caught most of his on the dry. Had a very sporadic sulphur hatch about 1:00 picked up a few fish then. I had landed about a dozen fish when I wandered into a huge flat and caught so many 9-10" browns in there that I lost count. I finally headed back to where I put in and finished my day with a fat 16" rainbow that ate an ICSI (I Can See It) midge. Great way to end the day. The river really is fishing well. I didn't catch anything on a bettle today and I think that may be the first time since mid-July that the bettle didn't produce.