View Full Version : What river.

02-25-2008, 11:17 PM
Think I am going to use this weekend to shake some rust off before I head to Ark. the question is what river should I fish? Clinch, Hiwassee, South Holston, Holston? What river is fishing good right now and what should I take with me as far as flies?

02-25-2008, 11:43 PM
I did fairly well bellow the weir on the Clinch today. Took a bit of prospecting but size 20 zebra midges paid off pretty well. Four total, all bows, biggest was just under 16. It got crowded quickly, though, which was what I was expecting. A lot of us couldn't resist this beautiful day.

Good luck, and let us know where you choose how you do!


milligan trout degree
02-26-2008, 12:42 AM
S. Holston man. Blue wings have been coming off pretty well lately. mid-day. Take black fly larva and different zebra midge colors. Black will probably be best though. Small pheasant tails, copper johns, blue wing nymphs and emergers, scuds. They'll all catch fish.

I'll be there literally all day on sunday. I rarely ever have an absolutely free free day, and I'm gonna take advantage of this one by fishing from sunrise to sundown. Maybe even mouse patterns after sundown if I'm feeling up to it.

02-27-2008, 08:44 PM
Where should I go on the river, can you give me some directions, again I have never been to the SOHO.

milligan trout degree
02-28-2008, 12:37 AM
hmmm...good question there. Getting to the SOHO involves travelling highways after turning off the interstate no matter what area you fish. Don't get me wrong though, it's not difficult to find.

I'll divide this up for you, calm water, riffles, little of both.

Calm water: if you like to fish calmer water, you can fish right below the wier dam. This water can be very technical sometimes. If I was fishing there tomorrow, I'd take some small (20-24) black fly larva/midges and midge dries if you want to fish them. You may see some blue wings here too, so I'd have them ready also. I'll go ahead and tell you that there are a ton of fish in this area and chances are, they'll all be rising all around you. I've seen some absolute monsters leap out of the water, and by monster, I don't mean in the twenty inch range, im talking 33+ range. Fish the size of your leg will come out of the water. I haven't caught one that big, but they're there. I know that when the browns are spawning, they set up redds just below the bridge there and you can stand on the bridge and watch some serious fish chilling below you. That's when a lot of the biggest fish are caught from this section. This area can humble you, I remember fishing it one day for about two hours and not catching anything when I finally decided to tie on a black fly larva tied with nothing but black thread on a hook. size 20. I began catching fish left and right while no one else was. I had only two of these flies. I broke one off and the other was chewed up. After that, I didn't catch another fish. They can be picky for sure.

Riffle water: Webb Bridge. I saw a guy catch a 26" brown from here last week while I was fishing. This area has some nice runs under and downstream of the bridge and a lot of good riffle water upstream of the bridge. Its closed during spawning season, but open now. I like this area a lot.

Mixed water: Rockhold area. This section is a good area for dry/dropper rigs, which could be good news if the blue wings are coming off. You can find calm water as well as riffle and runs throughout this area. Its kind of a spread out area where the road parralels the river with pull offs along the way.

If you decide you're going to the S. Holston, shoot me and email and I'll give you directions to these places. I can't remember all the road names right now and don't want to give out confusing directions. Just let me know, and I'll help you out. Bktaylor@milligan.edu


02-28-2008, 09:09 AM

I agree with everything that Milligan said. The SoHo is a pretty magical river and I think it fishes much more consistently than the Clinch. Plus the trout you catch there are beautiful as the browns in the river are all wild (I think). I've had the most consistent success up near the weir. However if the weather is nice, be prepared for crowds. There seems to be fewer folks as you head down river.

02-28-2008, 10:55 AM
I fished right below the dam last Saturday. There were fish rising everywhere. They just weren't rising to MY fly. I couldn't see a significant hatch as far as bugs flying around. I must have missed that BWO hatch that Milligan is talking about. I will also back up the fact that there are some big fish in that spot. I heard a couple of fish come up that sounded like big rocks being thrown into the water.
BTW that part of the river looks like perfect waterfowl territory. (w/ the grasses lining the bank) Anyone ever hunt this river?

02-28-2008, 12:21 PM
People keep talking about the weir dam. It is my understanding (signs that are posted) that the weir dam is where the rest rooms and picnic area is. There is also a footbridge over to the island. The structure that is downstream a little(by the bridge) I thought was called the steps/grates. What do ya"all call the weir dam when talking about that area? thanks dave

02-28-2008, 02:20 PM
Dave, I've always been a little unclear myself. However, I believe that most people are referring to the "grates" whan they are talking about the weir dam.

02-28-2008, 02:27 PM
The grates are Weir Dam to my knowledge. They were put in place to oxygenate the water. I think it got the name from the "W" shape the grates make. The shape is what stirs the water up.

02-28-2008, 03:05 PM
Milligan I sent you an email.

Gerry Romer
02-28-2008, 05:00 PM
The grates are Weir Dam to my knowledge. They were put in place to oxygenate the water. I think it got the name from the "W" shape the grates make. The shape is what stirs the water up.

I was told that the first set of "dams" is the corrugated dam - that's the one shaped like a W - and the lower one by the overpass bridge is the actual weir dam. I think I read somewhere that the W shaped corrugated dam was built sometime after the original weir dam, specifically to oxygenate the water after a study showed that the original weir was insufficient.

Of course I may be completely wrong about all of this, but it'll be interesting to find out.


Okay... I just checked out the TVA website and according to them they're both weir dams. The first one below the dam is a labyrinth weir dam shaped like a W and built in 1991. The second one below the dam is called an infuser weir dam and I couldn't find a date when it was built. The first, or upper, weir dam - the labyrinth dam - is accessible from the second parking lot (the one with the public rest rooms and access to Osceola Island) and the second, or lower, infuser dam is accessible from the public parking lot at the foot of the overpass bridge.

Generally speaking, when posters on this board refer to "taking the trail alongside the river below the weir"... they're referring to the second, or lower, weir. There you can access one trail from the parking lot on what would be the SE side of the river and another from the new parking lot above the bridge that follows the NW side of the river. I believe the trail on the SE side of the river actually goes farther than the one on the opposite side. There is also a secondary trail on the SE side that is accessed from a smaller parking lot at the end of a TVA access road just past the second parking lot. This trail goes to the end of the TVA property which is marked by an orange painted stake.

So I guess to be perfectly clear we ought to change our nomenclature. I suggest "Upper Weir" and "Lower Weir" and the pool between the two designated as "OZ"

02-28-2008, 06:08 PM
Thanks Gerry. Since the TVA built the Weir dam or dams I would think they would know where the Weir dam is located. The signs clearly point to the upper parking lot with the rest rooms as the Weir dam. I think this is the one built to help with the oxygen in the river. The lower one looks like it is much older and maybe had something to do with the small power plant on the NW side of the river. I might explore "OZ". thanks dave

milligan trout degree
02-28-2008, 08:48 PM
I call the grates the wier, and as far as fisherman go, I'm pretty sure most people do. I haven't seen the actual wier dam that creates all the oxygen.

AC, I haven't fished the BWO hatch on the SOHO lately, but I have fished it on the watuaga and can say its been starting around 11:30. I've heard from other guys that they're doing the same on the SOHO, but these reports have come from downstream more. I don't know about any hatches around the wier. I haven't fished it lately, but last time I was there, I saw sulphurs in January. That area is small a small midge and black fly haven.

milligan trout degree
02-29-2008, 02:28 AM

Check your mail bud. I hope it helps. Good luck to ya.


02-29-2008, 10:55 AM
Which part of Watauga are you fising? That is what I would consider my "home" stream and I have been having awful luck lately.
Are you a student at Milligan currently? I live on the highway with the same name. We should try to fish together sometime.

milligan trout degree
02-29-2008, 10:59 AM

yeah, I'm a sophomore at milligan right now. We ought to go out and fish sometime. I know for three days straight blue wings came off at the bend real well. Besides that, I haven't had much success on the watauga lately either. I don't know whats up. I've been doing a lot better on the s. holston though. Pretty consitent days lately.

I haven't fished the watauga since monday I guess it was, so I don't know what the bugs are doing now though.