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knucklehead 01-29-2009 01:15 AM

s. holston hatch in the rain Strange happenings at the s. holston today(1-20). Raining, strong wind(10-20mph) and......a ridiculous hatch! Not sure what was hatching but managed to "catch" a couple via foul-hook(#20 bwo). the one pictured was the closest to their mouth i could get. The other 2 I hooked much closer to their tail. I think I was just slow on the uptake and ended up kind of snagging a couple of decent browns. Just below the weir(sp?) dam, fish were slurping, slapping and leaping for bugs. All in the rain and howling wind. eventually one other fisher person joined me on the dam. and of course, the not-so-friendly wildlife officer. he wasn't mean or rude or anything, just not a friendly type like I've encountered before. all in all, a very impressive scene. fish rising left and right so close you could kick them. wow....cold rain, miserable wind. bugs got to be tough...

Waterborn 01-29-2009 09:19 AM

Could've been some olives, midges, or blackflies, maybe some little caddis though not sure on there hatch - any number of winter fare but the foul weather can keep emerging bugs stuck in the surface longer or knock the ones that make it back into the water...keeps the food around concentrated longer and sounds like they were on the emergers ...that's one reason why i love foul winter fishing another it keeps the crowds of the water...awesome to experience, good to see someone's getting out there to enjoy it!

Green Weenie 01-29-2009 09:36 AM

I'm no expert, but I would say that you have experienced the daily blackfly hatch at the weir dam. It is unbelievable. The fish just stack up there waiting on these bugs to come through the grates.....and they always do. These fish can be tough to catch because they see so very many flies at the weir. They can afford to be very picky when it comes to which ones they actually put in their mouth. Believe me, it can be quite maddening watching those fish feed right at your feet and then reject your offering.

cockeye valdez 01-29-2009 10:40 AM

I've experienced the same action on the so.ho. usually it is either a black fly (26) or b.w.o. ( 24) that has been taken just at the surface. try a #18-#20 b.w.o. with gray c.d.c. and tie on a dropper about 16 inches. You'll foul hook more and unless you are an absolute purist, it'll be fun.
cockeye valdez

milligan trout degree 01-29-2009 11:18 AM

the stripper midge in rediculously tiny sizes will catch fish rising to black flies, as well as a midge hook wrapped in black thread and coated with head cement or a black fly tied with small black vinyl ribbing and some peacock herl around the head. drop these flies off of a small bwo emerger of your choice. its tedious fishing, but its effective.

asummitt 01-29-2009 02:15 PM

The best days I've had on the South Holston have been during downpours.

canerod 01-29-2009 05:06 PM

Not trying to start an argument but I doubt there are any black flies in the S Holston. If you have ever fished up north you know what black flies are. True black flies are of the order Diptera /family simulium. What most call black flies on the S Holston are true midges. Order diptera family chironomidae. Real black flies need blood to complete their life cycle. If y'all want to call those little black bugs black flies so be it but???

Fishermansfly 01-29-2009 10:09 PM

No argument need started..The Black Flies that appear on the South Holston are more commonly known as LBF's or Little Black Flies. It is a rather common hatch on this river as well as the Holston River, the Clinch River, and the Watauga River. Not sure on the Caney Fork but I'm sure Byron or Plateau Angler could give some insight. I've personally photographed these lil guys after retrieving stomach contents of several fish on the South Holston. Hugh Hartsell would be more punctual on this conversation as it relates to the Holston River, as he spent the last year attempting to "match the hatch" appropriately for one of his clients.

The little black fly is similar in shape to a common house fly scaled down to 1/4 of the size. The midge your refering too also habits many of our streams and tailwaters. Chironomidae have a much longer abdomen wings and much longer legs. This fly has the appearance of a mosquito which is why it can be a rather favorable "go to" pattern for this bug.



And if all that doesn't work here's a picture from the one I pumped on the South Holston

Black Flies are also rather common in the smokies if I'm not mistaken, at least in the heat of the summer my arms and legs feel the pain of this nasty lil "Buffalo Knat's" More commonly known on the Tellico River as "Dog D*&% Knats"


knucklehead 01-30-2009 12:01 AM

I am not ashamed to admit that I enjoy foul-hooked fishing. Figured they were something small so I had an 18 or a 20 bwo.....with a strike indicator. Couldn't tell the fly from rain drops on the water. couple of strikes on the indicator. chances are, you could've tied on a woolybugger, slashed it through the feast and probably snagged a fish or two. seriously thought about it. cool picture of the gnat/fly. never seen anything like that frenzy in east tn. Strange, but my two best fishing days were both in the pouring rain....I need a better raincoat.

cockeye valdez 01-30-2009 11:02 AM

I can settle arguement, stop going to the So.Ho. it is too technical, go the clinch. Probably will not catch any fish but you won't be in my way.

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