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jeffnles1 07-14-2012 05:56 PM

South Holston
I'm going to be fishing there next weekend maybe. I'm going to TN to visit a buddy's brother. He lives somewhere between Bristol and Johnson City.

I've never fished that area and I think it is th South Holston.

If so, what flies should I bring?


chip 07-14-2012 10:15 PM

Flys for south Holston
Sulfurs are usually good along with split case nymph with orange or yellow case. Depending on where you are Japanese beetle or June bug might be good. Go by any of the excellent fly shops in the area and they can give you a heads up.

Corbo 07-15-2012 07:57 AM

Check wading opportunities on the TVA website.

If they are generating it will be tough to fish unless from drift boat; that said; if you fish far enough down river at the beginning of generation you can buy time. I've been hearing that the sulphur action is outstanding but wade friendly opportunities less than optimal.

Let us know how you make out.

MadisonBoats 07-16-2012 07:21 AM


Originally Posted by jeffnles1 (Post 102081)
I'm going to be fishing there next weekend maybe. I'm going to TN to visit a buddy's brother. He lives somewhere between Bristol and Johnson City.

I've never fished that area and I think it is th South Holston.

If so, what flies should I bring?


Stop by the local fly shop and chat with the guys. They will help you select an assortment that will give you great results. Plus, they are usually very in tune with the river's operating details.

jeffnles1 07-16-2012 08:27 AM

Thanks. The guy's brother I found out is a fly fisherman. He said he's going to have a couple dozen flies tied up that have been working for him.

I'm going to tie some midges and maybe some sulphurs just for grins.

It will be next Saturday the 21st. I'll check the website above first.

Since I've not fished that river before, what kind of flow/number of generators makes wading unsafe? I see on the historic chart there's about a 2' elevation rise in the river with 1 generator. If the river is at the edge with 0 then a 2' rise could be a very big deal. If it's fairly low with no generators running and it rises 2' not a huge deal I would assume.

Again, sorry for the rookie questions. I've fished tailwaters before but not this one. I just don't want to have my body wash up 50 miles downstream if I can avoid it.

I know watch the water levels and if it starts rising, get the heck out is always the safe bet. I usually pick a rock, or a stick or something at waters edge that I can keep an eye on. If it goes under or water gets close, it's time to leave.

Thanks again, any and all information is greatly appreciated.


olesmoke 07-16-2012 08:27 AM

423.878.2822 talk to Rod/Mat they will put you on the fish.......tell them smoke sent yea.

David Knapp 07-16-2012 11:34 AM


The SoHo is either on or off because it has only one generator as I understand it. I'm sure the locals can help a lot more than I can but I would not try to do any wading on high water. The tailwater is long enough that if the water comes on mid-morning into early afternoon, you still have plenty of time to get out and run downriver and get some more time in... Also don't forget the Watauga nearby as another good option. There are some nice fish over there and it fishes a little more like a mountain freestone stream. Good luck on your trip!

David Knapp

jeffnles1 07-16-2012 07:45 PM

Thanks for all the tips guys. I'll be sure to take some photos and post a report. It's going to be fun fishing with some old friends regardless of catching any fish or not.


jeffnles1 07-22-2012 09:50 PM

Guys, thanks.
Just got back today we had a good day fishing. I'm not much of a fish counter. Over 10 and under 20. All were nice sized fat trout with good colors and looked very healthy.

We fished the pools below the weir dam and below the bridge. Went across the island and fished that side for a while but fishing was better in the other channel.

There was a sulpher hatch going on and some other brown mayflies coming off. I didn't see fish keying in on them. My buddies were trying to match that hatch and not having success.

I stuck with #20 parachute adams and a #20 thread midge about 18-20" below the dry fly and had pretty good luck. Most tailwaters I've fished midges seem to do pretty well so that's what I stuck with.

Bottom-line, it was a good day fishing. On a Saturday there were a lot of people fishing, but I still had enough room to do my thing without crowding anyone. Most of the fishermen seemed to be polite. On that kind of water, people are always closer than I would find comfortable in the Park or on some mountain streams but they were not "pay laking" the way I've seen on other tail waters (pay laking = see a guy catch a fish and everyone comes shoulder to shoulder in the same stretch of water - wasn't sure if that is a Kentucky term or if it's used in Tennessee too..:smile: )

Thanks for the tips and pointers.

What I found that day was just basic fishing skills.
shorter casts
high sticking
good drift and presentation
keep it simple
catch fish.


Corbo 07-23-2012 06:37 AM


Was hoping you got into them this past weekend as the flows were to be wadable for much of the day.

If you are still about the area try walking downstream; bank opposite the fly shop from the road bridge.... less crowded the farther you go just follow the path. The fish down river may key better to sulphurs.

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