I'm a long time lurker, first time poster. I've just been through a "canoe won't work what about a kayak", "kayak won't work what about a pontoon" routine. I mostly fish alone and the canoe was too big to drag around by myself once the kids grew up and decided it wasn't that much fun anymore to listen to me telling them to "paddle, paddle, paddle" all day. The kayak was fun (especially the part where you can paddle up and float back down), but I didn't like the wet ride and it was too low. I couldn't stand up in either one, which I found to be a real drag. I know these boats work real well for a whole lot of folks, but not for me. The new boat seems about right, stable and a platform to stand on. Could be I'm just taking the looooong road to a drift boat...but the War Dept. resists a boat that big so far.
Anyway, I've fished the S. Holston and the Watauga a few times wading and years ago floated both w/ guides but I don't remember much. (I live in M/boro so I am not familiar with either of these rivers, although we'll be moving to Wears Valley for good next year, so I gotta learn.) I used to camp at the old River Ridge CG on the W. and wade out of there, but I hear that is gone (or changed, which is prob worse). So...
Can anyone suggest a good "from here to here" first time float on the SHolston and the W.? When is the best time to float the SHolston, water coming up or water going down, and is there a good "here's how you manage the water releases resource (like a book)? I know when to get in and out of the Caney Fork, but I just can't seem to add up the TVA info to "ok but what time do I put in?". Can anyone recommend a good shuttle service? And there really seems to be a real void in the area when it comes to campgrounds, now that RR is gone. Recommendations for that?
This is a long post. Ooops. But I do sincerely appreciate any help.
Grumpy, stay out of this. I don't think you fish or float any better than you used to shoot. (Kidding. I wish I knew a tenth of what you do.)