Hell or high water is what the boy’s say on the West Branch of The Delaware River and that’s exactly what we have is high water. With all of the recent rain both the South Holston and Watauga Rivers have seen around the clock generation and have been running wide open.
What does all this mean for fishing? Well, the Watauga could dial it down a bit, 2900 cfs is a little much for that tailwater and fishing conditions at that level are tough to negotiate. The South Holston is a different story, fishing has been killer. High water floats have been the name of the game and railing fish under an indicator has been our program. A few Suplhers in the afternoons have made an appearance and the occasional sipper could wind up with a hook in its mouth if we catch em slippin. If a high water South Holston float trip gets you excited then we have you dialed in this spring. Please remember wading either of these rivers during these flows is not recommended.
Well anglers, The wait is over! The last few days the infamous Caddis hatch on the Watauga River has really started to heat up. This next week should be nothing short of spectacular for those looking to hunt for a big fish rising for big bugs. The nymph bite has been very good but these trout are starting to look up, giving away their position and and not turning much down, for now. The South Holston? yep! fishing great as well. The SoHo is a great option if you would like to see fewer anglers and pressure. We have had some Sulpher activity as well as Olives in the afternoons. Spring time fishing at it’s finest right here in East Tennessee.
We are getting things ramped up here at the Lodge and even with the Caddis hatch insight we always look forward to participate in one of our favorite shows of the year, The Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival. This weekend Festival Director Beau Beasley celebrates almost two decades as commander and chief as what has grown into two amazing days in the fly fishing industry. Beau’s passionate commitment to Veterans and Project Healing Waters and the future of Fly Fishing is why this show hits on all levels. If you have kids bring em! if you are just starting out? come on, if you are seasoned angler? Make time for this event and enjoy some great wine and beer and take your fly fishing game to the next level.
Guests speakers are always a great way to take advantage of some education while at the festival. Beau has a line up of All Stars ready to share their experience and knowledge with you all day. This is a great way to cut the curve and see things in a professional perspective while enjoying the days activities.
If the South Holston is on your list? don’t forget to check out Jon Hooper’s Fly Fishing the South Holston River seminar. He will break down the different seasons and let you know what you can expect during the year. He will also share techniques and fly selections for the tricky trout of the SOHO. If you would like to elevate your tailwater game or planning a trip to the South Holston then this is the seminar for you. Hope to see y’all in Doswell.
Spring has sprung and April showers will bring May flowers this year as we have seen some rain over the last week and it is coming our way as the week progresses. This is great news! A little extra water is never a bad thing as we head toward our epic Caddis Hatch on the Watauga.
We have had some great fishing over the last couple of weeks and get ready it’s about to be red hot. Both the South Holston and Watauga have had a relatively consistent bite with Mayflies being the main course under the indicator. Drys? Yep we got em, in the afternoons for about 2-3 hours of rising trout. In the next few weeks the waterline on the Watauga Tailwater will be crawling with Caddis, This will bring out the Alpha’s giving anglers a shot at a great brown on the dry fly. This hatch is short and sweet but truly a phenomenon that should not be missed. If the thrill of the hunt is up your alley than this hatch can quench that thirst.
Well it looks like we have escaped the wrath of Mother Nature this year as far as brutal temps, ice and even snow. Hopefully I will not regret this last statement.
High water floats on the South Holston are definitely on tap as TVA has been running water consistently this past week and with the recent rain it looks like they will keep the flow for a bit. Scuds, Eggs, Midges and Olive Nymphs are the name of the game on our tailwater for the time being. Dries? a few rising fish in the afternoons but nothing to get to excited over.
The Watauga is fishing pretty good as well with very little traffic over the past few days, which has been super nice. The minimum flow is what you can expect with a hour pulse in the morning which is putting some serious color in the water for about 2 hours. It is fishing fantastic on that water drop. Get out there and enjoy some of God’s creations and put a bend in that flyrod.
That right folks, We are offering full day guided floats from 9am – 4pm, with a lunch and beverages for 325.00 plus tax for the month of February. The weather has been surprisingly mild for the most part and we have been on the water daily and have the bite dialed in. We hope that you will come and take advantage of this terrific February Special. Contact: Jon Hooper 423-747-7366 for booking
On another note, the First Annual Tailwater Round – Up is coming in HOT! This is a 3 day event that will kick off March 24th with a showing of the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) at Studio Brew in Bristol Va. at 6pm, doors open at 4pm. Proceeds from the film showing will fund the South Holston and Watauga Rivers clean-up. The river clean up is Saturday March 25th with all participants meeting at the Weir Dam parking lot on the South Holston tailwater at 9am. On Sunday March 26th, anglers get ready for the First Annual SOHO Two Man fly fishing tournament. I have one spot left for a 2 competitor team on the roster for those interested. This weekend is a community event and all are encouraged to attend, you can purchase tickets online or at your local outfitter in the Tri Cities.
Unseasonably warm weather and rain in January is exactly what the doctor ordered for our region after a long drought that kept us low and dry this fall. The fishing has been very good on both tailwaters and with the spawning sections getting ready to open on the South Holston February 1st, this will give you a crack at fishing for trout that have not seen any gear for 3 months.
Egg patterns, midges, olive nymphs and scuds have all been bringing fish to the net on both the Watauga and South Holston. Low water floats have been the name of the game on the Soho but it looks like TVA will start to run some water this week which will give the streamer fisherman a opportunity to stretch out a little line. This is also a perfect time to see the river at both conditions high and low water. The Watauga has been been running a steady 160 cfs and it should continue at that flow for a while, giving the tailwater great consistency as far as flow.
The weather looks like it will continue to be great at least for the next couple of weeks so grab a rod and head to the river and let us dial you in.
Jon Hooper and team SHRL