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
Happy Thanksgiving, I hope everyone is sliding out of their turkey induced coma nicely and ya’ll had a great Holiday with family and friends. I love this time of year! It brings family and friends together, the rut is in full swing and there is some great fishing to be had on our tailwaters.
There are still a few Sulphurs out there on the SoHo in the upper stretches but the Olives are taking the main stage on both tailwaters. Midges, Olive Nymphs and Scuds should be in play as well as eggs as the trout of our tailwaters procreate. Low water and super light indicator set ups are the name of the game for sure. Mother Nature has blessed us with great temperatures so far this fall now she needs to get on the rain program.
Happy Thanksgiving from the SHRL Team
Fall is officially upon us and the leaves are about half way gone from the trees, what does this mean? Spawning sections have closed for the next three months and the annual migration is under way. This totals about 3 river miles of our 14.6 mile tailwater stretch. There is still plenty of water left to fish and this is a perfect time to ambush a great brown. The SoHo is fishing decent at low water and when they have run water the high water bite has been great. Sulphurs and Midges are the name of the game and if you have a few scud patterns that would not hurt either.
The Watauga has seen the majority of the drift boat action but despite the river being fairly busy on some days the fishing has been spectacular. Eggs, midges and scuds have all put fish in the net. This is a great time to be on a east Tennessee tailwater if you can squeeze out a little time to get here. Above pic is a high water streamer fish taken on a Meal Ticket tied by the one and only Mike Schmidt owner of Anglers Choice Flies.
Fall fly fishing at is finest is what’s on tap here on the South Holston and Watauga tailwaters. Olives on the Taug and Sulphurs on the SoHo as our bugfest 2016 enters the 4th quater. The main hatch you ask? Well, the annual leaf hatch is upon us!! Pulling leaves off hooks and dodging patches of them and carefully placing your fly in a clear slots as Mother Nature takes them for a ride down our tailwaters. This sounds fun, right? The upside is that in a week they will be all gone but the major upside is that the fishing is on fire. Great fishing conditions and a backdrop only found here in East Tennessee is what you can expect for our year round world class fishery.
Low water and sight fishing for larger trout have been the name of the game on both rivers. Midges, Scuds and Olive nymphs have all been crushing trout the as they fatten up for the annual spawn. Streamers? you can do it but a little more water from TVA and I believe it would be more productive.
From soup to nuts great fishing can be had for the next few months while most anglers are tying flies and getting into that cabin fever mindset. We will be fishing all winter so If you can handle fishing in colder temps we have great fishing covered like a blanket.
We have been asking Mother Nature all summer to bring us some relief from the heat and after months of asking, she finally obliges. Fall is in the air folks, as the temperatures become cool and the leaves begin their descend the great fishing on the South Holston or Watauga tailwaters will only improve as the pre spawn is just a few weeks away.
The South Holston Sulphur hatch is still happening in the upper stretch and some Olives mixed up in their as well. Fish have been rising in front of the lodge in the mornings as little Olives awaken from their aquatic nap and become a tiny snack. TVA has not been generating much until the later part of the afternoon giving us the opportunity for some wade fishing or the popular low water float.
The Watauga, Well…..The fishing has been good but the release schedule has been about as reliable as an ashtray on a motorcycle. Be prepared for conditions to change without notice. Midges, small Olive nymphs have been bringing fish to the net along with a variety of junk, eggs, worms, mops things like that.
The best time to throw a streamer? The answer to that is any time! The spawn will get these fish charged up and ready to protect their redd with extreme prejudice. Fore those willing to put the time in the rewards can be EPIC!
Do not get cabin fever this year! Come fish our tailwaters with us and see for yourself a true year round fishing destination.
All the Best,
Having two sections of the river close from November 1st to January 31st to let the brown trout of the South Holston and Watauga pro create