South Holston
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Thread: South Holston

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default South Holston

    Went over to Tennessee this past weekend with some buddies to go on my first float trip, looking for one of the famous SoHo brown donkeys. Fish were just coming off spawn and reports had been really good. As seems to happen a lot, we "should have been here last week"!

    All the rain has apparently filled the reservoirs to max-capacity and TVA's usual generation schedule is out of whack according to the guides. They have been having a difficult time with widely varying water conditions and our day was no different. Guides had anticipated high flow, only to arrive at the put in with about 300 cfs. Plan B was implemented fairly quickly but still delayed our launch by about 45 minutes while new rigs were tied on and drift boats launched/dragged into the river.

    Fish were spooky and I struggled to achieve the loooooong drag-free drift needed. Throwing a bunch of slack into the fly line without creating drag or unnatural movement in the flies was something new to me and I struggled with it. Very light rigs with a bare minimum of weight (maybe one or two micro-shot and two small nymphs). Still managed to fool a few fish, getting the skunk off fairly soon, but nothing photo worthy all morning.

    After a hearty lunch (and the start of rain showers that would persist) TVA opened the dam gates and the water quickly came up to about 2,800 cfs. Another change of rigs, this time really adding the weight and bulking up the nymphs. I switched to a 5wt rod which I was happy to do as my 4wt was not up to the task of casting all the weight. This seemed to help me throwing slack as well, even though I still struggled with a drag free drift. I really appreciate how important presentation is now as it seemed if I ever DID get a decent drift I was rewarded with a take, and a few more fish to the net. I'm sure I missed lots of fish I never saw the take but as the afternoon progressed I got a little more tuned in to what I was looking for. The fairly big yarn indicators we were using were vital.

    The South Holston is obviously a fantastic river to fish for brown trout. I will admit to being slightly disappointed not to have been blessed with a 30" fish, but at the end of the day that isn't really what it's about. A great time with great people and memories to share. I guess I am blessed after all....

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    SoHo one of my favorite rivers to fish there are some monsters lurking in them waters.
    Red X Angler/ Jackson Cuda 12' kayak

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