The South Holston River is ranked one of the top tailwaters in east Tennessee, and is one of the best trout tailwaters in the southeast. Our South Holston river fly fishing guides know the river intimately. The south Holston tailwater fly fishing is protected by a slot a limit on both browns and rainbows between 16 and 22 inches. Two sections of the river are closed to fishing from November through January to protect spawning brown trout. All of the brown trout in the South Holston tailwater are naturally reproducing wild fish, which is very unusual for a tailwater fishery anywhere. The South Holston River is a tailwater that is 14 miles long, running from the dam at South Holston Lake to Bluff City, where the river flows into Boone lake .The South Holston Weir Dam was constructed in 1991 on both sides of Osceola Island to add oxygen in the river.
South Holston River Sulphur Hatch
The South Holston river is probably best known for its prolific sulfur hatch. Several different sulfur sub species hatch here beginning in Spring and last through the summer. Our South Holston river fly fishing guides have developed dependable patterns for these hatches. With so many sulfurs available the Trout get very selective . Pattern and especially presentation are critical for above average fish. Our south Holston river guides also take advantage of Blue winged olive hatches, midges and terrestrials on the south Holston river in the summer. The guides like streamer fishing on the south Holston during winter on high water.
Our south Holston river guide service offers a unique tailwater fly fishing experience on the river. The south Holston tailwater fishes well on both low and high water. We offer wade fishing guide service on low water and drift boat fly fishing on high water.
We consider the Watauga river to be a sister tailwater to the south Holston River. They are both tailwater trout fly fishing destinations that run into Boone Lake. The Watauga River flows from Wilbur lake directly below Watauga lake. Watauga reservoir being responsible for the cold water and Wilbur dam responsible for the releases. Our Watauga river fly fishing guides can fish either river and usually determine destination based on flows. The Watauga river is in good proximity to the South Holston. Either can usually be fly fished on a given day depending on the preference to wade or drift.
The Watauga river is probably best known for its caddis hatches, but our Watauga river guide service also loves the sulfur and blue wing olive hatches on the tailwater. As is typical for a east Tennessee tailwater trout fishery, the Watauga river also has midges and crane flies.
Our Watauga river guide service is most successful streamer fishing the tailwater on high water. The Watauga river tailwater has an abundance of crayfish. There’s a few freestone streams that flow in to the river and the Watauga receives some stoneflies and other mountain stream insects from these.