South Holston River 9.18.14

005 Nymphing has been good to great here on the South Holston River. High water has dominated much of our afternoons, but the low water fishing hasn’t been ignored by us either. It’s been fun…for the most part. A lot of our trips have been of the “half and half” variety. Wade in the morning, and float the afternoons away. Dig it? We do. A pretty  buggy high water day yesterday as well. Mostly sulphurs. Surprise! The high water sulphur bite is still lingering. Want in?

Low water has been all about the olive nymphs. All reaches have been producing some Blue Wing’s of some sort. Some dry stuff, but most are nimping. Dry/dropper in the skinny or boring water has been the ticket.

High water this afternoon. Tomorrow too. As for the weekend? We’re looking like a mostly low water day. A great scenario for the weekend crowd.

Looking good here as we roll on through the month of September. Rocking sometimes too. But October is coming. Cool mornings and spectacular fishing is upon us. Honestly it is. Come see what all of the fuss is about with us here at the South Holston River Fly Shop.


South Holston River- Selfie Sunday Edition


That’s what the youngsters on Instagram call self taken pictures these days. Those kids…

We got a taste of early fall here on the South Holston River this weekend. Cool weather. That’s nice. Sulphurs in the afternoon during the low water. Most enjoyed them.

Another day of low water. All day. Enjoy it, or go watch some football. Either seems like a win today. More high water on the way this week. May not be all day releases, but there will be water.



South Holston River 9.12.14


Low water this morning on the South Holston River. “Hooray” say the waders. Today is definitely a day where one can stay in front of the water. At least until about 3 this afternoon or so. Even less water is projected for tomorrow and Sunday. So there will definitely be some boots running around this weekend. Rain jackets will probably be needed at times. All good.

Fall is coming. I think? But not today. The fishing sure is good though.

Will we be seeing you here this weekend? What about this fall? I heard the nymphing can be fun in September and October. Some dry fly fishing to be had too!




South Holston River 9.11.14

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Scott Radow caught this dandy this passed weekend on the South Holston River with the big dog Matt Champion assisting. Pretty sweet stuff, Scott. Awesome really.

But that was low water, where the fishing, especially in the mornings, has been awesome. As for the high water stuff we’ve been doing this week? Still good. Some say there even has been a dry fly bite the last couple of days. Nice. However, most of us have been sticking with the bobber and lots of weight method…some call it nymphing.

What’s they been bitin’ on the low water when we nave it? Lots of olive nymphs. Lots. Rod’s Olive Nymph, Split Cases, Scooter Midges, skinny PT’s, softies, Frenchies…anything olive and small-ish to be truthfully honest. But it’s definitely been a fun game to play if you play it right. Fish aren’t deep either. Which is definitely a nice reprieve from the high water weight we throw from the boats all too often.

Midges are also a safe bet.

Some sulphurs have been out and about in the afternoons. Fish still looking for them for sure. That should be the case through the fall. Don’t be surprised if we see a strong wave of larger hatches as we cool down both this month and the next. On both kinds of flows even. My fingers are certainly crossed.

Just a day or two longer of this most of the day high water stuff. We should be seeing some more wadeable water for your all day weekend fishing excursions…

We are certainly rocking and rolling here on the South Holston River. Call the shop, or stop in if you’d like to ask about our trips and availability. We can easily accommodate you this fall. We definitely think it’s worth it…but we may be a little biased. Just a little though.


South Holston River 9.8.14


Monday and all is well here on the South Holston River. It seems like we will be having a good bit of high water this week. Then back to low water by the weekend? We’ll see, but that has been the trend.

Nymphing on both high and low water is white hot right now. Most reaches are fishing well, so there may not be a need to confine yourself to the circus that is the upper end during your next visit. It’s all good man. Honest

Olive nymphs are trendy. Lots of midging fish as well. Definitely looking like a fall feeding pattern. I likes that. As we begin to  cool down, fishing will only heat up even more.

Dry Fly stuff? Not so much. Some sulphurs. Some BWO’s early on low water, but overall the subsurface game is the primary focus. That will get a little better as we head deeper into September as well. The high water dry fly bite MIGHT be over with though.

Yep, all is right with the world here in East Tennessee. Want in on some high water fishing these next few weeks? We can certainly help. Plenty of openings available as we march through September here at the South Holston Fly Shop. October is nice too. Come enjoy this late summer and early fall season with us on the South Holston River.



South Holston River 9.6.14


The South Holston River is fishing quite well…still. Definitely a slower pace around here though. Not as many folks. Will today be the day that all changes? Probably. Low water day today. Tomorrow too. Will you be here to take advantage of it? You should.

The olive nymph bite is definitely here. Or at least beginning. It’s been fantastic on low water for those who have been able to take advantage of the morning flows this week. They will become super stars of the show as we roll through September. A cool down expected by the end of next week. Back in the 70′s they’re saying. Bring on the fall.

Sulphurs? Some on the upper reaches. Some on high water. Some on low water. Fish definitely liking them a little more on low water when we have them come off. They will still be a factor as we move into the cooler months…usually.

Midges rule as well like usual.

Come enjoy it this weekend with us here at the South Holston Fly Shop. Trips available for the rest of the month. The boat may be the best place to be during the week. Wading will be the better option during the weekends. Shop open daily for all of those nick nacks we need for success on the South Holston River.





South Holston River Report: Surprise Edition


Surprise! The TVA will now be running water this afternoon and tomorrow. That’s OK though, this is a schedule that allows for both plenty of wade fishing, as well as an afternoon float. Hooray for the best of both worlds on the South Holston River!

Low water is midging and nymphing like crazy. Olives are coming. Whenever the temperature decides to start dropping, it will only get better.

High water has been nymphing well if you haven’t heard already.

It’s all good. Honest. September is a great month to be here.



Fishing is On Fire….

Here on then South Holston River in East Tennessee.

The guides clients have been hammering fish. 50, 60, 80 fish days by all of them, , lately.  Below, Scott Norris with a Nice Rainbow.

photo-3 (640x478)photo (640x478)And a Bunch of these Brown Trout Like this above.

TVA is giving All Day Wading at least the next three days on the South Holston,

Fishing should be very good.


South Holston River 9.1.14


They say all good things must come to an end. The high water trend seems to be, at the moment anyway, finished. Today looks like it will be the last afternoon of high water for, at the very least, the next couple of days on the South Holston River. The nymph bite has been off the charts good here, but this new schedule will make the wade fisherman very happy though as many are finishing off there Labor Day weekend here.

Low water, when we’ve had it, has been excellent though. Especially in the morning. The blue wings are becoming the new trend. We will be seeing more and more here as we cool down during this month of September.

Midges are cool as always here throughout the day.

Sulphurs? Will they be around during the mostly low water this week? The bigger question will be if the fish actually decide to eat the adults as the fish don’t seem too keen on eating them on high water most days. It’s been weird. But their at least should be bugs for the waders.

The South Holston Fly Shop is wide open today. Labor Day. Stop by for all you need for spending a day on the South Holston and Watauga River.



South Holston River 8.27.14


It’s hot. The nymph bite has been pretty good on the big water, but damn it’s hot. More hot on the way through the rest of this week. A little bit more high water as well here on the South Holston River. The mighty SoHO. Although the TVA may give the wade fisherman a bit more of a window to fish here in the coming days.

What have we been doing? A lot of high water nymping. It’s been solid for the most part. Some have been coming back raving about it, others have been thinking a little differently. It is what it is. It’s August. That’s what we’ll call it. Fishing in August.

Sulphurs? Some on high water. Not too many, and nothing the last few days get excited about as far as the dry fly bite has gone. Will they return to the high water arena? Doubt it at this point. But they should be around during low water times. When we have it of course…

Blue Wings. Some. The nymph bite is starting to turn on as well. Something to think about in the coming weeks.

Midges…you bet

We have also been doing a few wades in the morning recently. Many dig the half and half trips we do. Wade in the morning, float in the afternoon? They have gone quite well considering prior to last week, the nymphing on low water was tough. Awful actually. Not now though. They are beginning to eat olive nymphs and midges with gusto. That will only get even better as we flip the calendar pages to September.

High or low water, we can help here at the South Holston Fly Shop.


Night Trips on the South Holston River

The other guides call Colby, The Vampire…… He actually will not bite your neck but he will put you on the Big Brown Trout at night.

Colby fishes it at night , all the time. He really has that game figured out. If you want to get a true shot some at big fish, Colby is the man.

Just give us a call at the shop at 423-878-2822 and book it. As we get closer to November it only gets better at night.

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South Holston River 8.24.14: First Fish Edition


Matt with his first fish on a fly rod. EVER

Nicely done, Matt.

Race weekend is upon us this weekend. Lots of people joining us and flocking to the great resource we call the South Holston River. LOTS.

Should midge well this morning for those wade fisherman. It should be nice this afternoon in fiberglass as well.

Happy Sunday.



South Holston River 8.23.14


Low water this morning, high water in the afternoon. That is definitely a schedule that fits everyone’s agenda this weekend on the South Holston River.

What to do on low water this weekend? Fish midges. Unfortunately, the sulphurs are going to be an afternoon event. High water will be upon us by then. So the folks in boats will have the better chance to see yellow. The BWO bite is also beginning to turn on…slowly but surely.

High water fun? Absolutely. Nymphing has been pretty good. Maybe not as good here the last few days, but still solid. Let’s call it inconsistently good. But not bad by any means. It’s been fun, man.

Sulphurs? Yes and no. Some days we’ve had them good. Other days they have hardly shown up. Fish are beginning to get comfortable looking for them on high water when the bugs are around though.

The week ahead: More work from the drift boat will be done this week. The low water will only be happening through the early afternoons this weekend. Bummer for those in boots. BUT, the high water bobber fishing should remain good as long as the TVA keeps a consistent schedule.

A few days left in this muggy month of August. Spots open if you wish. I hear September is a great nymphing month here. At least that’s what I keep telling myself everyone.

Lines open here at the South Holston Fly Shop.


South Holston River 8.21.14


“Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years” said the great LL Cool J. The sulphurs certainly came back yesterday afternoon on high water on the South Holston River. With, dare I say it, fish looking for them! Nothing spectacular, but the bugs were steady enough to get some solid pods of fish feeding on the surface for a few hours.  It was nice to see that. Finally, a good bug day.

Nymphing? We dig it. We do it.  Most have followed suit as well. Your our eyes may be a little bloodshot from staring at the ole bobber all day long, but it’s been worth it. Run and gun nymping has definitely been a good time during the big flow.

Streamers? Some have been tossing ‘em. Some have been hammering them! Others? Not so much. That’s the nature of this river as a streamer fishery…

Looking like another few days of high water. The flows will be reduced somewhat by Saturday. May allow for the low water gang to have their fill. At least for a little while.

Spots available for the remainder of August. Spots available for September as well. Come hop in a boat with us. We have no problem with rowing you all down the river, telling bad jokes and even catching a few fish.




South Holston River 8.19.14


Yep, more high water here on the South Holston River. Looks like it will be that way through the rest of this week.

The positives? The bobber fishing during the big flows has been great. Especially during the afternoon. The downside? There hasn’t been many sulphurs. The dry fly fisherman have definitely been more pleased during the low water periods on the weekends. And we don’t see that trend changing in the near future either. The bugs are still here. But will we see the numbers of bugs on high water that we are used to seeing? The jury is still out.  Numbers of bugs tend to dwindle as we make the push into the fall anyway. But it’s been a weird season for sulphurs to be sure. More rumblings of blue wings  starting to pick up the slack. Especially early and late in the day. Fingers crossed.

September is coming. Slowly but surely. It’s a good nymphing month. The fish seem to be more frisky by then too. Will you be here to enjoy it? But for now we are still wearing flip flops and sun shirts as we wait for fall to move in.

Phone lines at the ready and the shop open daily for all things South Holston River related.


South Holston River 8.18.14


Tough sledding for some this weekend on the South Holston River. The nymph bite on high water gave many fits. My  trip included. However, it did make a complete 180 and fished much better as the afternoon progressed. It was a night and day transition. It happens. I blame August. This month can sometimes result in the toughest fishing. At least as far as consistency goes.

Sulphurs? Not many on high water at all. Will they ever return in numbers as we descend into the later part of the month? Some think so. Fisherman are perpetual optimists though. As for low water bugs? A bunch after the pulse yesterday, and then another good wave of them as the water came up around 4:30. Picky fish, but catch-able. Cripples and puff daddys. They likes them a lot. We do too.

More water for the drift boats this week. At least scheduled for the next few days. Today is an almost all day affair. Tomorrow shows a similar schedule. But, as always, when they decide to turn it on remains to be the question.

Plenty of good fishing to be had here despite this last weekend on the South Holston River. Honest. Trips heading out daily still. Or is September fishing more of your thing? Cooler weather, slightly lighter crowds and good fishing for that month as well. We can help.



Look what this young man JUST NOW caught…

My goodness what a nice Brown trout caught by 11 year old Mills Merriman. Mills and his father John have been fishing with Guide Matt Champion the last two days here on the South Holston River here in East Tennessee. Since TVA has started generating a good bit, big browns have been caught. Just go back and look over this weeks pictures with Matt.  Of course we release all fish.

Way to go Mills, that is quite a Trophy Trout.

Come join then action.

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South Holston River 8.14.14: Kids Rule Edition


After all, they are the future of the sport, right? High water nymphing on the South Holston River. We sure have liked it lately. Grant and Sam seemed to dig it too.

We will be having a pretty good schedule for the boat stuff the next few days. The TVA is predicted to back off a little bit on Saturday and Sunday, but they will still be running water for at least 6 hours. It’s just a matter of when they’ll turn it on.

Some pretty good windows of dry fly activity on high water here that last few days as well. Sulphurs have been solid. Some olives in the mix at times as well. It’s only a matter of time before the blue wing bite is stellar again. I can’t wait if you ask me. Bring ‘em on. Change is good, man!

Trips out the door daily here at the South Holston Fly Shop. Will you be one of them in the coming weeks? Days available for the rest of August. September is looking good too. Join us here on the east coasts premier resource, the South Holston River.



South Holston River 8.13.14

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George Daniel is here this week! Matt had him in his boat yesterday and put this hoss in the boat. George may be known for his nymping techniques and teachings, but he is also a streamer magician. George likes the South Holston River. And so do we…

The wade fisherman have been given a treat today as the TVA won’t be turning the water on until noon. Sweet for those waders. The boats will have the afternoon fun though. Sulphurs with a smattering a BWO’s. I can digs that. Nymph fishing should not be too horrible either.

Midges in the morning, some with some olive and sulphur activity too! What do you think? Spots available for the rest of this month of August. I also hear September is nice…less crowds during the week.



South Holston River 8.12.14

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More high water this week on the South Holston River. More great nymph fishing too! For example , Micheal Flannigan caught this gorgeous Brown Trout on a nymph yesterday. He was fishing with guide Matt Champion.  Most of us are coming back raving about the fishing this past week. We expect this to continue. The nymph bite is back!

As for those dry fly peoples? Some bugs, but some very big pods of rising fish observed yesterday. They still seemed pretty concentrated though. Not spread out throughout the upper reaches of the float. Some of the softer seams had more rising fish than others. That’s weird, man…

TVA still looking as if they will be running water for some time to come. Cool for those who want the boat. Still not bad for those who want to wade, at least today they won’t be turning ‘em on until 10. That’s great for a morning session in my book. Even if it might be a little wet.

Lines open daily for trip bookings, free info and stuff galore at the South Holston Fly Shop.


South Holston River 8.10.14: Wet-ish Sunday edition


A few waders out enjoying the low water while they can this Sunday. The day of rest. No wheels turning really until 2 with the exception of a pulse on the South Holston River. A schedule that can easily accommodate all day wading. “Hooray” says the the folks in boots. Midge fishing is the word. A few blue wings around as well. Could be an early start this year for them? I kind of hope so, I like that little green bug too.

The TVA will be running the water this week. The real question is how much and when they will be turning them on daily. We will all know have a sense here this evening.

Will there be bugs? There certainly should be in the afternoons. They have laid down slightly here the past few days, but the fish seem to really be digging the ones that are coming off now. Some say they have not seen the amount of fish rising so far this summer on high water as they did yesterday. Even with less bugs. Cool with us. We like that trend. Hopefully that continues through the week.

The nymphing? Really damn good. The heavy nymph and midge rigs are getting it done at an alarming rate at the moment. We like that trend too since the subsurface stuff on low water lately has been dreadful at times. Call us, we’ll show you.

Shop open daily. Trips running daily. But we have plenty of spots open daily and the rest of the month too! It’s August and all is well here on the South Holston River. The Watauga River too, we won’t forget her either…



South Holston River 8.9.14


Some were out taking advantage of the low water this morning. Most of them will have been midging on the South Holston River. Some rumblings of blue wing activity early in the mornings. I have not experienced that quite yet. But if those rumors are true, that’s exciting. No sulphurs until the afternoon, and by then the water will be up.

High water has been nymping great. It took a bit of a dive yesterday, but not much of one. The bugs are getting better too. And the fish are starting to get comfortable again. That’s beautiful stuff in my book.

Word is the TVA will be running a good bit of water here the rest of the month. Maybe beyond? Boone Dam is getting some work done this fall, so water needs to be managed for that. We’ll see how much they continue to run weekly.

Plenty of spots available for the rest of August. The last vacation month for most. September is looking busier, but still plenty of spots for all who want them.  Float trips seem to be the best option at the moment, but we may be able to wade some too. The Watauga River can be a good option for that in the morning. Let us know. We do ‘em all here at the South Holston Fly Shop.





South Holston River 8.7.14


High water nymphing has certainly been better than expected this week so far on the South Holston River. The fish seem to be adjusting nicely to these flows. Which is sweet, because we have certainly missed this high water stuff. It’s nice because the nymping on low water has not been ideal. But the guys have been hammering them with nymphs on high water.  Now only if those fish will start responding to the high water sulphurs in the afternoon. There have been a few pods of rising fish, but only a few. That will should change, hopefully, over the coming days when they start to settle in to all this new big water stuff. Remember, these fish haven’t really dealt with too much water since March…they don’t like sudden change.

What we expect in the near future? The nymph bite, at the very least, should start getting really good here soon. Especially if the TVA continues with this schedule. The bugs should be happy too. But if you don’t mind the bobber, it should be a lot of fun.

What we don’t know: If the TVA will continue this schedule. It certainly seems like this has all the makings of an early draw down for the lake. But I’m probably wrong about that part. They are also predicting some running water through the weekend. But the wade fisherman should still have at least a few hours to fish.

What else is cool? High water on the Watauga River in the afternoon. We’ve been having a ball nymphing. Some blue wings flying around too for those who might be interested in pitching the small bug at some rising fish. Ask about it. We’ll do it.

Fun times are beginning to take shape again for us here on these wonderful resources. August sometimes can be a tough month, but for the moment, this release schedule might be changing things for the better. Come find out with us here at the South Holston River Fly Shop. Open daily.



South Holston River 8.4.14

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High water today on the South Holston River. Hooray! The TVA has it projected this way for the next few days. Will that stick? It didn’t last week as they decided to back off quite a bit from what they originally had planned. We’ll see at the end of the day what happens. Bugs should be OK this afternoon, and the nymping might be good as well. Should be an interesting day to say the least.

The low water fishing was tough for most this weekend. It’s August. The fishing can get hard. And if low water continues, it won’t be easy. Especially the dry fly fishing. Those fish have been beaten on all summer…they know what they want and how they want it. Perfect. Cripples are still the big winner though. Some sparkle duns are catching fish too.

The most consistent way to catch fish, if you want to call it that, is the midge fishing. The smaller the better. It is what it is.

Want to try something that has been a lot of fun? High water over on the Watauga River. The nymph fishing has been outstanding. Some Blue Wing Olives coming off as well.  And they will be continuing their recreational release schedule from 1-6 pm for the rest of the month. Perfect for a half day float. Why not?

Open daily here at the South Holston River Fly Shop. Flies, trip bookings, info and more.


South Holston River 8.2.14

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Yes, the sulphurs are still here on the South Holston River. They will be here the rest of the month of August. And even beyond? Usually they will be here right through fall and even into December some years. Will we be as lucky this year?

Some more low water this weekend. Good for the wader. Good for the low water sulphurs. Bring that perfect cast you’ve been practicing as the fish have been getting tougher and tougher with each bad cast or drift you put over them. Remember, perfect practice makes perfect.

Shop open this weekend for all of those questions about how to get that picky brown to eat. Maybe even that rainbow too. Trip bookings and all sorts of stuff available as well.


South Holston River 7.30.14


The sulphurs on low water have truly been good here on the South Holston River. Daily. Length of the hatch has been a little up and down, however. Some days only an hour. Other days have lasted a little bit longer.

The finickiness of the fish has been the real factor here lately. Some days they seem to be more particular than others. But overall, the “everything needs to be right” concept applies. Long leaders, light tippets, good casts and even better drifts apply.

Some ways to catch ‘em for the rest of this week: Midge in the morning, throw a beetle or two as well. OR find your favorite run, wait for bugs in the afternoon and throw cripples at them…they like a good sulphur cripple pattern lately.  Some nymphs are working as well.

Shop is open daily for all of your needs for both of these fantastic resources.  Trip bookings and more available right here at the South Holston River Fly Shop.


South Holston River 7.28.14



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShort and sweet post today from East Tennessee.

We had great bugs over the weekend on low water on the South Holston River. The problem? Picky fish. What do some call this? Dry fly fishing in late July. I know I do anyway. The fish can get pretty locked in on what they want, and maybe more importantly, how they want it.  Practice your reach cast before you head here next time…it works.

We are having high water today.  As for the rest of the week? Hard to say with no rain in the forecast until the weekend. Might be a good week to float? May not be. We have had great low water sulphurs this summer, will this be the week that carries over to great high water bugs? We hope so, if we have high water at all the rest of the week that is.  The nymph bite should be pretty good as well if they keep a steady schedule.

The Watauga River is also keeping people happy. Especially the high water nymph bite when they run in the afternoon. Could be worth the half day float? It’s fun. Above is Brown Trout caught on Watauga float with Matthew Guinn . Sonja Ballard looks very happy with her catch.

Come find out with us here at the South Holston Fly Shop. The epicenter of all things South Holston and Watauga River. The hotline is wide open for all things trip, general info or fly oriented questions.



Sluice was Great for Sulphur Fishing…

The 200cfs sluice brought sulphurs which brought fish up, which made fisherman smile……

The dry fly fishing was excellent ….. the terrestrial fishing was excellent .. and the midge pupae fishing was even better…Lots of the below size of fish. And many bigger yesterday. Will post them as soon as I get (1)

TVA is  still  giving all day wading…they are generating 2-3 hours in the afternoon, late. Would be a good time to nymph fish or throw streamers.

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South Holston River 7.21.14


Lots of out-of-towners on the river this weekend. Easy to tell because the river is pretty void of folks today. Or maybe because it’s Monday? The week is definitely nice if one wants to avoid the crowds here as we head into the home stretch of July on the South Holston River.

For those that made the pilgrimage this weekend, they probably weren’t disappointed. The sulphurs were great. Thursday through Sunday had excellent afternoon bugs. The Lords of the dry fly were certainly happy…for the most part. Bugs will should continue to be solid through the week. We’ve made it through that mid summer funk…I think.

The bugs have gotten a bit smaller too. A little strange for July, but not unheard of. A lot of 18′s and a few 20′s flying around. Plenty of 16′s in the mix still too. Are you still using that 16 fly with minimal success? Down size. A general rule is to error on the side of small here. At least that’s my professionally unprofessional opinion.

People are starting to get on that mid summer midge game. It can be fun. Honest.

It’s tough to tell how the flow schedule is going to play out this week. Today, no water until 5 with the exception of a pulse at 11 am. No full generation of any kind is projected for tomorrow, and then 4 hours of run time is being projected for Wednesday. We’ll take it day to day.

Come swing by the shop or give us a shout via telephone technology. We can help you with flies, fly tying stuff, trip bookings, flows and all of the free information you can stand about anything Watauga and South Holston River.

UPDATE: The powers that be at the TVA say they will be sluicing minimum flow for Tuesday and Wednesday. Should mean great bugs for the low water angler. Minimum Flow is 200 CFS, which is easy wading.