First Cast of the day….

Tom Wolf caught this brown trout on his first cast with Matt Champion yesterday on the South Holston River.
The dry fly fishing has actually been very good the last couple of weeks on high water. Both BWO’s and Sulphurs have been on the water and heads popping up to eat them.
Come see us or call us at 423-878-2822.
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Thanks ,

Couple of Nice Fish

Bill Bolinger and his freind Mike floated with Matt Champion yesterday. The big fish do what big fish do, get off.
But these are dandies.
If interested in a trip call us at 423-878-2822
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The bugs abound also. Joe says the dry fly fishing is outstanding.

Couple Of Big Browns …

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ole Denton caught these dandies on a Float trip with Matt Champion on Saturday,here on the South Holston River. If you want some of this action, give us a call at 423-878-2822.

We have some Scientific Anglers’ Matery Sharksin and XPS 3 wt. Lines on Sale.
Plus some Airflowe Delta Floating Lines 3,4,5,6 wt. lines on Sale.
They can be seen on the HOT Deals section of our online store.
Thank you

South Holston River 12.3.14

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December and all is well here on East Tennessee’s, South Holston River. Well, for the most part anyway. There has been some up and down moments for many. Bugs one day and then none the next day. Fish up on them one day and then not the next. Nothing has fallen into the “consistent” category for whatever reason. She’ll bounce back though. She always does.

The midge fishing? Mostly good. Still saying with things on the darker side. Sweet Things, your favorite zebra, Olivia’s, darker strippers, etc.

Nymph Bite? Finding loads of fish eating BWO nymphs. But not every stretch of water. Keep those patterns thin. They like skinny stuff here…

Dry Stuff? Nearly everyday, something is happening. Sulphurs, olives or midges…take your pick. Maybe all three at the same time? It’s happened before…

Some rain on the horizon for this weekend. We may be having some more high water days soon. All day even.

We plenty of dates open for this month of December here at the South Holston Fly Shop. Some sale items as well. Ask about both. We can help.







South Holston River 11.29.14

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We now climb ever so closer to our winter season on the South Holston River. Which is typically much like our fall season just with a little bit more cold. But we catch the fish. And lots…normally. As we wrap up November, the Sulphurs are still here. Mostly during low water periods. The Blue Wings are also present during both high and low water. Nothing new on that front either. Lots of bugs and lots of fish up on them.

The nymphing? Pretty good with the BWO type stuff, but it has shown some symptoms of inconsistency during low water especially. Some days we have been able to smoke ‘em. Others? Might take a little more time and effort. That should level out as we get some stable temperatures in the coming week. Remember, cold temperatures don’t necessarily make for poor fishing here. It’s the up and down, hot and cold stuff that can make fishing a little funky. And that’s what we’ve had this week. Snow, then temperatures in the 50′s. Not always conducive to fantastic fishing, but we’ll roll with it. It’ll be a good weekend for sure.

Midging? The big ticket lately. Midge fishing is about as good as it gets right now. Should stay that way through the winter.

High Water? We dig it still. Well, we always dig it. Nymphing is good when we have the water to float. That’s typically been the morning and early afternoons. Half and half, anyone?

New Simms winter stuff has arrived. Hoodies, guide jackets, ExStream Jackets that will keep you warm forever and much more here at the South Holston Fly Shop.
We have some killer deals on HOT DEALS page here on web page.
Check them out!


South Holston River 11.24.14


Weather dude says windy here in Bristol, TN. I hope everyone has practiced their wind casts. You’ll need them for the bugs this afternoon. Sulphurs and blue wings don’t seem to mind the wind here on the South Holston River. Or anything for that matter. They come off whenever they feel like it seems lately. This place can be 365 day dry fly river. There is no question about it. Maybe that’s why I sold my soul for it?

Lots of blue wings around some sections of river the last few days behind the release. Maybe even in front too? We’ll see today with a back to “typical” morning release from the dam. Sulphurs will be present on the upper end after the water falls out this afternoon for sure. And tomorrow, and the next day…and the next…

Nymphing has picked up the last few days as well. Olives, man. Lots of ‘em now. Slow and deep, or the shallow riffle too. Take your pick.

Midges are catching loads of them too if you haven’t heard…Strippers, Olivia’s, Sweet Things and Rainbow Killers during low light. Keep it small.

REMEMBER: There are two sections of river closed until February 1st for the spawn. That means NO FISHING. A few people now have been spotted in these sections. We can see you. We’re out there daily. I promise. There are signs posted for these sections. You can also stop by the shop for assistance. We’d be more than happy to help you stay out of them. You’ve been warned. I have no intention of calling anyone out, but it’s starting to become a trend. These sections contain some of the best spawning habitat on the river. And they contain the future to this fantastic resource. Don’t ruin it. Not just for us, but for yourself. The fine for being spotted is a pretty hefty one as well. Just sayin’.


South Holston River 11.22.14


Still a buggy time here on the South Holston River. The sulphurs really seem to be digging the morning release and afternoon drop. Strong hatches daily regardless of the weather. The dry fly gang has really been pleased for the most part…or frustrated. The fish seem to get a little selective as the hatch goes on. But that’s nothing new here.

A lot of nice fish being seen up on bugs as well. Maybe even more than usual? Some may disagree on that one. But a bunch being caught on the dry.

Midge fishing? Good to really good. Midging through a hatch is some peoples thing. Ya’ know, if you’re into throwing the itty bitty stuff.

Nymphing? They seem to be on and off the blue wing stuff. Some stretches of river are producing better than others in that realm.

High water fishing? Oh yes, my friends. The morning bite has been solid as it has been all fall long. It should stay that way as we make the turn to winter. The release schedule we have now is very conducive to a half and half type trip! Ask us about them! They’re fun for those who enjoy doing both. Honest.

Lots of cool Simms stuff on the way to the shop. Lots. We should have you covered for the cold winter we are supposed to have. Trips, flies, info and all you need for your enjoyment here on the South Holston River.


Latest Trout Count on the South Holston River


Hey Rod,

Hope you are well. I was playing around with some numbers today for trout per mile in the S. Holston tailwater that you might be interested in. Back in 2004, it would have been in the 6,000-7,000 fish/mile range, which is basically what you have on your webpage now. However in 2014, it’s more like 13,000/mile (about 12,000 if you consider only fish 7 inches or better). The trout fishery is about 80-85% browns, so there are about 11,000 browns per mile now. Overall, it works out to better than 2 trout per foot of river, or a trout per 82 square ft. of surface area…which is quite impressive.



Jim Habera

TN Wildlife Resources Agency

3030 Wildlife Way

Morristown, TN 37814

Office: 423-522-2459


South Holston River 11.14.14


So we skipped fall it seems and went straight to winter. Do the bugs care? Nope, not really. For the most part this week the dry fly activity on low water has been great. Bugs just about every afternoon with some days being better than others.


As for other low water activities like the midge fishing and nymphing? Good some days, a little tougher on others. Not sure why, but the fish have turned a little finicky at times. Traditional winter time windows seem to be the key (the warmest parts of the day). The midge bite seems to be the strongest, with the olive bite being a distant second.

High water fishing in the mornings? Rocking as usual. Dredging nymphs and midges is still the way to go. We’ll show ya’…

We’re looking good here on the South Holston River this November. The Watauga River is rolling right along too. Plenty of spots available as we move through this great month. Float or wade, we got you covered. The cold weather is here as well, and we can help with that too. Simms hats, gloves, guide jackets…bring your own flask and thermos though.


South Holston River 11.11.14


Just another day here on the South Holston River. It’s been good to great. But mostly great. Even after a bit of a hectic weekend regarding the flows, the fishing on both high and low water has been incredible.

Nothing should change here in the coming days. Especially after a brief warm up. There will be bugs. Maybe even lots? We’ll see today at least as we will be getting some great wading windows this afternoon. Sulphurs on the upper as usual, and Olives everywhere else. All good for the dry fly buffs.

Lots of midging fish in between hatches. So the subsurface game is staying true on low water. A variety of olive nymphs and your favorite PT are working as well depending on the respective reach you’re fishing.

High water? When or if we have it this week, it should be as good as it’s been all Fall so far. But only if they run during the day…

November is a great month. One of my personal favorites for sure. Maybe everyone’s? Come join us here at the South Holston Fly Shop.


South Holston River 11.8.14


A low water afternoon today! No, it’s not an all day deal like some would like, but it is certainly enough to get a good session in. A good dry fly session that is. The sulphurs have been incredible on low water the past few days and don’t seem to be slowing down much at all.

Will it be a big hatch everyday? Not necessarily. It may not last more than a few hours either. Yesterday was a big bug day for sure. Today and tomorrow? Could be as big, bigger, or not many at all. Fall bugs come off when they want to come off it seems. It is what it is.

Some larger blue wings in the mix as well. Look for ‘em. Toss ‘em.

When the fish aren’t buggin’ out? Throw midges at them. They like them small. The Olivia has been a hot ticket item for many. We have them here at the shop. Other darker midges will do as well.

When we have been sitting in boats? High water nymphing remains good. Nothing new on that end.

The release schedule lately has been a little a eratic, but overall it’s been a great schedule for those oh so fun, half and half trips. Interested? Give us a shout here at the South Holston Fly Shop. The leaves may be falling off, but the fishing doesn’t on one of the best fishery’s on the planet, the South Holston River.


South Holston River 11.3.14


It’s November now, the…dry fly month? Yes it’s now mid fall and the dry fly fishing has been fantastic for the DFO crowd on the South Holston River. Most days anyway. Sunday saw some of the largest sulphurs we’ve seen in some time. The fall season can have a little bit of everything here. Sulphurs will continue to come off. These bugs are confused, remember? Some days heavier than others. Olives will continue to show themselves. Again, some days better than others. And of course midges and black flys will show up daily both early and late in the day.

High water nymphing? Still incredibly good.

Low water nymphing? Good to great for most. Olive nymphs and softies rule.

Midge fishing is solid as usual.

As of November 1st we have two sections of river that are closed to fishing for the spawn. From Bottom Creek to Hickory Tree Bridge, and Webb Bridge to the end of Boyd Island. This only shuts down roughly 4 miles of river in total. Not familiar with these stretches? We’ll be glad to help you out so you can avoid the penalty. The rest is wide open.

Some high water projected this week. The question is when they will be turning the water on. Each day has seemed to be a little different from the last. We’ll keep you all posted.

Plenty of trip dates available for your floating or wading pleasures during this great month of November. It’s a great one…like most months are here. Will you be joining us for it?


South Holston River 10.30.14


“Hooray”, says the low water angler. We have been having some windows of wade fishing available here on the mighty South Holston River. It has just varied day to day as to when the TVA turns the water on. Some days in the morning, some days in the afternoon. Today we will be experiencing the former. High water this morning and low water in the afternoon.

While the flows have been a little inconsistent this week, the fishing has remained surprisingly stable. Low water is midging well. Some olive nymphs getting us by as well.

The dry fly fishing has been limited this week. Why? Not sure, but those sulphurs can come off at any moment during the warmer parts of the day. Hell, today could be that day. Blue Wings too. Look for ‘em.

Nymphing? Oh, it’s good. Really good on high water. Low water too.

October has been a great month. And we’re still not done! November should be just as good. Come find out for yourself with us here as the South Holston Fly Shop.


South Holston River 10.24.14


High water and more high water here on the South Holston River. No complaints from a fishing and guiding perspective though. It’s rocked. And rolled sometimes too.

The low water crowds may have to wait another week or so to think about ALL DAY wading opportunities. This weekend is looking like there MIGHT be a small window to fish in the morning. But that depends on when they decide to turn the water on. The drift boat, once again, will be the place for us.

Success rates on the big water have gone like this:

Nymphing…lots. Soft hackles, largers PT’s, midges, the occasional worm, etc. Lots of weight being used though.

Dry Fly…lots of Sulphurs in the afternoon. Olives too! Puffs and cripples have dominated the scene lately.

Streamer fishing…throw to know.

That’s how we are stacking up and looking like as we head full steam into the home stretch of October.

As we head into November, we will be making ourselves comfortable in the boats for now. Will you be joining us? Trips, information and more all available here at the South Holston Fly Shop.


South Holston River 10.20.14


A lot of us out and about yesterday and today. Some of us with trips, some just fishing for fun. With ALL of us agreeing that the fishing on high water is damn nuts right now. Nymphs, soft hackles, big midges, small midges…it hasn’t really mattered. But it’s been a ball.

The sulphurs and blue wings have been wide open. For those who would dig some fall high water sulphurs, this is definitely the time. Cripples, puffs, even basic comparaduns are all getting the job done…not too picky those fish are being. It’s nice. Yellow bugs are the norm here in the fall, but don’t always expect a blanket hatch like the spring and summer months bring. However, there are definitely still enough bugs to bring up a bunch of fish. A “fishable hatch” is what we like to call it. Nice heads are being found on them too.

High water will be the standard this week. The lakes need to come back down from the recent rains.

We’ll keep rockin’ here on the South Holston River. Trips, info and all you need to make a day great are available daily here at the shop.


South Holston River 10.17.14

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Still pretty awesome here on the South Holston River. Not much has changed. Although we most likely won’t be seeing as much low water these next few days, the high water bite will remain as good as ever. The nymph fishing that is. Maybe some dry fly stuff for those who look hard enough, or are even lucky enough to get into some decent bugs. It’s been a guessing game here lately. When the sulphurs have been up it’s been good at times, but when they aren’t around, staring at the bobber has been the thing to do.

For those that want to get an early start to beat the water? Midge fishing is what most are doing. Nothing special. Darker zebras and stripper midges will be sufficient enough. Olive nymphs will also do the trick. Olive nymph on top and trail it with a midge? Sounds like a good combo to me.

It really is a great time to be here on the South Holston River. Let us know how we can help with guiding, flies, loads of free high speed info and much more regarding these fantastic resources.


South Holston River 10.14.14

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Does it look like fall here on the South Holston River? Yep. Does it feel like fall though? Not really. There are still hints of summer lingering in East Tennessee. Bring on some cooler weather if you ask me.

The fishing hasn’t cooled off much either. It’s quite alright. Good midging in the morning on low water is to be expected. Some Blue Wings have also been around during the morning hours. Those afternoon olives are not quite here yet though. A cool down will be needed for them I believe. But then again…

Sulphurs are still in style. When are they not, however? Fall is a great time to fish to those fish looking for the yellow bug. It’s been a great one so far. Honest.

High water afternoons will continue through the week as we have had a bit of a spike in the lake levels due to this weekends rains. We needed it though. No complaints on our end. Thinking about doing a half and half type of trip? This would certainly be the schedule to do it. Have a chance to stalk a big fish on foot, and then hop in the boat to have the opportunity to catch numbers on the big water. Sound good? It’s been fun. Variety is nice.

The hotline is open for all things Soutlh Holston River. We know a good deal about the Watauga River too! Drop us a line here at the South Holston Fly Shop.


South Holston River 10.9.14


So we’ve been getting some high water opportunities in the afternoons after all on the South Holston River. For now, mid afternoon floats are trendy. Half and halfs as well? We can certainly think about those as the wade fishing has been excellent too.

We have been seeing sulphurs daily now on both high and low water. At least for a few hours. Sometimes more! They seem to be getting strong again. We dig those early fall bugs. Do you? Those Olives haven’t really taken off yet. We’ve had a few days where they have on low water, but those days have been few and far between.

Nymphing is all good with the olive nymph stuff. Midging has been good with flies on the darker side lately.

Morning sessions have been good too on low water, but there may be no need to be on dawn patrol. Sleep in if you want! Or don’t, your choice.

Open and fishing daily here at the South Holston Fly Shop. October rules. Come try it out this month with us.


South Holston River 10.6.14


Well…it was nice while it lasted. Our afternoons for high water fishing on the South Holston River may be limited as we inch ever so closer to winter pool. Not over, but might not be coming as frequently. Today the TVA will be giving us a wade friendly schedule. As for tomorrow through the rest of the week? It looks like a mid to late afternoon floats on high water will be the way to go. We’ll see what this rain does.

Not to worry though. The low water fishing has been every bit as good. The midge fishing in the mornings has been great. Olive nymphs have also produced a bunch of fish. Writers top secret bug? The Olivia. We got ‘em here at the shop.

Dry fly stuff? You bet. Sulphurs in the afternoons. No, the leaves are not the only thing that we see that are yellow and orange through the cooler months. Some call it the “World Series Hatch” since we will get bugs through October, November and even some as late as December and beyond. Some years seem better than others. But this fall we are off and running with strong bugs. The last few days there has been some really good hatches, and we don’t expect that to change much this week. Come check it out! Blue Wings will also be a rule on the rest of the river as we get cooler as well.

While we might be saying a temporary goodbye to high water, we expect the fishing to be as good as ever. We will just be doing a little more wading and low water floats is all. Still all good, man. We just go with the flow (pun intended). Give us a jingle at the South Holston Fly Shop.



South Holston River 10.2.14


The calendar may have changed, but the fishing sure hasn’t. The high water nymphing is still white hot on the South Holston River. Some dry fly fishing to be had from the boat as well if you’re in to picking and choosing certain pods of fish. Sulphur eaters mostly…for the few that have come off anyway.

Could this be the weekend we finally see those fall Blue Wings? Maybe. The forecast says cooler. Much cooler after some rain today. Midge fishing should still stay true as well. The low water fish are sure digging the midge right now.

Lots and lots of availability for the month of October. November too. It’s going to be an epic fall. Come join us here at the South Holston Fly Shop.


South Holston River 9.29.14


Rolling right along here on the South Holston River as we bring September to a close. It’s been a great one to be sure, but bring on October. The Blue Wings will begin to arrive in numbers any day now. Sulphurs during the low water periods will remain solid. Not everyday, but most days a few will come off.

Those who want to stick with the nymphing are the ones with the right kind of attitude. It’s been good. The midge fishing has also been outstanding. Almost any small olive nymph has done the trick. Some days fishing in the flat water has been the ticket. Other days they seem to like feeding in those sexy riffles better. Some days they eat well in both? That’s been the only strange part lately. Some days different kinds of water fish better than others.

High water? We are on cruise control. The nymphing seems be staying good. Daily. We don’t expect that to drastically change in either direction any time soon as long as the TVA continues to run water in the afternoons. It’s all good, man.

Call us and ask about our half and half trips. Yes, I will continue to beat that drum. They have definitely been the go to trip this past month. And maybe into the next? They’re fun. The wade fishing and high water fishing have been excellent. We’ll see you here during this grand month of October at the South Holston Fly Shop.



South Holston River 9.26.14


This river has lots of these fish. LOTS.

We just have to work a little  a lot harder for them is all.

These guys seem to be more susceptible in the fall. Much more really. And they will begin to regularly show themselves as we head deeper into the fall and early winter months.

Will you be thinking about making the trek this fall? Winter? We don’t know what an off season is here. It’s a 365 day river, the South Holston is. Watauga River too.

But why wait? It’s good now too. Unbelievable actually.




South Holston River 9.25.14


Tim Boeble staying bent yesterday right here on the mighty South Holston River. Many of our trips these days have had a lot of this. Wet nets too. As we head through the last week of September, we expect to finish strong in what has been a fantastic nymphing month.

Bugs? Not many on high water yesterday. The day before there was a fishable hatch, but it has been up and down and all around as far as the dry fly bite is concerned. Today may be a better day. Tomorrow?

The nymph fishing is fast and furious for the moment. There hasn’t been too many long periods of fishlessness. You won’t break records every single day, but it should remain steady as we turn the calender to October.

Come out and see us here at the South Holston Fly Shop. Low water in the mornings and high water in the afternoons has certainly made for a great schedule for everyone to fish in a variety of ways. It’s all good.



South Holston River 9.23.14


Mark Ezelle with a solid rainbow during our half and half trip on the South Holston River. The release schedule lately  is certainly conducive to a trip like this. Have we mentioned that half and half trips are fun? Very good actually since low water has been fishing about as well as high water. Are we breaking any records like we were? Not really. But it’s still been damn good.  No complaints at all on our end. Catch rates are still sky high with some nice fish being netted daily.

The low water catchers have been: Micro Mays, Rods Olive Nymph, Skinny PT’s and some soft hackles as well. Dig through our bins. We certainly got ‘em. Midges too. Don’t forget the itty bitty stuff.

The dry fly fishing? Some days good. Some days not as good. What about today? Tomorrow? The sulphurs have seemed to be doing whatever they want to lately. Better olive hatches are just around the corner too. Fingers crossed.

The fall fishing is heating up as we begin to cool down on the South Holston River. The Sulphurs are still here, the Olives will be coming soon. Will you?



South Holston River 9.22.14


The first official day of fall here in East Tennessee. It will certainly feel that way in the mornings this week. Thermos season is just around the corner. I like it. Summer-sh by the end of the week though…

Projected to be a high water kind of week on the South Holston River. The early birds may be able to stick a few on foot by staying ahead of the water, however. What’s this mean overall? The high water nymphing will remain solid. Consistent flows here typically mean consistent. And that consistency is usually good fishing.

Will there be sulphurs? Probably. A lot of them? I’d say a strong flurry at best.

When will those BWO’s start coming in numbers? Should be any day week now.  They are already on the blue wing stuff subsurface during low water flows. But they never seem to follow my game plan. However, when they do show up, it will be fun. Whenever that happens…

Spots open in the drift boat as we close out this month of September. It certainly has been a great one. Will October be better? usually is. Give us a shout here at the South Holston Fly Shop.


South Holston River 9.20.14


Kenneth Bowman…again! See? The half and half trips have been the ticket on the South Holston River. Especially with the flows we have been given lately. Wade part of the day, and then float high water the latter part of the day? We dig it. Variety is nice.

No generation until 1 pm today. There will plenty of folks out there taking advantage of that this weekend. Will you be one of them? Enjoy it.


South Holston River 9.19.14


Yep. Not much has changed here in the last 24 hours. High water has been good. Low water has been good. So all good man. Kenneth Bowman sure seemed to enjoy it.

Olives, midges and some sulphur stuff too are all working like a charm.

More of a high water day today. Low water kind of day tomorrow? Should be a fun weekend to wade depending on when they turn that water on.

Shop open daily. Trips running in and out daily. Come see us this weekend here at the South Holston Fly Shop.


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.