Lovely is the order of the day…plus a nice Dry Fly Brown on South Holston and the Watauaga Rivers.
We have been guiding a lot on both rivers.
The wading schedule on the South Holston River is all day at this point. Come join the party!
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South Holston River Night Fish and Watuaga River Sulphur Fish.
Needless to say the fishing is on!
If you want a Night Trip with Colby, give us a call at 423-878-2922.

Night Brown
Josh watuaga


Fishing is good on both the South Holston and Watuaga rivers. Both have Sulphurs now and both are on! The Sulphurs are on low water on the South Holston River. And TVA has been giving good wading schedules to fish them.
If you need us, give us a buzz at 423-878-2822
colby brown


Spinner Fall Fish..

Stunkard spinner fish

Looks like TVA is giving some good wading schedules this week. So ought to be good. If you know where to look, you can find Sulphurs and Spinner Falls like this..


Fishing on both rivers has been good, lately. There have been Sulphur Hatches on low water on the South Holston. Mathew Guinn said two days ago, that if you put a comparadun over a rising fish, he ate it. Yesterday there were bugs on the water , but fish were eating the nymphs and not the dries.
Matt Champion said his clients his clients got into a pretty darn good small baetis hatch. There best fish[pictured below] came on a small #22 nymph. And all reports of midge pupae eating have been solid.
On top of that, Colby K. has been fishing a Sulphur spinner fall on the Watuaga River. So I guess what I am saying is that it is on pretty much everywhere.
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This is Grant Boyd and the way he always looks… you got to love that guy..
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His partner that day didn’t do bad either…
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Thanks Grant


As you can tell from prior posts, the Watauga has been good to us lately. That certainly was no different this past weekend.
The big Caddis’ have backed off, but the Suplurs have more than filled in. The Suphur hatches are huge right now.
Meanwhile back at the farm, the South Holston River, has been fishing, hot. Whatever of the guides that stays here have been catching large numbers of fish. And wade fisherman have been having a blast.
Robb Griggs group below…Thanks guys..
Robb Griggs

“What a great day hanging out with Josh, Colby and Steven!! Getting fish to the boat is the game they play and they play it well!! Thanks for showing us a great day!!” – Robb Griggs
We have openings for guide trips this week, if you want to testy the water…423-878-2822


A couple of Fat Fish caught during the Caddis’ Hatch on the Watauga River yesterday by Layne and Aaron. They were on a Float trip with Matt Champion.
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Caddis’ on the Watuaga

This is a yearly spectacular Event. It is now and the generation is perfect for you to fish it.
Says South Holston River Fly Shop Guide Colby K.:fished size 12 bugs yesterday and wacked em. All sorts of fun fishing, swingin softies and skating dries, 17 in rainbow,, as Matt said big around as a football On a dry. I’m standing at the Watuaga now and choking on bugs as I type this, gotta get back to fishin though, only got a few minutes left til I can’t see this #12 caddy! ”
If you want to float this, give us a call at 423-878-2822.

Update 5-1-2015– TVA is projecting an all day wading schedule this weekend on the South Holston River.
It should be very good…

Fishing is still excellent on the Watauga River…I will have fish pictures as soon as the guides can catch their breath.

Fishing is picking up…

The past few days, the fishing has picked up considerably here on the South Holston River. Float fishing has been pretty darn good. Matthew Guinn’s group got into some Sulphurs on high water this past Saturday and caught some fish on dries. So all is coming around.
TVA is projecting excellent Wading schedules for the next few days…..and there are some sulphur nymphs moving around. Always have a midge pupae and BWO nymph as backup.
Below is a nice rainbow trout Scott Radow caught on Matt Champion’s trip a couple of days ago.
We have openings this week if you want to use an experienced guide to show you the river…..and catch some fish.
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When you can get low water fishing, it has been good. A few Sulphurs are showing up on low water.. The Generating water fishing has been steady. That is the word Matt has used to describe it, here on the South Holston River.
Below is a report put up on the South Holston River Fly Shop- public page- this past Sunday by our guide Colby K.
1st pic is a very informative stomach sample of 15″ brown, he ate a streamer. He HAD a large night crawler in his belly and sulphur nymphs along with a bunch of scuds. I think our hi water sulphurs are just days away, anyone interested in fishing them, our shop and guides are professional sulphur experts, it’s what we live for, any questions about bugs, water and trips can be answered at the shop. 2nd pic, I managed to finish my trip early enough to steal our new shop guy, Robert king aka The Fly Guide out on his first roll down the south holston. I’m think great things are to come from the river and this crew. Soho fly shop 423-878-2822


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This is a picture of shop guides Colby as he and Josh floated the Watauga River on Sunday. They said it was full of caddis’. This is a real event. If you want to experience this, give us a call.

Here is a dandy brown trout caught by Pat’s client on Saturday , here on the South Holston River.
If you want to fish either river , give us a call at 423-878-2822. These guys know what they are doing.
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Jim Noland and I fished with you last Tuesday. We had a great day and got the chance to learn more about you as a person and not just a guide.
I stopped in at the local Cabelas to buy some flies for my trip to the Chattooga – as soon as the water drops to a fishable level. The sales guy ( a fly fisherman himself) asked if I could recommend a guide for the South Holston since he gets lots of inquiries. Of course I recommended you and the SHRFS.
Take care and I hope you get some business from folks from the Greenville SC area.
Ken Baerwalde

Had to pass this nice letter on…


TVA says they are not generating.. well actually burping every 12 hours.. this weekend on the South Holston River.
Should make very good wade fishing…These fish are from Matt’s guide trip yesterday.
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TVA is not giving a lot of time for wading, but if you know your way around you can squeeze a few hours in. Mostly it is float time. And drift boat fishing has been OK. Not the best in the world, but pretty good. Mostly deep nymph fishing has been the ticket. I bet, if you are willing to chunk a streamer, you can catch fish.
The Watuaga is running a steady 1500CFS. So drift boat fishing there should be pretty good. We guide there also. Give us a call at 423-878-2822 to float.
Also, I have two New Hyde Low Profile drift boats for Sale. Boat, trailer, oars, anchor…ready to put in the water and fish out of. Good price too.
If interested just let me know.
Below is a rainbow trout caught by James Hollinbaugh and friend yesterday on a guided trip. Thanks gentlemen.

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Couple of fish from Guide trips the last couple of days. Fishing has been slower[ slower means 25-40 fish per day] the last couple of days due to cold front. But temperatures should remain steady this week and TVA is showing consistent generating schedules for both the South Holston and Watuaga Rivers. So fishing should be on!


Yellow is showing up on the South Holston river with regularity, now. Yellow means Sulphurs in this part of the country.
And so are the below:

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Thanks for a wonderful day Saturday. The fishing was great. Sorry for the cold weather, snow and wind that followed me from Vermont.
I loved the dry fly fishing in the afternoon to the BWO’s and Sulfurs.
The river is a fisherman’s dream with the number of fish and the hatches.
I am looking forward to returning and fishing with you again.
Ken Ledford

Thanks for a great day last Thursday. Hopefully you are having a better one today, Here are a few picks. I saw the one of Clay that you put in your blog. Here are a few more.
Thanks! We will see you in July/Aug.
Thanks again
Tom Franco
Drift baot picture

TVA is predicting all day wading for Thursday, Friday and Saturday on the South Holston River….probably Sunday also…always check then schedule in a.m. before you hit the water..The guys at the shop can tell you how long it takes for water to reach each spot on the river….423-878-2822


Chris Mundz and his son Austin fished with Matthew Guinn yesterday. They caught fish very well for 1/2 day float trip. Grant O’Neill and his son fished with Matt and caught 50 or so fish, on the South Holston River. Seems like the Rainbow trout have finished spawning so all is ready to go. Fish are eating bugs real well now. There are BWO’s on generating water, but trout don’t seem to be rising to them. But they are eating small nymphs well.
There are two distinct looking rainbow trout on this river. One is silver. with not much red on it. That fish is hot as afire cracker. They go nuts when you hook them. I caught a 5 lber a couple of years ago , that was a total maniac. He ate a white streamer and jumped so many times, it was unreal. Then you have the heavily red marked ones. They fight more like a brown trout. They stay in the water and tug…and shake their head like a brown. The pictures below show the physical appearance difference of the two.
We have openings for guided trips next week if you want to catch some. Just call us at 423-878-2822 and book it.
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Correction to make. I just talked with MattC. He is on the water guiding. Sulphurs and BWO’s are coming off and fish are rising to them. Matt’s words” until and hour ago we had ice in our guides. And sulphurs and BWO’s are coming off. We just missed a good fish on the Olive and one just ate the sulphur. Isn’t that crazy”.
So I stand corrected.. bugs on the water and fish are rising to them…


Fishing picked up yesterday on the South Holston River. Matt’s clients, Jerry and Joe Redman caught 60 or so trout yesterday.
Fish were eating bugs good. A lot of these:

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Matt Champion guided Gary Newton on the Watauga River yesterday and fishing was pretty good. Some Black Caddis’ are hatching now. It will get stronger daily. The steady 750CFS is an excellent float. So if you want some good dry fly and soft hackle fishing, give us a call. We will put you on them. Take advantage of this steady sluice.
Some 10 days to 2 weeks before Mother’s Day the big caddis’ will come off in masses on the Watuaga River. If TVA continues this sluice, the fishing will be out of this world. It is a massive hatch. Give us a call at 423-878-2822 to get put on them. You will love it.
Or if you want to fish the South Holston River, our guides know what they are doing.

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TVA still generating

So it is float time. The lake is still 3-4 feet from where TVA likes to keep it. So they will generate fairly heavily til they get it where they want it.
Float fishing is picking up. Yesterday most of the boats caught around 50 fish each. And many of them were quality fish. It will only get better this week as temperatures level off and water schedules stay consistent.
You would enjoy a Drift boat trip. These guys know what they are doing. To book a trip, please call 423-878-2822.
On a store note, we have some Lifetime Warranty American made fly tying vises from Cascade. There are 3 vises; one $39,$49 and $79. Now that is a good buy on a lifetime warranty vise.
They are on the web page. Check them out.
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TVA is drawing the lake down now. So float trips are the way to go. Last week the fishing was ok. Nothing special by OK. There was a lot of rain bringing off colored water. But fish still ate.
Matthew Guinn said his clients yesterday caught a couple of Browns that were full of eggs. Go figure.
It is suppose to be the rainbow trout’s turn. But evidently some browns don’t obey the rules.
Matthew said his clients did not catch a ton of fish, but the ones they caught were quality fish.
TVA should continue to generate this week and fishing should pick up. For when they do a steady schedule, the fish turn on.
Give us a call at 423-878-2822.
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Here is a short video from one of our long time guides Josh McFadden. He fished yesterday for a while.
This short video shows you how to mend..which produces a good drift.. which is the key to catching fish on he South Holston River. The flies were small stuff…BWO nymphs.. Sawyers Pheasant tails..# 18-20 skinny flies.
The color of the water looks very good for streamers also.

Rod Champion

South Holston River 3.2.15


March. The month of the Blue Wing Olive. It is certainly a great month to be both a nympher and a dry fly guy/gal. The nymphal drift will be happening very soon if it hasn’t begun already, and the hatches have been great depending on the reach of river you decide to fish. No bugs? Move on and go find them elsewhere.

Dry fly stuff? Blue Wings and midges are trendy. Have ya heard? They are the name of the game right now and will remain that way through the month.

Nymphing? Still keepin’ it small. Olives…skinny too.

Midges. Definitely a player as per usual. More so up higher though than the rest of the river.

The water will be pretty dirty the next couple of days due to runoff. The TVA will be running some as well because of some events for some veterans this week. Not sure about weeks end though. Because of the big rain that is expected, they may run some. Be we’ll see.

March is a good month to fish here on the South Holston River. Watauga River too. Caddis should be thinking about making their appearance soon. We can certainly help you catch them on both rivers here at the South Holston Fly Shop. Let us know how we can help.


South Holston River 2.23.15


Snow. Quite the common scene here on the South Holston River the last week or so. It’s been cold too. Real cold. But how has the fishing been through it all? Good! Really good. “Steady” might even be the better word.

Blue Wing Olives have been the name of the game. They’ve actually been showing themselves pretty regularly. Even during the days that most can’t endure. Some days big too to keep the dry fly gang happy!

The nymphing has been more than solid as well. Again, Blue Wing stuff keeping them small and skinny.

Midges during the coldest parts of the day have produced. Small…22’s and smaller.

Have you heard? Spring is a good time to fish here. Really. Great nymphing and great dry fly fishing. Blue Wings, early season sulphurs, midges if your into that sort of thing? They’ll soon be here on the South Holston River. Will you? Come and give us a shout here at the South Holston Fly Shop



South Holston River 2.13.15


We have had a little bit of high water to float on this week on the South Holston River. Paul hopped in my boat this week and had some good nymphing. Low water has been little difficult though some days. Not everyday, but some. Matt also had good high water stuff earlier this week.

The weekend outlook and beyond? Cold with a chance of snow and lots of wind through next week. February is still here I guess. Winter huh? It gets cold…

Blue Wings have been out and about most days for the dry fly guys. Lots of fish up midging too.

The bobber watchers have had success with the itty bitty stuff…midges and small blue wing olive nymphs. Real small I tell ya. Beadless wouldn’t hurt either.

Low water flows in the afternoon at least for the next few days. Great for the wade angler.

Spring is a nice time to be here…it truly is. Call now to discuss booking options for the coming months. They’ll fill up rather quickly, so don’t miss out!


South Holston River 2.2.15

Just a little video stuff to change things up. Josh and I were out and about on an afternoon off playing with the go pro…it was fun. Sometimes you just need someone else to enjoy it with, as many know I typically enjoy fishing alone on my days off from the shop and guiding.

Big things happening on the South Holston River lately. Good nimping, good dry fly fishing and consistent midge fishing has had anglers from all walks of life enjoying the resource. The closed sections are also open again. So the river is WIDE OPEN…go fishing.

Nymphs that we like? Small olive nymphs for the most part. Hasn’t really mattered as long as they are skinny and tiny. Small PT’s, Rod’s Olive Nymph, Scooter Midge, Skinny Nelsons etc…

Dries? Lots of Olive hatches lately. Sometimes big, sometimes not, but that’s winter fishing…at least we have it here all year long. The dry fly stuff that is. We’ve been liking Puff Daddy’s a lot lately. Simple RS2 type stuff as well.

Midges? Trial and error. Sometimes a darker pattern can lighten your mood, or the fishes mood…either way. But always small. 20-24 has been the name of the game.

Lot’s of low water it’s looking like here on the South Holston River for at least the next few days. Hooray! The low water fishing is getting good now, and should continue to be as we keep a consistent schedule.

Cold weather gear like Simms and Redington Jackets for those blustery February days. Gloves, socks and more here at the South Holston Fly Shop. Come on by or give us a shout for all of your trip and river needs.


South Holston River 1.24.15


Cold and a little snowy today, but all is well on the South Holston River. The fishing has certainly picked back up, and we have had decent bugs just about all week…nice. Good wading schedules too. At least as far as the afternoons go.

Dry/dropper type setups have definitely been the ticket on the upper end. Or a light nymph rig with a small blue nymph or midge under some yarn or palsa…try it, you may dig it.

As for the straight dry fly stuff? Been pretty good. Blue Wings mostly, but there has even been some sulphurs showing themselves. Pretty cool if you ask me. Don’t know if there is another river on this planet where you can say you get sulphurs almost all year, even in the coldest months of the year, a warm weather bug can show itself. They’re confused, but they’re still nice to see.

Open all year here at the South Holston River Fly Shop. Cold weather needs? We got ya covered. Guide trips? We can do that to. We would love to help you out.


South Holston Fly Shop 1.21.15


The fishing here on the South Holston River has been about as turbulent as it gets. Real good one day and real tough the next. So it goes. But the ship has seemed to right itself the last couple of days. High water and low water both.

The midge game is the game most of us have been playing for frequent success. Itty bitty. Real small. The blue wing bite at times has been pretty good. But not many bugs coming off to speak of the last couple of days. A few on the upper end, but nothing to really write home about. The constantly fluctuating release schedule and weather has impacted the fishing as well. But again, if we can get back to a steady pattern on both fronts, we should be looking good.

Call us here at the shop for anything you need South Holston or Watauga River related. We got ya covered at the South Holston Fly Shop. Trips, cold weather gear like the Simms Extream Jacket (really warm) and more.