A Short Return to the Holston


The 4th of July holiday saw TVA hold back flows on several tailwaters. East Tennessee reservoirs are full and power generation from the dams has been enough to make it hard to get on several of the rivers. The Clinch has been steady enough for experienced locals to find a wadeable spot somewhere on the river most days, at least until lunch time.

I took David Gilliam for a float on the Holston yesterday. It’s been about a month since flows have been low enough to make it worth the trip. Trout were gorging no midges, although we managed to pick up a few fish on #16 beadheads and a couple of small caddis patterns.

The most effective fly was a #18 midge pupa. Virtually every fish David cast the fly to ate it. However, that didn’t necessarily mean every fish was hooked up on the tiny hook.

Later in the day I asked David to cast a popping bug to a couple of pet bass lies. He caught two with only a few minutes time invested.

Right now it looks like the Holston is back to big time power generation so there’s no telling when we’ll be back there. Looks like a great week on tap for fishing up in the Smokies. Water levels are perfect and it’s prime time for hiking into backcountry streams.