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Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga River
April 4 & 5 were great on the Watauga (click now)

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga River
Ken Heubel's April 5 Watauga Report (click it)

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
March Madness ends on the South Holston (click it)

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga River
March Madness on the Watauga River (click it)

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
More March Madness on the SoHo (click it)

South Holston River fly fishing guides from Asheville NC
March Madness on the South Holston River (click to visit)

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga River
Fox hat=Fat trout. Yes, we fish in February--why do you ask?

Asheville, NC Fly fishing guides on the French Broad River, muskie fishing
Why fish in the Winter? Click to find out

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga River
Watauga River Report for November 30 (click to visit)

Asheville, NC fly fishing guides
Chris Gemes' Delayed Harvest report (click to visit)

Asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga River
Jeff Paffort's Watauga River 'bow (click to visit)

Asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga River
David Luttrell finds beauty on the Watauga River (click to visit)

Asheville North Carolina fly fishing guides on Delayed Harvest waters
Aaron Childers on Delayed Harvest waters (click to visit)

asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Don Hall's South Holston Striper (click to visit)

Asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
October South Holston River (click to visit)

Asheville, NC fly fishing guides for smallmouth bass in East Tennessee
September bass report (click to visit)

Asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga River
Watauga River September stripers on the fly (click to visit)

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga River
Watauga River stream report for early September (cick to visit)

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga River
Early August on the Watauga River (click to visit)

Asheville NC fly fishing guides for smallmouth bass in East Tennessee
Smallmouth bass report for the end of July (click to visit)

AshevilleNC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Tom Byrne's South Holston Report (click to visit)

Asheville NC fly fishing guides for smallmouth bass in East Tennessee
Martin Toporek's bass report (click to visit)

Asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the Davidson River
Jonathan Kusnitz' Davidson River report (click to visit)

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Doug Stone with a July report for the South Holston River (cick to visit)

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga River
Pre-July 4 celebration on the Watauga River (click to visit)

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga River
Brad Weeks' Watauga River report (cick to visit)

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga River
Stripers arrive on the Watauga River (click to visit)

Ashville, NC fly fishing guides for smallmouth bass in Eastern Tennessee
Greg Braunstein's May 26 Smallmouth Report (click to visit)

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on Delayed Harvest waters
Ann Perko, May 19, 2013 Delayed Harvest report (click to visit)

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga River
Heath White, May 4, 2013 on the Watauga River (click to visit)

Asheville fly fishing guides fish Eastern Tennessee for Smallmouth Bass
April 26, 2013 smallmouth bass report (click to visit)

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
South Holston River Report (click to visit)

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga River
Bobcat Attack on the Watauga River (click to visit)

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga River
Spring Watauga River Report (click to visit)

Tennessee fly fishing guides for smallmouth bass
March Madness with Mike Browder (click to visit)

Asheville, NC  Fly fishing guides on the south holston river
Clay Gibson, February on the South Holston (click to visit)

Asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
February 2013 on the South Holston River (click to visit)

Watauga River fly fishing
A Winter's Tale (click to visit)

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Allen Sawyer with a Delayed Harvest report, November 4, 2012(click to visit)

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Hugh Rand on the South Holston (click to visit)

Asheville fly fishing guides on the Watauga River
Stripers on streamers: Watuaga River (click to visit)

Fly fishing the South Holston River
Dave Doeren returns to the South Holston (click to visit)

South Holston River Fly fishing guide
Rob Willis' South Holston River report (click to visit)

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Blind squirrel finds acorn (click to visit)

South Holston River fly fishing guides
South Holston River, (click to visit)

A North Carolina smallmouth bass
French Broad Muskie on the fly! (click to visit)

Watauga River brown trout
Winter Fly Fishing: Why Bother? (click to find out)

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South Holston River Report for

reported by AA staff

Click here for South Holston River water release schedule

a big brown trout a big brown trout a big trout a big brown trout a big brown trout
(Click thumbs above for a South Holston River slide-show)

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Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga RiverAltamont Anglers guide Jake Chiles and his client Craig Cortright share the glory with the big brown Craig caught on March 29, 2014.(click image to embiggen)

Doug Root makes the call a couple of times a year to Altamont Anglers for 2-day flotillas on the South Holston River.

The South Holston produced a lot of great fishing during the Madness of March, for those willing to trade hoops for hooks.

Click the following pics for fullsize views of some of that great fishing:

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Doug Root with heft SoHo brownie, 3/28/14

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Neil Struby & Jake with a nice brown trout, 3/29/24

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Doug Root with another SoHo brownie, 3/28/24

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Craig Cortwright with another big'un

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Brian Grow w/Jake and a 'bow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga RiverClay Gibson with healthy South Holston River rainbow trout caught on March 23, 2014.(click image to embiggen)

Clay Gibson is on a mission to raise money for River's Way, the United Way affiliated lodge on the South Holston River. To support the good work done by the folks at River's Way, Clay has booked multiple weekends at the lodge in 2014, and is wrangling his many fishing friends to combine fishing with charity in a fund-raising effort that should earn him some excellent Karma--like that lovely rainbow in the picture!

 

 

 

Click the following thumbs for full-size pics of some of the generous anglers who've answered Clay's call to contribute to the River's Way:

 

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Skip Smart with a hefty SoHo rainbow, March 22, 2014

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Jeff Beach, March 21, 2014

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Skip Smart, March 22, 2014

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Skip Smart, March 23, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga RiverChris Hanson with web-worthy South Holston River rainbow trout caught on March 18, 2014.(click image for full view)

It's heating up on the South Holston now (not the weather, of course: that's as miserable as it feels). It's the action that's hot, thanks to the abundance of bugs and consistent water temps (hats off to the 300' deep reservoir behind that dam).

Chris Hanson felt like he needed to increase his understanding of our premier tailwater, the South Holston River, and wisely sought the guidance of Altamont Anglers. His time in the boat with AA guide Teo Whitlock seems to have worked out well--here's Chris's feedback from the fishing
"We had great day, lots of action in the water, I caught my biggest trout so far, very exciting… Teo was very patient and instructive. I truly enjoyed the experience."

The pleasure was all ours, Chris!

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Chris Hanson with a nice South Holston brown trout, March 18, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the Watauga RiverDon Hall caught this big striper on the South Holston River, October 8, 2013 (click image for full view)

One explanation for the presence of so many striped bass in the South Holston River this late in the season is the huge volume of water flowing from the river into the lake during the Spring and Summer--so much water in the river that the stripers have no real incentive to move downstream to the lake, even as Fall is upon us.

Whatever the reason, they're a nice diversion from the trout fishing, and a great way to close out a day of excelent trout fishing, as Don Hall will confirm. That big fish on the left fell for an articulated streamer tied by Don's guide, Altamont Anglers own Teo Whitlock, and was landed on an eight weight rod. If Don wasn't tired from fighting trout all day, he certainly needed a breath after boating that big boy.

The only down side to these great fish is their appetite for trout: it's a good thing there aren't any catch-and-release requirements on stripers!

Another shot of Don Hall's striper, October 8, 2013...

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Don Hall with a nice South Holston striper, October 8, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fly fishing the South Holston River
Teo Whitlock holds a toothy brown trout caught by his client, Ben Thomas,) October 5, 2013 (click for full view).

High water during the week, low water on the weekends seems to be the pattern followed by the TVA lately. The powers that be (in control of the dam, that is) are drawing down the lake on week days, but providing access to the wading weekend warriors with reduced flows then. For the working class hero with a boat and clients that have flex-time work situations this makes for very uncrowded float trips--it's nice to have the river to yourself!

Expect to find limited hatching activity, with just the occasional sulphur, some scattered Baeits--particularly during late afternoon/early evening. But below the surface the midges abide, and the proof of that is in the following photos. Key is getting the fly to the fish, which means constantly adjusting depth, lots of changes to the weight you're using, and experimenting with all the midge patterns in your box.

Click the thumbnails that follow for full-size views of some recent floats on October 5 and October 2, 2013...

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Teo and Adam Beane with a nice South Holston brown trout, October 5, 2013

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
a peek into the gaping maw of Ben's big South Holston brown trout, October 5, 2013

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Ben and his toothy South Holston brown trout, October 5, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Ben with a nice South Holston rainbow trout, October 5, 2013

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Adam with a nice South Holston rainbow trout, October 5, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Teo with a nice South Holston brown trout, October 2, 2013

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Teo with a nice South Holston brown trout, October 2, 2013

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Travis Brotherton with a nice South Holston brown trout, October 2, 2013

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Travis Brotherton with a nice South Holston brown trout, October 2, 2013

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Travis Brotherton with a nice South Holston brown trout, October 2, 2013

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Travis Brotherton with a nice South Holston brown trout, October 2, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fly fishing the South Holston River
Tom Byrne with a pretty South Holston River brown trout caught on July 25, 2013 (click for full view).

It's time for Sulphers on the South Holston now, and a few lucky anglers took full advantage of the opportunity to throw dry flies at trout noses recently. Bill Matyi made an appearance on July 22 and Tom Byrne, visiting from Jersey City (you got a problem with that?) fished with us on July 25.

The TVA is in a nice rythmn of water releases now, allowing for wading and stalking the fish on low water until early afternoon, and then delivering water to allow for a nice afternoon float-out. At the upper end of the river the hatch is on in the morning, blanketing the water with sulphurs by late morning. When the water comes up there are still bugs in large enough numbers to keep the fish coming up for them. Anchor up within easy casting distance to the tree-lined back and aim for their noses!

Click the following thumbs for full-size views of South Holston River fly fishing trips...

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Tom Byrne with a nice South Holston brown trout, July 25, 2013

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Tom Byrne with a nice South Holston brown trout, July 25, 2013

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Tom Byrne with a nice South Holston brown trout, July 25, 2013

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Bill Matyi with a nice South Holston brown trout, July 22, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fly fishing the South Holston River
Doug Stone with a pretty South Holston brown trout caught on July 12, 2013 (click for full view).

It's summer-sulphur season on the South Holston now, and wise anglers took full advantage of the opportunity to throw dry flies at trout noses this week.

The TVA is in a nice rythmn of water releases now, allowing for wading and stalking the fish on low water until early afternoon, and then delivering water to allow for a nice afternoon float-out. At the upper end of the river the hatch is on in the morning, blanketing the water with sulphurs by late morning. When the water comes up there are still bugs in large enough numbers to keep the fish coming up for them. Anchor up within easy casting distance to the tree-lined back and aim for their noses!

Click the following thumbs for full-size views of South Holston River fly fishing trips...

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Skip Smart with a nice South Holston brown trout, July 12, 2013

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
A nicely colored Soouth Holston rainbow trout, July 13, 2013

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Mike Browder with a nice South Holston brown trout, July 15, 2013

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Mike Browder with a nice South Holston brown trout, July 15, 2013

Asheville fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
A beautiful South Holston brown trout caught on July 15, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fly fishing the South Holston River
Scott Schulhof admires a hog of a South Holston River brown trout, held by his guide, Joe Spencer, on June 12, 2013 (click for full view).

The TVA is finally backing off from the recent drawing down of lake levels, and providing some morning wade-fishing for those without a boat, generally turning one generator on in early afternoon. That lets those with a boat to float out in the afternoon, and those without a boat to hop-scotch downstream ahead of the water. This is a typical summer pattern which will hopefully continue for some time.

Even better news is the steady Sulphur hatch, starting in late morning on the upper reaches of the river, and increasing through the afternoon, providing great dry fly fishing on the high water for those with boats. Of course, there's great midge fishing before the Sulphurs arrive and plenty of Crane Flies around, as well.

All of these elements converged on June 12 for Larry and Scott Schulhof, on a nice day with Altamont Anglers guide Joe Spencer. The father/son team boated lots of fish, but Scott earned the Hog Award for that big brown trout pictured on the left. Click the thumbs that follow for full views of of the fishing on the South Holston river on June 12, 2013

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Scott Scholhof holds a nice South Holston brown trout netted by his dad, Larry.

Asheville NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River
Larry Scholhof holds a nice South Holston brown trout netted by his guide, Joe Spencer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fly fishing the South Holston River
David Crosby holds a big South Holston brown trout passed to him from the net by Altamont Anglers guide Joe Spencer on April 12, 2013 (click for full view).

It's feast or famine with the TVA: They've been sluicing while they work on turbines and for months it's been at about 200cfs, which is low enough for wading and high enough for floating. Now they claim to be sluicing, and yet also claim to be running one generator, delivering about 2300cfs downstream from the dam, which is ok if you've got a boat, but sends the waders home. The lake behind the dam is at flood stage, which is why the sudden draw-down, and we can hope that the TVA will get back to normal schedules soon.

But these inconveniences for the anglers don't diminish the quality of the fishery! If you can find a moment with a friendly release grab your midges, PMD's, BWO's, PT's and BFF's (maybe they'll bring the beer) and have fun.

 

 

 

 

 

fly fishing the South Holston River
Clay Gibson with a nice rainbow trout on the South Holston River on February 23, 2013 (click to embiggen)

Clay Gibson fishes the South Holston as often as possible (which seems to be about every other weekend), and heavy flows are no deterrent to his success, as the following pictures prove. The South Holston is fishing really well on the consistent high water being delivered by the TVA over the past couple of months, and Clay and his crew did well over the weekend of February 22/23.

Robert Griffith joined Clay in the fun and then on 2/24 and 2/25, our smallmouth bass expert and fishing fanatic Tom Martin joined Teo in a foray away from the bass world, proving himself as pectorially proficient with the trout as he is with smallies.

Click any of the following thumbnails to open a slideshow from the fishing in late February...

Asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River Asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River Asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River Asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River

fly fishing the iSouth Holston RiverReid Gibson, on the right, caught that big brown trout on the South Holston River on February 9, 2013 (click for full view)

We loves us some winter fishing here at Altamont Anglers, and the same goes for our clients! They are more than willing to put up with the cold weather to have terrific fishing on uncrowded water. Clay Gibson knows this, and regularly books multiple dates throught the winter, inviting family and friends to join him in the chilly pursuit of big trout. On February 9 and 10, 2013, he was joined by--among others--his brother Reid. Apparently, despite the cold, Reid had the hot hand on this occasion, judging by the big brown trout being held by his guide, Altamont Anglers lead guide Teo Whitlock.

Good fishing was to be had on a couple of trips a little earlier in the month, on 2/2/13 when Chris Snyder and John Caruthers floated the river, and again on 2/7/13 when Teo floated the river with Travis Brotherton and Jason VanDyke. Click the thumbnails that follow for a slide show from the fishing on those dates...

Asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River Asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River Asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River Asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River Asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River

fly fishing the iSouth Holston RiverHugh Rand's big South Holston River brown trout, October 21, 2012 (click image for full view)

Barton Evans had a great trip with Altamont Anglers guide Teo Whitlock when he first floated with us last year, such a great trip that he booked two more days and brought a friend!

Barton and his fishing buddy, Hugh Rand, came in search of some pre-spawn brown trout action on the South Holston River, and it looks like they got what they were looking for. Hugh had the hot hand over the two days, October 20 and 21, as can be seen by the picture of that big, buttery 27" brown trout, but Barton put it like this:
"As you may have heard, we had 2 amazing days with Teo!  My buddy caught two lifetime fish, one at 27", biggest I have ever seen.  Sadly I brought my D game for much of the day, but Teo was incredibly patient and I still got fish, kind of remarkable really."

Not so remarkable, Barton--that's what a good guide is for!--but we appreciate what you're saying.

Click the images below for a slideshow of Barton Evans and Hugh Rand on the South Holston River...
Asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River Asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River Asheville, NC fly fishing guides on the South Holston River

 

 

fly fishing the iSouth Holston RiverRob Willis's big South Holston River brown trout, July 2, 2012 (click image for full view)

Fly fishing on the South Holston River can sometimes resemble a team sport, especially when a fishing guide and his client get into an exceptional fish, like the one on the left.

Altamont Anglers guide Teo Whitlock and his client, Rob Willis teamed up on that big brown trout on Monday, July 2 and it's safe to say it was a good day to bring the big net!

There are good numbers of sulphurs in the afternoons now, and pretty good Baetis hatches mixed in with them. The mornings are full of midges and there's some good beetle fishing available if you can target a specific fish.

 

 

 

 

Click the following thumbnail images for a slide show of Rob Willis' big brown trout...
fly fishing the South Holston River fly fishing the South Holston River fly fishing the South Holston River fly fishing the South Holston River

fly fishing the South Holston RiverPete Sours with a nice South Holston River brown trout caught on June 24, 2012 (click image for full view)

The fun has begun on the South Holston River, with Sulphurs hatching prolifically enough to bring the fish up to the top on high water, and the TVA supplying the demand from Southeastern air conditioners by generating in the afternoon most days.

So, the routine is to walk/wade the mornings and when the water comes up in the afternoon, launch the boat and float out on a good Sulphur hatch. Nymping the mornings and dry fly fishing the afternoon sounds like our idea of heaven!

Pete Sours and his buddy Nate agreed with that, fishing on Sunday, June 24 with Altamont Anglers guide Teo Whitlock. And Brad Weeks and his buddy John had a similarly heavenly float trip the day before, Saturday, June 23, hooking (but sadly, not landing) some bigger browns and boating high numbers of trout throughout the day.

Click the images that follow for larger views of the recent fishing on the South Holston River...
fly fishing the South Holston River fly fishing the South Holston River fly fishing the South Holston River

 

 

 

fly fishing the South Holston RiverSteve Stasiak with a nice South Holston River brown trout caught on a dry fly on May 15, 2012 (click image for full view)

Steve Stasiak and Joe DeAngelis drove down from New York last year for a trial run on our Appalachian fisheries and had so much fun they just returned for an encore, fishing on May 15, 16 and 17, 2012.

Altamont Anglers guide Teo Whitlock floated them on the South Holston River for a couple of days, and gave them a bonus float on some smallmouth bass water on the third day, and the photos prove that good fishing was had by all--check out the rare-ish largemouth bass held by Teo at the end of the slideshow.

Click any image that follows for the slideshow of the recent fishing...
fly fishing the South Holston River fly fishing the South Holston River smallmouth bass fishing near Asheville, NC smallmouth bass fishing near Asheville, NC smallmouth bass fishing near Asheville, NC smallmouth bass fishing near Asheville, NC

 

 

 

fly fishing the South Holston RiverJocelyn Turner with a nice South Holston River brown trout caught on a dry fly on April 15, 2012 (click image for full view)

Sulphurs on the lower South Holston River are just about done for now, but they've offered great dry fly fishing recently, as evidenced by the accompanying photos taken on Sunday, April 15. We can't think of a better way to unwind from the stresses of tax season than a leisurely day casting Sulphur patterns to the noses of large trout on the South Holston River, and that's just what Altamont Anglers guide Teo Whitlock and his friend Jocelyn Turner did.

And, while the hatch seems mostly over on the lower end of the river, it's working its way upriver as it always does, and we should be enjoying continued Sulphur hatches for some time.

Click the thumbs for larger images of more dry fly fun on the South Holson River, April 15, 2012...
South Holston River fly fishing South Holston River fly fishing

 

 

 

fly fishing the South Holston RiverPaul Tootleman caught this big Striper on a streamer on April 4, 2012 (click image for full view)

Well, the diversity of fish species on the South Holston River (scroll down for a view of Carpiodes Velifer) is just one of the features that make it such a great river: great dry fly and nymph fishing for brown and rainbow trout, great streamer fishing for bigger browns and striped bass, and then the odd occasion for nymphing for carp!

The Crew from the North--Paul Tootleman, Steve Paradise, Ray Heimbuch and George Kessler--returned for their annual assault on the Tennessee Tailwaters the first week in April, 2012 and taught the various species of fish inhabiting the Watauga and South Holston rivers a thing or two. Great caddis hatches on the Watauga River combined with the usual suspects served up by the South Holston River--Sulphurs, Blue Winged Olives and midges galore--made for a productive fly fishing trip. Just click the thumbnails that follow for a slideshow of the fishing...
fly fishing the Watauga River fly fishing the Watauga River fly fishing the Watauga River fly fishing the Watauga River fly fishing the Watauga River fly fishing the Watauga River fly fishing the Watauga River

 

 

 

fly fishing the South Holston RiverDavid Pulliam with a South Holston River Carp caught on the fly, March 31, 2012 (click image for full view)

When you're prospecting with a nymph on the South Holston River (as opposed to sight-fishing to specific fish with a nymph) you might get lucky and have your fly eaten by Carpiodes Velifer, or the High Fin Carpsucker--what we just call big fat carp!

This one ate the Girdle Bug that Dave Pulliam was drifting under an indicator, and fought long and hard for a fish that get's so little respect. Considering their spirit, you'd think anglers would target them instead of the trout!

We're starting to see some Sulphurs now, with Blue Wings in the evenings and midges throughout the day. Click the thumbnails that follow for a slideshow of Peter Bray and Dave Pulliam's float trip with Altamont Anglers guide Teo Whitlock on Sunday, March 31 2012:

fly fishing the South Holston River fly fishing the South Holston River fly fishing the South Holston River fly fishing the South Holston River fly fishing the South Holston River fly fishing the South Holston River

 

 

 

fly fishing the South Holston RiverAltamont Anglers guide Teo Whitlock holds a big brown trout caught on February 9, 2012 (click image for full view)

There's nothing like having an expert guide in the boat, and Lambert the Golden Doodle--in the picture to the left--fits the description to a "T".

Golden Doodles (Golden Retriever/Poodle mix) are famously hypoallergenic, they are great water dogs, and best of all their fur is a perfectly waterproof Light Cahill dubbing blend!

Altamont Anglers guides Teo Whitlock and Kieran Mooney took a busman's holiday off to float the South Holston on Feb. 9, and reported good Black Fly hatches most of the day, great Blue Wing Olive hatches (also most of the day) and lots of fish feeding up on top.

But the truth must be told, and that 27 inch monster male brown trout fell victim to a streamer concocted by Teo. We're pretty sure having Lambert in the boat--on "point" so to speak--brought the boat the luck needed to bring the hog to hand.

So, if you want a little Winter fishing on the South Holston, bring your Black Flies, Blue Wings--and streamers.

Click the thumbs for larger views of the fishing on The South Holston River, February 9, 2012:
fly fishing the South Holston River fly fishing the South Holston River fly fishing the South Holston River

fly fishing the South Holston RiverAltamont Anglers guide Teo Whitlock holds a big brown trout caught by his client, Joe Gibson, on December 29, 2011 (click image for full view)

Winter fishing is the bomb, and the photo here proves it! The fish are mostly off their redds, although there were still a few on them on December 29, which is late in the game for the spawn, but most of the spawners have spread out now.

Good Black Fly hatches in the morning and evening, some Blue Wings during falling water (or if the weather turns bad), and all the usual midge suspects are the bugs to match in December and January.

Of course, just as important as what you fish with is how you fish with it, and that's a constantly changing equation on the South Holston River, so come prepared and be prepared to change up when things get slow.

 

 

 

 

fly fishing the South Holston RiverAltamont Anglers guide Teo Whitlock holds a big brown trout caught by his client, Blake Puryear (click image for full view)

October marks the beginning of "big fish" season on the South Holston River, as brown trout begin to get aggressive in anticipation of the spawning season to come, moving out of the deeper water and taking on protein and generally becoming more vulnerable to our flies and deceptions.

On a recent trip in search of those big browns Altamont Anglers guide Teo Whitock put his client, Blake Puryear, into a few nice ones, including the odd Lake Trout--we don't see many of those so, while it's not a monster, it's worth the photo.

This is a good time of year for those that like their streamer fishing, although as many big fish are caught on little nymphs as on the big Bunnies.

Click the following thumbnail images for a slide show of some recent Fall fishing on the South Holston...

 

 

 

fly fishing the South Holston River fly fishing the South Holston River fly fishing the South Holston River fly fishing the South Holston River

 

 

fly fishing the South Holston RiverMary Gibson caught this nice brown trout on the South Holston River, September 9, 2011 (click image for full view)

Many anglers hope of sharing their love of fly fishing with the love of their life, and this is true for Clay Gibson and Claude Dawson. Joined by their wives for a weekend retreat to the South Holson River, they hired the Altamont Anglers guides for a day of instruction. Judging by the photos, the ladies were quick learners--whether or not they develop that deep love for the sport (some call it obsession), only the future will tell.

Since the TVA has reduced the flows, the lower end of the river has pretty skinny water, and the resulting warming of the water has brought the carp up from the lake and run the trout upstream in search of colder water. The Sulphur hatch is pretty much done now, and these fish were caught nymphing, although there are fish feeding on ants and beetles, and the midges never quit producing.

Click any of the thumbnail images that follow for a slide show of the fishing on September 9, 2011...

a  smallmouth bass a  smallmouth bass a  smallmouth bass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A South Holston River trout
Bill Matyi with a chunky South Holston River rainbow caught on a Sulphur pattern on August 4, 2011 (click image to enlarge)

The South Holston River is offering up some decent dry fly fishing now! The TVA finished the work they were doing on the dam--that had release schedules all over the map for most of the past few months--and they are back to the normal summer pattern, at least on week days: no water (so good wade-fishing) until about mid-day, and then full generation.

Plenty of midge fishing in the morning, sulphurs by mid-day and into the evening, spinners right before dark. You'll need your boat to float out on the high water in the afternoon, but the fish are looking up for Sulphurs and the dry-fly fishing is at its peak right now.

Bring everything: waders, midges, Sulphur Comparaduns, boat and sunscreen--you'll need it all...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A South Holston River brown troutAA guide Teo Whitlock holds the brown trout caught by Bill Matyi (click image)

Bill Matyi discovered the joys of the South Holston River last year, and it's safe to say it's become his new obsession--we've lost track of the trips he's booked to fish with Altamont Anglers guide Teo Whitlock in the ensuing 10 months.

Most recently was yesterday and Thursday, April 21 & 22, 2011. Bill braved the weather reports of impending rain and colder temps to book the two days, and you can see how he was rewarded for his fortitude with the two magnificent brown trout pictured here. The long, buttery brown on the left chased and caught a streamer, much to his discomfort.

The second day indeed brought the cooler weather, and tactics changed from streamers to nymphs: the big male held out by Bill, below left, proves the success in the tactical change. That's another shot of his streamer-caught brown on the right (click the images for a larger views).

A South Holston River brown trout A South Holston River brown trout

South Holston River stream reportPaul Tootleman staying warm on the South Holston River, 03/31/11 (click to enlarge)

Paul Tootleman and the rest of his posse fish with Altamont Anglers most years, sometimes coming in Spring and Fall. This year found their Spring dates fraught with nasty weather and nasty TVA generation schedules.

Because the TVA has recently been drawing down the lakes behind the dams the Tootleman group fished the heavy flows that resulted, but despite all the hardships (check out all the coats Paul has on in that photo), Altamont Anglers' guides Teo Whitlock, Travis Honeycutt and Jay Dodd managed to break the codes and put their clients into lots of fish.

Streamer fishing is always tough on that heavy water--you can get a fish to follow, but not necessarily to eat--so they turned to deep nymphing techniques that did the trick. And all that nasty weather produced the predictable BWO hatches in such abundance that the fish rose hungrily, despite the heavy currents. Nothing better than early-season dry fly fishing, as long as you don't freeze to death in the process!

 

 

 

South Holston River fly fishingBill Matyi with a nice brown caught on the South Holston River, February 19, 2011 (click for larger view).

The TVA is drawing down lake levels due to all the recent rainfall, which means the South Holston River is currently blown out. We'll keep an eye on the situation and report back when generation schedules are more favorable for fly fishing.

Meantime, it wasn't so bad just a few weeks ago...

Bill Matyi and Tom Khoury don't let a little Winter weather deter them from their regular excursions to the South Holston River.

They escaped the work-a-day worlds of their offices for a 3-day trip last weekend, guided by Altamont Anglers guide Teo Whitlock, who put them in the boat on Friday, February 18, and walk/waded them to some secret spots on Saturday and Sunday. The fishing was ridiculous on Saturday, with the two anglers netting over a 100 fish over the course of the day--which is why these spots must remain secret!

Bring midges and assorted nymphs for the morning, BWO's and black fly patterns for the afternoon.

Click the following thumbnails for larger views of a small sampling of the February fly fishing enjoyed by Bill and Tom on the South Holston River...

 

Fly fishing the South Holston RiverBill caught this brightly-striped rainbow on 2/18/11

Fly fishing the South Holston RiverTom caught an equally beautiful 'bow the next day, 2/19/11

Fly fishing the South Holston RiverCheck out the color on this brown trout, cauht by Bill on 2/19/11

Fly fishing the South Holston RiverSo, of course, Tom had to match Bill's pretty brown with one of his own, on 2/19/11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fly fishing the South Holston RiverBill Matyi with beautifully colored brown trout caught on the South Holston River on January 15, 2011.

Bill Matyi displays a great reason to venture astream in the dead of Winter: beautiful brown trout!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A South Holston River brown trout
Don Hall with a nice South Holston River brown trout on October 18, 2010 (click image for full-size)

The passing of Sulphur season is no cause for regret on the South Holston River, because fall brings us the pre-spawn feed by big brown trout, and the opportunity to stalk these monsters as they move into shallower water and become more accessible.

Check the day Debbie Griffith had on October 16 (click here) and the fine brown caught by Don Hall on October 18, to the left.

Sneak up on 'em and treat 'em gently, so they finish the job of propogation...

Let's go fishin'!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A South Holston River trout
Jason Thaler with a South Holston brownie caught on a #16 Sulphur Compardun...(click image for full-size)

A brown trout on the South Holston RiverTeo Whitlock with a fine South Holston River brown trout (click image to enlarge).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Altamont Anglers operates on Pisgah National Forest Rivers under USDA Forest Service Permit #PIS6560)

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