The high flows and the mixed bag of weather had pretty much killed the fishing on the tailwaters for the past few weeks but there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel. We have some pretty typical weather coming in for the next 10 days with the highs in the 50’s and 60’s with minimal chances of rain. This will help stabilize the rivers and streams in our area giving the fish a break and possibly jumpstart some good hatches.
The Holston was off all day yesterday with the high around 70 so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get out and float. Of course this meant we had to attend the early service at church to make it to the river on time but it was worth it. When we got to the river we noticed fish were already rising and there were tons of midges and black flies on the water. At times there was almost too much food on the water and repetitive casting was needed to get the fish to see our flies.
There’s no shortage of fish feeding on the surface.
There are plenty of freshly stocked fish in the Holston right now along with good numbers of holdovers and both are feeding heavily on the abundance of food. Most of the bugs we saw were between sizes 22 and 18 and dark. We caught fish on dries and nymphs matching the real thing and even caught fish on a number 14 adams just to see what they would take. A pheasant tail or zebra midge matching the size will do the trick.
There was plenty of activity going on in the riffles throughout the entire float but seeing a small fly in rough water can be tricky so try adding a bigger dry fly with it for an indicator. We did run across larger pods of rising fish in softer water with most being around 12 or so inches, but there would occasionally be some larger fish mixed in the bunch. These fish are seasoned veterans so an accurate cast with a drag free drift is needed to get them to eat the fly.
Big or small, sight fishing is a blast.
We’re hoping the generation will get back on a regular schedule in the coming weeks so fishermen can get back out on the water and knock the rust of those rods. Just think, it’s already this good and the caddis haven’t started to show up yet. You won’t want to miss the Holston in the spring when dry fly fishing is at its peak. It’s not a bad way to spend the day and just a short drive from Sevierville and Townsend. Give us a call and we can set up a trip for you to see this first hand.