The trout fishing that happens on the South Holston River is some of the best in the nation! With the Appalachian mountains surrounding the Holston, fly fishing for brown and rainbow trout here is unparalleled!
The South Holston River water generation is controlled by the Tennessee Valley Authority. In floating or wading the river, each trip will depend on the water release schedule. Float trips are only available on the South Holston when water is being generated. Likewise, wade trips are only available on the South Holston when water is not generating. The trout fishing here is highly productive both when generating and not.
About The South Holston River
The South Holston tailwater system offers a great bounty with a near 8,500 fish per mile. The 14 mile stretch of pristine water begins in the neighboring state of Virginia. The Holston river at the North Fork streams down and through Kingsport, Tn. It eventually meets the South Holston Dam. The South Holston Dam is unique in producing cold water temperatures year-round in feeding the South Holston River. A series of weir dams preceded by grates amplifies the oxygen levels for a perfect habitat in which trout thrive year-round. Because of the pristine nature of the South Holston river, it is home to a large population of wild trout.
Due to the fluctuating flow that’s dependent on the TVA release schedule, water levels can fluctuate drastically in a short period of time. Always be sure to check the TVA release schedule when you’re planning on wading, and be sure to get to the sure if you notice water levels rising. You can access most of the South Holston river when wading with the water levels down. Some of the better wading access points are near the weir dams off of Holston View Dam rd. You’ll find public access and parking there.
South Holston River Fishing: Hatch Chart
The South Holston is a premier fly fishing destination for anglers from around the country. It’s often hailed as one of the best places to fly fish in the USA! With 8,500 fish per mile, it’s no wonder that anglers flock to the South Holston river to get their fly fishing fix. The South Holstron river is known for it’s sulphur hatch. In the evenings from May throughout October, the water surface looks like a symphony of mayflies with rising trout feasting upon them. If you want to have your best bet at catching fish on the South Holston River, follow our guide below to ensure your fly fishing excursion ends in success!
- Size 20-24 midges (January – December) A purple Frenchie Fly is a popular midge pattern for the South Holston.
- Size 18-22 BWO’s (January – March, November – December)
- Size 12-18 Sulphurs (May – October)
- Size 10-16 Caddis (March – Mid April)
- Size 12-16 Caddis (May – October)
No matter what time of year you’re fly fishing the South Holston river, you’re sure to find some fish! If you’re new to this river, or you’re a local and just wanting to catch more fish, we would be happy to show the ropes and help you catch some trophy trout!