The Holston River Fishing Report
Up until the last round of rain and the subsequent TVA generation out of Cherokee Dam, the Holston River was fishing about as good on dry flies as anywhere in the land. No kidding. The sulfurs have all but petered out but the caddis hatch is coming on strong. Two sizes are coming off at any given time of the day so your box should have a number of olive elk hair caddis in a size 18 and at least a few in a size 14 or even 12. The fish are fat, fast, and strong so even a 16 inch fish will give your 6x tippet a complete workout and more than likely leave you sitting on a rock for a re-rig. Most of the folks I talked to were opting for 5x and a good drift and still getting the job done. Flows and weather look favorable Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so get out and get on this hatch while the getting is still good! You might even take your dad...
Near Jefferson City Tennessee, you will find Cherokee Lake. An absolutely beautiful body of water that lends itself to some of the best camping and fishing opportunities in the area. Several islands dot the surface of the TVA lake and each year it is the home of a multitude of fishing tournaments. Night fishing on Cherokee Lake is a popular summer activity as the warm nights and an active population of bass keep the action hot and heavy.
Below Cherokee Dam is The Holston River. It is often confusing when entering this river into a fishing discussion as people seem to always think you are referring to the South Holston. This unintentional slight actually works in the favor of those anglers who fish this river. With smallmouth bass and a healthy population of trout, this river has been considered somewhat of a hidden nugget in the are for years. The Holston has very limited public access which keeps crowds low and with low crowds you have less pressure which can make for some very exciting fishing. As far as trout goes, the brown and rainbow population is primarily a stocked group but it has been rumored that schools of fingerling browns have been seen. We have our fingers crossed.
As you go south from the dam, the tailwater warms, deepens and becomes a smallmouth fishery As it rolls under Interstate 40, through a high residential area, and meets its western counterpart, The French Broad to form the mighty Tennessee.
In the upper reaches of the river just below Cherokee Dam caddis hatches can be unreal. It is not unusual to encounter a fleet of caddis popping from the surface so thick that you literally can rake them off your arm like piling snow. When this hatch begins, it is much like playing the lottery. Thousands of bugs coming off at the same time, and one lone elk hair caddis drifting amongst them. However when you do hook up you will bring to hand a healthy fish from limestone rich water.
Much like the French Broad, if you have a crawdad pattern or a wooly bugger on the lower reaches of this water, you should be in fine shape.
Archived The Holston River Fishing Reports:
The lower portion of the Holston River below Cherokee Dam is finally beginning to come into its own for small mouth bass after a long wet spring. Flows the past week have been favorable and the larger bass are finally beginning to respond. Look for flows to increase towards the middle/end of the week as TVA preps for the chance of rain.
The upper portion of the Holston in the trout zone continues to fish incredibly well. Depending on where you are you can expect to encounter two forms of caddis, two forms of sulfurs, and two sizes of crane flies. The action heats up through out the day with the afternoon evening bite being better than the morning.
The Holston River below Cherokee dam is really firing on all 8 cylinders at the moment. Head 3RA guide Jon Oody took Samantha, 3RA's newest employee, out on a float yesterday and we all found out Samantha is a natural. Bug activity is off the charts. While the caddis are beginning to show in a fair number it's the may flies that are stealing the show. Small sulfurs in a size 18 are showing up in numbers.
The lower river is still a few weeks out at best with respects to the small mouth bass action. When the river has been off for consecutive days at a time the temperature has risen sufficiently to entice a decent bite but the recent rains and generation schedules has put this off. There are large balls of bait fish (3 or 4 inch shad) up and down the river and the bass are occasionally making slashes at the balls and chasing them on the surface. Again, this is occurring very sporadically and the river needs some down time to permit the temperatures to get back up to acceptable levels.
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