Fishing Report: South Holston River

The South Holston River has gained a reputation for being among the best Wild Brown Trout fisheries in the Southeast United States.   With an average of 8,000 trout per mile, 20 miles of fishable water sustaining 85% wild browns, we can attest to its greatness.  Being a Tailwater, where the water level is controlled by a dam, it is a year round fishery offering world class fly fishing with various opportunities.  It's limestone riverbed and consistent water temperature provide excellent conditions for trout to thrive.  The “Soho” is no doubt a “Brown Trout Factory.”   We would love the opportunity to guide you to a great experience on the South Holston River!   

FISHING REPORT:

Recent fly fishing trips on the South Holston River have been very productive.  With the spawning sections opening up as of February 1, 2016, the fish haven’t seen the normal fishing pressure.  In turn, fish have been aggressive towards streamers on low pressure, cloudy days.  Streamer colors have varied based on sunlight and water clarity.  The following formula is a good place to start:

  • Cloudy Skies / Clear Water = Natural Colors
  • Cloudy Skies / Dingy Water = Black, Grey, Purple
  • Sunny Skies / Clear Water = Natural Colors, Bright Colors
  • Sunny Skies / Dingy Water = Florescent and Bright Colors

In addition, use streamers in darker colors in the winter and early months of the year and as the water warms graduate to the lighter-colors.  Use florescent and bright colors in muddy and dingy water, and lighter colors in clear and warmer waters.

With all the snowmelt, rain and demand for electricity, the Dam generators have been running 24/7.  During these periods, the fish acclimate to high water holding spots and the bigger Wild Brown Trout come out to play.

On high pressure days with abundant sun, nymphs, midges and soft hackles are getting the job done.  As Spring and warmer temperatures approach, dry fly fishing will get better.  Until then, warmer days reaching 60+ degrees will produce some great Blue Winged Olive hatches and rising fish.

Because the South Holston River’s levels fluctuate depending on generation, we recommend two days on this river to get the best conditions and maximize your experience.  We offer all inclusive guided fishing trips and various lodging options to accommodate you best.    

Tight Lines!

We look forward to getting on the water with you!

 

Asheville Fly Fishing Company, LLC

BOOK A TRIP:  (828) 779-9008

Photography: Copyright 2016 Galen Kipar

Holiday Fly Fishing Gift Certificates

Give the gift of Fly Fishing this holiday season by purchasing a Gift Certificate for a friend or family member.  We'll send you a physical Gift Certificate that can be applied to a Guided Fly Fishing Trip of their choice.  Expiration dates are 1 year from purchase date, so they'll have plenty of time to schedule a trip at their convenience.    

Happy Holidays from all of us at AFFC!  

We look forward to getting on the water with you.

Southern Culture on The Fly magazine and Asheville Fly Fishing Company take on the Nolichucky Gorge

S.C.O.F (Southern Culture On the Fly) is an online fishing magazine filled with informative articles, fishy humor and vivid photography.  So when they told us they wanted to do a an overnight trip for Smallmouth Bass on the Nolichucky Gorge and feature the story in S.C.O.F's Fall 2015 issue, the perma-grin set in.  

Three rescheduled dates and seven months later, we were packing the boats and checking water levels.  For good fishing and easier rowing, we typically run the gorge between 700cfs and 1600cfs. The water level was a boat-dragging 350cfs the morning of the trip.  This is an extremely low level, making it hard to navigate anything bigger than a kayak.   At this level, the rapids grow teeth, the slots become cracks, broken oars are common and dragging the raft is sure to occur at least once.  We were running rafts with fishing frames and oar rigs.  Each boat carried one angler, one oarsman/guide, fishing/camping/camera gear and a cooler.  Three rafts, eighteen rods and reels, enough food and flies for six adventurists and every smallmouth bass in the gorge, we headed north from Asheville to bring it all down 9 miles of class III-IV water 2,500ft down in the Nolichucky Gorge.   The "Noli" gorge is sacred to many, loved by more.  If you go, please treat it with respect, play safe, and practice catch and release so that others may enjoy its splendor.   

In the end, memories were made, fun was had, many fish were caught, oar blades got broken and lessons were learned.  We safely made it out of the gorge wishing we could immediately do it again.  Thanks to S.C.O.F for bringing us on board for this one.  Thanks to everyone involved for making it an epic trip.  That was fun!   ~  Galen Kipar

The Team:  

  • S.C.O.F Writer - David Grossman
  • S.C.O.F Photographer - Rand Harcz
  • A.F.F.C Guides - Zach Bassett, Knox Campbell, Galen Kipar
  • Crooked Creek Holler 

Read the article here...    S.C.O.F  2015 FALL Issue #17 

 

Since the article came out, we have received several inquiries about fly patterns and the smallmouth in the Western North Carolina and East Tennessee mountains.  If you have questions or are looking for info, contact us anytime!

Asheville Fly Fishing Company  /  828-779-9008  /  flyfishingasheville@gmail.com

2015 Summer Fishing Video with Asheville Fly Fishing Company

Happy 4th of July!   We are looking forward to watermelon, fireworks, homemade peach ice cream and good days on the water.  Hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!  

Video & 2015 Fishing Report for Western North Carolina and East Tennessee

Asheville Fly Fishing Company’s guides love fishing, but sharing the experience is far more rewarding.  Come fish with us! 

FISHING REPORT for Western North Carolina and East Tennessee:

*So far, the Smallmouth Bass fishing this spring has been the best we’ve seen it in 2 years.  The water temperatures have been above average, and there was no significant flooding that interfered with the spawn.  The magic water temperature for the top water bite is around 70 degrees.  Two rivers in this area reached that mark this week and sure enough, the top water bite was hot.  We anticipate the top water action will be great until temperatures flatten out into the upper 80’s and 90’s.  Then, mornings and evening will be best.  If you are out there on your own, don’t forget to check the water temperatures, it will tell you a lot about what the fish are going to do. 

*The tailwaters of East Tennessee are renowned as some of the best in the southeast.  This reputation holds true, and especially this spring.  Both the Watauga and South Holston River have been fishing great as significant hatches bring fish to the surface.  The Dry fly fishing has been excellent this spring, but it doesn’t stop there.  The Sulfurs on the South Holston River are just getting started, and the big fish come to the table.  The “Soho” is undergoing more maintenance at the dam so we can expect irregular flows.  If you go wading, don’t forget to check the generation schedules and flow arrival times, better safe than sorry.  On the Watauga River, the Caddis hatches have been thick, with some of the best black Caddis hatches we’ve seen in years.  Spinners and tan Caddis are currently working well on Watauga.  Both these rivers fish great year round, but as summer sets in and water levels are low elsewhere, they offer some of the best fishing opportunities. 

*The Tuckaseegee River (NC) is managed as a Delayed Harvest regulated river.  Harvest opens June 6th.  If you are interested in having a great numbers day and catching upwards of 40 fish,  we recommend hitting it before June 15th.   We don’t recommend the “Tuck” between June 15th and October 3rd, as the majority of the 20K pounds of fish will end up in someone’s freezer.  We practice Catch and Release and encourage anglers everywhere to fish with a conscience.  

*Wade trips on Delayed Harvest streams are winding to a close.  While some streams get hit harder than others, many will be fished out by June 15.  At that point, the Davidson River is a sure bet for Catch and Release anglers.  For the angler who prefers the canopy of rhododendron and the intimate hunt, there are hundreds of miles of Backcountry streams that are home to beautiful, eager wild trout. 

Featured in Southern Culture on the Fly Magazine – Fall 2014 issue.

We find S.C.O.F. to be an entertaining read filled with great artwork, info and other fishy news.  S.C.O.F. is an online Fly Fishing Magazine based in the Southeast USA.  They've got some fishy apparel, funny stories and timeless pictures.  

Galen was featured in SCOF's 2014 Fall issue.  Click here to read

Asheville Fly Fishing Company

Asheville Fly Fishing Company owner Galen Kipar featured in Midcurrent Magazine.

Galen Kipar casually refers to himself as a “trout ninja.” But his real art is the musical blending of folk, classical, jazz, and blues into what one might call neo-bluegrass or Appalachian jazz. Nathan Oravec profiles Kipar on Gazette.net, where the musician and fly fisher describes the link between water and music: “’Water, particularly rivers, have many different currents. Music is the same way,’ he says. ‘Music has many different currents, and they all work together. Maybe that’s a little far-fetched, but it’s something that’s always fascinated me.’”

Be sure to listen to some of the extraordinary .mp3s on the GalenKipar.com Web site.

To view on Midcurrent click here.

 

 

Asheville Fly Fishing Company owner Galen Kipar feature in Laurel of Asheville Magazine.

The Climate Listening Project (CLP) documents stories from everyday folks—from farmers to business leaders to outdoor enthusiasts—and encourages communities to share their experiences of climate disruption.     

To read more about a current national climate change campaign click here.     

Asheville Fly Fishing Company - Galen Kipar