South Holston River

Just a few minutes from the Watauga River lies its big sister, the South Holston River.  The “SoHo” is also a tailwater and getting the reputation as one of the best rivers in the country, with a population of trout coming in at around 8,500 fish per mile according to Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) biologists. With similar fish density and species diversity to the Watauga, it is a river that offers anglers a number of opportunities to catch trophy wild brown trout. The record brown is a 42-inch 21-pounder with the average fish measuring at 12-20 inches. It has a jagged limestone riverbed and flows from the South Holston Dam into Boone Lake, approximately 21 miles downstream. Its banks are grassy with wide open views where the river width ranges from 100 feet to 100 yards. It has a more gentle flow with fewer rapids and elevation change than the Watauga River. TVA regulates flows on the South Holston Dam and wading is not recommended during high water. A Full-Day Trout Float with the option to wade during low water is the best way to target this river.

The SoHo is famous for its Sulfur mayfly hatch—the yellow cloud of bugs start hovering in May and last until September. The BWO hatches are also very good during cooler months and both offer world-class dry fly fishing for trophy wild brown trout. The SoHo offers great fishing year-round.