Copyright 2018 James Marsh
Fly Fishing On The Holston River In
The Holston River is a tailwater trout fishery located just
north of Knoxville, Tennessee below Cherokee Dam near
the town of Jefferson City, Tennessee. It is stocked with
both rainbow and brown trout by the (TWRA) Tennessee
Wildlife Resources Agency. Both the rainbow and brown
trout holdover from year to year because the stream
stays cold for a short ways below the dam even during
the summer months. This tailwater is sometimes confused
with its neighbor, the South Holston Tailwater to the
Northeast. We have a separate website on the South
The Holston River is one of Tennessee’s premier fly
fishing for trout and smallmouth bass destinations.
Rainbow and brown trout are usually fairly easy to catch
and anglers enjoy a busy day. Fly fishing the Holston
River tailwater caddisfly hatches can be a lot of fun.
The river can be waded when they are not generating
water through the dam. However, there are only a few
place you can access the river where wading is possible.
It can be fished from a drift boat when they are operating
the turbines but if it is running high, it usually isn't worth
Caution should be used anytime you are fishing the
Holston Tailwater. The water can rise fast.
Holston River Fly Fishing Guide:
Public access is very limited on the Holston River. This
limits the number of wading anglers. The best access
point for waders is at the Nance’s Ferry boat ramp.
Starting there, you can wade a good distance upstream.
The river mostly consist of shallow riffles in that area.
During the warmer months of the year, this area isn't that
desirable because the water can become too warm.
Another public access for wading anglers is just below the
Cherokee Dam. This section of the Holston fishes well
most of the year. The cold bottom discharge from
Cherokee Dam keeps the water fairly cool in this area
even in hot weather. The best area from the dam access
is downstream. There you will find shoals and if the flows
are right, some easy to wade water.
Another access is the Indian Cave public access. It's
about mid way between Nance's Ferry and the dam.
There's only a small amount of wadable water but it is an
Floating the river is the best option but again, access is
still very limited. The public boat ramps are located at
Cherokee Dam, Indian Cave, and Nance’s Ferry.
Floating the Holston tailwater can be tricky. There are a
lot of problems that can arise from floating the river.
There are several, very long sections of water that flow
slowly and you often need a trolling motor or a lot
of paddling to get downstream. The stretch from the dam
to Indian Cave Ramp is a long one and that can
The stretch from Indian Cave to Nance’s Ferry is usually
the best bet for most anglers. It too, can require some
rowing or a small electric motor.
You should always be aware of the generation schedule
of any tailwater. Cherokee Dam can let go of a huge
amount of water. Your safety and pleasure depends on
knowing when these releases are scheduled. The river
fows at about 300 cfs or cubic feet per second when no
water is being generated. Minimum flows are usually
during the winter and early spring.
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 ft., 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 71/2 ft.,
3 or 4X, Midges 6X, streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Superb Five or Ultimate Six
For 5/6 line size
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
The fly-fishing season is year-round on the
The warmest days on winter provide decent
fishing on the Holston River, but it is not the
best time of the year.
Springtime brings about the big caddisfly
hatches and some of the best dry fly fishing
the river has to offer.
Holston River Hatches and Trout Flies:
Our information on aquatic insects is based on
our stream samples of larvae and nymphs, not
guess work. We base fly suggestions on
imitating the most plentiful and most available
insects and other foods at the particular time
you are fishing. Unlike the generic fly shop
trout flies, we have specific imitations of all the
insects in the Holston River and in all stages of
life that are applicable to fishing. If you want to
fish better, more realistic trout flies, have a
much higher degree of success, give us a
call. We not only will help you with selections,
you will learn why, after trying Perfect Flies,
92% of the thousands of our customers will
use nothing else.
There are two basic ways to fish the Holston
that are almost opposite of each other. One is
using small imitations of midges and the other
is caddisfly imitations. Midge larva, pupa and
adult imitations will catch trout year-round.
Many anglers use a tandem rig with both a
larger mayfly nymph and a small midge larva
or pupa fly. Most of the midges are either
cream or red (blood) midges.
Most of the time, midge imitations are the best
choice of flies. They will work day in and day
Caddisfly imitations work when a hatch is
occurring or egg laying is taking place. There
are several species of caddisflies that live in
the Holston River. Caddisflies are the most
important hatches on the Holston. Most all of
them are commonly called Cinnamon Caddis.
Most all of them are net-spinning caddis
Few free-living and only a few cased
caddis exist. There are several minor
species or caddisflies that hatch in sparse
quantities. The hatches start in March and
peak in May.
Some species hatch during the summer
but in smaller quantities. A few hatch in the
fall months. The opportunity to catch larger
trout on a streamer always exist. The best
streamers are imitations of baitfish and
sculpin. Crawfish imitations also work for
the larger size browns as well as the
smallmouth. The river has some fine
smallmouth bass fishing in its lower
sections. Streamers and at times, large top
water flies work great for them.
Terrestrials work fine in the late summer
and early fall. Beetles, ants and
grasshopper imitations catch their share of
Holston River trout.
Craneflies are plentiful in the Holston. At
times, imitations of the Cane Fly larvae
adults work fairly well. Black flies are very
plentiful and more important in the colder
months of the year. You should have
imitations of the Black Fly larvae, pupae
and the adults.
Sulphurs are the most common mayfly.
There are plenty of bugs to keep trout
rising on the Holston. Sulphurs hatch in
May and June.
The hot days of summer still produces
prolific caddisfly hatches and great fishing.
Autumn provides the most stable time to
fish the Holston Tailwater. The weather is
normally good and the discharges are
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (email@example.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
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Headlines: The discharges and
stream levels have been down and
the river in good shape this past
week and currently. Smallmouth
bass fishing has been great in the
lower river. Our poppers and
Crayfish patterns are working very
good. There's some rain on the
way. Be sure to check out our
weekly Holston River fishing report
by clicking link directly above.
Holston River Map
01/06/16 The good news is the weather is warming back up and it will be nice through the
weekend except for a little rain. The bad news is, for at least today and tomorrow, the TVA will
be running two turbines. You will just have to keep a close check on the discharge schedule
and hope for the best. The trout will wait and you may have to as well.
01/13/16 It looks like they are running two generators today and tomorrow, so there isn't any
wading opportunity yet. You will just have to keep checking the TVA schedule. Midges, winter
stoneflies and black fly pupa and larva are the flies you need at this time. The White Belly
sculpin works great, especially when there is cloud cover.
01/20/16 The TVA is running a good bit of water, more than you can safely wade. Based on the
weather forecast with lots of rain and snow, it is likely high discharges will continue. We can only
keep a close check on them. Drift boats can fish but high discharges adversely affect them at
times, depending on the flows.
01/27/16 It seems like anglers just can't get a good break on the Holston. They are running two
turbines today and tomorrow, so you will just have to watch the schedule. Midges, little Winter
stonefly nymphs, Black Flies and Sculpin streamers are the main flies you will need to use.
02/03/16 One of our regular customers caught some smallmouth bass this past week on the
lower Holston. We had a rather warm week and the lower river is affected by the air
temperature. He used our smallmouth streamers and fished the deeper holes and pools. It is
going to be colder this week. You should be able to catch plenty of trout if you can catch the
02/10/16 Stream levels are still running high and the power company will be running two or m re
generators today and tomorrow. You will just have to watch the discharge schedule. The water
is cold and the weather is going to be colder than normal. Midges, Winter stoneflies and Black
Flies are the insects you will need to imitate when you can fish.
02/17/16 The weather is going to be nice and much warmer through the weekend but rain is
coming the first of next week to the point discharges may continue to be high at times.
Hopefully, there will be a break in the discharges this weekend but you will just have to check
the schedule. Midges, creams and reds, and black flies are the main insects you should be
02/24/16 There will be high discharges for a few more days, based on the weather. It is raining
hard and will continue to rain, followed by a chance for snow on Friday. You will just have to
watch the TVA schedule and stream levels. Midges, creams and reds, Winter stoneflies, and
Black Flies will be the insects you need to imitate when the levels do settle down.
03/02/16 The TVA is running water for the next two days and will likely continue. Maybe there
will be some breaks near the end of the week. This coming weekend is looking good with warm
weather. The lower end of the river will be good for smallmouth as soon as the discharges
subside. The Upper section of the river should be fished with midges, and black flies.
03/09/16 It appears the TVA is going to continue higher discharges through the week, but
maybe they will give anglers a break. You will just have to keep checking the schedule. The
weather is going to be very warm but that brings with it a chance of more rain from Friday
through next Monday. Midges and Blue-winged olives have been hatching good.
03/16/16 The weather will be returning to a more normal early springtime pattern later this
week. There is little rain forecast and hopefully the discharges will settle down for a while. As of
now, they are still running a lot of water. When they do drop the heavy discharges, look for
good smallmouth bass and trout fishing conditions.
03/23/16 We have received some good reports very recently from anglers wading at the Nance’
s Ferry boat ramp. There isn't many places you can wade due to the huge amount of private
property along the river. It shouldn't be long before there are a lot of caddis hatching. The
water is up a couple of degrees lately.
03/30/16 The Holston has a good discharge schedule for the next couple of days. There is rain
in the forecast Thursday and Friday and we are not sure how much that is going to affect this
weekend, but for now, it looks good. The water is a little warmer and Smallmouth anglers have
been doing great on streamers. We also had one good report on trout.
04/06/16 The Holston has been good to our customers the past few days. They have been
catching good numbers of trout and smallmouth bass. The bass has mostly come on streamers
and the trout, mostly on midges, larva and pupa fished in tandem. Blood midges and cream
midges are hatching. The discharges will be low the next three days.
04/13/16 The discharge schedule looks good for the next couple of days. There are some
caddis hatching on the lower end of the river. Smallmouth bass fishing has been great with the
fish taking both streamers and top water flies occasionally. Midges and little BWO's, size 20,
have been hatching off and on. Sculpin streamers are always a good fly choice.
04/20/16 Conditions remain excellent for fly fishing the Holston. Both smallmouth bass and trout
are being caught by our customers in good numbers. The weather is goin go continue to be
good with little rain and the discharge schedule looks great for wading anglers. There should
be more caddis this coming week and plenty of surface action.
04/27/16 This is sure to be a good day for fishing the Holston. Low discharges and levels and
lots of trout and smallmouth bass being caught. There is rain starting soon, and we are not
sure how it will affect discharges this next week, so now is a good time to go. The smallmouth
have taken top water popping bugs already but most were caught on streamers.
05/04/16 Customers have been reporting some good smallmouth bass and trout catches this
past week. Discharges have been low and most days anglers have been able to wade some.
The little Cinnamon Caddis have begin to hatch on the middle and lower sections. Smallmouth
have been taken on popping bugs and streamers.
05/11/16 The past week has been good one for both those anglers fishing for smallmouth bass
and trout. There are beginning to be some good Cinnamon Caddis hatches taking place. The
weather forecast has a lot of rain chances in it this coming week, but hopefully, they are not
expecting and heavy amounts, mostly showers.
05/18/16 The stream levels and discharges have been good to anglers the past few days and
the schedule looks good for the next couple of days. There is a lot of rain in the forecast
through Saturday and this likely will be a factor later on. Smallmouth bass have been taken on
streamers and popping bugs on the surface. Trout are eating caddis and conditions rather
05/25/16 There have been a few opportunities for the wading angler recently. Hopefully, there
will be more this coming week. At least there is less chances of much rain although there is a
chance every day. Sulphurs are hatching along with Cinnamon Caddis. Smallmouth bass are
taking both streamers and top water flies. When the discharges are reasonable, the conditions
are very good.
06/01/16 The few reports we have received this past week were very good. There have been
some opportunity for wading. The hot thing going on now, is the smallmouth bass fishing. It is
great and they are taking popping bugs as well as streamers. Our crayfish patterns have taken
several as well. The trout are feeding mostly on caddis.
06/08/16 I don't normally make a deal out of the smallmouth bass fishing, but it has been
superb this past few days. Even when the water has been high, they are catching plenty of
them mostly on top on popping bugs. Trout are being caught as well, mostly on the caddisfly
hatches, or egg laying more specifically. You need to fish late in the day for the best caddis
06/15/16 This past week has been good to those fly fishing the Holston. There has been
several good opportunities for wading anglers. There will be cloud cover the next three days
and this should help the surface caddisfly action. Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be
excellent. Most of the fish are being taken on top water flies.
06/30/16 The Holston has been good to the smallmouth bass anglers lately. We have several
customers who have caught not only good numbers of the smallies but some very big ones.
The trout are taking the egg laying caddis each late afternoon. If possible, fish late in the day
and up until near dark. That is also the best time for the smallmouth. You can catch fish
throughout the day though.
07/06/16 The river is in good shape. The discharges have allowed a few times for anglers to
wade this past week. There is a chance of rain everyday for the coming week, but some days it
is a low chance. Caddisflies, mostly Cinnamon Caddis, are hatching good. If you fish the last
two hours of the day, you can catch trout on the egg laying activity. Smallmouth bass are still
taking popping bugs and flies good.
07/13/16 We didn't receive any reports from any customers fishing for trout this past week but
we understand some were caught. We did receive more smallmouth bass reports. They are still
going strong and taking popping bugs and other flies, many from the surface. There is rain in
the forecast every day providing good cloud cover but most likely, less wading opportunities.
07/20/16 The smallmouth bass fishing continues to be very good. The high discharges have
given trout anglers only a few opportunities but we receive good reports when the levels are
reasonable. You need to fish early and late in the day. It is going to be very hot. The tailwater is
getting a little warmer in the middle and lower sections, but not the uppermost section.
07/27/16 Flows have been better for anglers recently but still few and far between in so far as
being able to wade is concerned. There are lot of Cinnamon and little Sister caddis.
Smallmouth bass fishing is still good in the mornings and late afternoon.
08/03/16 It is going to be a little cooler this coming week than it has the past two weeks. The
lower end of the tailwater is getting quite warm but of course, that's not a bad thing for the
smallmouth. Most anglers fishing the river are after smallies and it has been very good early
and late in the day. We are still getting reports of sparse hatches of Sulphurs.
08/10/16 The Baby Popping frog, which is a hook size 6 and not so small, has been catching
smallmouth late in the day and early in the morning. Our crayfish streamer patterns have been
working good during the day. The stream levels have been high recently. Trout fishing has
been slow. There are lots of caddisflies hatching.
08/17/16 There is a chance of rain everyday this coming week. It is still hot weather and they
continue to run a lot of water, one this morning and two this afternoon. It will be turning cooler
later this week. Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be the best game, it is very good.
Hopefully, trout fishing opportunity will be better soon.
08/24/16 The weather is turning back hot again. Discharges and stream levels will be mostly
high. This may change later this week. Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be very good. Our
Perfect fly Baby popping bug is catching smallies for one of our customers. We recommend
fishing early and late in the day. During the day, the best fly option would be the dumbbell lead
eye Crayfish patterns.
08/31/16 Finally, it appears the weather will be cooling down some. That will help the middle
and lower sections of the river some and trout fishing will soon be back as the key species to
pursue. There are a lot of caddisflies hatching. Fish late in the day to imitated the egg laying
caddis. Early morning fishing with streamers (crayfish) is working for the smallmouth bass as
well as popping bugs like our Baby Popping Frog.
09/07/16 Last week's report started out saying the weather is turning cooler. That isn't the case
this coming week. It is continuing to be hot with little to no chance of rain. The discharges will
continue to be high at times due to A/C needs. Smallmouth bass fishing is continuing to be the
main thing. It is very good with fish being caught on top early and late in the day.
09/14/16 Flows and discharges have been favorable for wading most days but the water is
staying too warm for trout. The temperature should be dropping and they should be stocking it
next month. Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be excellent. Fish top water flies like our Baby
Popping Frog early and late in the day and our Crayfish patterns during the day.
09/21/16 Conditions remain about the same as last week. Hot weather and little to no chance of
rain. Popping bugs are catching smallmouth on the surface early and late in the day. Crayfish
patterns like our Brown and White Crayfish with Dumbbell eyes and our Brown Crayfish work
good during the day. Fish the lower end of the river.
09/28/16 The Holston will be undergoing some changes this coming month, all for the good of
the trout. The Smallmouth bass fishing has been excellent for a long time and soon trout will be
the highlight of ones trip to the river. The middle and lower section water temperature has
already dropped some and will continue this week. The smallmouth fishing will continue to be
good as well.
10/05/16 There is little change taking place. The discharges and resulting stream levels
continue to be low most of the time, allowing easy wading. Smallmouth bass fishing continues to
be very good. One customer did well this past week using our Baby Popping bug and the
Crayfish patterns. The weather will continue to be cool, but there's little to no chance of rain.
10/12/16 We were expecting some reports on trout being caught this past week but we didn't
receive any. The conditions are getting favorable for them. There are some that hold over near
the dam during the summer. The stream isn't stocked until November. We did continue to get
some good smallmouth bass reports. Crayfish are the key to that but some are still being
caught on top.
10/19/16 The power company is running water in the afternoons. You may tend to think with the
lack of rain we have had they wouldn't but electricity is still needed. It is more Summer like than
Fall and most of you are well aware of it. We only received one report this past week but it was
a good one. Smallmouth bass can still be caught early and late on top and during the day on
our Crayfish patterns.
10/26/16 They continue to run water in the afternoons even though we are in a basic drought.
There is really no chance of any rain for this coming week. The smallmouth bass fishing
continues to be very good. Our baby popping frog is catching them in shallow water during low
light conditions and our crayfish patterns during the day.
11/09/16 Stream levels and discharges remain very low. The area is in a drought with no rain
expected this next week. This makes it easy to wade most of the time. They are running some
water about an hour or so each day. Smallmouth bass are still taking top water popping bugs.
Our Perfect fly crayfish patterns are taking them during mid-day.
11/16/16 The river is still running low just about all the time. The do run water daily for a short
time. You have to avoid that by moving way up or down the river. Smallmouth bass fishing
continues to be very good. Our Perfect fly Crayfish patterns do the best and most consistent
job of catching them. One version has lead, dumbbell eyes and one doesn't.
11/23/16 Conditions remain much the same as last week. The weather is a little colder. They
continue to run only for about an hour for a couple times a day. The lake level is low. There is a
chance of rain Wednesday night. Smallmouth bass are still being caught bujt most likely, you
will have to fish a little deeper. The water is a little colder in the lower river.
11/30/16 The river has been very low for the last month but that is about to change soon. It is
raining as I write this and there's more to come this weekend. The lake level is very low and it
may not result in discharges anytime soon. Smallmouth bass has been the main fishing feature
lately. Few anglers are fishing.
12/07/16 We didn't receive any reports from the past week from anyone fishing. Conditions
continued to be good and we are sure some did. Smallmouth can be caught on the Perfect Fly
dumbbell eye crayfish pattern. Cream and Red midges will catch the large holdover trout. Yes, I
wrote "large". Some think the small flies won't catch large trout but that is dead wrong.
12/14/16 The stream has been running a little high most of the time, or at least two high to
wade. You will have to watch the discharge schedule very closely this coming week. The
weather is going to be very cold for the coming two days and warm back up some on Saturday.
Midges, Cream and Reds, will produce the highest numbers of trout. Don't think the iny flies
won't catch the large holdover trout.
12/21/16 The weather is going to be much warmer this coming week. That will make little
difference in the water temperature, but sure will help those fishing enjoy the trip better.
Smallmouth bass can still be caught using the dumbbell eye crayfish patterns. Some large
holdover trout can be caught near the dam for those who work at it.
12/28/16 They are running quite a bit of water the next couple of days. There is rain or snow
forecast for the next week. You will have to keep a close check on the discharge schedule.
Midges are the only insects hatching but there are plenty of them. Fish our new tandem pre-
rigged larva and pupa flies. Streamers should work okay with the higher water levels.
01/04/17 With the much colder weather ahead, we think the best water will be upstream near
the dam. The water will be much colder downstream a good ways. Midges, Cream and reds,
Winter stoneflies and Black files will be the only insects hatching. Fish the midge larva and
pupa imitations in tandem with the larva the bottom fly. You can do this on an indicator.
01/11/17 The river has been in good shape from a discharge and stream level standpoint but
very cold this past week. It will be right the opposite this coming week, and very warm for mid
January. We didn't receive any reports this past week from anyone fishing. The water
temperature will stay the same in the upper part of the water but may get a little warmer in the
lower section. Midges, Winter stoneflies and black flies are hatching.
01/18/17 We received some reports of smallmouth bass being caught again in the lower river.
Strangely, it is warmer in the lowest section than it is near the dam. The weather will continue to
be warm for the next week. There is a lot of rain in the forecast and the discharges are likely to
change. Make sure you check on that before traveling very far to fish.. Trout are also being
caught in good numbers.
01/25/17 The nice warm weather over after today and the middle and lower sections of the river
will become a little colder. Fish the uppermost section. Our customers have been catching good
numbers of trout. Although the newly stocked trout aren't all that selective, you will do much
better fishing midges, creams and reds, with the larva and pupa in tandem.
02/01/17 There is rain or rain and snow in the forecast everyday this coming week but one.
Discharges will be high today and likely to continue off and on. Our customers have been
reporting some good numbers of trout being caught. They are using Black Matuka Sculpin
when it is cloudy and Midges otherwise. Cream and Red midges are hatching. Fish the larva
and pupa in tandem.
02/08/17 Good reports continue to come in with good numbers of fish caught. The water is
warm downstream a good ways from the dam, but running about 38 degrees near the dam.
Midges, Reds and Creams, continue to hatch good. Fish the larva and pupa in tandem for the
best results. The Black and Olive Matuka sculpin have worked very good when there is cloud
cover and low light conditions.
02/15/17 We only received one report from anglers fishing this past week. The weather is
warmer but isn't having much affect on the water temperature except in the lower section of the
river. Midges is still the main insect to imitate. We should start seeing some caddisflies soon.
Streamers is probably the best bet when they are running water. The Black Matuka sculpin has
been working good.
02/22/17 The warm weather continues to be a plus for those fishing the Holston. There has
been some times the discharges have been favorable to wading anglers but great for drift
boats as usual. We received a couple of good reports this last week. The water in the lower end
of the river is warm enough that smallmouth wouldn't be a bad option to fish for. There is rain in
the forecast almost everyday this coming week.
03/01/17 We have received some very good reports lately. It been so warm anglers keep
mentioning Sulphur hatches but that isn't the case. There are plenty of little Blue-winged olives
hatching as well as large amounts of cream and red midges. That offers you best option as far
as numbers are concerned. Rig the pupa and larva in tandem with the pupa the top fly about
16 inches above the larva.
03/08/17 The weather has been nice and warm lately and one customer reported catching
several smallmouth on the lower end of the river. We had more good reports on the trout. They
are running some water and there is little to no wading opportunity. Hopefully this will slow down
in a couple of days. Sculpin streamers and Midges continue to be the flies you need for the
03/15/17 The river is in good shape. The TVA is running water mostly in the mornings, at least
for the next couple of days. That allows some wading opportunity in the afternoons. The water
has cooled down some in the middle and lower river due to the recent cold weather. We
received some good trout reports but not any smallmouth this past week.
03/22/17 The river is currently in good shape with good discharge and stream levels. Midges
continue to be the most important insects to imitate but Sculpin streamers are catching the
larger size trout. The weather should be a little warmer this coming week and it is very likely the
smallmouth bass fishing will come into play for those fishing the lower end of the river.
03/29/17 The discharge schedule shows they will be running water a little at a time a couple of
times a day. The schedule is good for fishing from a boat and offers some wading opportunity.
We received our first reports in a while of smallmouth bass being caught. Good numbers of
them are being caught on the lower end of the river. Crayfish streamers were being used.
04/05/17 The river is in okay shape. We didn't receive any reports from anyone fishing for trout
this past week. We did receive on report from a customer fishing for smallmouth. Crayfish
patterns worked good again for him. It is warm enough for smallmouth to take topwater popping
bugs and we feel sure the action on the surface will pick up soon.
04/19/17 The discharges and stream levels are in good shape. They are running the turbines
for the next two days only for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoons. That
should allow plenty of wading time. Smallmouth bass are being caught in good numbers.
Popping bugs and crayfish streamer patterns are working. Fish the lower section of the river for
04/26/17 The TVA is running a lot of water. There has been a lot of rain and the lakes are
high, so we think this may last a little while longer. Smallmouth bass fishing was going great in
the lower river with fish being caught on top on popping bugs and crayfish streamers. We didn't
get any reports this past week from anyone trout fishing.
05/03/17 The discharges and stream levels have been up high for the past week. We didn't
receive any reports from anyone fishing. Hopefully, anglers will get a wading break between
now and the next round of rain but it should begin again tomorrow. Smallmouth bass fishing was
excellent before the high water.
05/10/17 The river is still running high and dingy. They are running two or more generators for
the next three days and probably more. There is rain in the forecast everyday after today.
There are plenty of caddisflies hatching. Smallmouth bass fishing would be good if the
discharges would let up some. You could use sculpin streamers or crawfish streamers and
05/24/17 The discharges and stream levels have been running high the past few days. We
didn't receive any reports from anyone fishing. They are showing high discharges today and
tomorrow as well. There shouldn't be any wading opportunity. Smallmouth fishing is good as
long as they are not running a lot of water.
05/31/17 High discharges and stream levels have hampered the fly fishing opportunity for the
past week. There There is rain forecast everyday for the coming week except for one, so this is
unlikely to change. Smallmouth bass fishing on the middle and lower section of the river would
be red hot is the stream levels would drop back down some, so keep checking it.
06/07/17 There is some rain coming tomorrow, but hopefully, very little. They are still running
two generators making fishing very tough but surely that will settle down in a couple of days.
We feel confident it will. Smallmouth bass fishing will be excellent if it does. In fact, popping bugs
should work. Watch the discharge schedule and fish as soon as it drops.
06/14/17 The stream levels have been high for most of the past week but are now in better
shape. They are still running two or more generators in the afternoons. The morning have none
to one only for an hour and offer the best opportunity. Smallmouth bass fishing should be
excellent right now. We didn't receive any reports from the past week.
06/21/17 Two good reports have come in from guys fishing for smallmouth bass. They are
taking crayfish during the day and poppers early and late. The release schedule for the next
two days shows they will be running little water in the mornings but two in the afternoons.
Fishing will be best during the morning hours.
06/28/17 The discharges seem to be mostly in the afternoons, with none running in the
mornings. That is good if you can fish mornings. Two running makes it a little tough to fish but
you can do it. Smallmouth bass fishing has been very good in the mornings. They will take
poppers from the surface. Fish our Crayfish patterns otherwise.
07/05/17 The river remains in good shape but with relatively high flows and discharges. That
makes wading unsafe much of the time. The schedule for the next two days shows none or one
running in the mornings but two all afternoon. Smallmouth bass continues to be the main
happening. They are taking poppers when the flows are down and crayfish patterns like our
brown sculpin all day.
07/12/17 The afternoon heavy discharges are going to continue for at least the next two days.
It has been like that for the last two or three week. Anglers are finally changing to fishing in the
morning and taking advantage of the low flows that allow wading. There were some good
smallmouth bass and trout caught this past week.
07/19/17 The morning low discharges and stream levels have been working good for those who
get a early start fishing for smallmouth. It looks like they will be continuing to make heavy
releases each afternoons, with mornings the only opportunity for wading.
07/25/17 he same discharge schedule continues for at least the next two days. They will be
running one generator in the morning and two in the afternoons. You only wading opportunity
will be in the morning. This schedule is likely to continue. The only reports we are getting is
from customers catching smallmouth bass.
08/02/17 The river is usually flowing high with strong discharges most of the day. You can catch
a few times it possible to wade b y watching the schedule and moving up or down the stream
accordingly. Smallmouth bass fishing is very good. We haven't received any reports on trout
caught this past week.
08/09/17 The river is staying rather high with little good opportunity to fish. It is running too high
to wade safely most places but can be fished from a drift boat. They show they will be running
one generator in the mornings and two in the afternoons for at least the next couple of day.
There is a chance of rain everyday this coming week.
08/17/17 Heavy discharges have made it tough to catch anything on the Holston at time. They
are running two generators today and tomorrow, which means both trout and smallmouth bass
fishing will be tough. All you can do is to check the schedule for lower flows.
08/24/17 The river is in good shape more often lately than it has been during the past month or
two. There have been some times of low discharges and even a few times you could wade. We
haven't received any good reports from trout anglers but this should change very soon. The
discharges and streams levels should be better this coming week than they have anytime
08/29/17 More good reports are coming in on smallmouth bass fishing. We had some very
good ones both in terms of sizes and numbers of fish caught. Crayfish, like our Brown dumbell
and Brown Crayfish, work during the day. Poppers work early and late. They should also work
good when it is cloudy.
09/06/17 The river is in pretty good shape and has allowed a few chances for anglers to wade.
There were several smallmouth bass caught this past week. We didn't receive any reports on
trout. The weather and water will be getting a little cooler and that should help. This coming
week should be a good one. The bass are taking top water poppers and our crayfish patterns.
09/13/17 Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be very good. The current discharge schedule
shows they are releasing water using one turbine in the mornings and two in the afternoons.
We didn't receive any reports from anyone fishing this past week.
09/20/17 The cool weather was nice but it is back to summertime weather. The discharge
schedule is still allowing some good wading opportunity in the mornings but they are running
two generators in the afternoons at least for the next two days. This is good news for the
smallmouth bass angler.
09/27/17 The weather and water is still too warm for decent fishing for trout. Hopefully, this will
be changing soon and much cooler weather will be normal. Smallmouth bass fishing is still very
good. We get good reports on that every week.
10/04/17 Conditions are about the same as last week except there is some rain in the forecast
beginning on Saturday. The water is still too warm for good trout fishing opportunities.
Smallmouth bass fishing should be excellent with the low discharges.
10/11/17 erased accidentally
10/18/17 The discharges are down to where you should have some wading opportunity.
Smallmouth bass fishing should continue to be good in the lower river. The cooler weather
should drop the water temperature some in the middle and lower sections and gradually, over
time, in the upper river.
10/25/17 The discharges are erratic at best. Tomorrow afternoon there are no generators
running and would be a good time for wading. All you can do is check the schedule and fish
accordingly, unless you have a drift boat. Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be good when
there is low generation. We didn't receive any reports last week on trout.
11/02/17 The discharge schedule appears to allow some good wading opportunity for the next
couple of days. The chances of rain most days should provide some good cloud cover.
Smallmouth bass fishing should continue to be very good this coming week. The weather will be
nice and warm.
11/16/17 The stream is in good shape at this time. There will be some heavy rain tomorrow
afternoon, but clear otherwise. They are running two generators this morning but one this
afternoon and tomorrow. If you fish, please send us a report. Conditions look rather good.
12/01/17 The discharge schedule for the next three days varies lot. Today, they will be running
one or two all day, tomorrow looks great and Saturday, with more discharges. Drift boast should
do well. We received two good reports from customers this past week. One was on trout and
the other smallmouh bass.
12/08/17 We didn't receive any reports from anyone fishing this past week. Discharges from the
dam were heavy much of the time. Good numbers of trout are being caught when the water
levels and flows are good. Midges will continue to be the main insects to imitate.
12/15/17 There are chances of rain from Sunday everyday for the next week. The weather is
going to be much warmer. Conditions should be good except when they are running two
generators. The pattern has been mostly in the afternoons.
12/22/17 The discharges continue to be mostly in the mornings and at night, leaving some
good wading opportunity in the afternoons. There is more heavy rain in the forecast and this is
likely to change, so make sure you check it out.
01/04/17 The schedule looks great for Saturday afternoon. They will not be running any water
and that should give anglers a chance to check out the river. The cold weather has little effect
on the water temperature in the upper sections. This coming week could be a very good one.
Always check the discharge schedule.
01/11/18 Currently, discharges and stream levels are down and the river in good shape in all
sections. There is rain and snow in the forecast for the next week, so this is likely to change.
01/18/18 The river is in good shape with discharges and stream levels that are offering some
good opportunities. The weather should be good this coming week, with much warmer weather.
The middle and lower sections are very cold now, but should warm up some during the next
couple of days. .
01/25/18 Conditions have been good the past three days. There is rain on the rain and the
discharges will eventually come up, so we recommend fishing as soon as you can. This
weekend should be good.
02/08/18 As you probably know, there is lots of rain in the forecast. Expect some higher
discharges the next few days. Today and tomorrow, should be fine. Midges, Creams, reds
(blood) and light greens are hatching. Aquatic worms are working.
02/15/18 The discharges and stream levels are high and this is likely to continue most of the
time for the next week or so. Midges, creams, reds and light greens, are hatching.
02/22/18 The discharges and stream levels have been high most days and there's been little
opportunity for fly fishing. The middle and lower sections of the river is much warmer. There's a
few Blue-winged olives (non-baetis) hatching. Sculpin streamers will catch the larger trout.
03/01/18 Expect very high water levels for the next few days. Be sure to check the discharge
schedule before traveling far to fish. Midges, winter stoneflies, black flies, aquatic worms and
sculpin are the foods to imitate.
03/15/18 There has been little change. High water conditions are likely to continue. There is
more rain on the way. All you can do is to check the discharge schedule but it will probably
remain high for the next four or five days.
03/22/18 The river is still flowing high due to the higher than normal amount of rain lately. This
is likely to continue for the next few days. Fish streamers when the levels are high. Our Black
Matuka sculpin works good under these conditions.
03/29/18 Discharges and stream levels continue to be too high to wade but drift boats can fish.
Few anglers are fishing due to the higher levels. There is more rain this coming week, and
there will likely be some more higher levels conditions. Smallmouth bass fishing should be
picking up soon as the water in the middle and lower sections is getting warmer.
04/05/18 The river is getting a little warmer in the middle and lower sections. Discharges
continue to be high due to the recent rain. There has been little to no wading opportunity. Little
Black Grannom caddis have started to hatch on the lower end of the river. Other than that, it is
midges, little non-baetis Blue-winged olives hatching.
04/10/18 Good numbers of fish are caught when the discharges and flow are low enough to
fish. They have been fairly good recently. There is a lot of rain in the forecast for this coming
weekend, and they will like come back up next week.
04/17/18 The river is in good shape, and both trout and smallmouth bass are being caught.
The water is getting warmer fast in the lower section of the river. Smallmouth are taking our
crayfish patterns. There is a lot of rain in the forecast for the coming week, so we hope you get
the opportunity to go soon.
04/26/18 Both trout and smallmouth are being caught. The discharges and stream levels have
been high much of the time. When there is a break in the water levels, smallmouth fishing has
been good. Use our crayfish patterns. The warm weather ahead could help kick of the popping
05/04/18 Discharges are still high most of the time. There has been a few times one could wade
safely and when that is the case, both trout and smallmouth bass have been caught in good
numbers. There is rain most days this coming week, so be sure to check the stream levels.
05/18/18 The river is in good shape and getting much warmer in the middle and lower sections.
Smallmouth bass fishing is very good right now. The discharges and stream levels have been
low enough at time for wading. Some smallmouth are being taken on popping bugs but mostly
on crayfish imitations.
05/25/18 Discharges and stream levels have been mostly high, too high to wade, but okay for
drift boats. Smallmouth bass and trout are being caught. There's a chance of rain everyday this
coming week. The cloud cover helps in all respects. Lets just hope the discharges and stream
levels stay reasonable.
06/08/18 Discharges and stream levels are down a lot from last week,, but there has been little
wading opportunities. Currently, the river is in good shape and you should be able to catch
trout or smallmouth bass. There is a lot of rain in the forecast this coming week, so be sure to
check the stream levels.
06/15/18 It looks like they are running two turbines in the afternoons but none in the mornings.
The discharges are getting less and less. Smallmouth bass fishing is very good when it is
possible to wade or slow enough to fish from a boat. Our Popping bugs, and our Crayfish
patterns are working good.
06/22/18 When the discharges and stream levels are low enough to wade, both trout and
smallmouth bass can be caught. When it is too high to wade, fishing from a larger drift boat is
the only way. This reduces the odd of success on the smallmouth.
06/29/18 The river has settled down some with lower discharges and stream levels but it is still
high often. When it is down, smallmouth bass fishing on the lower section is very good. Our
crayfish patterns and poppers will catch them.
07/20/18 Stream levels are often high due to electrical needs and rain. Smallmouth bass are
being caught on the lower river when the flows are low enough to fish. Our Perfect Fly crayfish
and popping bug patterns are working good for that.
07/27/18 The river has been in good shape most of the time this past week. Discharges and
stream levels have been better for fishing the lower section of the river for smallmouth bass.
We had one very good report from a customer.
08/02/18 We received one good report about a week ago on smallmouth. The discharges and
stream levels have been high most of the time due to rain. There is more in the forecast for the