The South Holston River, which is located near Bluff City, has some of the biggest fish in the eastern states. The large fish in this river compare favorably to some of the well know fisheries in the mountain west for there size. The river starts at South Holston Dam travels southwest and ends as it dumps into Boone Lake. This river is also claimed by East Tennessee fishing guides and anglers as their water. That is OK too, lets fish!

Just below the dam is where you will find the “monster” Browns and some of the best fly-fishing east of the Mississippi river. Some will even claim the fishing is as good as some of the streams in Montana or Colorado. Below the dam is a great place to throw a streamer to the banks and strip it back. Be prepared for a nice fight with these big fish!

A nice dry fly with great presentation works well in the flat sections of the river. There are nice hatches of Blue Winged Olives in the fall and winter. The summer month hatches include Sulphurs, and the hatches can be spectacular.

The water can be very high at times which calls for a drift boat instead of wading. The one negative of this river is the inconsistent stream flows throughout the year. When the water levels are good the fishing is amazing.

Some of the hatches you will see on the South Holston will include Blue Winged Olives, Caddis, Crane flies and Sulphurs. Streamers work very well up the dam and through some of the faster riffles.

The south fork is better fished from a drift boat so your best bet would be to use one of the many great guides in the area. There are also many fly shops and lodging nearby to make this a perfect fly fishing vacation.

Map of the South Holston area.

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North Carolina Rivers

Davidson River
Hiwassee River
North Mills River
South Holston River
Watauga River

NC Fishing Regulations
NC Fishing Guides