So you wonder what it is like to fish the South Holston and Watauga during the winter spawning season. Our good friends at Vital Attraction put together this video to highlight the South Holston and Watauga Tailwaters and show you what is possible when taking a guided trip with us at Troutfishers Guide Service and East Tennessee on the Fly.
The streamer fishing has been good for us this early part of the year. We are seeing BWO’s and Craneflies during the floats, but not much activity on the sunny days. The Watauga is starting to show signs of a good Caddis Hatch and the TVA is giveing perfect flows this year. The smallies on the Holston Proper have started to spawn and we have been getting some nice chunky smallouth during our floats.
I hope you enjoy this video and leave some comments. Give us a call or email to get out and enjoy the rivers.
When fishing on any river with streamers, are you using the proper imitation for that particular piece of water? With all the studies being published it really isn’t hard to find the proper information about what type of forage is available for the water you are on. It might require a little reading on your part but a little detective work can bring huge rewards to your day of fishing.
The owner of the local fly shop that I used to guide out of, Eddie Wyatt and The Fly Shop of TN was a wealth of this unknown knowledge to me before all these published reports were available through the internet as well as my own personal research on the rivers. It was really great being able to ask Eddie questions and get those answers that his 50 plus years of experience could offer.
One of those little gems of knowledge was learning about the banded sculpin that the Watauga Tailwater near Elizabethton, Tennessee had as a primary forage for the trout to feed on. Heck I even saw a bigger six inch sculpin with a smaller two inch sculpin in its mouth one day at my feet while wading with clients in the Caddis Riffle. This started a long session of studying the banded sculpin. I have spent countless hours tying patterns, various ways to fish them on floating lines, sinking leaders and the many available sinking lines. Getting the proper profile and color was a big confidence factor to me when designing the streamers. We hit upon a using a oversize black cone-head with various shades of olive, pale greens, with copper and bronze highlights in the body materials. Then I was saw a truly great product that was brought out by Martin Bawden and his Flymen Fishing Company. They had designed the perfect sculpin head, it had the proper weight and colors. Yes the black cone-head still works, but the Flymen Sculpin Helmet really makes these fly designs work very well. The hook point ride up giving you less chance to snag, when a fish hits the fly, you have him stuck in the roof of the mouth which gives you more control when fighting them. It is just a great product.
Check out this link for more banded sculpin information: BANDED SCULPIN
Hope this information makes you think about doing a little research before hitting your favorite fishing spot.
Here are a few of the catches from the past couple of weeks with these sculpin patterns.
So with all the excess rain we have had in East Tennessee on the South Holston and Watauga Tailwaters the rivers are high and TVA is puching lots of water through the dams. Most folks think that with all the water it is streamer time, we are seeing some great BWO hatches on the Watauga and BWO and Blackfly hatches on the South Holston. When the BWO’s are coming off the clients are hooking up best with a loop wing biot bodied emerger pattern that our guides have been working on. The fly sets deep in the film giving that “stuck in the shuck” look that turns on that predatory instinct of the trout. Here are a couple of these fly, one is a BWO and the other is a Sulphur imitation. When putting floatant on the fly, hide the body and tail in between your fingers and only apply the floatant to the loop wing. This really makes this fly ride low in the water, don’t pick it up at the end of the drift, let it sink and twitch it a couple of times before picking up to cast back up in the run. I hope this information helps you have a better day on the water.
When the mayflies are hatching on the South Holston or Watauga Tailwaters in East Tennessee, do you struggle during the time they are feeding on emergers just under the film. I use this easy to tie knot on a three soft hackle rig that has made for some memorable days for clients on these great tailwaters. I use an anchor soft hackle with a oversized brass or copper bead in the thorax, the upper two flies are standard biot body, peacock herl thorax soft hackles. This system is tied on a straight piece of 3x or 4x fluorocarbon leader. The first fly is 6 feet from the flyline/leader connection and then each fly is 20 to 36 inches below that. Here is the video on tying the dropper knot. I hope this information helps you have a great day on the water.
When you are fishing a tailwater like the South Holston or Watauga and the surface is covered with midges and you want to have a successful day. Here are a few of my best producing midge patterns during the winter. I hope this information will help you have a more productive day on the water.
Just got back from an informational luncheon at Bristol Motor Speedway about their Thunder Valley Fly & Wine Festival. With Troutfest not taking place this year, why not come up to Bristol Motor Speedway on May 3rd and 4th, 2013 to support a great organization, Speedway Childrens Charities. There will be great fly fishing personalities, seminars on casting, tying, and lots of other great information to help you in your fishing journey. Check out the link to the official website and keep checking back as the information grows.
I will be perticipating in this event and hope to see you there in support of Speedway Childrens Charities.
So how many tools do you use during your daily activities on your job to help you accomplish the tasks in front of you. You undoubtedly will have many and some will be very specific in what they do. With this in mind, take the type of eyeglasses/sunglasses you wear while fishing. Will the tool you are wearing do the best job for you and help make your angling outcome best the best possible it can be? Here are a few pictures to help you see how a good pair of polarized eyeglasses (for those needing prescription eye-wear) or sunglasses can make a big difference when out on the water. Without good polarization you will see glare and distorted views that will not allow you to visibly see the fish working and feeding.
with polarized Costa sunglasses held up over camera lens
Get yourself this good tool to go along with your rod, reel, waders and boots. I personally have found Costa sunglasses to work for me. The reduced silvery glare in the early mornings and late evenings is gone.
Check out the Costa’s at your local retailer and go see for yourself.
Many of you while floating with me have watched me do this knot. Just wanted to post this as a refresher as we get closer to those times when we all get back on the water more often.
We have secured a good entry and exit set of ramps on the Nolichucky River. This river offers you the chance to float and wade for smallmouth and musky. We also have the ability for you to stay in a great cabin right on the river at our exit ramp. Check out the pictures of the cabin, don’t forget right now is prime musky hunting time and we have the winter pricing in effect so lets go chase some toothy critters.
Don’t forget the Kentuckiana Fly Fishing Show this coming Saturday January 26th. I will be there, stop by the booth and watch me tie some South Holston and Watauga Guide Special flies. I will also have the TFO Tenkara rod with me so you can learn more about rigging or casting techniques.