South Holston River – Tennessee

*Catching up on a bunch of late posts after a busy summer (and before a busy winter).  This trip was back in middle-June.

soho2
Crowded put-in on the South Holston.  While fishing, I never felt crowded.

I flew directly from California to Bristol Virginia, invited by a friend to join him, his dad, and uncle on the South Holston.  Among eastern rivers, the South Holston (or Soho) is renowned as both a quantity and quality brown trout river.  I’d read about it for years, and jumped on the invite.

The Soho is the result of Tennessee Valley Authority construction, with a hydro-electric dam positioned at the head of the river.  The discharge from the dam is controlled year-round, the resulting water cold and largely clear.

We fished two days.  The first day we fished nymphs, dropshotting vertical two-fly rigs.  The fish were thick, and with the high water from the dam discharge, they were active.

The second day, we threw large streamers, pounding the banks and ledges of the river.  We never hooked into any monsters, but did take many fish in the 14″-16″ range.

soho 7
Feisty brown and wet guide.
soho 8
A little dry fly fishing on day two was productive.  Sulphur emergers were the ticket.

The river and the countryside were beautiful, and it was easily the most productive trout fishery I have experienced.  I drove back home from Tennessee, a long drive made easier after a stop for Bojangles sweet tea, biscuits and fried chicken.

soho 9
Legendary.

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