Tuesday, January 21, 2014

East TN Tailwaters - January 20

Like most anglers, the winter as really taken a toll on us and we haven't been give a lot of great opportunities to fish our tailwaters.  Whether is be poor wading opportunities due to water release schedules or bad weather, its seemed as though this winter has been one of the worst in recent years. 
TVA built this weir below South Holston Dam to add oxygen to the river. Oxygen-rich water helps create a sustained habitat for aquatic insects, vegetation, and fish.
 I decided to take a solo trip up to the far east of TN and visit the South Holston.  The South Holston is a truly great river and produces numerous large fish year end and year out.  Each year I make a goal saying I would like to be able to fish this river more(watagua also), but its tough leaving my mother Clinch River when its almost always fishing well and 5 minutes from my front porch.  For the past several years, I've found myself making short trips up to the SoHo during the winter(usually when the Clinch is blown out), and it always helps fix my itch to catch some fish.  This is exactly what I needed this past weekend.

I arrived around 11:30am and TVA was scheduled to stop water generation around 12:00pm.  I spoke to a few locals and took a couple pictures. 
Not to my surprise was the crowds of anglers ready to get some time on the water.  I walked down the trail that starts up at the weir and anglers were already lined up like a scene from a magazine for a salmon run.  I found myself a fairly good entry spot and once water levels were safe I began fishing.

Fishing was pretty fair and I managed some good fish, but nothing huge on this trip.  I caught a few on a #18BHPT and the majority of my fish came on a #20 juju midge.  I felt like the fish were really responding to the flash of wings on the juju. 

I didn't take any fish pictures on this trip.  All I had was my phone and my hands were too cold and not worth the risk of dropping ANOTHER phone in the river.

As usual, my Sage One performed great and provided some good casts in the strong cold winds.

I'm really hoping that we get some low water on the Clinch soon.  I'm sure when we get to go the fish will be really active.  This has been the case following the past few years following high water winters.

I'm also getting some of my fly tying materials stocked up and getting ready for the up coming sulphur hatches.  I have a couple new patterns I'm anxious to tie and try
Sage One 590 has been my "work horse" since I picked it up.