Great Day on the South Holston….
Sun. Aug. 19, 2012…. Hope the weekend has been a good one for you, just recapping the awesome day of fishing we had yesterday in East TN. It was stellar, so here is the complete story…
I Guided Dr David Spivey and his son-in-law John. We got in under a thick cloak of river fog, temps in the upper 60s. Nice, in other words. A Saturday and we literally had the river to ourselves…..nearly all of it….for all but the last hour and a half of the day. Fine with us, we nailed the first several fish on a black ant fly that’s worked well for the past several weeks. We then switched to the standard flat water early in the day rig….a large CDC fly as an indicator and dropper fly about 20" below….this one is a Choco midge. In the first flat/bottom depression we fished the guys nailed about 20-25 fish, a mix of rainbows and browns, one an 18" brown. Lots of fish, I love getting them on midges. One bonus of fishing when the fish are midging is that they have to eat a lot and a lot of times to get full….Lots of tiny eats=Lots of sips or bites=lots of opportunities for catching them.
The fishing has been great, and quite honestly we have missed as many as we landed. We went back to fishing banks and bank sippers with ants and caught maybe 10 more on the banks on my mega ant fly, and we had about 7 or 8 break offs that were large fish….2 were huge fish. Like those "wake coming…….snout pokes up……inhales ant…..and there is a 2 foot plus swirl on the surface…..then a hookset…..a volcanic like eruption……"….and we end up pulling in a blank tippet….fly is gone. Two fish we hooked and had on briefly were of the 20" variety…of that I am relatively certain. We were hummed but didn’t let it get us down. We caught several more nice fish on the ant pattern , a fly I use a lot in late summer and one that has emerged on recent weeks as a great go to fly…and this will likely continue to our first frost.
We got rising water a little before 2pm, so we had a quick lunch and headed downstream to fish another area I knew would hold opportunity.
We rigged up, had several fish swirl or splash the ant so we switched back to my "Go To" dry dropper rig. It paid off, we got the first nice 15" brown on the first cast, it came from a tough bank eddy /shelf sweeper which is a feature that is all over this river and the browns love. We ended up scoring several nice fish, Dr David caught maybe 5 more, all nice, quality browns, and John one nice rainbow…..before the water caught us again at 420pm and forced us to move. We headed over to the Watauga but the upper river was already high from the rec releases they do everyday. We looked at the trophy section and it was high and muddy so we headed back to the SoHo upper river Nd waited for the water to fall at 6pm. We got little if any hatch, but we did have a decent spinner fall and we got into more nice fish at the end to put an exclamation point on a truly fine day.
It was kind of neat to be catching a good many fish with a lot of other anglers around, the guys felt proud of themselves as no one else was catching anything….and I was surely proud of them. We ended the day with over 40 fish….it was awesome. Where else in August around here can you catch trout like that? On dry flies…..rising fish…..some up to and over 20"? Pretty sweet. And it will be this way all the way up through Fall….
Let’s go fishing….!
Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing
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