The South Holston River flows from the TVA controlled South Holston dam, completed in 1950, to Boone Lake. In 1991, they installed two structures known as ‘the weirs’ and ‘step grates’ to mitigate erosion caused by peak generation and to increase the dissolved oxygen concentration in the river. It is famous for its prolific sulphur and blue wing olive (BWO’s) mayfly hatches which makes for world class dry fly fishing. It is also famous for the naturally reproducing wild brown trout population. TWRA stocks the South Holston with fingerling and catchable size rainbow trout and you can expect to catch fish in the 8-16 inch range with legitimate shots at 16-22 inch fish every day. Occasionally, anglers will even get a shot at a true giant brown trout in the 6-25 pound range. For shuttle arrangements on the South Holston River, call Ronnie Sells at 423-737-7767.
The Watauga River flows from Wilbur Dam, completed in 1912, to Boone Lake. It is a unique river in that it is easily floatable in a boat on high water or on low water through the designated Quality Zone. It has a very healthy population of both rainbow and brown trout. In the spring, it is famous for the enormous mother’s day caddis hatch that can be so thick that it looks like a dark blanket on the water. In the summer and fall, it is mainly caddis and sulphur mayflies and in the winter, mostly blue wing olives (bwo), black caddis and midges. The Watauga is a very scenic river with lots of wildlife to watch as you float or wade it. For shuttle arrangements on the Watauga River, call Kelly Reep at 423-213-8126.
The Tennessee Valley Authority provides several ways to monitor river, stream and lake conditions.
Click on the link of the desired river or call
1-800-238-2264 for the most up to date information. For those of you with a smart phone, TVA has a free mobile app that you can download from http://www.tva.gov/river/mobile_app.htm.The TVA ‘River Neighbors’ publication is also a valuable resource for anyone wanting to learn more about our Tennessee river and reservoir system.