Since we are getting very close to the holidays, most of you will probably be staying home or
visiting friends and family during the coming days. I doubt that many of you will be traveling to and
fishing the Smokies although I hope you do.  January and the first part of February is probably the
coldest time of the year and you will have to pick out the better days to expect much success
fishing the freestone streams. By the end of February, everyone will be doing their best to force
the bugs to hatch and the trout to respond even though they will probably have to wait a few more
days to see any surface action. That considered, I thought I would write about some fishing trips
we have made to various other destinations. Don't expect these articles to win any awards, just
tell you about some things I hope you will find interesting and a few that I look back on with a
gleam in my eye.

South Holston River Headwaters, Virginia - Part 2

I mentioned yesterday that the South Fork of the Holston River, or small stream
would be more like it, is fed by several small springs. The water has a high PH and
like most fertile water, a lot of aquatic insects. We found nymphs of just about every
species of mayflies in the South. In addition to what is found in the Smokies, for
example, there were Gray-winged Yellow Quills. They are very similar to Quill
Gordons. The duns look a little different but the behavior of this mayfly is exactly
the same as the Quill Gordons. They usually hatch following the Quill Gordons.
This stream also has the large Green Drakes and lots of Hendricksons. It has both
Sulfers and Pale Evening Duns. I am sure that accounts for both of these being
below the dam on what most anglers know as the South Holston Tailwater.  

We found species of stoneflies from at least six of the nine families. Numerous
species of caddisflies exist there including several species of net-spinning
Cinnamon Caddis, Little Sisters, Little Black Caddis and several species of other
cased caddis. The lakes where the fish hatchery raises bass and muskie has Tricos
by the billions. The area is not only a fish hatchery, it is an insect hatchery. Every
time we have been there we have encountered multiple hatches.

If you are interested in fishing there, and you want to fish the stocked area, we
suggest you park at the fish hatchery and walk around the lakes to the stream
which is a few hundred yards away. You should have no trouble catching trout. I
assume they still stock the area. We have not fished it in the last three or four
years. If you want to fish the area above the lake that is not stocked, we suggest
you travel past the fish hatchery until the road dead ends. You can park there and
walk down to the stream. You should enter the creek just above the end of the
small pond. The first section is the canyon like area. You may need to wade for a
short distance before you can follow the stream from the bank again.

By the way, if you fish the Western United States, check out our
Yellowstone Site. I
am writing a daily articles on many of the streams outside of Yellowstone National

Copyright 2008 James Marsh