05-23-2013, 12:28 AM
Re: South Holston --Mid June '13
1. I understand TVA is currently moving a lot of water down SOHO. Is that likely to still be the case in mid-June? How might this affect wading the river?
This is a crapshoot. If things calm down with rain and runoff, which it usually does, wade fishing should be ok. Flows typically back off in June. Check streamflows here - TVA: South Holston
2. I've seen a lot of generalities about what flys do well on the SOHO, but which are likely to be good choices for Mid-June?
nymphs - black, brown, white, green, red zebra midges size 20-24s, size 14-18 pheasant tails, size 14-18 yellow split case (this is killer and imitates an emerging sulfur - see tying instruction here -> Drake Magazine Online), crane fly nymph, size 18-20 scuds (i don't use these much)
Stay away from bead heads. The fish are finicky and will hit nymphs without beads more. Not to say they won't work. Also... you kinda don't need them on low water. More snags. You're targeting fish in less than 2-4 ft of water with minimal flow speeds. ie - lts a lot of slack water. That's why it's extra tricky.
emergers - size 14-18 sulfurs in loop wing cdc, rs2s, klinkhammers, parachutes, soft hackles are old school but will work great (theres a million of different styles out there and they'll all work. Have a wide variety, these fish have seen them all and will get lock jaw if they see it too many times drifting over head).
dry flies - size 12 - 16 cdc comparadun sulfurs, black fly/midges (depending on where you fish these could be the secret weapon), there'll be some straggler BWOs too to play with size 16-20.
terrestrials - hoppers, ants, beatles can be just starting to show up. Toss some around in the grassy bank areas.
There's caddis/sedges but I don't use them much.
Streamers - Throw some meat for the hogs. Muddlers, clousers, sculpins, etc.
Try this hatch chart. It's pretty accurate and this guy prides himself on his technical knowledge (the link shows the Housatonic, but it's the SOHO):
Hatch Chart for Fly Fishing the Housatonic River in Connecticut
The only gel type floatant that can be used on CDC is Tiemco Dry Magic. It is a gel silicone based floatant that is manufactured in Japan and it will not clump CDC. The carrier gel seems to just evaporate. Apply Frogs Fanny after applying the Dry Magic. Floats CDC flies like a cork. The only pain is constant reapplication.
Long light leaders are a must for dries. Shorter leaders are ok for nymph rigs. Bring tungsten putty a lil dab will do the trick. Bring 4x-7x tippet. 7x is a must for dry fly action. Again, they're persnickity lil buggers.....
Now you'll say, "DO I need CDC flies, ?" and I'll say this... If you want to fish, no.... If you want to catch fish, yes! Don't argue with the teacher!
3. For wading, are there particular access points we should look for? We won't have a lot of time so scouting such a long fishery might be a problem?
This gives them all to you. Start at Weir and work your way down. If you like crowds, fish up high.... If you want some solitude, fish down low. Plan on fishing with others around including spin fishermen. Go see guys at the South Holston River Fly Shop - right up the road seconds from Weir Dam. They'll steer you right.
4. Are there good restaurants in the area you would recommend? (For my wife, this might be the most critical question!!!!)
If your wife is picky..... Eeeeehhhh .... Bring burgers/dogs to throw on the grill at Wier Dam picnic area. Unless she loves gas station food.