South Holston/Watauga Questions!

wgsharpe1128

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Hello,
I am headed to the South Holston/Watauga area to fish next weekend and was hoping for any tips or recommendations for fishing while I am there. I wish I could float with a guide but because of money the plan is to wade while I am there. From what I have read the sulphur hatch should be heating up right now.
  • Can anyone confirm if the sulphur hatch is going? Has the spinner fall happened yet?
  • Are there any other types of flies that I absolutely have to bring?
  • Are there any spots that I have to check out?
  • Can someone help me understand that TVA schedule?
  • Are there any other local streams I should check out?
  • Any local restaurants or bars that are good?
I also am thinking about trying to get to Whitetop Laurel while I am there but am not 100% sure that will happen. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance for the help!
 

jayr

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TVA has an app that you can get in your app store and put on your smart phone, I highly suggest it. As pretty much with all discharge tables, it can be off or changed during the day although TVA for the most part is pretty good at honoring it unlike the USACE dams.

Right now, all of our dams are running full bore. Wading opportunities do not exist at any of the tailwaters in East TN right now. That could change by the time you arrive, but I would not count on it. With full bore generating and in some cases sluicing as well, it is not safe even for drift boats. Check the several days before you arrive and see how the flows are as they generally don't change a whole lot over the short term and do this in conjunction with the weather forecast and rain totals.

Pretty much since early spring tailwater fishing in East TN has been severely impacted by all of the rain we have and continue to have. We are way over for the year and it is very apparent when you see the flows. There have been several drownings and accidents of late due to this, be careful. This is where a local guide sure comes in handy.

Here is the link to the TVA website information. Go there now and get a taste of what is going on, it isn't good, at least for fishing.




ETA: I am pretty much a blueline guy, see my profile below, so I don't due much tailwater except on occasion on the Clinch and Holston (below Cherokee dam). I have been lucky to hit the Clinch two times and those were some of the very few it could be fished even by boat.

My primary fishing areas are the GSMNP and South Cherokee NF. Both have been impacted by the rain to a somewhat lesser extent and of course the COVID 19 debacle.
 
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jayr

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Thanks so much for feedback. It is super helpful. We are staying in Bluff City, so where would you recommend trying to fish?
I would not know as I don't fish that area near Bluff City. There are two other options that I know of, but south of you. The GSMNP and the North Cherokee NF. The North Cherokee I have no experience with. The GSMNP I do, but right now there are still areas/roads closed making for crowded streams especially on the weekends.

You may end up over in Western NC. But rain has been as bad there as here.
 

jayr

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Looking at the maps, Bluff City to the GSMNP roughly is 2 hours maybe more depending on your exact location in BC and where you would fish in the Park.
 
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