Hiwassee River Guides offers GuidedTrips in East Tennessee, Kentucky, & North Georgia. Guided trips on the Hiwassee, Clinch, Holston, Toccoa & Cumberland Rivers targeting Trout, Smallmouth Bass, & Striped Bass.
Holston River , Knoxville Tn
Nestled into the hills of East Tennessee lies a portion of the Holston River that is another excellent tail water fishery, that is if you like both trout and small mouth fishing. The section of river that I am speaking of is not a secret, it is fairly well known to many people across our great state, but it is often overlooked by many anglers. Cherokee Dam was built on the Holston River near Jefferson City in 1940 by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) with all intent and purposes of being there specifically for flood control and hydroelectric capabilities. This facility was built in just over 16 months with a completion date of December 5th 1941. Technically you could say that we are fishing on the headwaters of the Tennessee River as the dam itself is located about 40 or so miles upstream from the confluence with the French Broad River.
I think it’s fair to say that most of the people that fish the Holston come to the upper sections of river where there is an abundance of trout. There are roughly 20 miles or so of trout water on the Holston River below Cherokee Dam. Now the lower portions may only hold fish while the water temperatures stay cool enough to sustain them, but as with most tail water fisheries the trout will move upstream to find more suitable habitat during the later summer months. Rainbow trout are the primary species we catch here on the upper sections with the occasional brown or two thrown into the mix. We have a nice average size of fish here with 12-14 inch trout being very common and fish in the 18-20 inch range are caught on a regular basis as well. In the early spring the caddis hatches that occur here are prolific. The bugs are plentiful and yes, like the trout on just about every other river the fish can be picky at times.
Now, I think that the unsung hero on the Holston is our own state fish, the Small Mouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu). Fishing for these feisty fish in our rivers has become one of my favorites over the past couple of years. The smallies here are the native species along with all their other warm water brothers and sisters that still thrive in the lower sections. The Holston has a fair mix of shallow shoal water and long slicks which are both perfect habitat for these fish. The average size ofd what we catch is probably in the 10-16” range, but I think that this is mainly due to the little guys being slightly more aggressive than their bigger brothers. On any given day, anglers can realistically expect to see fish ranging in size from 8” and up, with several in the 15-17” and if you get lucky then maybe you might hit one of the big ones that are over 20 in length and could be anywhere from 3-5 lbs in weight.
The Holston River is one of our hidden treasures here in Eastern Tennessee. Like I said before, it’s just a stone’s throw from Knoxville, but many anglers overlook this water. Access here is limited at best so when you do get on the water you had better be ready for a long trip. The best time to fish on the Holston for trout is January – June, with the main hatches occurring around mid-late March and April. The Small Mouth fishing can be good in the lower portions of the river as early as April. From July – October the Smallmouth fishing becomes the main attraction for me with top water poppers and streamers as the mainstay.
Hiwassee River Guides is a professional fly fishing guide service located in east Tennessee. Our Fly Fishing Guides provide excellent guided fly fishing trips on all of the tail waters in east Tennessee. Guided Fly Fishing Trips on the Hiwassee River are performed in whitewater Drift Boats by experienced operators. Float trips are performed using both traditional Drift Boats, Rafts, motorized river jets. Hiwassee River Guides are very experienced knowledgeable on all the waters that where we offer trips. As well as being Licensed in East Tennessee and Kentucky our Fly Fishing Guides have years of experience on all the big tail waters, including the Clinch River, Hiwassee River, Holston River, Cumberland River, South Holston River, and many smaller freestone rivers such as the Collins River, Ocoee River, & Tellico River as well as many more.. Hiwassee River Guides is a licensed and Permitted by the United States Forest Service, Cherokee National Forest for commercial operations on the Hiwassee River in Reliance, Tennessee. We are one of four licensed operators for the Hiwassee.
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