Keith's Fly Fishing Log 20007
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South Holsten - TN -July 4 -5, 2007


i was hoping for some fireworks on the South Holson River, so I headed over the mountain to she what if anything was hatching. Once agina the TVA wasn't helping any with an early scheduled release. I parked backdown on Big Spring Rd.and was hopeful of getting down into the bottom hole.. There were a lot of risers in the slick water, but I couldn't tell what they were hitting. Whatever it was it didn't last too long. I moved up to the riffel at the head of the slick water and took several decent sized bows on a #22 pt nymph. The action was steady and predictable, but i was hoping for some dry fly action. Sight casting to a rising trout offers a much greater reward than following a nymph into the depth of run. Finally I moved down to the bottom hole and found that it was being worked over by some hardware boys. I hit the runs above without any success. Then it was time to move on as the signs on the pending flow had reached Big Springs. There was a noticable increase in the debree floating as the water began to rise. I slogged back upstream to the pulloff where I had parked. Along the way I noticed dozens of trout moving in front of me in the slack water and even saw one that may have been twenty inches within 6" of the bank. It had moved to a spot whrere he water was barely over the top of my boots.


SoHo Trout


I had planned to move on down to Rockhold for several more hours of fishing, but when i got there I found that all of the parking spaces were filled up. What do you expect on a holiday? So, I deceided to go fish the Beaverdam and see what kind of bugs would be coming off that water. But first a trip into Damascus for dinnner. I stopped in at the Baja Cafe for a mixed bean burreto, which was quite filling. It's also located right next to the new Fly Fishing Shop & Espresso Bar. Sall and efficient it looked like they carried a simple selection of fly fishing equipment, and I couldn't help notice that a Columbia vest in the window was priced at ony $20!

Espresso Guide Serice
Beaverdam Brown


Back to the beaverdam somewhere between mile marker 8 & 9 I found a nice looking stretch of water and tied on a Royal Coachman! Quickly I had a fiesty rainbow and two cast later a 12" brown took the fly. For the next couple of hours I had trouble keeping the fly dry as fish after fish took the gaudy artificial. It was nice to fish a big fly with a calftail wing in the failing light. I was off the river by 8:30 and headed to Shady Valley and it's Cingular Tower to check in with ODG3, he confirmend that he was all set-up at River-ridge campground and asked what the hell I was doing in Shady Valley.

It's not exactly a short drive to Elizabethon and it took about an hour, about twice what I had expected. I had no troubel fining Ralphs campsite. He even had an extra chair. We sat around and then backed off from the campfire. I was memerized by the flickerling flames. Steve Hicks joined us for a while before we all retired for the evening having planned an early morning rise. Ralph set his alarm for 5:30. 5:30? That's pretty early, but he said it would be the crack of dawn. I had my doubts.... sure enough the alarm went off and it was pitch black, so we slept for another 30 minutes or so. Packe up real quick and hit McDonald's for a quick breakfast and much needed coffee. We drove to Webb Bridge and fished the run below the bridge with soft hackel's and each took a small fish.

  Ralph & Rick in the Fog

A shout from Ralph indicated that Rick (Mstash) had arrived and we headed up the river to a selcet section. The fog was quite think. Rick hit the first run as Ralph and I headed upstream. Ralph gave me the "lay of the land" in detail, the only problem was that 1/2 of what he was describing was shrouded by the fog leaving a lot to the imagination. Soon enough I found myself standing in water where the fish would be and casting to where I should be wading. I'll know that sectiion a lot better the next time I fish it! The fog began to lift and the air swilred with warm and cold breazes. I was running out of time as I was due home and had a long drive ahead, so I slipped out of the water at 10:30.

Ralph will be there through the weekend tearin' 'em up! Rip some lips for us Ralph!

I stopped in at Champion's fly shop and since some of you have been asking here's a couple of photos;

New shop on the S. Holston
Rod and Matt

South Holsten - TN - Cloudy, Thunderstorms,80's - Sulfurs- June 20, 2007


Packing up for the trip I looked at the Sage 5wt for a moment, but left her behind, I've got a new girlfriend now.

Drove up 77 to 81 and back down to TN, there has to be a better way (helicopter???)

Stopped in at Champions new store on the holsten, met Matt, picked up a couple of Comparadun Sulfurs. Nice to have a shop right on the river. Flies were $1.60, not bad for stream-side pricing. Store has a complete line of fly fishing gear, rods, reels, you name it....

Drove on down to Big Spring Road, parked at the high tension wires hoping to get to the last hole it that stretch, but there was a guide and two clients working it and the run up above had another set of guide and clients so I worked the flat water. I missed seven fish! Was it the rod? Was it the fly?? wtf? I switched to an orange bodied deer hair comparadun and finally after a while hooked into my first trout on my Orvis Bamboo rod... I immediately looked for some gravel to toss the rod, reel and trout onto for a photo op, but settled for this instead

S.Holston rainbow S.holston rainbow
First Trout on the new boo Another fine bow from the S. Holston

I stopped for lunch and found Forrest from Hunter Banks having lunch with his clients who were from New England and were down in TN for a wedding, leaving the details to the women they had taken off to fish.

Back on the water I waded across to the far side looking for big browns up against the bank. I hurled a hopper at the bank and finally took a decent brown which came off the bank. Unfortunately he got away while I was fumbling with the camera. Thunderstorms drove me from the water and by the time it passed I had to move downstream to stay ahead of the 3:00 release... Down below rock hold the water was getting stained from the runoff but I rigged up hopping to get a fish or two. I nymphed a deep run and watched the strike indicator just stopped, I was sure that it was snagged on the bottom. I lifted the line up and tugged once, twice and a third time before moving up stream to try and dislodge it from the rocks below. I tugged again with the line firmly pinched against the rod and then the line moved and tugged back and zoomed across the slack water and into the current. Before I could let the line go the fish had broken off the PT flashback nymph from the 6x fluorocarbon tippet. I tried for a while in hopes of catching that fish or another like it but the rain returned and the water was getting muddy so I packed it in and headed home. I'm going to assume that that fish was over 20


S.Holston rainbow S.holston rainbow
Squeeze them just right and they'll talk The scene of the crime.

I was wondering how Ralph (ODG3) would respond to these conditions and how he fishes his soft hackles in this type of water....gotta hit the bench and tie up some more PT flashbacks and might try a soft hackle or two.


Stone Mountain State Park - June28, 2007


yesterday my daughter and I drove up to Bluff Mountain to pick some blueberries, after climbing the mountain she was ready to get out of the car to stretch her legs, we stopped at Glade Creek Mill Pond and took a look at the pond and the creek, we turned over some rocks hoping to find a crayfish or two, but only found a few nymphs. We than walked around the pond and spotted a few small bream. Then she thought we should try and catch a fish. I just happened to have the fly rod in the van, so we rigged up and tried to catch a few. I tied on a little popper and thought the bream would smack it. But to our dismay they turned it down, with only a few curious nudges. As we made our way around the pond we heard frogs jumping into the water and found a rather large crayfish claw that somehow wasn't consumed but the predator that snatched it from the creek. She cast the bamboo fly rod but I had to tell her to slow down, she's much better at roll casting. Soon she was ready to get back in the van and head on the Bluff Mountain. There were thunderstorms popping up all around us so we stopped in at the restaurant and had some peach cobbler a la mode.

Clouds on Bluff Mountain Removing the hook from a dace

The storm was moving off, so we drove to the parking lot and  walked across the field to the top of the bluffs. Butterflies were everywhere and then were landing of the clover blossoms. When we got to the to we saw plenty of blueberry bushes, but our timing was a little off, there were hardly any ripe berries to be found. We walked on down a ways and finally found a few early berries. The thunderstorms boomed in the distance and we saw a few far off lightning strikes. The temperature on the bluff was in the mid 70's and a cool breeze was blowing.  After about a half an hour and only a handful of blue berries for our efforts, we headed back to the car. The sun had come back out and the temperature soared.

On the way back we stopped once again at the mill pond to practice casting and to try and catch those bream and bass in the pond. Once again she was unable to attract a bite. But we played in the creek. On the way back to the car she let out a cry of fright and excitedly pointed to a black snake that was slithering its way across the path.

We drove down the mountain to Stone Mountain State Park and she wanted to catch the minnows in the water fall. So I rigged up the bamboo once again and tied on a dry fly and taught her to roll cast to the seam in the current. The small dace were all over the fly, over the top, under the fly, to the side, some even did flips in mid air as the scrambled to catch the artificial fly. The were lightning fast and not very easy to hook, but finally she caught a few. She gently cradled the tiny fish and turned the hook to release them. She talked to the "little fishies" as she handled them. After sliding down the rock into the pool below 20 or 30 times she was ready to go. We fished in another location for a while and we actually saw a trout, she asked me to cast to it and I did with a pretty good cast about 3 feet above where the trout was holding, but one of those pesky little dace came  up and smacked the fly and the trout darted off.

Casting the bamboo A buck by the roadside

On the way out of the park we counted deer and we ended up with 27 including 3 bucks and a fawn that might have weighed 12 pounds. We also saw a pair of pileated woodpecker cavorting around a tree trunk 10 feet from us. It was a long day, but the payoff came when we got home and she said, "Thanks for taking me fishing, Dad!" "Anytime", I replied, "Anytime."


CFFC - New River Smallie Float - June 23, 2007


Drove up to meet the CFF group float, meet rodwrapper, oldman, disco, ODG3, ZZDruid for the 6 mile float from the 221 bridge down to little Egypt (Nile Road). I fished a Todd's wiggle minnow (tiger) pattern and caught a few, being stubborn by nature i continued to fish this fly. Even though I knew after a while I should have switched... Oldman was fishing mostly hardware and landed the most fish... followed closely by Disco, who caught a couple of real nice ones. I didn't catch that many or any worthy of breaking out the cellphone camera.....

The algae was pretty think for this time of the year, I guess we need a lot of rain to flush that crap away....

Here's a pic on one of Disco's better fish. Ralph's got a picture of the bigger one..

new river smallie


Smith River Cook-out - June 16, 2007


A lot of good folks turned out for the 2nd annual Smith River TU Picnic. Ben, Firestick, L.M. ODG3, Al, PHG, along with many others shared the river and some good food too. I arrived a couple of hours late and ended up fishing the Special Regs section. There were a couple of cars parked and the mirror plant and I headed down below the trestle pool. As I was rigging up the rod I noticed a couple of risers and put on a CDC emerger. But some sloppy casting put those two down. I moved across the stream and into a good casting position for the water upstream and I caught a couple on the emerger.  I saw a few caddis coming off and the trout were chasing them down as they skittered across the water. I changed flies and tried to skate my fly across the water to entice the trout, but they didn't like my action. I saw a few sulfurs coming off so I switched flies and that was the ticket. They were all over that parachute sulfur. I worked the run from tail to head and caught well over a dozen from 40 yards of water! Then the crew from below caught up and passed through on river right. L.M., Ben, Firestick and one more walked around me back cast. It was a while before I caught another trout.

Check out the pictures....

and check out this one: Note the natural spinner!

matching the hatch!
the hatchmiester!

cu sulfur on the South Holston