|Guide Teo Whitlock displays my brown trout, a dividend of staying at the South Holston River Lodge|
When the temperature hits 95-degrees and the humidity reaches similar heights, a mountainous weekend retreat begins to appear quite tempting. It’s the always-cold temperature of the Holston River that makes this fishery so very unique. The South Holston River Lodge offers anglers the opportunity to catch and release rainbows and browns during float trips. Watching a dry fly being gulped down by a hungry trout during a summertime sulphur hatch challenges any angler to react quick enough to set the hook. Using a 9-foot 5-weight Sage One fly rod spooled with weight-forward floating line and a 9-foot 4X tapered leader, I begin to make false casts. “Unless you are an expert fly-caster you really only need to roll-cast or do some high-sticking to catch these fish,” said guide TeoWhitlock. My wool yarn strike indicator and the girdle bug fly (or stone fly nymph) with a #10 hook is ready for action. “We identify a good place to fish by paying attention to feeding lanes and depth changes.” Whitlock positions the boat and then drops anchor. One backcast and the fly enters the water. Whoosh. It drifts right through the strike zone before I can say Tennessee mountain trout. Lodge manager Jon Hooper is sitting in the back of the boat and offers some gentle chiding and coaching. Another drift, the indicator goes under for a split second, and I completely miss the fish when I left the rod. On the next drift I anticipate the trout rise more and set the hook on a fine 16-inch wild brown trout. The lodge champions conservation by practicing catch and release, so each trout is placed back into the River.
To view past blog entries from the S. Holston River Lodge click here.