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Holston Magic

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Holston Magic

Postby woody » Fri May 27, 2011 3:24 pm

You know the day is going to be special when the Tennessee Valley Authority is releasing 2000 cubic feet per second out of the South Holston Reservoir into the Holston River and has been for days because of the seemingly continuous rain. The forecast for today is hot weather in the eighties and no rain. My wife and I are being guided by Matt Maness of the Foscoe Fishing Company on a float trip booked by my wife for my Christmas present the year before. Matt is a very impressive young man who among his many talents, has built his own beautiful float boat and as it turns out ties some very impressive flies with an amazing level of detail.
After our ride over to the river and our purchase of license, we drop the boat into the 40 degree water coming off of the bottom of South Holston Lake after generating electricity for the Tennessee Valley area. We begin fishing just below the weir dam near Elizabethton and find that the combination of nymph and midge dropper is just right for the browns that are awaiting the hatch. My wife catches ten 13-15 inch browns in the seam of the river while I manage at best five.
Matt decides to relocate us further down stream and we continue to fish the nymphs with good results- until it happens. Just like the excitement of the first snow, the Sulphur hatch begins. First one then two then fifteen and the fish are sipping the unfortunates that cannot make a clear flight from their emergence from the water. The fish turn their attention from below the water to looking up through the cold clear water and gently sipping high octane fuel in the form of these beautiful little mayflies. Matt has just the right fly, a Sulphur Dun pattern and asks ‘do you mind if we do not catch as many fish as we would with the nymph but fish the dries’. We are both a ready ‘we do not mind at all’!
Fishing dries like this is as close to sight fishing as it gets. You spot a trout breaking the surface and you time their rise. A properly placed fly is inspected and if tied correctly, gets eaten. A very quick set explodes with fish brought to rod and these amazingly strong fish brought to reel to fight. These fish know how to use the currents to assist them in their escape.
For three hours we key on our quarry and experience the most satisfying trout fishing I can remember. Until, like the snow, the hatch tapers off and it is time to round out the day fishing a San Juan Worm. Perfect call as it produces some of the hardest fights of the day in the rapids near the takeout.
Could have a 13 hour day past so quickly with about seven hours of continuous action on nice size browns and rainbows? I know the time will pass slowly as I wait to join Matt for another trip in December for the really big monsters. In the mean time, I will practice my cast and hone my fly tying skills.

It is certain that an atom of goodness on the path of faith is never lost.

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Re: Holston Magic

Postby meatstick » Fri May 27, 2011 9:22 pm

Excellent, Woodrow ... that water is lookin' good.

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Re: Holston Magic

Postby marsea » Sat May 28, 2011 8:47 am

Sounds like a great day. Tailwaters are great and almost like Arkansas

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Re: Holston Magic

Postby Biff » Sun May 29, 2011 3:53 pm

Sweet trip - just did the same over on the Tuck and Luftee. Had some real acrobats show and it's kinda cool to be waist deep in it and see a bow jump higher than your head on the set. When your kid or wife outdoes you, you can always credit your outstanding teaching abilities. Makes me feel better, anyhow :)
You can never take a picture of a thing, you can only take a picture of the light on a thing - "the way that light attaches to a girl"

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Re: Holston Magic

Postby Mushmouth » Tue May 31, 2011 5:14 pm

Way to go Lynda. Pretty work!!! Woody...Not bad either. Time to go chase some speckles. If this fire doesn't stop and the wind don't shift the Great Smokies may be the trout holes south of Manns Harbor instead of an 8 hour trip. Nothing like a good hatch, except an albie "hatch" or bluefish blitz.
Learning from each other....While we do our thang na, na, na
Gonna have a good time na, na, na
-Fat Albert

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