South Holston and Watauga Jan 2021
The heart of winter is perhaps the best time to fish the S. Holston and Watauga tailwaters in E. TN, including the big water lakes and transitional areas within the watershed. If you dont mind a little cold, you can expeience the most fast paced action of the year. The trout spawn runs from late November through late Janurary for the SoHo and Watauga brown trout. The rainbows will spawn following during late winter and early spring. While sections of the S. Holston are closed from November through January, there are stretches to fish outside of the main spawning areas. The Watauga tailwater remains open to fishing through its entirety. Dam flows have been varied as of late, as they continue to fill Boone Lake and respond to rain/snowfall. This time of year the trout are aggressive, territoral, and kinda stupid for tailwater fish standards. A wide variety of tactics can be used depending on the flows, weather conditons, type of water, time of day, etc. Streamer fishing can produce fast paced and intese action, especially when targeting low light hours, shaded areas, rapids, deep holes, fast runs, and gravel tailouts. Midday hatches have been consisting of midges, various small slatey mayflies, bwo’s, and small caddis. Wetflies fished on the swing and natural dun immitations presented on light tippet/long leaders will get the fish to take on top. Egg patterns and other junk flies will continue to produce througout the spawning season and even into the spring sucker spawn. Winter and early spring is a great time to catch a fish of a lifetime while also fishing a variety of tactics on our guided trips. For those willing to fish in the early morning hours you may get to experience the best trout bite seen anywhere in the country. We have also been getting out for some winter time smallmouth, musky, and striper bites. South Holston, Boone, and Watauga Lake are great wintertime fisheries that support a wide array of species to target and therefore tactics to use. Between streamer fishing for musky, A rig or dimiki fishing all things bass, and jerkbating smallies in gin clear deep lakes, there is a lot to choose from this time of year!