The Holston River is the newest river in the list of great Tennessee tailwaters. The tailwater is within 25 minutes of Knoxville and begins at the base of TVA’s Cherokee Dam. TWRA began stocking the tailwater with Rainbow trout sometime around 1999 and the rest is history. The Holston River tailwater fishery extends about 22 miles downstream. TWRA recently began stocking brown trout into the fishery. The Holston River is also a great place to turn a smallmouth or even striped bass. The Holston River is a great place to look for above average fish. The average rainbow will push 13” to 14” and larger fish are not uncommon. Our Holston river fly fishing guides pick the best stretch to fish based on flows and hatches.
Holston River Insects
The Holston has a unique build to it. Limestone makes up a good portion of the riverbed, which raises the ph to very favorable levels for aquatic invertebrates. The Holston boasts strong caddis activity from late March through the middle of June. Crane flies and midges can also be prolific at times. Sulphurs make a strong appearance from mid may through June. The river lends itself to many styles and approaches as you can dry fly, nymph, and streamer and usually be productive with each method.
Times to Fish the Holston River
The best times of year to fish the Holston are March through August, with December through January being a productive period as well. The Holston’s close proximity to Knoxville and the Pigeon Forge/ Gatlinburg area make it a great choice for a fishing getaway for those traveling through east Tennessee on business or pleasure trips. Lodging, dining, amusement parks, aquariums, museums, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are just a few of the nearby attractions.