Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fly-fishing on the South Holston

Today was an awesome day fishing with my 81-year old dad on the South Holston River just out of Elizabethton, TN. We started out about noon (81-year old dads don't get up too early any more, or at least mine doesn't). We began our day fishing on the "grates" just down from the dam. My dad is a firm believer in fishing the tiniest of tiny midges off those grates, so that's what I started off with. I caught four fish on that, nice rainbow about 12 inches long. About that time, pretty much everyone stopped catching fish. I noticed that they were still hitting on the top of the water though. I decided that even if Dad got mad at me, I was going to switch to a dry fly which is my absolute favorite kind of fishing. So, I tied on a beautiful black ant with an orange parachute and began fishing top water. Within just a few minutes, I began catching fish again! No other fly fishermen were catching fish now. The only folks catching fish now were fishing minnows. I continued to catch beautiful rainbows and browns, in the range of 12-16 inches. I caught a total of 7 fish in that spot until some other fishermen moved in right on top of me. Someone else there today said, "you can teach anyone to fly fish, but you can't teach manners." At one point one kid, maybe 15-years old, was casting so close to me, I thought he was going to hit me with his lure. I tried to tell him nicely he was too close. He left, then returned a few minutes later with his two older brothers. They showed a tremendous amount of class by surrounding me and taking over the entire area I had had such success in. Ah well, I had a great time while it lasted. I eventually let them have my spot, but I sure hope they didn't catch much. Hope they enjoyed bullying a woman fisherman.  Dad never noticed, thankfully. Even at 81, I'm sure he would have done battle with those hoodlums if he'd have seen it. Sure wasn't worth that!


  1. How do you call that fish with dots on your top photo?

    Pictures of Alaska

    1. That's a brown trout, common in the cool waters around East Tennessee.