Altamont Anglers guide Teo Whitlock, working with the South Holston River Lodge took his clients in search of something special for a trout stream: Big Striped Bass! This bodes well for the month of March, as we approach Hendrickson and Caddis season.   Tom Theus spent a day on the Watauga River on Thursday, April 14, drifting along with Altamont Anglers guide Teo Whitlock in a blizzard of Caddis flies. Most of the fish pictured here were caught on small BWO patterns.   Click the following thumbnail images for a slide show of some fine East Tennessee tailwater fishing... George Kessler with a big Watagau River brown trout on September 12, 2014 (click the pic). We appreciate Bob's feedback, but have to report to everybody that Bob and Earl would have had an even better experience had they fished the Watauga a couple of weeks earlier, during the epic caddis hatch! Click the thumbs for full-size views of some more of Ken's Watauga River success story:   Jerre Smith's 'bow The river streams from the Wilbur Dam where cold water is generated from Watauga Lake – one of the cleanest lakes in the nation and the headwaters for the TVA. Chris Snyder and Jon Caruthers made their annual Fall float with Altamont Angers on December 5 of this strange year of 2020, with AA guide Joe Kostura on the oars. All of our guided fishing trips are equipped with top of the line equipment to allow for a successful day on the water. It matters not--let's go fishing! That's because Dwight has a perfect record of fishing the Watauga River in horrible weather, and he and Neil Sawyer brought the rain when they fished on Friday, September 25, 2015. Andrew redeemed his gift certificate on March 11, fishing the Watauga River with AA guide Teo Whitlock on a particularly cold, windy day. Then on Sunday, August 31 Sean McClannaghan spent some time on the Watauga River with Altamont Anglers guide Travis Honeycutt on a first-ever fly fishing excursion.     Fly Fishing Watauga River We woke up Saturday to the possibility of a high of 60 degrees, but it was 22 degrees when we woke up. David Sr. with yet another Fall isn't Winter, even if it feels like it, and the tailwaters we fish are weather-proof in that the water we float in, flowing from the bottom of that 300' deep lake behind the dam, stays around 52 degrees no matter the air temperature. Hard to tell from the photos who's coaching who: are the coaches taking coaching from their guide, or are the trout taking coaching from the coaches? And break out the foul weather gear!   Mike Ellsworth holds the proof in the photo here, with the high water evident in the background. We're looking forward to the cooler weather in October that signals the beginning of pre-spawn behavior by the big brown trout on the tailwaters of East Tennessee, when aggressive feeding and movement out of their hidey-holes makes them more vulnerable to savy anglers, but the quiet days of September are clearly not all that safe for the trout!   Dave Doeren with a fish on! We had back-to-back father/son combos over the weekend, first with David Pulliam and his son John (aka JP), who fished together during a fund-raising event for River's Way on March 6 & 7, and then with David Doeren and his son Jacob on Sunday, March 8. The following photos indicate that the nasty weather didn't diminish the quality of the fishing, with fish looking hungrily for midges, scuds and baetis nymphs. Altamont Anglers guide Travis Honeycutt answered the challenge to work on America's holiday, treating Frank and George to some fine Summer-time fishing on one of our favorite East Tennessee tailwaters. //-->, Home | Our Rates | Meet the Guides | Contact Us | Fishing Links | Gift Certificates | Site Map, Altamont Anglers Fly Fishing Guides Debbie and Denise fish with Altamont Anglers guide Teo Whitlock as often as their busy schedules permit, at least a couple of trips each year (like here and here).   Typically 5 – 6 weight outfits are used for trout fishing while 8 – 9 weight outfits are used for striped bass fishing. On top, Sulphur parachutes, Comparaduns or even swinging yellow soft-hackles. Altamont Anglers' clients fishing over the week from March 9 through March 16 took advantage of the Baetis, Midges and eager feeders to boat good numbers of fish, including some big'uns, as that picture of Knox Vinson proves. Kick the cabin-fever and get out on the water in February--you can count on it!     Ken Heubel with a big Watauga River brown trout caught on April 5, 2014 (click the pic) The action on the Watauga River lately has been torrid, with significant numbers of fish over 14' feeding on caddis, midges and the occasional Hendricksons and Sulphurs. Click the following thumbs for full views of Team Ferguson: Bob Fincher caught that fat rainbow trout, held for the camera by his guide, Teo Whitlock, on February 8, 2014. Watauga Riverbend is located footsteps away from the Watauga River. But not impossible!! Even more Watauga River stream reports can be found here. Joe Tucker caught the big brown held by his guide, Joe Spencer, on May 5, 2014 (click the pic)   Once again Teo did an awesome job! There’s a few freestone streams that flow in to the river and the Watauga receives some stoneflies and other mountain stream insects from these. Robi Eckley with a nice rainbow trout Because, hey: IT'S ON--peak Caddis on the Watauga River is happening right now, so crab a bag of Elk Hair Caddis and make it on over to Elizabethton, TN, post haste. Randall Tuttle organized a flotilla of friends to fish our favorite East Tennessee tailwaters over the weekend of November 11 and was rewarded with the confluence of pre-spawn brown trout and hatching Baetis. They mostly ate baetis and the occasional egg, with midges on in the morning".   Richard Weiss planned a year in advance for this day on the Watauga River, just to "fish a hatch". Brown is the owner and head guide for Brown Trout Fly Fishing LLC. Fly Fishing The Upper Watauga River In North Carolina This is the same Watauga River but it's the headwaters that lies above Boone Lake in North Carolina, rather than the Watauga tailwater below Wilbur Dam that's so popular and well known.   The South Holston River is ranked one of the top tailwaters in east Tennessee, and is one of the best trout tailwaters in the southeast. Size 16-20 Lightening Bugs, Pheasant Tails and Sulphur nymphs of any assortment will work below. Fly Tying: Brown Trout Streamer Pattern | Watauga River and South Holston River . November 9, 2018 By Ian. Water releases have held steady at approximately 3000cfs since last Monday, April 20, a harsh fact of life that makes the fishing--even with a tremendous Caddis hatch--really tough. As is typical for a east Tennessee tailwater trout fishery, the Watauga river also has midges and crane flies. Some nice opportunities for the dry fly purists among us now on the Watauga River, with pretty good afternoon/evening BWO hatches. Click the first of the following thumbnails for a full view of George Kessler's nice brown caught on a dry fly on high water on the Watauga River on April 23. Baetis hatches every afternoon, midges, a few of the small tan caddis are the meal du jour for the Watauga River trout population, but the big even--Caddis!--is probably just days away: the caddis cases are closed, so the bugs are pupating from the larval stage and should emerge as winged adults any day now. Neil Sawyer caught this big 'bow on the Watauga River on September 25, 2015 (click it). When I told my friends I was going fishing with Altamont Anglers on the Watauga River, they said 'Be sure to wear the fox hat'." Our Watauga river guide service is most successful streamer fishing the tailwater on high water. The lesson to take from this is that the constant 43-to-50 degree water temps on tailwaters like the Watauga River provide "weather-proof" fishing. Enjoy trout fishing on the South Holston River and Watauga River. Richard's fishing partner for the occasion, Eric Lapnach, was on his first fly fishing trip so the pictures prove he was a quick learner, albeit overshadowed by Richard's being one of Altamont Anglers' most decent anglers, according to AA guide Joe Spencer. Jerre and Teya know their way around a worm or dough-ball on the carp ponds of North Carolina, and judging by these few photos they had no problems picking up the techniques of fly fishing. The Watauga River Caddis hatch may be in our rear-view mirror, but the fishing is still fantastic including the arrival of some of the big Striped Bass coming up from the lake.   In addition, the Doe river is 1.4 miles away and Stoney Creek 2.3 miles away are TWRA Stocked streams. Labor Day has come and gone, the campgrounds are quiet, and the trout should be getting some rest with schools across the country back in session.   I brought another first timer this year, my cousin Smith Sharpe. We offer wade fishing guide service on low water and drift boat fly fishing on high water.   And when you're fishing a great tailwater like the Watauga River, the weather "down below"--in the water where the trout live--is the same in December as it is in July: constant water temps between 43 and 53 degrees Fahrenheit means the trout fishing is great all year long. Scott Meade's big 'bow NC State Football head-coach Dave Doeren and assistant-coach Dwayne Ledford took advantage of the Madness of March basketball season to slip away for a float down the Watauga River on March 8, 2016, guided by Altamont Anglers' Teo Whitlock. Altamont Anglers Guide Teo Whitlock delivered to his client, Caird, a Watauga Grand Slam on June 8, 2017: Trout, Smallmouth Bass, and Striped Bass all caught on flies. The problem with the uppermost parts of the Watauga River in this area is access, or I should say the lack of The usual suspects--bead-head midge patterns, Sulphur nymphs and Pheasant Tails dropped below larger attractor patterns--did the trick, as the Fallons boated nearly 40 fish in the half-day's fishing. For my dad's 70th birthday as he said, "this was far and away the best fishing experience I've ever had!".     Watauga reservoir being responsible for the cold water and Wilbur dam responsible for the releases. Watauga River and South Holston River Fly Fishing Report The Watauga has been getting pretty good this week.   It's cold water flows through the Wilburn Dam from Wilburn and Watauga Lakes. With 31 public access points, the trail is easy for fly anglers of every skill level to try. The pain they suffered from their team's defeat was relieved by a generous dose of fly fishing on the Watauga River, sweetened by the presence of that stream's healing caddis hatch.   (click image for full view). Click any thumbnail that follows to enter the slideshow of the father/son fishing trip: James Heskett caught this big brown trout (held by Teo Whitlock) on the Watauga River on June 12, 2016 (click it). Click the thumbnails for more from March 12, 2017: Andrew Bailey with a pretty brown trout on the Watauga River, March 11, 2017 (click it). David Sr. with another   Dave did pretty well with the browns, as you'll see by clicking the thumbs that follow for a slide show of some fine fishing on the Watauga River on March 30, 2016: Brad Johnson caught this big rainbow trout on the Watauga River, on March 12, 2016 (click it). var gcse = document.createElement('script'); Click any of the thumbs for a slide show of fine late-July fishing on the Watauga River: A big Striped Bass on the Watauga River, June 22, 2017 (click it). Everybody took advantage of the abundant BWO's, and the trouts' eagerness to eat them. Our South Holston river fly fishing guides know the river intimately. Cookie cutter rainbows are in full force on the trophy section. Peter Bray with another big'un Thanks for another awesome trip! The end of august was a little tough but things are changing. Drake - we had another awesome time! This Watauga River access in Sugar Grove is a great spot for fishing, put-in for kayaking, take-out for tubing and general water fun area for families. The Caddis hatch was in early days (not Peak Caddis yet), but the fishing was terrific and we're posting photographic proof below. Jerre and Teya know their way around a worm or dough-ball on the carp ponds of North Carolina, and judging by these few photos they had no problems picking up the techniques of fly fishing. John Cheshire invited Travis Smith to join him in Altamont Anglers guide Joe Kostura's boat on September 18 & 19, 2020 for some coronavirus-free air and East Tennessee trout fishing.   Altamont Anglers guide Joe Spencer and his client Joe Tucker (a couple of good Joes, we'd say) had a real fiesta on the waterAccording to AA guide Joe Spencer, "Caddis are tapering off, giving way to Sulphurs which are working their way up through the trophy section--plenty of opportunities for dry flies. Rainbow Trout Watauga River Click here for a video We arrived at the put-in about 7:10 AM and geared up…rods, waders, hats, flies, food, camera & video stuff, cigars, chewing tobacco…yup that is all we needed to make a good float trip great and off we went down the river. A big plus for our Winter season is the great Baetis hatches when the weather gets really nasty: give us a cold, gray day with rain or snow and let the Baetis blizzard begin--who wouldn't like some fine dry-fly fishing on a particularly miserable day? The Watauga's in fine form right now, with reliable mid-day Baetis hatches and superior nymph fishing throughout the day for fish that are eager eaters. Best time of day to fish: All Day! On top, Sulphur parachutes, Comparaduns or even swinging yellow soft-hackles. Randall Tuttle on the Watauga River, December 4, 2016 (click it). When that happens its "lights, camera, action!!".   Click the thumbs to open the bigger images of March Madness on the tailwaters... Knox Vinson caught this big brown trout on the Watauga River, March 15, 2018 (click it). They are both tailwater trout fly fishing destinations that run into Boone Lake. The corporate outing for Ferguson Plumbing looks to become an annual event, judging by the happy faces of the lucky participants. George Fallon celebrating the Fourth with a "Fish On! Dennis Anderson and his friend Angie fished the Caddis hatch on the Watauga River on April 14 & 15, 2017, guided by AA guide Teo Whitlock. Much like the Watauga River, the Linville River is a great trout fishery because of its cold waters and feeder streams from the high mountains. Now's the time to gear up for the annual brown trout rodeo, so let's go fishing!   Copywrite 2005-2020 registered by Altamont Anglers. John Descary appreciates the opportunities for un-crowded waters that fishing the winter months offers, and got out early this month (ahead of the crowds) with his wife, Nadine, guided by Altamont Anglers guide Teo Whitlock--working out of theSouth Holston River Lodge. The young arsenal Gunners fan, Hector, made it look easy his first time fly fishing.   Asheville, North Carolina From the looks of that hog on the left, Dennis is an honor student, for sure! The south Holston tailwater fishes well on both low and high water. Bob Fincher drives up from Hickory, NC a couple of times a year to fish with Altamont Anglers, and his trip on May 27 was described by Bob in this email: Joe floated Britt and Knox down the Watauga River, which is transitioning to the October event everyone looks forward to: cool weather and aggressive Brown Trout on the make in a pre-spawn feeding spree. The usual suspects--bead-head midge patterns, Sulphur nymphs and Pheasant Tails dropped below larger attractor patterns--did the trick, as the Fallons boated nearly 40 fish in the half-day's fishing. They were rewarded for braving the weather with a river full of hungry trout feeding happily on midges, baetis nymphs (fished at depth below Girdle Bugs and other attractor patterns). This early fall treat won't last forever, and we recommend enjoying the top-water action while you can. Don Ratigan rounded up his crew for two days of fly fishing the Watauga River over the weekend of April 1 & 2, 2016.   click an image below to open a slideshow form the fishing: A.J. As the river makes a split between the island fish tend to hold in the under-banks. The South Holston River is a tailwater that is 14 miles long, running from the dam at South Holston Lake to Bluff City, where the river flows into Boone lake .The South Holston Weir Dam was constructed in 1991 on both sides of Osceola Island to add oxygen in the river. 2.   Phil Husted and A.J. Levi Miskolczi, Teo Whitlock & Bob Fincher at the takeout on the Watauga River, 2/08/14 (click to embiggen) Our South Holston river fly fishing guides have developed dependable patterns for these hatches. Small Baetis patterns do the trick, and while you're waiting on the hatch, have fun with a Zebra Midge pattern. Altamont Anglers guides hit the Watauga River hard over the weekend of April 4 & 5, with Jay Dodd, Jake Chiles and Teo Whitlock floating both days and boating bunches of big 'uns. As you can see from the pics that follow, having the water to yourself can be very rewarding! Hot as firecrakers!! Robi Eckley with another rainbow trout Best stretch: Valle Crucis Park and the upper Watauga along 105 behind Foscoe Fishing Co. and up river. On top we’ve been doing well with Mike’s MB2 beetle, Ben’s camel toe beetle, and when sulphurs are hatching size 16-18 cdc sparkle duns.   google_ad_width = 336; Decatur boyz made sweet trout love to the Watauga--it was exceptional.".     Robi Eckley: yet another rainbow trout Fishing a variety of nymphs to match the Sulphurs, Midges and various still-present caddis varieties, Altamont Anglers guide Teo Whitlock put Jim and Bob into never-ending duels with fine browns and 'bows.   Sadly, although the Caddis were hatching, Richard arrived at the beginning of the event--not "Peak Caddis", when the air would have been thick with bugs. Joe headed for the Watauga River, which has been fishing particularly well of late. gcse.type = 'text/javascript'; The guides like streamer fishing on the south Holston during winter on high water.   April is definitely NOT the cruelest month to be on the Watauga River--Hendricksons, Baetis, Caddis, and Midges (duh!)   But, there's no rest for the trouty on the Watauga River-not with Debbie Griffith and Denise Bruner on the river. (clicketty bigger). Click on the thumbs for a slide-show of April awesomeness: Don Ratigan with a nice Watauga River rainbow trout, April 1, 2016 (click it). Levi Miskolczi booked a 2-boat float trip for February 8, 2014, with the boats helmed by AA guides Jay Dodd and Teo Whitlock, destination: East Tennessee's Watauga River. Fly Fishing the streams in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the tailwater rivers of East Tennessee and western North Carolina.   You can find this river description in our Waters > Tailwaters > Watauga through the navigation bar. For full-size views of the fishing on the Watauga River on March 23 just click the following thumbs: AA guide Joe Spencer presenting Adrian McKemey's pot-bellied Watauga River rainbow on March 22, 2015 (click it). Click the following thumbs for full views of Team Ferguson: The good Karma flowed to the other participants that weekend, and clicking the following thumbs will open full-size views of the fishing on the Watauga River over the last weekend in March (note how Allen the Trout Whisperer appears to be practicing the art of Matching the Hat): Dennis Anderson with a big Watauga River brown trout on March 23, 2015 (click it). Angie caught this big rainbow trout on the South Holston River on October 18, 2015 (click it). Here's a shot of Bob and Teo in front of the water fall on the Watauga River (clicketty bigger): Bud Zalesky with giant brown trout caught on the Watauga River on May 10, 2016 (click it). It may not feel like Spring, but the trout are hungry, there are plenty of BWO's on the water to tide us over until the Caddis appear (which should be soon! One lucky participant in the day's fishing was Bob Fincher, a return client of Altamont Anglers, who sent us the following: "Great time today! Find out where the action is, what the water conditions are and everything you need for a successful day on the water!   var cx = '016178786155693412783:qnnxewzoga0'; Mark Hearn was a man on a double mission when he drove down to Johnson City, TN from his home in Indiana: mission #1 was cheering on his beloved Butler Bulldogs in a 3-game baseball series at ETSU, while mission #2 was fishing the local waters. Which helps keep the water cold during these hot days. John Pulliam caught the brown held by Jake Teo Whitlock caught this fine brown trout on the Watauga River on March 31 2019 (click it). Built in 2011 by Watauga County Tourism Development Authority, the Upper Gorge Watauga Park is located at the intersection of U.S. 321 and Watauga River Road.   The south Holston tailwater fly fishing is protected by a slot a limit on both browns and rainbows between 16 and 22 inches. October brings the color to the mountain forests, the first chill to the air, and the spawning urge to the brown trout--which means that October brings the knowledgeable anglers to the river. The question we hear most at Altamont Anglers is "when's a good time to fish the Watauga or South Holston? The Watauga river is in good proximity to the South Holston. We consider the Watauga river to be a sister tailwater to the south Holston River. Click the following thumbs for full-size views of some sons and the fathers: Mark Hearn with a giant Watauga River brown trout on March 1, 2015 (click 'em).   Call High Country Angler to learn more about the rivers and streams we frequent. Linville River. Our Watauga river guide service is most successful streamer fishing the tailwater on high water. Watauga River brown trout, 05/05/14 We'll be fishing with Teo again...and if you've got an up-and coming angler Teo's the guide for you.". At the end of a productive day of fly fishing for trout there's no better "icing on the cake" than an opportunity to cast to big, hungry stripers, and that's just what Geoff and Mark did. David Pulliam's big'un's mouth Allen O'Neal's big 'bow Meantime, keep a good supply of Midges in your vest and keep your ears tuned to the sound of rising water! The pictures that follow tell a story of hungry trout and happy anglers: click-a-pic for the specifics and enjoy the show! Click any thumbnail that follows to open the slideshow from this week's fishing: Richard Weiss with a nice brown trout on the Watauga River, April 12, 2017 (click it).   Click on the following thumbs for more of the awesome fishing on the Watauga River on April 4 and 5, 2014: John Pulliam caught the brown held by Jake, Ken Heubel with a big Watauga River brown trout caught on April 5, 2014 (click the pic). John Cheshire and Travis Smith with a Watauga River "double" on September 18, 2020 (click it). The trouts are hungry on the Watauga River now, hungry enough that an unexpected early water release didn't slow them down on Wednesday, March 9. We embarked on a "fishing trilogy" for his spring break with some inland coastal saltwater fishing...some upstate SC lake fishing and some mountain fly fishing.     With over 16 miles of trophy trout waters, this stream offers an exciting experience year round.   Sean also seems to have learned the secrets to succesfull fly fishing, proving that good students paired with good instructors can be hazardous to a trout's health.
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