Fly Fish Tennessee’s South Holston River
The South Holston River Lodge is perhaps one of the most famed fly fishing lodge operations in the Southeast United States. Situated on the banks of the South Holston, the lodge offers all-inclusive packages, and outstanding riverside accommodations. Anglers will be able to experience some of the east’s finest dry fly fishing for trout on a stream that hosts 7,000-10,000 trout per mile.
The South Holston River Lodge has been hosting anglers since 2009, providing an all-inclusive, year-round lodging experience. The lodge has four cabins on the property, which provides their guests seclusion. Each cabin features a porch that overlooks the river and all amenities to provide a comfortable stay.
The Caddis Cabin features 1 queen bed, 1 full bed, and a twin bed in the loft. The cabin also features a full bathroom and a fully furnished kitchenette. Other amenities include a heating/cooling unit, wireless internet, and a lounging area with a flat-screen tv.
Blue Wing Olive Cabin
The “BWO” is a two-story cabin that has two private upstairs bedrooms with a shared bath. The larger bedroom has two queen-size beds and the second room has a full bed and a set of twin bunk beds. Both rooms offer heating/cooling units as well as cable and internet access. The downstairs is the dining facility for the South Holston River Lodge.
The Mayfly Cabin is a three-story cabin that was originally a farmhouse that was built in 1912. The cabin features two bedrooms and two full bathrooms. The foyer area offers storage space and comfortable lounging accommodations – furnished with four mission-style recliners, a gas fireplace, and a flat-screen tv. The main level also has a full-sized kitchen and a downstairs bathroom. The upstairs features two bedrooms with two full beds along with a full bath. The pool table, ping-pong table, jukebox, and card table are located on the ground floor. There’s a balcony on the second floor that overlooks the river.
This is a one-bedroom cabin that is situated on the hillside of the property. The cabin is right next to the South Holston. It has one full bath, a queen-sized bed, flat-screen tv, and wireless access.
Food and Beverages
The South Holston River Lodge offers multiple options for lunch and dinner, as well as breakfast each morning. The lunch and dinner menu change daily. During cold months, guests will receive a thermos at lunchtime containing hot soup. Appetizers are served each evening, followed by s family sit-down style dinner. Each dinner includes a soup or salad, entrée, and dessert. All alcoholic (minus spirits) and non-alcoholic beverages are provided as well. They can accommodate any special dietary restrictions and preferences by making arrangements beforehand.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
There are numerous hiking/biking trails as well as parks around the lodge. Another popular area attraction is Bristol Caverns which were formed millions of years ago. If you want to experience a real taste of the south, then a visit to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum or Bristol Motor Speedway is a must!
Internet / Communications
Wi-Fi access and land phone lines are available in each cabin. Cell phone reception is limited onsite as well as the surrounding area.
How to Get There
The closest airport for guests to fly into and out of is the Tri-Cities Airport (TRI) located in Blountville, Tennessee which is about 30 minutes from the lodge. Guests can then either rent a car, or they can be picked up by an employee at the lodge. Other popular airports are McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) in Knoxville, Tennessee and Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) in Asheville, North Carolina which are both about two hours from the lodge. There is also Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) which is about three hours away, or Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) which is also about three hours away.
Tennessee fishing licenses should be bought before arrival at the lodge. Fishing licenses come in a 3-day, 10-day, or season. They can be easily purchased online before the trip by going to https://gooutdoorstennessee.com/.
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The South Holston Dam discharges cold, clear water year-round, which produces exceptional fly fishing opportunities roughly fifteen river miles below the dam. The “So Ho” is arguably one of the most productive trout fisheries in the eastern United States. There have been some behemoth-sized fish that have been caught in the South Holston, but most fish range from 12-20 inches. During the cooler months, anglers can target rising fish on blue-winged olives on cloudy days. What the river is most famous for is its hatches of an orange mayfly known as a sulphur. Starting in May and lasting until September, sulphurs can hatch in droves, bringing fish up throughout the river system. It is not uncommon to have 30-40 fish days on dry flies during this time. Fishing comparduns, sparkle duns, and emergers is a great way to pick fish off on the surface during the hatch. Unlike many of the other rivers in the Southeast, trout will pod up to feed on the surface. When there isn’t a hatch, anglers can catch fish utilizing general nymphing methods. Casting streamers on a sink tip or intermediate lines can produce some trophy-sized fish. The South Holston is characterized by a limestone riverbed and relatively smooth flowing water that features numerous eddies and riffles. On the lower reaches of the South Holston, anglers can target bass on the fly before the river enters Boone Lake. The nearby Watauga River also provides great fishing opportunities for trout, with a comparable trout population to the South Holston. The major difference between the Watauga and the South Holston is that the Watauga River features several more rapids and areas of higher gradient.
Boats and Equipment
Anglers will fish out of traditional-style drift boats. All you have to bring is your waders, polarized sunglasses, and a fishing license. The guides will take care of fly rods and reels, fly lines, tippet, leaders, and flies. If you have a fly rod or flies that you’d like to fish, you are encouraged to bring them!
Rates and Terms
2022 Pricing (based on double occupancy)
3 nights / 2 days = $1,700.00 per person
4 nights / 3 days = $2,350.00 per person
5 nights / 4 days = $3,000.00 per person
6 nights / 5 days = $3,650.00 per person
– Transportation to/from the lodge (Tri-Cities Airport)
– Guided fishing
– All meals (lunch, waters, sodas, etc on guide trips)
– Beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages at the lodge
– All flies & terminal tackle provided by the guide
– Transportation to and from the river on guided trip days
– Shuttle fees for guide’s vehicle
– Transportation from/to other area airports (rent a car)
– Fishing licenses (buy online)
– Gratuities for fishing guides
– Gratuities for lodge staff
– Lodging taxes (will include upon invoicing)
Terms & Conditions
Cancellations (90) days or more prior to arrival will allow for 100% refund of your deposit. For cancellations within 90 – 30 days of your arrival, there is 15% penalty on your pretax total, and remaining balance will be refunded. Within 30 days of your arrival, there are no refunds. If the lodge needs to cancel due to weather, they will rebook your trip at no additional cost.