Some of the best trout-fishing in the Southeast is in northeast Tennessee. There are 2 very productive tailwater fisheries in this area, the Watauga and the South Holston Rivers, that are fairly popular to wade and/or float fish.
The Watauga River runs throught Carter County, Tennessee, and has both wild and stocked trout (rainbows, browns, and brook trout). It is approximately 20 miles long from the dam (Wilbur Dam) down to the mouth of the river at Boone Lake. This provides the opportunity for several different floats. In the summer months Striped Bass migrate up the river and eat the trout and shad in the river; this provides a good opportunity to catch one on a fly. Best times for stripers in the Watuaga are dawn, dusk, and early morning. There is an excellent caddis hatch every spring on the Watauga, called the Mother’s Day Caddis Hatch, even though it usually occurs in mid-April. The caddisflies are Brachycentrus appalachia, or the grannom green caddis. This hatch lasts about 2 weeks and is a great opportunity to catch a lot of fish on dry flies. Contact us for more details about this hatch.
The South Holston tailwater is a unique tailwater fishery, in that it has brown trout that spawn very successfully every year. Because of this success, there are protected, closed areas to fishing during the spawn (from the end of November til February 1 usually). This river has a very rich and diverse food base, and is one of the best trout rivers in the East. Scientists estimate that there are between 7,000 and 11,000 trout-per-mile of river. This river is world-famous for it’s long hatch of sulphur mayflies. This hatch can last over 8 months, and even in the winter they sometimes hatch. Some of those brown trout get big and smart, so those size 16 sulphur patterns have to be good! There are also good numbers of Baetis (blue-wing olive mayflies) throughout the river, as well as some caddisflies down near the mouth of the river. Other food items for these trout include beetles, grasshoppers, craneflies, blackflies (especially the larvae and the adult), worms, and even mice. During the summer and fall months we offer night-time floats on this river for big browns and the occasional striped bass using mouse fly patterns. This can be a lot of fun and often produces some very large trout.
AlphaTrout Outfitters is a professional flyfishing and light spin-tackle guide-service based in northeast Tennessee. We offer float-trips for 5 species (seasonally); trout and smallmouth bass are our bread-and-butter, but we also offer trips for striped bass, musky, and carp when they are biting. We also offer nighttime trips for large brown trout during the warmer months. We are located in Johnson City, TN, right near the two most-productive tailwater trout rivers in the southeast: the Watauga and the South Holston. Within 90 minutes of Johnson City there is a lifetime of water to be explored. From tiny native brook-trout streams up in the mountains, to large wide-open smallmouth and striper rivers, to cold mountain trout lakes, to big lakes with warm shallow flats full of feeding carp, the amount and diversity of waters nearby is almost endless….
I welcome anglers of all skill levels. It is my goal to give you a quality experience and a memorable day on the water, and to have you return year after year. Give me a call today at (423) 543-3474 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Float Trips for Trout, Smallmouth, Musky, Striped Bass, etc.
1 or 2 person half-day float $300
1 or 2 person full-day float $450
What You Should Bring:
Camera, fishing gear, rain suit, polarized sunglasses, fishing hat or visor, sunscreen, waders & wading shoes (if you’re wade fishing).
We are closed on Saturdays.