Guided Fly Fishing Trips On the Watauga & South Holston Rivers In Northeast Tennessee.
Are you looking to spend a day on the river taking in the scenery, relaxing, learning to fly fish, and catching a few of the region’s wild trout? Or maybe you’re a seasoned angler, looking to take your game to the next level and chase some of the region’s behemoth brown trout? Either way, the have a trip tailored for you.
We offer a variety of trips, utilizing a variety of fly fishing tactics, on all of the region’s premier rivers. We are blessed to call Northeast Tennessee home and pride ourselves on knowing where and how to get our clients on quality fish. So, whether you’re looking to chase dry fly sipping brown trout on a technical tailwater or looking to throw big streamers for big smallmouth, we got you covered.
Guided Float & Wade Trips
We offer a variety of trip types and styles for our clients so there is something to fit every angler. Whether you’re looking to float or wade, throw dry flies or streamers our guides will create a gameplan for a great day on our pristine Tennessee rivers like the Watauga and South Holston. If you’re interested in what techniques we explore with our clients, check out our how we fish page. If you’d like to learn more about the rivers we guide on, check out our rivers page.
Float Trip Rates & Details
If you’re looking to really experience our rivers and tailwaters, there is no better way to do it than floating down the river in a fully outfitted drift boat casting to wild trout. We offer float trips primarily on the Watauga and South Holston tailwaters.
Full-Day Rates (6-8 hours)
- $500 ( 1 Person )
- $550 ( 2 People )
Half-Day Rates (4-6 HOurs)
- $450 ( 1 Person )
- $500 ( 2 People )
Deposits, Cancellations, & Gratuity
- Deposits: All trips require a $150 deposit at the time of booking. If paying by card, the remaining trip balance will be charged 7 days prior to the trip. If paying by cash, the remaining trip balance will be due the day of the trip.
- Cancellations: Any trip canceled 30+ days in advance will receive a full refund of their deposit. Any trip canceled under 30 days will have their deposit help and can be used to reserve a future trip. Any trip canceled under seven days prior must be paid in full.
- Gratuity: It is generally appropriate to tip your guide if you feel that they provided good service and you had a positive experience on your trip. The amount that you tip is up to your discretion, but a typical range is 15-20% of the cost of the trip. You may want to consider the length and complexity of the trip, as well as the level of service provided by the guide when determining the amount to tip. It is important to remember that tipping is not required but is greatly appreciated. You should only tip if you feel that it is appropriate and you can do so. Tipping is a way of expressing appreciation and gratitude for good service, and it is not required.
The Rivers WE Guide On
As mentioned, we primarily focus our efforts on the South Holston & Watauga rivers. We choose what river to fish with our clients based on current conditions and client expectations. However, if you prefer one over the other, we can work to accommodate that as well.
The SOuth Holston River – Bluff City/Bristol, TN
The South Holston river offers some of the the most prolific fly fishing for trout in the eastern United States. Consistent cold clear water, dense hatches, and a plethora of trout habitat are just a few of the attributes that draw anglers from all over the country to fish this well known tailwater. At the times, the oppotunity exists to catch trout on nymphs, streamers, and dries all in the same day with the occasional shot a true monster brown trout. For more info on the Soho, like meeting locations, generation schedules, fishing information, and more, check out our South Holston river page here.
The Watauga River – Johnson City/Elizabethton, TN
Like the Soho, the Watauga, or Taug, is another premier tailwater located right here in NE Tennessee. I like to describe the Watauga as being more “wild” than the Soho in the sense that is has more twists and turns, rapids, cliff walls, complex currents, etc. It is truly a scenic river and runs right through Elizabethton. The Taug also offers incredible fishing prospects for browns and rainbows. While not quite as pressured, the chance for a monster brown still exists and anglers still have the opporuntity to target trout with nymphs, streamers, and dries. To learn more about the Watauga, check out our Watauga river page here.
Details & What To Expect
Our guides start every Tennessee fly fishing adventure the same. After you book, we will give you a quick call to get a better understanding of what you’re looking to get out of the day. After that, our guides will start developing a game plan for your trip taking into account things like water flows, water temps, water types, time of year, etc. From there, your guide will reach back out a day or two prior to your trip to establish times and meeting locations. Depending on the location, your guide will most likely shuttle you to the put-in at the river, and you will leave your car at the take-out. This allows clients easy access to their vehicles upon trip completion.
When you book a guided float or wade trip with us, you will not need to bring much other than your personal necessities. We pride ourselves on providing our customers with all the essentials and high-end fly fishing equipment to ensure you have a great experience on the water.
What We Provide
- Lunch: We provide lunch for clients on all full-day trips. Lunch generally consists of deli-style sandwiches and hoagies along with a side. For all trips, snacks, and drinks are provided. Special requests within reason can be accommodated with advance notice.
- Rods & Reels: Sage, Orvis, and TFO Fly rods & reels loaded with scientific anglers lines. Our guides carry a variety of sizes and weights, so we can adapt to any fishing conditions necessary. If you’re in the market for a new rod, this is a great chance to get familiar with some of the best in the industry.
- Flies & Tackle: Everything you will need to be successful, our guides will provide, including lines, leaders, flies, floatant, indicators, etc.
- Waders & Boots: If you book a wade trip with us, we supply our clients with Orvis boots and waders to wear for the day. All waders are cleaned and disinfected between trips.
- Necessities: Our guides are required to carry the following items on their boats for your convenience and safety.
- First Aid Kits
- Garmin InReach
What You Need To Bring
- Clothing: Please dress appropriately for the conditions. Your guide will discuss this with you, depending on the time of year. For summer, we recommend long-sleeved shirts that are earth tones to keep you out of the sun. In Spring and Fall, its best to bring some warmer layers for the morning that you can shed throughout the day. In winter, warmer layers are necessary and required. We do fish rain or shine, so if the forecast is calling for rain, we do ask clients to bring their own rain gear.
- Polarized Sunglasses: A good pair of sunglasses are an angler’s most valuable tool, especially when fishing clear tailwaters like we have here in Tennessee. Most of our guides do carry extras with them but if you have polarized shades, we ask that you bring them along.
- Medicines: If you take any medicines, please bring those along as needed. If you have any dietary restrictions, please communicate that with your guide so he/she can plan accordingly. We can provide gluten & dairy free lunches as needed.
Meeting Location & Start Times
Your guide will set the meeting time and location based on what river you will be fishing and what is convenient to you. We try to use meeting locations that are centrally located and keep you close to the take out point on the river. While you’re guide will give you a GPS location of where to meet, you can also check out our river pages that highlight some of our most common meeting areas and access points.
Most trips start around 7:00 or 8:00 am and end anywhere from 1:00 – 5:00 pm depending on whether it is a half of full day trip. However, depending on the time of year, weather conditions, and water generation schedules our guides will alter start and end points to give you the best chance at success.
FRequently Asked Questions
Our guides start every Tennessee fly fishing adventure the same. After you booking, we will give you a quick call to get a better understanding of what you’re looking to get out of the day. After that, our guides will start developing a gameplan for your trip taking into account things like water flows, water temps, water types, time of year, etc. From there, you guide will reach back out a day or two prior to your trip to establish times and meeting locations. Depending on the location, your guide will most likely shuttle you to the put in at the river and you will leave you car at the take out. This allows clients easy access to their vehicles upon trip completion.
Do I need a fishing license?
Yes, all clients over the age of 15 will need a valid Tennessee fishing license. The state of Tennessee provides various lengths of both in-state and out-of-state licenses to accommodate your needs. You will need to purchase an all-species license.
You can purchase a fishing license online, by phone, or in person at a licensed agent or Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) office. To purchase a license online, you can visit the TWRA website at www.tn.gov/twra and follow the prompts to purchase a license. You will need to provide your personal information and pay the appropriate fee using a credit or debit card. You can also purchase a license by phone by calling 800-814-1113. To purchase a license in person, you can visit a TWRA office or a licensed agent. You can find a list of TWRA offices and license agents on the TWRA website or by calling the TWRA at 800-814-1113.
Can you keep fish you catch?
No. While most of us grew up harvesting fish and respect the tradition, it has never been more important to put our rivers first and practice catch and release.
Rivers across the country, including the Watauga and South Holston, have never faced fishing pressure like they do today, and it is our responsibility and duty to put the rivers and conservation first.
What is the skill level required for your fly fishing trips?
We work with and accommodate everyone from true beginners to seasoned fly anglers. We tailor our trips based on your skill level. We do this by having a pre-trip conversation with our clients to understand their skill level and expectations for the trip.
For beginners, we try to focus on education and teaching basic fly fishing skills that they can apply on their next solo trip and to ensure they leave our boats a better angler.
Do you have a minimum age requirement for fly fishing trips?
Nothing would make us happier than to fish with a kid and introduce them to the sport of fly fishing. With that said, it’s hard to put an age on minimum on this so give us a call, and we’d love to talk about getting a kid on the water.
Can you accommodate those with disabilities?
This is dependent on the type of disability and safety concerns that surround it. WIth that said, we will absolutely try our best. Please give us a call to discuss.
Do you have any discounts or promotions available?
Yes. We offer a 10% discount to all active or retired military and first responders.
Do you offer gift certificates for fly fishing trips?
Yes, we do. Please give us a call, and we will be happy to get you squared away!
When is the best time of year for a guided fly fishing trip in TN?
This depends on your goals for the trip and what type of weather conditions you are open to fishing in. If you give us a call we are happy to discuss and gameplan on when would be a good time for you to come fish with us!