Tag Archives: Troutfishers Guide Service

South Holston gives up a trophy


A long time client and friend, Jerry of Statesville came with his son to fish with me on the beautiful South Holston Tailwater, near Bristol, Tennessee. It was one of those days they will never forget. We got to the weir area and they waded before the water hit us from the generation. They landed lots of fish using a dry dropper rig with the black and silver zebra midge doing the best. We got in my new Clackacraft for its maiden voyage down the South Holston. It was nymphing the soft seams with good success getting many double hookups. Then it was on down the river switching over to big stuff going after big fish. Jerry and Adam weren’t disappointed in their efforts. It was a memory filled day and they called me today still excited about the float trip.

If you would like to float the South Holston and have a chance at one of these great trophy native browns contact me through my website, www.trout-fishers.net and lets get you out there to create a memory of a lifetime for you.

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Summer has been great



As we put a wrap on a great summer season, now is the time to be thinking about your fall and winter trips. The South Holston and Watauga have given us some great days of trout fishing this summer. We used Blackfly, Sulphur, Beetle, Ant, and Cranefly dry flies, and when there wasn’t a hatch it was Split Cases, Zebra Midges, Copper Johns, and San Juan Worms for the nymphing rigs.
The smallies were behind all season on their timing so it was shallow running streamers into the start of the summer and then they finally started looking up. Now it is white poppers and Gartside Gurglers. For the spin rod guys a small Pop-R is the lure of choice. The Pigeon River is rapidly becoming a popular destination for our trips, nice smallies, largemouth and walleye thrown into the mix.
Now is the time to book your trip to the private trophy trout waters in Southwest Virginia. We fish these waters all winter long. We have had some great catches on these waters during the late spring. On one of the rivers in the system there were fish landed that weighed 11, 13, and 17 pounds. You will catch 3 to 7 pound fish consistently on all the private waters we fish.

Starting Thanksgiving Weekend and running through March 13th, 2011 I will once again be running the Winter 6 Hour Float Trips for the discounted price of $235. These trips produced some nice brown trout while throwing big baits.
I will be in attendance November 6th & 7th at the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Expo in Asheville, North Carolina. Be sure to stop by the Orvis booth and watch me tie some of the flies I use on the Watauga and South Holston as well as the Holston Proper and Pigeon for smallies.
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Trophy Trout and Monster Smallies!

Want to go after some big trophy trout, fishing at the base of Mt. Mitchell near Burnsville North Carolina. Is a hard fighting never give up river smallmouth bass on the Holston Proper near Kingsport Tennessee what you want? Check out some results from our recent trips on these waters.

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Fishing with a legend, Bob Clouser

This past week I had the honor to take one of the legends in the fly fishing industry, Bob Clouser and his business manager, out smallmouth fishing on the Holston River near Kingsport, Tennessee. The weather conditions and water temperatures were not at their best for this float trip, but after getting in tune with the fish and river we were into some nice smallies throughout the day. The water was 49 degrees when we started and there was a cold rain. Trying several colors of flies in one of the better pools on the river gave us a quick answer the the color the smallies wanted, chartreuse. They took these flies aggressively. As you can see it was a day of good sized hard fighting fish. Not only did we get smallmouth bass, but we got some nice largemouth bass in the mix.

Getting the call to take such a legend out on the river makes you nervous and you over think everything leading up the the day of fishing. Bob Clouser is such a down to earth person that he puts you at ease quickly and just wants to be one of your good friends out on the river for a day of fishing. To watch him work the fly rod and flies was a excellent learning experience for me as well. I am a good guide, but there is always room to learn more and Bob is an excellent teacher. He showed me some things that I had been overlooking and this will make me a better guide and my clients will benefit from this as well.
When you come to Troutfest or any other event where is is in attendance, go talk with him and thank him for his contributions to our sport. I am glad that I can now call him a friend and fishing buddy.
Randy Ratliff
Troutfishers Guide Service
Orvis Endorsed Guide
www.trout-fishers.net
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Trophy trout sight fishing

Have you ever wanted to sight fish trophy trout in the 7 to 15 pound class. We have the waters for you to check this off your bucket list. There is nearly 15 miles of water on five different streams that can offer you this opportunity. It is not chucking and ducking with big stuff, these fish feed on the natural environment around them and you have to match the hatch as well as make those needed casts to get them to bite. If this interests you, give me a call or email and lets get you on this water.

Here is a sample from yesterdays trip, one of eight hooked in this class.
Randy Ratliff
www.trout-fishers.net
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South Holston

The South Holston Tailwater near Bristol, Tennessee fished very well today while wading. There were size 20 BWO’s, size 30 grey Midges, size 26 Black Flies coming off as long as the sun was out. We had a brief cloudy spell just after lunch and the fish and bugs turned off, then around 2:00pm the sun came back out and the action was hot.
There were more of those beautiful South Holston browns caught than rainbows, probably a 66 2/3 to 33 1/3 ratio.
There was still some snow on the ground and ice around the edges of the river when we got there.
A couple of the flies used today

Thanks for reading
Randy Ratliff
Troutfishers Guide Service

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Winter Float Trip Discounts

I am offering Winter Float Trip discounts for trips taken from November 21st through March 15th. The cost for this trip is $235. This would be a 6 hour float trip for one or two persons with a lite lunch. Come fish the legendary South Holston or Watauga Tailwaters when there are little to no crowds.

The possibilities are endless.

Contact me through www.trout-fishers.net and come experience winter fishing in the mountains.

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SoHo in the rain

We fished today on the South Holston Tailwater in the cold rain. I wanted to test out the new LineX coating I just had put on the bottom of my hand built wooden driftboat. The coating did its job and I was very pleased how the boat performed on this low water non-generation trip.

There were black caddis in a size 12 coming off all day. We also saw size 18/20 BWO’s coming off in the heavier rains showers and the fish were feeding hard on them. We used a size 18 brown zebra midge with a stripper midge dropper about 14″ under a small strike indicator.

When the generation hit us about 2:30 pm we switched to small white rabbit streamers and got a couple good slams.

This little brown hit this zebra midge and started bulldogging to the bottom, it made for a fun fight for my client as he tried to saw off the leader on the sharp jagged rocks.

This rainbow took a stripper midge and put up a great fight in the strong current. It is amazing how they can pull when they put their wide bodies sideways in the current. The camera washed out the really bright pinkish purple strip down his side.

Check out my website, www.trout-fishers.net if you would like to fish the legendary South Holston with the winter time midges.

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North Carolina Trophy Trout

I recently took these gentlemen from Southern Indiana to fish on our new private trophy trout waters in Western North Carolina. There are two (2) miles of river on the property that is managed for trophy trout fishing. These waters are one hour from our base in Kingsport, Tennessee. These fish are currently taking size 14 tan caddis from the surface during the afternoon hatches, and the rest of the time it is size 14 Copper Johns with a size 18 red Zebra midge trailing as the dropper.
I had a blast watching them hook and land these fish in these waters. If you would like more information on fishing these waters contact me at www.trout-fishers.net . There are additional rod fees above the daily guide fee.
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