South Fork Holston River may quite possibly be the best trout fishery east of the Mississippi River. South Fork Holston River tailwater below South Holston Lake provides 18 miles of fishable water. The population of rainbow and brown trout in the river has been estimated at 6,000 fish per mile, and trout up to 20 inches long are commonly caught.
Because South Holston is a tailwater fishery, it is important to check with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to see when water releases are planned: http://www.tva.gov/lakes/shh_r.htm. Releases vary daily. When no water is coming through the powerhouse at the dam, virtually the entire river can be waded. However, during releases, a boat is necessary for fishing.
Among the dams and reservoirs on South Fork Holston River are South Holston Dam and South Holston Reservoir, and Cherokee Dam on the Holston River forms Cherokee Reservoir, named for the historic Native Americans who occupied areas along the Holston River during the European-American settlement.
The South Holston is also in close proximity to the Watauga River and several local freestone mountain streams such as the Doe and Laurel Fork rivers, and South Holston has excellent recreation opportunities.