Full day floats: $395

2 person full day wade: $325

1 person full day wade: $295


Fast and furious are how both of our tailwaters over the state line are fishing. We don’t need to say much more–but we will.

Watauga River

The caddis are beginning to happen. There, we said it. The chaos is beginning on the Watauga River.  Or as we like to call it, it’s football season (fat fish). Sub-surface anyway. Larvae, pupae and soft hackles are spanking fish right now. The big hatch has not quite happened and may still be a week or two away. But the fish are simply eating pupae with wreckless abandon, and that will be the case for the rest of April and May until the next great transition happen
s–sulphurs. The yellow bug. Nice.

South Holston River

Speaking of yellow bugs, a few sulphurs are being spotted throughout the river. With a bulk of those sightings being spotted the farther down river you go, which is normal. They will work their way up river as the weather warms up a bit more. However, the main focus is the wide open blue wing and scud bite in the morning. Then, most are switching sulphur nymphs as the temps climb in the afternoons.  Fast and furious nymphing and dry/dropper fishing. Can’t beat it.










The local Delayed Harvest streams will get their next round of fish today and early next week. If one likes to wack a bunch of fish in short order, this will definitely be the weekend.

Join us here in the heart Southeast trout fishing at Highland Outfitters. Let us know how we can help! Stop in, call or book a trip. We are more than happy to accommodate.

Joe Kostura

Highland Outfitters  Team



Full day floats: $395

2 person full day wade: $325

1 person full day wade: $295

Come enjoy some of the best trout fishing in the Southeast, if not the entire East Coast at an amazing rate for a limited time!

A trip booked before May 1st can be scheduled for ANY fishing trip on the South Holston and Watauga River’s during 2017! You won’t regret it. Come experience some of the best all around trout fisheries in the Southeast with the best caddis and sulphur hatches possibly in the lower 48!

The Report:

Winter still has a little bit of a grip on us here in the High Country and around the shop at Highland Outfitters. That’s okay though, we need the precipitation to have some sustained water levels this summer. As for the fishing? As good as it gets for March on many of our area streams and tailwaters.



South Holston River:

The South Holston has been fishing well. Up until recently, much of the fishing has been out of the boat on high water. Lots of fish being caught with a few nice fish finding their way to the net. With the erratic schedule, low water fishing has been limited to the upper end for the most part after thhe TVA turns the wheel off in the early afternoon. Lots of olives and midges. Standard for this time of year. LOTS OF LOW WATER WADE FISHING opportunities to come though. Dry fly fishing has been spotty, but heavy nymph rigs on high water and lighter nymph and dry/dropper rigs are the theme on low water.

Watauga River

Seems to be the busier of the two tailwaters as of late. The Blue Wing Olive bite has been outstanding with the hatches coming off like clock work around 1 o’clock or so, and fishing with midges early and late has been great as well. Scuds have also been a great option for those who frequent the upper and middle stretches. Lots of them this time of year. Or should I say, all year? Most anglers and guides alike, however, are waiting on the main event–the caddis hatch. This will be bring folks from all around the region. It truly is a spectacle. If you haven’t seen it, we certainly recommend it. It is truly some of the best nymphing and dry fly fishing of the year on the Watauga…honest. Every single fish caught will be fat and pot bellied, loaded with caddis. Can you not tell at Highland Outfitters, we are excited about caddis?



Delayed Harvest/Small Streams

They are all stocked and fishing well. Water levels are PRIME! Standard fly fair is exceptional. Big PT’s, small PT’S, Prince Nymphs, or your favorite attractor should be sufficient.

Come gives us a a visit or call the shop. Highland Outfitters can certain fulfill your needs on your next visit to the High Country or East Tennessee.

Highland Outfitters Team

Shameless Guide Trip Promotion:

We have a Spring Tailwater Special!

Book a full day guide trip on the South Holston or Watauga River with us before May 1st and you will receive a great rate!

Full Day Float: $395

2 Person Wade:$325

1 Person Wade:$295

A guide trip can be scheduled for ANY DAY in 2017 as long as it is put on the books and scheduled BEFORE May 1st. DO IT! These are truly some of the best tailwater fisheries in the country…but, we’re just a little biased.

South Holston River:

Fishing really well. But it usually always is. The South Holston River has been the definition of consistency over the last few weeks. The precursor to the World famous sulphur hatch is happening right now-the World famous Blue Wing Olive nymphal drift is happening. Big nymphs and small. Nymphs in sizes 16-22 are the norm for this time of year. A big range to guess as to which size bug they are taking, but that’s what makes it fun right? This time of year also brings some great hatches on low water. Which of course makes for some great dry fly fishing. Some of the easiest of the year in my opinion. But experience it for yourself! Midges are also proving to be effective as per usual. Midge patterns in the 20-24 size range have proven to keep any angler catching fish all day long. Honest.

Watauga River:

It’s almost that time on the Watauga! Caddis time that is. The most anticipated spectacle of the year is almost here. Caddis casings and larvae are beginning to peak, and they are certainly covering up the river bottom. Fish are also beginning to turn their focus to them as well. With the warm winter we have had, they may happen a little earlier than they have historically. If the warm weather continues it could be any week now! Usually we see them begin around the beginning of April, be at their peak by the middle of April, and then transition into the sulphur hatch by the first or second week of May. This year? It could be earlier! And who knows, maybe last longer? These rivers can certainly provide amazing surprises. Come experience one of the East Coasts most amazing hatches. We promise you won’t regret it. The dry fly fishing is amazing, and the nymph bite can also be some of the easiest nymph fishing you may ever experience…just sayin’. Oh, and lot’s of big fish on dry flies as well. Who doesn’t love that?


 <<<Typical Caddis scene on the Watauga River…

Local Water/Delayed Harvest

They stocked! Most streams at least. There are a few that still need fish, but most streams have been stocked with their first round of fish of the Spring. The North Carolina Delayed Harvest program is certainly a well documented and well managed program that provides fun and A LOT of fish to anglers of all kinds with literally hundreds of miles across the mountains of Western North Carolina.

Small streams are also on fire. Lots of dry fly and dry/dropper opportunities.

Highland Outfitters