Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

North Fork Holston River - Saltville - Virginia

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Noon to late afternoon #20-22 Zebra Midge
February Blue-winged Olives Noon to late afternoon #18-20 Pheasant Tail Nymph
March Blue Quills Mid-afternoon #16-18 Blue Quill Dry Fly
April March Browns Late morning to early afternoon #12-14 Hare’s Ear Nymph
May Sulphurs Afternoon to evening #14-18 Sulphur Dry Fly
June Light Cahills Evening #12-14 Light Cahill Dry Fly
July Terrestrials Varies #12-16 Hopper patterns
August Terrestrials Varies #12-16 Ant patterns
September Terrestrials Varies #12-16 Beetle patterns
October Blue-winged Olives Noon to late afternoon #18-20 Blue-winged Olive Nymph
November Midges Noon to late afternoon #20-22 Griffith's Gnat
December Midges Noon to late afternoon #20-22 Black Beauty Midge

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

North Fork Holston River – Saltville is a goldmine for those passionate about fly fishing. Below are the best spots for fly fishing in this region:
  • Chilhowie Area: Here, anglers can enjoy fishing in the middle of nature’s serenity with a wild population of smallmouth bass and redbreast sunfish.
  • Mendota Area: Popular for the musky population, this region also stacks up with smallmouth bass.
  • Saltville Area: Known for its variety, you can find rainbow and brown trout alongside smallmouth bass.
  • Seven Mile Ford Area: Trouts can be mainly found in this section of the North Fork Holston River. IWMA provides excellent bank and boat fishing here.
Focus your efforts on deep holes with structure and seams where slower moving water meets faster currents. Always respect local regulations and the environment. Happy fishing!

Best Access Points

The North Fork Holston River in Saltville offers various access points for fly fishing. These access points provide ample opportunities for novice and experienced anglers alike. Here are a few recommended locations:

  • Clay Hill Boat Ramp: Popular among anglers, it offers easy access to the river.
  • Canyon Boat Ramp: Located off Route 91, a choice location for bank and boat fishing.
  • Mason Dixon Bridge Access: It’s an excellent spot for fly fishing considering water depth and fish population.
  • Broadford Bridge Access: Another access point that ensures promising fishing ground.

Remember to check local regulations on fishing before heading out as some areas might require permits. The North Fork Holston River is home to a variety of species including smallmouth bass and trout, promising a rewarding fishing experience.

Local Fish

  • Smallmouth Bass: This species is abundant in the river and is usually hunted during the warmer months.
  • Largemouth Bass: Another popular target for fly fishers, these fish are especially active early in the morning or late in the evening.
  • Bluegill: These small, energetic fish are a common catch in the North Fork Holston River, particularly in spring and summer.
  • Crappie: Particularly in spring, crappie can be fished using small minnows or jigs.
  • Sunfish: This fish is smaller and not heavily fished, but it offers a fighting sport for those who catch it.
  • Channel Catfish: These fish are primarily bottom dwellers and can be found in deeper parts of the river.
  • Carp: Carp is another popular fish targeted in the North Fork Holston River and poses an exciting challenge for fly fishers.
  • Walleye: Walleye can be tricky to catch but they are a popular game fish due to their formidable size and delicious taste.

About The River

The North Fork Holston River flows gracefully through the quaint town of Saltville, steeped in remarkable history. The river originates from West Virginia, passing through Virginia before coupling with the South Fork to form the Holston River.

Its story commences in prehistory, when mastodons roamed the nearby salt marshes. The river got its name in honor of Steven Holstein, an early explorer in the region. He painted a vivid picture of the river’s captivating beauty in his diaries, which eventually attracted more settlers to the region.

  • Native American Influence: The river was the lifeblood for the Cherokee people, supplying both sustenance and transportation.
  • Saltville’s Industrial Revolution: The river provided the needed power for industry, like the Saltville Salt Works during the Civil War.
  • The Flora and Fauna: Today, the North Fork Holston River is home to a motley of wildlife, including bald eagles, otters, and various species of fish.

Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover or an avid fisher, the North Fork Holston River in Saltville, Virginia offers a pleasing trip down memory lane!


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