Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

South Fork Holston River - Damascus - 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 Afternoon #18-#22 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
February Midges, Blue Winged Olives Afternoon #18-#20, #16-#20 Zebra Midge, BWO Emerger
March Midges, Blue Winged Olives, Little Black Stoneflies Afternoon #16-#22 Zebra Midge, BWO Emerger, Black Stonefly Nymph
April Blue Winged Olives, Caddis Afternoon #16-#18, #14-#18 BWO Emerger, Elk Hair Caddis
May Sulphurs, Caddis Afternoon, Evening #14-#18 Sparkle Dun, Elk Hair Caddis
June Sulphurs, Terrestrials Afternoon, Evening #14-#18, #10-#14 Sparkle Dun, Ant Patterns
July Terrestrials Morning, Afternoon #10-#14 Ant Patterns, Beetle Patterns
August Terrestrials Morning, Afternoon #10-#14 Ant Patterns, Hopper Patterns
September Terrestrials Morning, Afternoon #10-#14 Ant Patterns, Hopper Patterns
October Blue Winged Olives, Midges Afternoon #16-#22 BWO Emerger, Zebra Midge
November Blue Winged Olives, Midges Afternoon #16-#22 BWO Emerger, Zebra Midge
December Midges Afternoon #16-#22 Zebra 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

The South Fork Holston River in Damascus, known as a hotspot for fly fishing enthusiasts, is home to numerous locations, ideal for catching a variety of trout species.

  • Spring Valley: Popular for Brown and Rainbow trout; best fishing spots are downstream from the dam located in this area.
  • Weber City: Renowned for warm water species like smallmouth bass and sunfish, making it an exciting spot for summer fly fishing.
  • Emmett: Provides abundance of sizeable trout. The area right behind the Emmett Dam is a top spot.
  • Kinlock: Known for its riffles and deep pools, making it great for wading, spin and fly fishing. Offers Rainbow, Brown trout, and some Brook trout.
  • Hiltons: A quiet, less crowded area on the river, perfect for those seeking solitude while fishing for Brown and Rainbow trout.

Always remember to check the fishing regulations, as some sections of the river require artificial lures only.

Best Access Points

The South Fork Holston River, in Damascus, provides some of the best fly fishing opportunities in North America. Key access points to consider for an optimal experience include:

  • Whitetop Laurel Creek: A major tributary of the South Fork Holston River offering various species of trout. This location is especially good during the spring hatch.
  • Damascus Town Park: Perfect for beginner fly fishers, this access point has ample spaces to practice casting and offers a good catch rate of rainbow trout.
  • Staunton Dam: Located on the upper part of the river, it’s a favorite spot for local anglers targeting large brown trout.
  • VFW Post on JEB Stuart Highway: A little further downstream, this area provides excellent water for nymphing and dry fly fishing.
  • Alvarado Station: A popular put-in spot for anglers and float tubers, can yield both rainbow and brown trout.

Ensure you have valid fishing licenses and adhere to local laws and regulations while enjoying fly fishing on the South Fork Holston River.

Local Fish

  • Trout. The South Fork Holston River is renowned for its trout fishing, with both wild and stocked Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Brook Trout in abundance.
  • Smallmouth Bass. Fly fishers also frequently target Smallmouth Bass, which flourish in the river’s warmer sections.
  • Rock Bass. Also known as Redeye Bass, these are popular due to their tenacious fight and accessibility.
  • Channel Catfish. Although not a traditional fly fishing target, the river is home to a strong population of Channel Catfish which can provide an exciting alternative.
  • White Bass. During the spring and early summer, fly fishing for White Bass can be very productive in the South Fork Holston River.
  • Bluegill. Also known as Bream, Bluegill are a fun fish to catch on a fly rod, particularly in the warmer months.
  • Walleye. Primarily a night-time fish, the Walleye can be a challenging and fulfilling fly fishing target in the South Fork Holston river.
  • Carp. These are challenging to hook and provide a powerful fight, offering an enjoyable catch for experienced fly fishers.

About The River

The South Fork Holston River lends an exceptional appeal to the scenic town of Damascus, Virginia. A rich history is etched along its meandering path. The river, once known as Can-tuc-kee by local tribes, dates back to the indigenous people’s era. Imagine the stories it could tell!

Today, the river is a major recreational hub, famous for its world-class trout fishing. Adventure enthusiasts appreciate it for its whitewater kayaking opportunities, while nature lovers adore the surrounding beauty.

  • Around the 1760s, the river guided colonists towards the fertile lands of the west.
  • During the Civil War, it played a vital role in mill operations, energizing the local economy.
  • In modern times, it gained fame as a ‘fly fisherman’s paradise’.

There’s something timeless about the South Fork Holston River. Every ripple and wave whisper tales of its treasured past, painting a vivid picture of Damascus’s enduring legacy.


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