South Fork Holston River (Buller Dam)

Stream Category: A

Wild Trout: Very Probable

Stocked Trout: Rainbow

Other Species of Note: Brook Trout


Dry Flies: Adams, Caddis

Nymphs: Pheasant tail, Prince, Hares Ear, Stonefly patterns, Copper John, Perdigon, Squirmy Wormy, Mop, Hot Spot Flies

Streamers: Sex Dungeon, Kreelex, Wooly Buggers

Waders: Yes

Net: Yes

Wading Stick: No

Casting: Overhead, Roll, Spey, and Tuck



Ok so what is so amazing about a hundred yard section of a river that has been damed? Well these fish are not bashful and they hit like a pitch hitter. Literally the section is like a very small pond that has an abundance of fish. You really don’t need waders, you can fish it from the banks with plenty of casting room. I actually highly recommend Switch or Spey techniques on this section, just because you can get so far across from this section of water and be proficient in covering all of the water. 

Now time for the controversy. According to VDGIF this section is only stocked with rainbow trout… I call bull shit on this! In all of my time fishing this area I have never caught a rainbow in this area, I have only caught huge brook trout. It could be that the GIS person put in the wrong species on the VDGIF website, or that the special regulation area above this area is producing wild brook trout that make their way into this pond like area. Either way there are brook trout in this area. 

Take a moment and observe if they are hitting top water, if they are put on a dry/dropper. If not fish deep with nymphs, and use moderate size streamers if you are fishing them. These fish hit with a purpose. 

Because of the dam and the special regulation area, many think that some of these fish are making their way over the dam into the other special regulation area. I myself know that there are definitely brook trout below the dam because I have caught them there. Are they wild or stocked? Who knows, either way be prepared to catch brook trout in this section. Cover every inch of this water, especially 10 feet off of the bank.

Additional comments:

Park at the parking lot at the dam and get to work. Also you will definitely be in bear country, be mindful of this. Also do not expect to get cell phone service, make sure you let someone know that you are going here and when you expect to be back. 


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