Several years ago the folks down at the South Holston River Lodge invited D&H down to visit and try out their operation. When the opportunity to plan a trip came up this spring, I jumped on it. To say the least, I was impressed by the whole experience.
Within minutes of arriving at the lodge, John Hooper stepped outside to welcome us and offer us cold beers. We were all quite ready for one. After a few quick paperwork details, John showed us the cabin we would be staying in and helped us unpack. We stayed in the Mayfly cabin, which is one of the larger cabins on the property. The cabin had a fully equipped kitchen, several flatscreen tv’s, and a basement recreation room complete with an equipped fly tying bench. The lodge also provides several bottles of wine and a fully stocked fridge complete with several varieties of beer, soda pop, and other drinks.
|Our cabin had a definite “saltwater” theme to it. All of the buildings were very nice.|
|This was about as empty as the fridge got our whole stay. Everyday while we were fishing, the staff would restock the fridge for us.|
I got a chance to learn a bit more about the lodge from John. John began working with the lodge several years ago. He told me the lodge has 70% repeat business rate. That is a pretty impressive number for a fly fishing lodge.
We arrived about 5pm, so we had a bit of time to relax and wind down before cocktails at 6:30. One of my guests had arrived several hours earlier than the rest of us did, so we watched him fish the water in front of the lodge for a while. I think he managed to catch a few nice fish before dinner.
When we arrived for cocktails, we had the honor of meeting the lodge chefs, Joe and Kayla. They are both culinary trained chefs and in addition to their responsibilities at the lodge they also do private catering and own a historical restaurant in nearby Bristol, TN. Their meals were over and above what we expected. I think we all gained a few pounds. Every night we were fed creative salads and gourmet dinners and deserts. The first night we ate “Salmon Rockefeller” followed by the most amazing Tiramisu I’ve ever had.
Nobody went hungry on this trip….
|Stream side lunches were very generous. Huge sandwiches, some kind of pasta side, chips and a desert and choice of beverages.|
|Chicken Parmesan was super good.|
|Fried Onion and roasted corn salad.|
Food, drinks, pillows and amenities are great and make a lodge comfortable, but this was a fishing trip.
The guides told us we would be fishing the Watauga river the first day and the South Holston the second day. Both rivers at low water were incredibly clear. We saw so many trout from the drift boats we were all left speechless. The vast majority of fish are in the 8-12 inch range but we also saw many fish over 20 inches that are fairly well educated. Over the next two days we fished some really pretty water and we all caught more than our fair share of trout. I was really impressed by the guides knowledge of the rivers and all the different conditions they fish.
|Morning fog on the South Holston|
I got to fish with both John Hooper as well as Tony Marcucci. Both were excellent guides and their experience on the rivers are evident the moment you begin fishing with them. After dinner on the first night, Jim mentioned having some trouble casting from the drift boats. Within minutes John had him outside for a quick casting clinic. It was a valuable lesson for Jim and I am sure it made a difference fishing the next day.
My guests and I had a wonderful time at the lodge. The staff at the lodge are some of the best I’ve dealt with. They are consummate professionals at what they do and immediately make their guests feel like family. We will add all of the trip pictures to our website in the next few days.
I will be hosting a fall trip to the South Holston River lodge October 12-16 for $1803.00 per person (price includes sales tax).
This will include 3 days of drift boat fishing, meals, and lodging. We can also help you arrange dates any time of the year if ours do not work for you or if you would like to a do a corporate of family trip.
Feel free to contact Luke Sedacca if you have any questions at 513-871-3474 or email@example.com.
Cincinnati, OH 45208