Photo from Taylor Joyce.

WOT 72: The South Holston River and Including Newcomers with Taylor Joyce.

In this episode we Wadeoutthere with Taylor Joyce from North Carolina.  Taylor’s love for fly fishing began in North Carolina, followed her to Tennessee, and continues in Colorado where she now guides part time and sells trout stickers from her Etsy shop TroutBumApparel.  We discuss:

  • The South Holston River, TN.
  • Fighting big fish.
  • Fly fishing from a belly boat.
  • Including Newcomers to fly fishing.
  • Women in fly fishing.

** NOTE** Podcast episode and upcoming guests appear at the end of this short article.

Subscribers have access to submit questions for future guests.


We’ve all been there. Sometimes it’s hard to remember our beginnings in fly fishing. We can forget the things we take for granted. When I began fly fishing I was “dry or die” out of ignorance, not preference. The mechanics of fly line, leader, and tippet were foreign. Tactics were nowhere in my crosscheck. I wish I had learned so many things, so much faster. The importance of a natural drift. Getting my flies down while nymphing.  When to switch flies, or just switch water.  And so many other tools I have picked up and am still gathering. About the only thing I had going for me was reading water (thanks Pop). But that’s part of the journey isn’t it?  Filling the toolbox.  Still, being in that place, and seeking progress, made a kind word of advice from another angler that much more special.

That’s what it is in the end – kindness. Help that comes from friends and mentors is ingrained in that relationship, but a word of advice from a stranger takes something else.  I still remember walking into a fly shop in Southwest Utah with just a fraction of knowledge of the area.  I had looked on maps. I had scrubbed the internet.  I had had the fishless days. Every trip was four hours up and often a bleak four hours back.  I would not trade those days, because it made the good days fishing even better, but it sure was nice to get a helping hand…

“Have you fished the canyon?”

Of course I hadn’t.

“Here. Try these.”

They weren’t in my fly box.

“There’s a few walk-ins through the canyon that I like to fish. Just out of town, turn east at the bridge. You won’t see many folks out today.”

I didn’t.

“You should try to stay and fish an evening if you can. Caddis hatch has been productive.”

It sure was.

All it took was a few sentences to start the ball rolling.  I could build on that advice. I could progress.  I am and was so grateful for those words. Going back to thank him in the months that followed, while I fished those waters, we talked fishing in a quiet mountain town.

For people like Taylor, fly fishing is special. So special that she deeply understands its value and wants it for others. That’s where the kindness comes in my friends.  I appreciate the attitude Taylor takes to helping newcomers, because serving in the Air Force, it seems I was always a newcomer. Moving from place to place, fishing when I could, getting a trip in here and there. But still deeply wanting to not just catch fish, but to improve.  For a lot of us, that’s the standard, not the exception.  Always hungry, and always grateful. And there’s the catch.

Gratitude.  Because with gratitude comes respect.  Grateful for the assistance a stranger might give and ready to repay it through helping others and respecting the waters we all fish. 

Something I always knew about getting help from another fly fisher was that their knowledge came from someplace on their journey and now it was a part of mine.  Sharing a piece of that knowledge is like sharing a part of that precious history.

There is a kind of caveat that goes with the territory when someone extends the olive branch. It’s a two way street.  Let’s help others when we can, but let’s also remember the special place it comes from and be grateful.  

Thanks Taylor.

Key Takeaways.

  • Water gets low and clear in the summer on the South Holston making 6X and 7X tippet helpful.
  • Generation schedule drives wadablity. Usually better to float when the South Holston is generating.
  • Crippled sulphers and crippled BWOs are excellent dry flies on the South Holston.
  • Zebra midges in red, black, and purple in sizes 18-22 are good flies on the South Holston.
  • The South Holston is closed for spawning in certain sections during certain times of the year.
  • Try to stay downstream of big fish when fighting them.
  • Maintaining rod / line tension is key to landing big trout.
  • Cast streamers to the bank and strip back toward the edge of a shelf in a belly boat.
  • Line management is tricky in the belly boat. Watch for catch points when fighting fish and casting.
  • Flippers provide more maneuverability that oars on a belly boat.
  • First sign of bad weather get off the water for safety.

Learn More.

To find out more about Taylor or schedule a fly fishing trip, follow her on Instagram at:

Or visit The Laughing Grizzly Fly Shop:

You can check out some of Taylor’s stickers at her Etsy Shop, TroutBumApparel here:

If you want more information on some of the topics we discussed try reading these blog posts from Wadeoutthere:

READ: WADEOUTTHERE | Look Through and Fish the Flash.
READ: WADEOUTTHERE | Now What? How to Land Trout Before the Hookset.
READ: WADEOUTTHERE | Eight Reasons the Zebra Midge is the Perfect First Fly to Tie.

Upcoming Podcast Guests.

  • Josh Miller – Euro Nymphing and competition fly fishing
  • Allison Helen Hendricks – Wyoming | Traveling guide | Casting
  • Cameron Cushman – Wild Trout | Veterans
  • Marina Gibson – Fly fishing in the UK
  • Colton McLaren – Colorado River

Subscribers – Ask a Question on the Podcast.

If you have a question for an upcoming guest, I would love to hear from you. I will ask questions from Wadeoutthere subscribers towards the end of the conversation during “Wadeoutthere Wants to Know.”

If you enjoy the Wadeoutthere Fly Fishing Podcast, and want to help it grow, please leave a rating and review.

I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed talking with Taylor.


Subscribe to Wadeoutthere for free and never miss an article.


Jason Shemchuk

You Might Also Like...

No Comments

    Leave a Reply