Photos of the Day: Winter on the South Holston

Written by: Pat Dorsey


Guide Matt Miles with a sweet South Holston brown.
All photos by Pat Dorsey

It was a cold wintery day, one that would make three fellas question their sanity. It was 10 degrees and snowing hard on the South Holston last week. I guess it boiled down to us all being serious anglers because none of us wanted to cancel because of the inclement weather. We battled the elements and had a great day; the rewards were definitely worth the effort!


Patrick Fulkrod expertly rowed us down the river.

It was a guide’s day off—three guides out enjoying themselves and trying to learn from one another. Matt Miles is a Virginia guide who specializes in a variety of game fish—smallmouth bass, trout, tiger muskies, and more. He is one of the finest anglers I’ve fished with.

Patrick Fulkrod is also an Orvis-endorsed guide who works out of Mountain Sports Limited. He knows the South Holston intimately. Both of us are tailwater junkies, so we got along great, even though we had never met before. He was gracious enough to row Matt and me down the river and share his passion for the South Holston. It was a special treat. I will somehow reciprocate when he comes to Colorado. I plan on taking him into my home waters, Cheesman Canyon.


The weather was cold, but the fish were beautiful.

Throughout the day, we shared tactics, techniques, flies, and talked about becoming better guides. As a former Orvis-endorsed Guide of the Year (2001), I felt like I could add to the conversation I have learned so much in my 23-year guiding career.

I was back East to speak about tailwater fishing at Mossy Creek Fly Shop and to the Skyline Chapter of Trout Unlimited. In between speaking events, I was lucky enough to fish the James, Watauga (with Matt Miles), and South Holston Rivers. My trip was nothing short of spectacular.


We Colorado folks are used to this, but Matt and Patrick were troupers.

Pat Dorsey is a famed guide and author from Colorado, where he guides out of the Blue Quill Angler.

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