From its origin in the southeast corner of Bland County, the North Fork of the Holston River flows more than 100 miles through Southwest Virginia before crossing the Tennessee State line near the community of Yuma. The river boasts an outstanding smallmouth bass population and supports populations of many other fish species.
The catch rate for smallmouth in the North Fork is above average compared to other rivers in the state. The 2015 catch rate of 111 smallmouth bass per hour was excellent and consistent with collections made in previous years. In years with good spawning conditions and survival, strong year classes ae produced. Strong year classes increase the population abundance and create fishing opportunities. These strong year classes generally persist for ten years or more, until most of the individual fish die of old age or other causes.
Rock bass and redbreast sunfish catch rates fluctuate from year to year. The size structure of the rock bass and redbreast sunfish populations is good in the North Fork Holston and has remained constant even though the catch rate is down. Anglers should find quality-sized rock bass and redbreast sunfish.
Anglers can also find largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie, green sunfish, redear sunfish and channel catfish. Various species of redhorse suckers, northern hog suckers, common carp and minnows are also routinely caught in the Holston.