Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Products Review

I figured I would give a brief review of three Christmas gifts I received this year.


My mother and father-in-law got me this flask for Christmas to help with those cold mornings out on the river. I put it to the test yesterday while on the South Holston. I filled the flask with steaming hot chocolate at 7:00 AM, and at 2:30 PM it was still hot enough to burn my tongue. The insulated carry case also is very aesthetically pleasing, and also functional. The flask itself has a very handy pour spout and the cap, as expected, doubles as a very handy cup. The zipper is large, and doesn't snag. Overall a very nice product. This is my first Fishpond product purchase, and I am so pleased with it that I am looking to replace my fishing vest with a Fishpond product.


Another gift from my in-laws, this is a very comfortable pair of wading boots. I especially like the interchangeable soles. It comes with a pair of felt and hiking soles. However, Korkers offers the following choices: Aquastealth, studded Aquastealth, studded felt, and a boat sole. My cheap pair of Orvis wading boots were a studded felt, and I missed not having that option yesterday on the "rock snot" covered bottom of the South Holston. So the first upgrade I will make to these boots is to purchase a pair of studded aquastealth soles. These boots are very comfortable, reasonably priced, and are quick drying so you don't leave a puddle in your trunk if you fish out of a car.


This was a gift from my wonderful wife after my luck on the Clinch a couple times this year. I was desperately needing a larger net with a longer handle to help with some of the nice Clinch browns I have caught this year. This is one of the Ghost Series of nets from Brodin, meaning the bag is made of a clear PVC material. This causes the bag to disappear when submerged. The handle and frame are made of teak and come in at an overall length of 28". This makes for an extra long reach when fishing in that swift water and you just can't get the fish any closer. Also because the net is made of PVC, you don't have to worry about flies snagging in the bag nor the protective slime being scraped clean of the trout. An outstanding product, and I highly recommend it to anybody looking for a new net.


I don't know how the little guy got the funds, but he bought me a very nice hat. I think Daniel at LRO hooked him up, I just can't figure out how he placed the order... This is a very attractive cap and is my new lucky fishing cap. My old UT cap was in desperate need of replacing, so it has now been retired.

Stay tuned for more fishing reports, and as always....

Tight Lines and God Bless

Monday, December 29, 2008

South Holston 12-29

Well, the trip I have long been waiting for occurred today. I have been seeing pictures and reports of large browns being caught on the South Holston. Scott, Jacob, Jason, and I ventured up that way in hopes of sight fishing to some large trout. The grates and bridge were very crowded, as expected. So we went about a mile downstream to a lesser fished portion of water. Upon arrival at our fishing destination we found some spawning browns, and some of them were large. We managed to pick up a couple of the smaller aggressive ones in the area, but this activity slowed around 11:30. At this time I moved over to a deep slow run and began fishing my typical midge setup. I picked up three decent browns on three consecutive casts. My largest fish of the day came out of this deep run, and was around 15". Not the bruiser I was looking for at the beginning of the day, but a decent fight on the 7x tippet. Not long afterward other fishermen started moving into the area and started to crowd us. So we made our way out and up to the weirs for a little combat fishing. None of us managed to pick up anything there, but there was another fisherman who was absolutely killing them there. He landed a couple in the 20" range and many smaller ones. From the bridge you could see the pod of fish he was casting to, and there was probably a dozen or so in this little 6' diameter area. Of the dozen, there were a couple of large fish. He appeared to be fishing a very small egg pattern, smaller than anything I had used all day. However, I don't know if the fish were actually eating the eggs or just slapping at them. Some of the fish this guy landed were foul hooked, but I guess that is the nature of shallow water sight fishing to a large pod of fish.

I don't expect to make another trip up that way again until the spring. But check back soon, I plan on giving a brief product review of some of my Christmas gifts after using them today.

Until then, Tight Lines and God Bless

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas

With only 4 days to go until Christmas, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. This is a wonderful time of year, and it is even more so now that Trey is here. With this as my first Christmas being a dad, and my second as an uncle I am so excited. Trey is not old enough yet to understand, but my little nephew Bryce is. Amy and I are very excited to see the look on his face when he opens one particular present we got him. Trey's primary present from me this year is his lifetime sportsmans license. Not that he will know what it is, other than wanting to eat it, its benefit will be seen in future years. Right now Trey thinks everything is something that is to be eaten, even his feet. Our little guy just makes everyday that much more special, and I can't remember what life was like before him. I have attached a few Christmas pics I took this year, and you can see how much he has changed.

I also have added a poll just to see what my readers prefer to say during this time of year. Personally, I choose to say Merry Christmas, because Christ is the reason for the season and I don't want that to be left out. I know that there is some debate right now about which is politically correct, and honestly I could care less about political correctness. So please feel free to vote in the poll and leave a comment if you feel so inclined.

As far as fishing goes, I plan to get out a couple times during the week between Christmas and New Years. The long term forecast once again is for rain/snow during that week, but I have all intentions of going unless icy conditions prohibit. Stay in touch in the coming year for more fly patterns, book reviews, detailed trip reports, and conversation.

Trey and Cousin Bryce

Alisha, Jeremy, and Bryce

Family Portrait

Merry Christmas and God Bless

Monday, December 15, 2008

Midge Season on the Clinch

Desperately needing a break from the tiresome work week, I headed out for the Clinch yesterday. This time I did check the generation schedule, and I figured I had from 11 AM till 5 PM to fish. So, I arrived at the river at 11:30 to find nobody else there. I geared up and headed down to my section where I had seen some spawning activity on previous trips.

When I made it to my destination, I found even more redds than the previous trips. However, this time there were no browns to be found. No fish at all were even around the redds, but a couple of them looked very fresh. I don't know if it was the increase in flows the past couple days or maybe the sudden drop in water temperature, but something apparently made the fish quickly leave their beds.

There were lots of midging trout around, but I could not find anything they wanted. So, I just went to my old faithful rig, a deep drifted #20 bhpt and #20 zebra midge. The fishing was slow for the first couple hours, and then about 1:30 it heated up. I started getting hits and hooking up regularly. All fish brought to hand were in the slot, but no large fish on this trip.

Nice Little Clinch Bow

I am going to restock my midge supply in the coming weeks in preparation for the onset of midge season. I know what you are thinking, midges work all year on the clinch. True, but during the spring, summer, and fall there is also a nice mixture of some mayflies and scuds in there. During the winter, my experience is that the fish's diet switches to a much greater percentage of midges.

David Knapp over at The Trout Zone has beaten me to the punch on a series dedicated to midges. However, I may still throw up a couple of my favorite patterns that compliment David's selections.

The Midge Box Looking Bare

Until next time, I wish everybody out there a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tight Lines and God Bless

Friday, December 12, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Well, I had planned on going to the South Holston today, but my work had other plans for me. Last week I was informed that I would be travelling over to Orangeburg, SC for the week to supervise the startup and testing of one of our units. Luckily, this time was quite different than the usual trip. Typically they like to send me to the upper midwest in the winter, oh what fun.... Last year in January and February I spent 3 weeks in Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri. During the Minnesota and Iowa trips the weather never got out of the 20's and it snowed nearly every day. This week temps in SC were in the 60's and Wednesday was in the upper 70's. That was quite a welcome sight.

However, after being gone from my wife and son for the week, I couldn't bring myself to spend an entire day in NE TN fishing. So, I chose to stay at home today and enjoy my family time. If things work out, I may make the trip on Sunday. I would like to find a fishing partner though, it just isn't as enjoyable driving that far to fish by myself. The forecast is not that bad, I am just afraid that I will get into some serious combat fishing on Sunday.

As I have said in previous posts, I try to do the majority of my fishing on weekdays to avoid the crowds. It seems like fewer people than ever understand anything about fishing etiquette, and that really aggravates me. Oh well, until next time, try to get out there and enjoy the experience that is winter-time fly fishing.

God Bless and Tight Lines

Friday, December 5, 2008

Lesson Learned on the Clinch

I have been trying to get out on the water for a month now, and today finally presented an opportunity. After arriving at work this morning, I checked the weather. Forecast was for hi around 40 and partly cloudy, so I chose to give it a go. I met Jacob at the Wal-Mart in Clinton and headed for the river. When I pulled into the parking spot, I noticed that the water was a little high. That is when it dawned on me that I didn't call to check the generation schedule. I had been checking the schedule on a regular basis for the past couple months, and TVA had been consistently running the same schedule every Friday. Well, not this Friday. After some deliberation, we chose to head up to Miller's Island and give that area a shot. Having not fished Miller's Island in almost a year, I thought a change of scenery may be nice. We got in and walked down the far left side of the river and I thought I noticed some old redds in the area. That is a good thing. Once I found a little seam that I thought looked good, I threw a little BHPT out there and had a hookup on my 3rd cast. It was a very brightly colored rainbow of about 14", and it fought very hard. So, my spirits lifted thinking it was going to be a good day, little did I know that it would be the only fish I landed all day long.

We fished at Miller's Island long enough for the water to go down at our initial destination. So, we packed up to head down there, and it just so happened that the sun was going down behind the hill when we arrived there. Once we got into the water we saw fish (some large) rising all around. It appeared to me that they were taking little cream midges, but Jacob thought he saw some tiny olive caddis. So, I tied on a tiny olive caddis pupae I have, and hooked into a decent little fish. That fight did not last long before he came unbuttoned. It was approaching 5:00 at this time, so we chose to just call it a day.

I am still very frustrated at my incompetence today regarding the generation schedule. I haven't done that before, and can't believe I did it today.

Plans are for a trip to the South Holston next Friday, regardless of weather. I have Friday off work, and need to get up that way just for the chance to hook into a pig brown up there. The spawn up there is really heating up and I have been at the vise tying up a nice little assortment of eggs. I have some glo bugs, some otter's soft eggs, and some anvil eggs. I have each of these in orange, cream, red, cheese, and pink, so surely I have something they will want.

Until then, Tight Lines and God Bless.

Weather Conditions: Partly Cloudy, Slight Breeze, upper 30's
Water Temp: Did not take, COLD
Successful fly: #20 bhpt

19" Clinch River Brown