Crowded Weir Dam
What does one do, when your primary fishing area is unavailable and you expect the public access to be overrun by others? You hoof it. I walked down the road about 1/2 mile to another set of shoals I know about and had the entire area all to myself. The only other people I saw were in boats drifting past me. There was lots of activity when I arrived at the shoals around 12:30, which left about 45 minutes before the water fell. I slowly made my way out into the high water and swift current and began catching fish immediately. The fish were very actively feeding on midges and my #22 zebra midge apparently looked very appetizing to them. I ended up landing just shy of 2 dozen bows, but none of them were in the slot. That is quite a dramatic departure from my usual areas where the majority of the bows are in the 14-17" range, and are very acrobatic. All the fish I caught today appeared to be fresh off the stocking truck. I did hook into one fish that would probably have went 17" or so, but I had so much slack in my line due to the wind that I didn't have a chance at landing him.
It was very nice getting back out to the Clinch again after almost 2 months of continuous generation from TVA. There are a couple more months until the sulfur hatches start picking up, but until then the midge and BWO hatches should be very consistent. Spring is on its way, and I am ready for it.
Time: 12:30 till 2:30
Water Temp: 43.5 F
Weather: Sunny, Windy, 53F
Tackle: 8.5' mid flex Orvis ZG 5wt
Fly of the Day: #22 black/silver zebra midge
# of fish caught: 22