Saturday, March 21, 2009

Nance's Ferry Midges

Due to the crazy generation schedule on the Clinch, I chose to hit up the Holston at Nance's Ferry. I got to the river around 1:30 to a flurry of surface activity. I didn't even rig up until I waded out into the river and studied the water for about 10 minutes. The fish appeared to be taking midges, so I went with my trusty brassie/zebra midge combo. I hooked into a fish shortly afterward, and they proved to be very cooperative for the next 3 hours. There were 4 other fishermen on the water, but they were all focusing on swift water and riffles. I took a different approach and went to the relatively smooth water that midges are present in. Once again, I don't know why some people continue to get into a pattern of going to the same type of water regardless of time of year or condition. The water these gents were fishing is prime caddis water in the late spring and summer, but this time of year midges are the primary hatch.

It was a relaxing day on the water. I didn't rush my casts, or try to pressure the fish. A couple times I just walked to shore and took a break to warm up my legs, and watch the others fish. I noticed one guy below me land a couple decent size fish using a streamer. However, other than that the guys in the riffles were not having much luck. Oh well, each to his own I guess. Later on, I walked farther upstream to a deep slow pool and fished a #18 BHPT/#20 stripper about 5' deep. I was surprised at the number of fish I got on this rig, especially since the Holston is not considered to be a mayfly tailwater.

Best fish of the day were a pair of 15" bows that put a deep bend in the 5 wt ZG and 6x tippet.

Trip Summary:
Water Temp: Low 40's
Weather: Sunny, Breezy, upper 50's
Best Flies: #18 BHPT, #20 stripper
# of fish landed: 6 (probably twice as many long distance released due to a bent hook)

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19" Clinch River Brown