Friday, May 29, 2009

Back on the Clinch

I took a vacation day today, and Scott and I hit the Clinch after a long absence. We got to the water around 9:00 and fished thru the pulse until 3:00. Needless to say, had the water not been coming up on us, we would have stayed even longer. It was perhaps the most outstanding day of fishing we have ever had. The fish were stupidly aggressive feeding on sulfurs. And it was good to see a very good hatch coming off today, after much debate as to whether there would be any present due to the high generation flows.

The trout were absolutely crushing pheasant tails, sulfur thorax duns, and sulfur wulff patterns. Most were in the 12-14" range, however we did catch our fare share in the slot. I also had four fish break me off today on 5X fluorocarbon tippet, I guess it is time to upgrade to some Seaguar GrandMax fluoro. Even using the 5X tippet, the fish were not line shy like they typically are. By lunch time I had already lost count of the number of fish caught, and as we were walking out all we could do was talk about how good of a day it was. Our estimation is that we easily caught 50 fish between the two of us, and that isn't taking into consideration the fish that either broke off or came off during the fight. I have to travel to Nebraska for work next week, but I will try to get out on the water shortly afterward.

Today also marked the first time I took my D40 to the river with me. I was quite pleased with the pictures I got, and there is a sample of some below. I was limited in the number of fish pictures I got since I took along my 50mm f/1.8 lens that is a manual focus on my camera. Next time I will bring along my kit lens so that I can get more fish shots.

# of fish caught: 50+ (between the two of us)
Weather: Cloudy and upper 70's
Water Temp: N/A
Fly Patterns: #16 BHPT, #16 Sulfur Thorax, #14 Sulfur Wulff

Gearing Up

Early Morning Fog


Waiting out a Storm

Scott working a run

Sulfur Dun

Decent Brown with Bite Marks

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wadeable Clinch Flows Finally

Well, now that the rain runoff has subsided and the holiday weekend is upon us, TVA has backed off the generators on the Clinch. However, with it being the holiday weekend you will not see me anywhere near the water. But midweek next week, you can expect me to take a couple half days and hit the water. This week following Troutfest, I have been hard at tying lots of splitback patterns as well as various forms of pheasant tail patterns in preparation for what I hope is going to be an excellent sulfur season.

Here is what we are looking at currently on the Clinch:

midnight - 5am 0
5am - 6am 1
6am - 10am 0
10am - 2pm 1
2pm - 7pm 2 or more
7pm - midnight 0

This schedule allows me to fish downstream until 2:00 easily. So, I may have to take a couple morning fishing trips to the river, and come into work late those days. I will let you know how the sulfurs are doing, but I have word from a very capable Clinch fisherman that they are doing just fine.

Until next time, Tight Lines and God Bless.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Troutfest Tomorrow

Well, tomorrow is the big day. I am scheduled to be tying at Troutfest tomorrow from 1:00 till 5:00. However, I plan on getting there around 11:30 to look around and get my stuff set up. Also looking at the recent poll, it appears the majority of you out there would like to see me tie either a stripper midge or a woolly bugger. I definitely plan on tying those patterns as well as some of the others on the poll. I am somewhat surprised by the woolly bugger since it is a reasonably well known pattern. On the other hand I did expect to see the stripper midge near the top of the list. This is an absolutely phenomenal pattern on the South Holston River when you can't get the fish to take any typical sulfur fare.

I hope some of you were able to make it to Troutfest at some point this weekend, and I look forward to seeing all the positive ways this benefit is used to improve the fishing in the Smokies.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Finally on the water again....

Well, I managed to get out on the water again today for the first time in what seems like forever. Where did I find water at levels suitable for fishing you may ask. Well, the only place I could find that wasn't pushing as much water as possible was the Holston. And thanks to me having to travel to Missouri this past weekend, I had this beautiful Wednesday off work to go fishing.

I got to Nance's Ferry around noon, and immediately could see fish rising from the parking lot. I got rigged up and walked way upstream to my favorite couple runs in that area, and tied on a sulfur thorax dry. Nothing! So I tried a black EHC, and same result. So I decided to switch over to a beadhead hare's ear and a BHPT dropper. I immediately started hooking up. At one time I had caught 4 fish on 4 consecutive casts. It was one of the most spectacular periods of fishing I have ever had. In a matter of about 1.5 hours, I landed over 20 fish. Keep in mind that none of those fish were larger than 13", but it sure made for an enjoyable day on the water.

After having caught my fair share of trout for the day, I switched over to streamers in search of smallies in the area. I tried out the old faithful olive slumpbuster with some success, and figured it was time to try some new patterns out. So I tied on a new yellow popper I had tied up, and had some strikes. However, I guess my adrenaline was pumping so much that I kept pulling it away from the fish. Later on I also tried a copperhead, hoping that it would be a successful pattern. That did not work out for me, at least on this day.

My next trip I am hoping will be to the Clinch. It seems like an eternity since I have fished my old stomping grounds, and until TVA stops pushing water it will stay that way. I just hope that the spilling over the top doesn't harm the sulfur hatch that appeared to be coming back last spring. Only time will tell, and hopefully I will have a report for you in the next week or so.

Fishing Summary:
Water Temp: 63 deg F
Weather: 75 deg F, sunny
Productive Patterns: BHPT (#1), BH Hare's Ear (#2), Olive Slumpbuster, Olive Wolly Bugger.
Technique: Across and down approach below shoals to rising fish. Also stripping streamers in the tails of large pools, and looking for obvious fish holding structure to strip the fly by.
Total Fish Count: Somewhere around 25

Monday, May 4, 2009

Edisto Island Vacation

I just returned from my family vacation to Edisto Island, SC yesterday. It was my first trip to this island, and it was quite nice. I had a guide trip scheduled, however just before leaving the guide contacted me to tell me that he had to cancel due to engine trouble on his boat. So, I guess it was for the best since nobody wants to be stranded in some of those backwater areas at the mercy of the tides. It was a very enjoyable trip and we even did a little fishing. However, the best parts were watching Trey and his cousin Bryce play on the beach for the first time and seeing dad enjoy himself fishing each day..
Trey and Bryce Playing

My parents also went along as well as my long time friend Scott and his girlfriend. It was a very enjoyable experience and we even managed to catch some fish from the surf.
Dad with one of his whiting

Scott's catch of the week

Not only was the weather beautiful, upper 70's with zero rain all week, but the resort was very beautiful.
Lagoon Footbridge

Edisto Island Lagoon

Upon arrival back in Knoxville, I found out that there has been significant rainfall while I was away. So much water that many of the tailwaters are expected to be blown out for the next week or so. And it is right smack in the middle of the sulfur hatch on the Clinch River. Hopefully, all this water will not end any chance of a hatch before it begins. I plan on trying to hit the water as soon as I return from business trip to Missouri, and have a report on here for you. Until then I plan on tying up lots of BHPT and split case nymphs in preparation.

Until next time, tight lines and God Bless.

New Blogs

I have recently found some new blogs that I would like to share with you.

First is It is a blog that incorporates fishing and fish art into a single interesting location. I recommend giving it a look, especially if you enjoy artistic displays of the sport we enjoy so much.

Next, is It is a general flyfishing blog that also offers product reviews and interesting fishing stories.

Also, check out my LRO message board friend Hans blog at It is an informative blog detailing Hans many adventures primarily in the mountain streams of East TN and North Carolina. However, sometimes he throws a little tailwater action in there just as a changeup.

Finally, check out the It is a blog dedicated to fishing in the Northern Arizona area. Having spent some quality time there, I have to attest to the beauty and amazing outdoor potential of the area. I need to take along my fly rod during my next business trip to the area. There is also a fly of the week section as well as generally informative posts to help educate the fly fishing public.

19" Clinch River Brown