I started fishing in a run that my buddies were catching fish out of on Wednesday evening using a #16 BHPT and a #20 midge larva. After the first couple of fish attacked my BHPT, I cut off the midge and continued to catch a total of 8 fish out of the first run. After about 45 minutes, I couldn't get any more takes so I moved downstream to a couple places I know that typically harbor some pigs. I managed to catch a few more on my way, also on the BHPT before reaching my destination.
Before making any casts I checked my fly and found that the last fish had completely destroyed it. So, I figured this would be a good time to try out a slightly modified split case pattern that my buddy Brett Romer had some influence in.
I spotted a fish cruising around actively on the other side of some large rocks, and slowly fished my way out to him. Eventually I made my way to within casting range, and he inhaled my nymph offering on the first drift. He vaulted out of the water, and I could tell he was a very nice rainbow. After a brief fight I landed him, snapped some pics, and released him to catch another day. The fishing was phenomenal nearly the entire time I was on the water, with a total of 14 brought to hand, two break offs, multiple misses and long distance releases.
One unusual thing I witnessed on Saturday morning was three different rainbows clearing redds at the tail of one pool. I have watched browns clearing redds on the Clinch before, but never saw rainbows doing it. I have noticed that some of the smaller 6 - 8" bows in this area are brightly colored, refer to some previous posts. I wonder if we are seeing some reproduction taking place for once. Next time out, I will look again to see if the redds are still occupied. If TVA does maintain the current generation schedule, these fish are not sterile, and people leave them alone I would venture to say that this year could have some river born rainbows added to the mix.
Weather - Sunny, Calm, 37 to 60 degrees
Water - 51 degrees, clear
Flies - #16 BHPT & #16 Split Case