View Full Version : Midge and Nymph Patterns

02-27-2009, 11:00 AM
I was hoping I could get some help picking some midges and nymphs for the next month. I mainly fish the Clinch and the Holston, but will be focusing on the Clinch and have always had bad luck there. I have been reading the threads about midge fishing and feel i have pretty guide technique, get good drifts, and fish good runs (those accessible by waders) but feel i'm not fishing the right nymphs and midges for that stream. I will be ordering some flies from LRO in the next week and was hoping to stock up on some useful patterns. Any suggestions or advice will greatly appreciated!

02-27-2009, 11:12 AM
I would have to recommend #20 and 22 zebra, blood, and stripper midges for the Clinch. Also with the possibility of BWO hatches the next couple months, I would have some #20 bhpt with me. My most efficient approach is to fish these larva and nymphs absolutely on the bottom in very slow moving water. I am talking about water that lots of other people walk past everyday. And I very rarely fish water less than 3' deep on the Clinch, so my strike indicator is about 4' above my bottom fly. The presence of underwater brush or ledges just makes it an even better spot. I use this approach when there isn't a significant hatch ocurring to help spot fish. Also would be good to have some olive/black buggers and olive slumpbusters if you want to fling some meat.

Not sure about the Holston, but I would probably have some of the midges above, #18 & 20 BHPT, and some #18 caddis larva.

02-27-2009, 11:37 AM
Thanks so much for the help! I will definitely be ordering some zebra midges. Normally when I throw midges, I drop them about a foot and a half behind a copper john or pheasant tail and use an indicator about two feet above that. Do you think that might be causing an unnatural drift below? Should I just go only with the midge and drop it deep like you said to avoid a big CJ or PH spooking the fish? Also, since I normally wade and you recommended fishing in 3ft or more of water, how do you suggest this? I feel if I'm fishing a deep rig directly upstream in front of me its difficult to work behind fish in that deep of water. If I cast upstream at an angle, I can hit that deeper water, but is my drift being affected too much? Sorry for all the questions, I just want to break my last few skunked trips to the clinch.

02-27-2009, 11:50 AM
I have never had much luck using a CJ on the Clinch, but your approach using a #16 or 18 BHPT should be fine though. I typically use two midge pupae and in the slow water it doesn't have any trouble getting to depth.

I highly recommend an across and down drift. In some situations, I understand an upstream approach is required. However, on the Clinch, casting across stream and allowing the fly to drift all the way down stream is my most successful approach. This is also true for the SoHo. I have been fishing beside many other fisherman, some I know and others I don't, who insist on fishing upstream. Many times I have had a 3 to 1 catch ratio over them. Now fishing in the really deep water reduces the line shyness of the fish, but it is still there. Another recommendation I would make is to use 6x fluoro or 7x mono. My strike rate is greatly increased when I use these tippet sizes. As far as indicators go, I can't say enough about the 1/2" thingamabobber sizes. I just wish I could order an entire pack of white. They are perfect for this type of fishing, and are very sensitive. Also, strikes when fishing this way are typically very subtle. Don't expect to see your entire indicator go under. Sometimes, it is just a hesitation, set the hook immediately.

As far as how to approach the deep water, I usually fish it from the side. This allows me to be standing in 12" water and casting across into 3' water. When you are in the deep slow stuff I prefer, very rarely do you have to worry about different current speeds altering your drift. Typically the drift in these slow sections is pretty uniform at the surface.

Off topic here..... Your name sounds very familiar to me. Are you from North Knoxville (Halls)?

02-27-2009, 12:10 PM
Thanks for all the help and advice. I love those strike indicators too! So much better than a ball of yarn. Thats interesting about the tippet size. I normally use 5x because every time I use the 6x, its all wind knots and breaking off fish when I set the hook quickly. I think I'm gonna try the fluorocarbon. Its pretty expensive, but is it worth the price? The method you describe for fishing the slow waters at an angle is what I normally try to do. In the faster water, mending normally becomes a problem for me which is probably just my technique issues. One benefit I have found to fishing straight upstream is I can let my line pass and load in the current behind me and cast forward from there. It definitely minimizes the tangles and I can normally get the same distance as I would normal casting a 3 piece rig.

PS: Im from south knoxville, but live out west now. I know the other Michael Jenkins your talking about from halls though; I used to play baseball with him when I was younger and then sports against him in high school

02-27-2009, 12:41 PM
My "go-to" rig is a variant of a BHPH in size 16 about 2 - 3 feet below an indicator on 5X, with a size 18 - 22 midge on about 2' of 6X Fluoro under that. For the past few months, the most effective flies for me have been size 22 BH Brassies, with some glass bead midges I tie also working well. In faster water I tend to fish directly upstream, but in slower currents I fish across and down.

02-27-2009, 02:01 PM
I'm definitely going to go to 6x on my midges from what you all are saying.

Does anyone ever wade or fish from shore at the clinch when they are running one generator, or does the generator just kill fishing up there?

02-27-2009, 05:17 PM
For me the fishing is fine with one generator on the cinch. I usually fish from the shore and throw clousers and buggers with a lot of lead. olive works good and espessially white when some shad get through the turbines. The biggest problem I see on the clinch is that some people will cast three or four times in a good run, see someone else catch a fish or two, leave the spot they are fishing to fish in the run that produced a few fish. They get there and dont catch a thing.

There are tons of fish all throughout the clinch. The key is to focus on a good stretch of water and change flies often untill you find what they are feeding on. This is probably way off topic except the first three sentences :rolleyes: but I hope it helps