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View Full Version : bugs on the clinch, or lack of..


2weightfavorite
09-19-2009, 09:39 PM
Just wondering why the clinch seems to have less aquatic insects than the other tailwaters? The holston has great caddis hatches and of course blackflies and midges. The Hiwassee seems to have an abundance of everything as does to SOHO. But why not the Clinch? It has steady flow, cold water.. is it more acidic? Im just curious, any input woud be great.

ninjaturtle
09-20-2009, 03:59 PM
I have no idea other than I think they have pushed the water so hard these last several months that I believe it's changed the living habits of the bugs. I may be way out there on this one. I fish the Clinch alot and they haven't really settled it down in quite q few months now. When the water is flowing hard I don't believe the bugs have a chance to lay their eggs or what ever they do as with the water at normal flow. I may be wrong, but I notice the difference too. Thanks for bringing this out. Maybe someone else has a idea to why this is happening.

fourx
09-20-2009, 05:47 PM
The Clinch supported a great sulphur hatch this spring/early summer. In fact it was one of the best I've seen in years. There is a small caddis population but it's not usually enough to fish over. Scuds and sowbugs are very prevelant throughout the grassy areas of the river. Midges however make up the majority of the average trout's diet. Of course big trout eat little trout so that may account for the lunker browns this river produces.
You know, very few people realize what kind of insect activity happens after dark. I'm not saying this river is a dry fly paradise by any means but something's keeping these trout fat and chunky.
On a side note: I've fished the river in pre-didymo days and cannot honestly tell a decrease in insect population now.
If you were to pump a trout's stomach today even with no bugs in the air you'd probably find it full of scuds and midge pupae/larvae.

I'd kill for the Clinch to have the BWOs that the soho does on those cold and wet winter days.

4X

ChemEAngler
09-20-2009, 06:26 PM
The Clinch supported a great sulphur hatch this spring/early summer. In fact it was one of the best I've seen in years. There is a small caddis population but it's not usually enough to fish over. Scuds and sowbugs are very prevelant throughout the grassy areas of the river. Midges however make up the majority of the average trout's diet. Of course big trout eat little trout so that may account for the lunker browns this river produces.
You know, very few people realize what kind of insect activity happens after dark. I'm not saying this river is a dry fly paradise by any means but something's keeping these trout fat and chunky.
On a side note: I've fished the river in pre-didymo days and cannot honestly tell a decrease in insect population now.
If you were to pump a trout's stomach today even with no bugs in the air you'd probably find it full of scuds and midge pupae/larvae.

I'd kill for the Clinch to have the BWOs that the soho does on those cold and wet winter days.

4X

I agree, I have even seen a small sulfur hatch the past two weekends on the lower river. There also has been a good hatch of tiny black caddis going on during this same time as well. Turned over some rocks last week and there were plenty of grey and olive scuds in about a #18.

Winter BWO hatches would be amazing on the Clinch.

highstick
09-21-2009, 07:42 PM
I too have see many small caddis hatching on the clinch lately, but by no means large hatches. However, when i pulled the drift boat out after my last float there was a thick line of film along the sides of the boat. This film was a solid line of midge shucks all the way around the boat.

MadisonBoats
09-22-2009, 01:42 PM
Anyone notice the abundance of giant carp? I saw one last week around the lower shoal around the church that was probably in the 40-50 lb range...

waterwolf
09-22-2009, 03:48 PM
The reason for the lack of diversity in aquatic life in the Clinch is a direct result of ONE thing....water temperature.

The sulfurs have been there forever, suffered a couple year decline, but now are back as good as ever.

Black Caddis are prolific.
Blackflies are thick.
Midges thick.
Sowbugs thick.
Scuds thick.


The Holston has zero scuds and zero sowbugs, both of which are very important food sources and provide a ton of food where they exist. The reason we see caddis in the Holston has alot to do with a little warmer water and different substrates which are more conducive to caddis larvae, then in the Clinch where it is mainly bedrock ledges and vast areas of weeds. The Holston has little if any mayfly hatches, although it does seem to have a large trico hatch this time of year, the only shame is the water is too warm for good fishing by now.

Water flows have nothing to do with the lack of bugs in the Clinch, neither does the didymo, if anything the didymo and higher flows make the sulfurs happier and allow for larger hatches. In fact, the demise of the sulfurs seemed to be several low water years where the river filled with sediment and seemingly wiped them out. The rebirth came with the didymo based on several peoples observations.

silvercreek
09-22-2009, 03:54 PM
Interesting waterwolf. I'm curious. Why no scuds in the Holston? I've never fished the river, but scuds seem to be a hardy critter. They survived in the Caney during the drought years. Is it an issue of substrate? Thanks.

Wilson10
09-22-2009, 04:12 PM
Anyone notice the abundance of giant carp? I saw one last week around the lower shoal around the church that was probably in the 40-50 lb range...


I sure have. I haven't caught one since my high schools days though. It was nearly as long as my leg.

waterwolf
09-22-2009, 10:50 PM
Interesting waterwolf. I'm curious. Why no scuds in the Holston? I've never fished the river, but scuds seem to be a hardy critter. They survived in the Caney during the drought years. Is it an issue of substrate? Thanks.

I can only assume it is a water quality issue, or water temperature issue, however they live in the bighorn and other western tailwaters which get warm so it makes me think it is a water quality issue. I can't speak for the Caney, but the Clinch is extremely clean upstream of Oak Ridge. The Clinch above the lake is one of the cleanest watersheds in the eastern US and the same goes for the Powell.

The Holston also lacks the vegetation that the Clinch has, but it still has enough with the onslaught of milfoil to support them I would think.

Maybe someone with more scud knowledge could answer it for sure, because I am really just drawing a few educated guesses.

On the Grass Carp, they have been around for about 15 years. They came from a pond which overflowed into Hinds creek. Amurs (grass carp) are supposed to be sterile, but obviously a few slipped through the cracks because they do seem to be reproducing. Whatever the case may be, I feel they should be exterminated by any means necessary, as they could have an impact on the vegetation in the river. I certainly have killed more then my fair share over the years. If you get the chance, bash ones head in with a rock, shoot one with an arrow, or snag one to take them out of the system.