View Full Version : Clinch River flies

10-07-2006, 11:06 AM
My father and I have fished the Clinch several times both above and below the Wier with less than fair success :-?. The question I have for those of you Clinch river fisherman is regarding fly selection. Our usual selection; 18-24-midges, tellico's, ptbh's, prince's, sulpher emerger's, hoppers, san jaun's, ants, various streamers, and a collection of GSM dry fly patterns using only three or four. So, can anyone elighten my father and I to a few new patterns, in particular sulpher or pmd emergers and midge patterns. Zebra midges I have tied in slight variation's with some success. Any help on making me spend more time and money on fly patterns would be greatly appreciated as well as landing just a few more Clinch River trout.

Any links or pics would be appreciated!
Thanks, Fishermansfly

10-09-2006, 10:51 AM
Hello Fish, the Clinch can be a finicky tailwater, however I would not suggest adding flies to your box , but maybe take a few out.Day in and day out there are 4-5 flies which will do the trick, and you mentioned most of them.BHPT, Midges(zebra), sulphers,streamers and scuds.Try dropping a BHPT off of a smaller midge.(most do it the other way around)Try different sizes and different lengths before buying alternative flies.Just my opinion, good luck out there.

10-15-2006, 01:22 PM
Midge patterns from size 18 to 22 should do nicely. *Unfortunately, many of the commercially tied midge patterns are far too thick in the abdomnal area. *A simple fly like a WD-40 tied with a thread body work quite well in olive brown with yellow or amber mallard flank tied in as the tail and wingcase. *Another color is olive green with a light brown tail and wingcase. *The dubbing under the wingcase should be extremely small, producing only a subtle bump in the pattern.

Tungsten beadhead midges in sizes 18 to 20 are staple flies when tied with a stripped peacock herl body. *Again, there should be not thread build-up under the body and it should be very slender. *For both types of midge flies, the use of an indicator is helpful. *You can make your own from yarn coated with fly floatant, or cut out ovals from 2mm, self adhesive foam sheets available at craft stores, etc.*

Take along an aquarium net sometime and hold it just under the water's surface. *You'll catch a few midge pupa drifting along. *Check out how small and slender they are. *You may need a magnifying glass to see them clearly.

Further downstream, below the weir pool, and around the Clinton area, little black caddisflies and tan caddisflies are present. *The little blacks are about size 20 and 22. *

The tan caddis run about a size 16 in summer, but are smaller now, around size 18 or 19. *I've had good success with a tan biot-body, soft-hackled fly. *I tie it on a size 16 wetfly hook, but start the biot above the hookpoint to shorten the overall pattern, but stay with a larger hook. *Add a sparse amount of brown rabbit dubbing and finish off with a furnace, or ginger hen hackle, also tied sparse. *

Standing on a ledge, cast across and let the flies swing downstream into the deeper water. *Usually the trout will hook themselves. *If no hits on the swing, allow your flyline to straighten out completely downstream, then give a few, easy short pulls upstream.

At anytime during the fall, you may see spectacular trout activity as they are chasing caddiflies. *The trout will make splashy rises and sometimes come clear out of the water chasing a rapidly ascending caddisfly. *If you see this activity, look around at the water's surface and you'll usually see a grouping of tan, adult caddis. *Use a tan bodied, soft-hackled wetfly of the appropriate size and swing it in the current.

These occurences are usually (but not always) an ovipositing event whereby the females are laying eggs. *They trap an air bubble to ride back to the surface. *Unlike mayflies, most caddis can escape the film very quickly. *That's why the trout will loose all abandon chasing them.

Hope this is of some small help. *If you are not catching anything onstream, stop fishing for a few minutes and look around for insect activity. *See what's flying, what color and size. *As for the caddisflies, shake a few overhanging tree branches to see what flies out.

Tight loops. *

10-15-2006, 10:03 PM
Thanks for the advice Scott.

I haven't been fly fishing too long, but my experiences with the Clinch have been hit-or miss. I did pretty well there today on a bh pheasant tail. I just don't feel like I have the place figured out at all when I fish there. I'll be sure to try some of your patterns and advice the next time I head up that way.

10-17-2006, 07:09 PM
The good ol' Clinch river combo - small pt (size dependant upon the time of year) with a smaller v rib midge...if early in the day (day break or over cast/ toward evening) or falling water, i usually like a small grey scud (20) as a dropper. There is usually an olive midge (20/22) that is a winter hatcher along with an even smaller black midge...then there is the ubiquitous black fly that most people over look - often confusing them for midges... Clinch is loaded with them and probably even more so now with the rock snot issue....small black beaded grey/olive zebra (wich can second for a the midge described earlier as well) is tough to not have on at all times as a dropper to whatever your main fly is...if they are hatching I like a small (22) EHC dry and or plumper version of a midge emerger for subsurface action....they are similar to a caddis in thier emergence rising in a bubble...
Sulphurs are mainly a spring time affair and caddis spotty through out so having caddis softies and drys on hand is always good.