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ChemEAngler
12-08-2007, 11:25 PM
Hello All.

Made it out to the Clinch this morning before digging through Christmas decorations. I was fully prepared to encounter a combat fishing situation and make my long walk downstream to avoid the crowds. However, when I got to the water, I was the only person there. I managed to have the water all to myself for about 30 minutes after the water fell. The fish were feeding on tiny size 30 midges, and I was having trouble matching the hatch. Then my worst fears were confirmed. I was concentrating on my drift through a very nice run and I looked up and found 6 of my closest friends within 25 ft of me. And to avoid anyone jumping to conclusions, they were all FF's. One guy I could have stuck my rod out and touched, and he was fishing the same run I was. About this time I decided it was time for me to leave and start working on the decorations.

I have heard many people talk about the DH water of NC being combat waters, but I could hardly imagine it being much worse than the clinch on a Saturday. I don't mind fishing in a crowd, but I am finding that more and more people these days are throwing out stream etiquette.

Pulled some tiny flies out of a few mouths and landed one on a slumpbuster. Not a spectacular catching day, but the fishing was a much needed break. However, the fish I landed and saw rising were brightly colored. Very similar to some of the bows Plateau Angler has pictured on his blog from the Caney. Only saw one other person even hook up and talked with a couple of anglers who said they had been shut out all day. A much slower day than I imagined it would be.

Travis

monktrout
12-09-2007, 12:27 PM
ChemE, Glad you got out. Weekends on the Cinch are not visions of solitude. I take it you were fishing the upper end. I'm like you, when people move in too close I move on. I tell myself this is just fishing and not the quest for world peace. It would be nice if we could give each other some space. I will fish right below the dam if it's not crowded. You're fighting very flat water and all that goes with that, but it has lots of fish. in other news,I may fish the Elk or Duck real soon.

irfishing
12-09-2007, 02:03 PM
I looked up and found 6 of my closest friends within 25 ft of me.


WOW!!!! what friends. Anyway, it was good that you had the opportunity for a break fishing.

ChemEAngler
12-09-2007, 04:33 PM
WOW!!!! what friends. Anyway, it was good that you had the opportunity for a break fishing.

I do have to admit that four of them were not that bad since they had their backs to me and were fishing another run. However, the other 2 came together and basically crowded me out of the water. Having 6 spin fishermen in that small area is not nearly as dangerous as 6 FF's. I can only imagine what it would be like to get a size 6 streamer in your ear that somebody else is throwing.

Travis

TroutAssasin
12-09-2007, 05:55 PM
It does seem that many clinch river fishermen do not have any stream manners. I used to bait fish above the wier dam several years ago and I was literally standing side by side with other bait fisherman. You can usually count (im not saying all spin fisherman do this) on spin fisherman to come and fish in your honey hole, but fly fishermen usually wait til your done. My guess is that the limited access to the river has a lot to do with this. Since most of the FF spots with good access are close to the dam, you can either fight the crowds or get a canoe or pontoon. I think you made the right move ChemEAngler. I wouldnt want a streamer stuck in my ear!

Flat Fly n
12-10-2007, 03:20 PM
ChemE,
Impressed one that you can tie a size thiry hook, and even use one? My main question is why? I catch lots of fish everytime I go, although most are not over 12", but never have I used flies smaller than #20. My predominant midge is a size 18, and my standard sowbug is a #16.

They can't eat what they can't see, and for that matter I can't see a #30 midge either. Go big or go home is my motto!

Flat

ChemEAngler
12-10-2007, 09:07 PM
ChemE,
Impressed one that you can tie a size thiry hook, and even use one? My main question is why? I catch lots of fish everytime I go, although most are not over 12", but never have I used flies smaller than #20. My predominant midge is a size 18, and my standard sowbug is a #16.

Flat

Flat Fly N,
I think you may have misunderstood what I said or I wasn't very clear. I didn't say I can tie a size 30 midge, the smallest I tie on a regular basis is a size 24. The midges the fish were rising to were in the size range of a 30. I have been in situations where the fish ignore a size 20, but will consistently take a 24. Two such ocassions happened to me on the Watauga and SoHo. My problem is hooking up consistently with this small of a fly. I do have to say that I have a lot to learn when it comes to my fishing technique and skills, and I consider being able to fish these microscopic flies as a new challenge for me. In my opinion mastering this will only benefit me in future fishing situation.

In my time on the water the other day, the people around me were going through flies like it was going out of style. People were throwing everything they had at them and were not having any luck. While there and since I left, I have talked to 4 other people who were on the river that day and all were shut out. So I guess I should consider myself lucky that I landed my one.

Travis

Gerry Romer
12-10-2007, 11:18 PM
They can't eat what they can't see, and for that matter I can't see a #30 midge either.


While fishing the SoHo this summer, my son and I started occasionally pumping the stomachs of some of our bigger fish. You'd be amazed at how small some of their primary forage food is! Midges as small as size 40, in great quantities. This fact and a few choice, informative posts from Hugh Hartsell convinced me to try my hand at tying micro-midges. They're definitely worth the effort. What's really cool is that they're perfect for the terminal position on a hopper/copper/dropper rig in addition to just hanging in the surface film when fished alone.

The biggest drawback is that since you go nearly blind while tying them, it makes it that much harder trying to spot them when you fish them :biggrin: :biggrin:.

Gerry

Jswitow
12-11-2007, 12:01 AM
If you haven't already try putting a tuft of cream wool yarn 18" to 2' from the midge. I don't have a prayer of seeing them otherwise.
Best,
John

ChemEAngler
12-11-2007, 12:53 PM
While fishing the SoHo this summer, my son and I started occasionally pumping the stomachs of some of our bigger fish. You'd be amazed at how small some of their primary forage food is! Midges as small as size 40, in great quantities.

Gerry

Gerry,
You just reminded me of a Christmas gift I forgot to buy myself. I have been meaning to get something to pump stomachs with. I have talked with multiple people who have told me that pumping the stomach of the first fish they catch has increased their fishing success exponentially. Primarily on days when there are no predominant hatches, kind of like the season we are heading into. Do you recommend a particular brand or style?

Travis

Gerry Romer
12-11-2007, 02:50 PM
Not really... we just grabbed a cheap one at the SoHo this summer. Kinda like a miniature turkey baster. Don't forget to grab a couple vials with leak-proof caps 'cause you'll want to save your sample for more thorough study later.

Gerry

2weightfavorite
12-11-2007, 07:46 PM
Just figured I'd add my two cents about pumping the stomachs of trout, and all fish for that matter. First, never pump the stomachs of small fish, say under 10 inches. Now that doesnt sound like a big deal, but say you are fishing in the park, a 10 inch bow is a quality fish, and often times one of the larger fish of the day... Second, and if anyone else knows a different or better technique i ask that they would post it, always start with some water already in the pump before sticking the pump into the fishes mouth. You must first push some of the water out of the tube, and then suck some of it back into the tube. I have heard that dry stomach pumping a fish often times can cause internal damage. Anyway, just figured I'd add that, just use caution when pumping stomachs, and definitely avoid it completely after long fights with a fish, or in hot weather.

TroutAssasin
12-12-2007, 12:02 AM
Whenever I occasionally keep some trout for the smoker, Ill cut open their stomachs out of curiousity. Always seems to be a lot of small midges. Youll get some flies in the summer, but there always seems that there is some moss in there as well. Someone should make a pattern for that.

Flat Fly n
12-13-2007, 07:38 AM
I bet the only way a trout sees or eats a size 40 midge is inadvertantly. Doubt they actually see something this small and pursue it. Who knows I have never known or seen a report by an fisheries opthalmologist. I bet the fish need bifocals as well for those.

Stomach pumps certified by gastroenterologist are the best brand.. Seriously, be careful with those. If you pump air into them it can cause death. I generally just pick up the dead culls, , or the guts on the bank from our bait fishing friends, and check them out.

drag line
12-13-2007, 11:13 AM
Hey Flat fly N so thats what you were doing. I though you were just hungry all those times.:smile:

Flat Fly n
12-14-2007, 07:44 AM
Clinch river Sushi! Carry a little soy bottle in my vest!

Good enough for the herons, good enough for me!

Fishermansfly
12-14-2007, 02:39 PM
Well I just spent around 30 minutes typing up a post and lost it by hitting the back button on my mouse pad...I have a love hate relation****h my laptop!

Anyway, about that pump. The pump is good, not great..As 2 wt. said pumping the stomache of a 10'' fish is even difficult! I usually try to pump a bigger fish because it's so much easier on a 14'' fish...Though I cannot deny pumping the stomache of a few 10'' fish...Seeing as I generally and predominantly fish the smokies I wouldn't reccomend pumping those lil guys. I will also say that the only time the pump is even brought out is when it's been a particularly rough morning on the water! I will also say that once the stomache has been pumped and bugs removed, I usually find I was right on the money with the type but off by size...70% of the time the bug I was fishing was 1 size too big..5% the bug wasn't big enough usually by a size....20% I just changed technique allowing me to catch the fish I just pumped, or in other words the bug and it's size was correct I was just fishing it at the wrong depth/speed/etc.

So I guess where I'm getting at is....A pump offers up the same thing a sienne, petree dishes, and bug balm does...Or even less money or time away from fishing is a little hatch study before hitting the water! Nothing can beat time on the water and it doesn't neccassarily mean different types of water...Though I will say that tailwaters and mountain fed streams can be two different animals. A little entomology knowledge can go a long way. And if that's not your cup of tea then go by or phone your local fly shop ask for the hatches and buy or tie your flies accordingly...I will say this, make sure if your given sizes ie; a sizes 14 - 16 that you buy/tie those flies and make sure your buy/tie one size smaller, in this case a size 18! I found that most of the stomaches pumped don't hold just one size bug and usually several at that. Sometimes these fish will only take one size and then all of a sudden stop taking that size and switch to another.

Another thing that really lends to hand is reading the water and more importantly reading the fish! Knowing where to find the fish I one key part of several..Some are less important than others...Sometimes technique is all that matters...But knowing how those lil guys are eating I've found key! There is the obvious takes on the surface, usually splashy, they're taking a dry. Sipping, is seeing surface rings and generally hearing a sipping noise..Something else I've found is the louder the sip the bigger the fly (they gotta open those mouths a little more on a bigger fly {water speed can be a factor in noise too})...Tailing is of course a fish bottom feeding and using a bottom bouncing nymph is key...When I don't see any of the above or see a fish swimming side to side I generally divide the water column. Using a wieghted nymph I'll decipher the depth of the run I'm fishing and divide it with the length of tippet..ie; a 4' run I'll use a 2' dropper rig.. Dry and dropper rigs are the way to go!

Was $15 buckeroo's a wise investment on a pump? It really just flat out depends....It could be detremental to learning and it could be a complete confidence booster! I will say that nothing can really beat stream knowledge, fish feeding knowledge, hatch charts, and a day or two worth of entomology lessons! Use caution with the pump and don't pump every fish you land!

As far as the midges are concerned I have to say that these things were alot smaller than a size 30 and they usually fall in two colors, red and green..That's even looking at these guys slighly magnified in a small glass jar filled with water! Most of the fish had several, probably inadvertantly picking them up while dinning on another bug! But they were present!

Any one got a micro leech pattern? I'm seeing a ton of those guys and haven't tried fishing anything even close! Hmmmm!

Hope that added a little insight to the pump!

It accompanied with that small hatch chart LRO sells would make for great stocking stuffers to self! Maybe even a gift card to an entomology course or a sienne!

Brett

Skipjack
12-19-2007, 08:00 PM
Hi
I just read your thread about the Clinch River. I am emialing you about the Caney Fork. My daughter and her husband live in Springhill Tennessee. I want to fish it when with my son-in-law when we are up to visit them----my question is does it have a lot of fishing pressure? I read on their website that 3 to 4 rainbow are not uncommon. My wife and I live in Jasper Alabama and i fish for trout on the tailrace below Smith Lake dam outside of Jasper. It is good most of the time of the year with the exception of weekends. It is very crowded on Saturday and Sunday. Is the case on the Caney? Thanks for any informaition.
Bill