View Full Version : Norris report, 12-26 and 27

12-30-2007, 12:44 PM
1st, thanks for the warm welcome and help everybody.

I waded the Clinch at Norris on 12/26 and 12/27, focused mainly right at the Weir Dam and in between there and the main dam. Managed not to get skunked either day but not by a whole lot, one rainbow for each outing.

Water is real low, probably 2 to 3 feet in most areas. Fish were rising everywhere non-stop, and there were a ton of midges hatching the whole time, but between the almost non-existent current and the depth of the water, I had a real hard time hooking up.

Took one on a size 22 or so red midge pattern, and then caught another on a size 20ish elk hair caddis, of all things.

All in all I had a great time; living in Colorado, it's a rare thing to be able to catch some trout in late December wearing a t-shirt, so I was pretty psyched to get the chance.


edit: Some pictures here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mordechaivanunu/) in case anyone is interested.

12-30-2007, 01:35 PM
All those trout rising to midges can be realy frustrating on the Clinch. I have had some sucess with the smallest Griffith Gnat I could find, and then maybe cut down a bit, and 7X tippet. Never really caught anything over 12" on one, but did increase the action around and just below the weir dam.


12-30-2007, 02:47 PM
The water above the weir dam typically has no or very little flow. If you are looking for more flow, it is better to head below the weir dam. Also, I don't know how long the water had been off when you got there, so that could contribute to why it was so low.

I was below the weir dam yesterday, and only managed one bow. I spent most of the afternoon throwing streamers looking for more sizeable fish, and wasn't so successful. My buddy threw a size 20 midge nymph most of the day and landed 5 all around 8 - 10". One guy in the parking lot showed me a pic of a brown that he caught on a BWO, and I would estimate it at around 20".

The clinch is very tough, and usually demands tiny flies and 6x and smaller fluoro. I hear some people say that they load the boat on the clinch year round using size 12 elk hair caddis and size 14 bhpt, but I have yet to see anyone on the water having any luck with this in the colder months.


12-30-2007, 02:57 PM

Yeah, those size 30 midges were real hard to emulate. The 6x flouro seemed to help, as I had a couple more strikes with it than with standard nylon tippet the previous day.

I picked the EHC because it matched the color of the midges I saw, but I don't have anything in my box that small. I was mostly on the water from about 3pm to dark, and it looked from the web like they were only running one generator in the mornings for about an hour.

What kind of strike indicators (or any) do you guys use when fishing midge nymphs over there? I figured my indicator wasn't doing me any favors when I was nymphing, and tried nymphing without one for a while, but am not really good enough to have the right line control to detect strikes without one.


12-30-2007, 04:06 PM
I can only tell what my philosophy on strike indicators is. If I am fishing deep (>3') or in swift and rough water I use a small water balloon inflated to about 1/2" diameter. Otherwise, I use a dry fly large enough to stay afloat with the nymph I am using. For a size 20 midge larva or pupae I would probably use a size 18 BWO or similar for the clinch. Doing this allows for easier casting and I don't believe it spooks the fish as easily, especially in the slow flat water.

Others have their own plan they follow. One guy recommended that I try going without an indicator, but I have the same problem at those distances. I cannot control my line enough to keep from snagging in the didymo on bottom.


12-30-2007, 07:33 PM
Ian, Welcome. On the flat water near the main dam I have had some success with a red butt soft hackle. I fish it far on 6x floro. Give it tiny twitches. 12ft leader should do it. As you fish an area your activity starts pushing the fish away. You want to keep moving toward rising fish. Conventional wisdom ssys to get closer when midge fishing, but in flat water your ripples make too much disturbance. Good luck. Let us hear how you do.

01-03-2008, 08:19 PM
I agree with large fly as indicator on Clinch; seems to be less intimidating.
Re: fishing just below the main dam, has anyone used/caught anything using meises (sp?) shrimp? Was told there are shrimp in Norris, and some invariably get washed down and work well as droppers, but I have only tried it once and flow was non-existent and no strikes. Finally caught trout on a shrimp below dam on Frying Pan in CO, but took forever. Watson

01-03-2008, 09:22 PM
7x fluoro is key on the Clinch (for me anyway). It was the easiest correction I have made to my fly fishing technique to increase the amount of fish I catch.

01-04-2008, 11:28 PM
Glad you have enjoyed the site. Likewise I am glad you cought some fish while you were here. I agree with these guys about using a large dry fly as a indicator. However I prefer an elk hair caddis or a sulphur dunn to a BWO. To each his own though. I am on my WA trip right now and hot shut out today. I guess that is why they call Steelhead the fish of a thousand casts. I think I am about 400 in so hopefully I will get there soon!


tire guy
01-05-2008, 12:28 PM
I use a small piece of yarn coated with Camp Dry. I trim it to fit the size of my fly. It is inexpensive and functional. And when the fish are on top after those small midges keep your fly higher in the water and not as long of a cast so you can high stick your line. This has helped me several times on the Clinch.