View Full Version : Clinch Yesterday

Flying Trout
01-06-2008, 11:02 AM
I fished the Clinch yesterday for the first time in 2 years. Fishing was marginal at best and went back to swinging soft hackles through riffles. That always produces the fish but not of much size. It was nice to be on the water but am pretty sure that I would have enjoyed fishing another river better. I find it a frustrating place to go because of the trash and excess of anglers. I did however have a good time on the water with a friend that I do not get to fish with very much. I also caught my first fish on a midge pattern that I learned at a tying demonstration at LRO.

01-06-2008, 10:28 PM
What Trash?

01-07-2008, 09:06 AM
I am with you...what trash. I have fished the Clinch for about 3 years now and actually fished it yesterday past the jail. I have never seen any significant amounts of trash other that the occasional can of corn or worm bucket. I simply put the trash in a plastic bag that I always bring with me for that purpose. It would be much nicer if everyone had the mentallity to pick up after themselves but that will never happen so the people that do should pitch in to keep beautiful places beautiful.

By the way, the fishing was good with about 8 average bows to hand in about an hour and a half. Will be at the S. Holston this afternoon if anyone wants to hook up for midge fishing and some trash collecting.


01-07-2008, 01:11 PM
I have been fishing the Clinch for a few years now and have seen my fair share of submerged tires and whatnot, but not too many eyesores on the whole. Overall, I just love going up there even if I do not catch fish as it is such a beautiful river. I fished yesterday just downstream from Cane Creek via a friend's private property and managed to land one 10" brown on a #10 olive wooly bugger. My fishing buddy landed a slightly larger rainbow on a tiny zebra midge, probably a size 20 or so but not sure.

01-11-2008, 08:59 PM
Fished the Clinch today by the main dam. Used real small olive buggers fished near bottom. 2 brooks, 3 rainbows. All nice fish. Sink tip line and floro seemed to make a difference. Fished about 3 hours. Had it to myself with a cool wind. Great to see the brookies in the Clinch.

01-11-2008, 10:24 PM
Thanks for the report. Did those brookies have any size to them? I caught one there some time back, but I had a guy tell me the other day that they have really been putting on some size up there this past month. He said he had caught good numbers over 12".


01-11-2008, 11:14 PM
no fish in that river only trash

01-12-2008, 03:06 PM
ChemE, The two I caught were in the 9-11" range. Lookeed real healthy with good color for stocked fish. Hope you are able to get out today. If you aren't already doing it, tie your fly on with a loop. It sems to help. You may have better techniques for winter fish in flat water. I would be curious to hear about them. It was cloudy on Friday and that helped also. It was my first time on the Clinch in three months. It was so nice to be on that water.

Flying Trout
01-13-2008, 11:15 AM
Sorry guys. I'm well aware of the number and the size of the fish in that river. As far as the trash goes it just had a little more than what I was used to. I was fishing at the weir and it was your typical worm/corn containers. In reality I guess the river is very clean as much as it does get fished.

01-13-2008, 09:53 PM
I fiddled for worms. Anybody else?

02-07-2008, 10:19 PM
Yeah I don't really know how to do this whole message thing but I thought I'd give it a go. I am fairly new to fly fishing, and I went up to the Clinch today and had some trouble hooking into some fish. Could I get any pointers from anybody?

02-08-2008, 11:32 AM
Well I don't exactly know what you're looking for (I could write A LOT). If you're just getting in to fly fishing, I'd suggest reading some beginner material- there's a lot on the internet, great books, and some good dvds for a visual aid- but more than that, I'd try to find someone to always go with you. The best learning is by doing. Try to find someone who knows what they're doing and will be patient with teaching. As far as fishing the Clinch right now, it's mainly going to be your underwater flies (midges, nymphs, etc.) and with those flies, it's all about drift. You have to learn to control your drift to make it look as natural as possible. I've seen studies that have shown drift being even more important than fly selection! Second, your flies must be at the correct depth. In the winter, the fish aren't going to be as willing to go after the fly as they are in the warmer waters of the summer. You need to put it right across their face. They want to use as little energy as possible. So, without writing a book right now, use midges and nymphs sizes 16 to 20, experiment with different depths, and try to control your drift by watching your indicator (if other particles in the water- twigs, bugs, etc.- are moving faster or slower than your indicator, it means your flies aren't looking very natural). If you can do these things decently well, you should have a good day...

02-08-2008, 02:03 PM
Hey thanks for the help. I have been fly fishing for about a year or so but it seems that I always tend to get skunked up at the Clinch. I think my problem is depth. It seems though that the depth is always different up there so I guess I should just keep working at it. Do you know when the spawners are suppossed to be headed up river?

02-08-2008, 03:10 PM
Now, above the weir dam. The drifts are very slow, you might let the fly drift for several minutes before recasting. Try to pick so current or get to where you can cast to the main channel. I don't know the hot fly lately, but a good bet would be a size 20 silver bead midge with silver wire wrap. Fish it 18-30" below a white yarn indicator on 6x tippet, flouro if you have it. Might try a very slow swim on a scud as well.
Hope this helps!

02-08-2008, 06:44 PM
AJH, The Clinch in the winter is a tough place to learn, but still a wonderful river. Some good advice from from Young Buck and Jswitow. I fished today near the dam and only caught one brook. Bright sun and little current made for a hard but always beautiful day on the water. If you stay with it you will catch your share of fish. Tight Lines, Monktrout

02-08-2008, 07:29 PM
Hey thanks for the help that will really help. I think Im going to head up there tomorrow so hopefully I have some luck.

appalachian angler
02-09-2008, 09:01 PM
Try fishing longer leaders and staying as far out of sight as possible. Best flies are bead head midges in 20,22's. I have found that a good many fish will pile up on falling water right at the heads of riffles or in the margins between rocks and gaps in the shoals. Try dropping about 2-3' of 6 or 7X flouro tippet below (tie directly to the bend of the hook) a good floating dry like a size 14-18 haystack and then tying on a small BH thread midge: My best patterns are light olive body with a gold x-fine wire rib and gold bead, or Camel uni 8/0 thread body with x-fine copper rib and copper bead. These two midges work well all winter on any TN tailwater! If you want to fish dry, try a standard griffiths gnat or a variation with a superfine olive dubbed body and dun hackle. I fished below the weir dam this past thursday and absolutley slayed 'em on the olive GG and the copper BH midge pupa...both in 22. I saw some very decent fish (15"+) in the riffles and runs just below the pool below the weir that afternoon. Again, these "better" fish will indeed spook easy so plan accordingly and watch were your shadow falls in the afternoons.


02-13-2008, 02:03 AM
What is an olive gg?

02-13-2008, 01:27 PM
This was caught AND released the day after Thanksgiving '07 at Millers Island on a size 20 zebra midge.


02-13-2008, 03:37 PM
What a nice fish!! I have never been able to hook into a nice brown trout like that one but I can only hope that one day I will catch one that. I do have a question what part of miller island do most of you fellow fly fishermen fish? (the lower end of island or the upper run by the parking lot)

02-13-2008, 04:09 PM
That brown was caught at the head of Miller's Island on the left side. It was in ankle deep water, right at the mouth of the split.