Was able to enjoy several hours on the river with my son Brian who was only able to spend a single full day here in TN on a very brief visit.
The Clinch was tough; we started directly below the dam and I broke off two on my first two casts with PT's. Fish "porposing" on wicked tiny emerging midges just under the film.... a tough place to get a fly.
The Conga Line was well represented below us; don't know if they did much better.
Went down to Miller's hoping to change things up; a bunch of guys on the road side of the island so we went behind to find our own piece of river.
Landed several rainbows and a single brown; all on larger nymphs but one on a size 18 black zebra; they would not touch the 22's.
Funny/odd thing.... fish everywhere on emergent midges (wicked tiny stuff just under the film) but there was a decent little olive hatch followed by a sulphur hatch... both fairly consistant. THE FISH DID NOT RESPOND! Go figure? All these tasty mayflies and no takers.
I did not see a single mayfly take flight; seemed that it was so cold they stayed on the water running the guantlet unmolested.
Brian landed no fish but now has a renewed interest in our sport and is being sent back to Maine with more flies than he is likely to need..
Have to do some work in Johnson City this morning for the Big Orange Box Store and might hit soho afterward today; no scheduled generation.
I was one of the guys on the road side of Miller's yesterday......there was a very heavy black fly hatch (or spinner fall, not really sure how the adult life cycle goes) that went on for several hours that the fish were keyed into. I had my best day of the year numbers wise (not sure how many I caught, lost count) I did have a tough hour or so where I was having trouble getting consistent hookups but other than that the action was pretty steady.
I have had great results the last couple of trips with a soft hackle that I believe represents hatching black fly pupa, if you do some research you will find the pupa rocket to the surface enclosed in a bubble of air. You also get to use some of that opal tinsel! The fly has a body of mirage flash and a brown partridge hackle. I tie the body short on a size 18 hook and fish it on the swing. You just want a dot of flash enclosed by the hackle. Sometimes works as a hatch breaker when they are taking emergent midges. The side benefit is that you get to use a larger hook!
I also picked up a few fish on a midge pupa I tie, pumped the fish and found black fly adults and an olive midge larva, about a 24. Shortly after this I looked down and my leg was covered with adult black flies, switched to the adult imitation I posted earlier and it was on! Largest fish was about 16 inches, most averaged around 11-12. I had several fish break me off when I was swinging flies. I thought I saw a few mayflies riding the surface but didn't get a close look. They were ignored by the fish. My experience with black flies has shown that when the fish lock in on them they really don't want anything else. I also took fish on a Griffiths Gnat with a grey peacock herl body. I have not previously done well on this pattern when tied with regular peacock during this hatch..this inspired me to tie up a few with the grey peacock herl, grizzly hackle and a black head. I'll see how this works next time!
Hope this helps........
Thanks for sharing your tips and insight Billj!
Well it seems the black bug conundrum will be solved with a few new ties... thanks BillJ
Saw an interesting "black fly" being tied at the SoHo fly shop on Emmett Road yesterday... size 18 dry fly hook with dark brown "silly legs material wrapped up the hook shank... no use of thread either they whip finish the rubber with their fingers.
WENT TO SOHO SATURDAY AND HAD A BLAST... BWO's on the surface and it was dry fly time for Corbo!
Only fished it two hours; leak on left leg and nearly froze to death.
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