I feel your pain; five back surgeries myself and now it seems that after an hour IN the river I'm distracted too much by the pain to totally enjoy the fishing..... but I suffer with a smile. I often wear TWO back braces while I fish you might find using them to be helpful. Virtually always use a wading staff as I have had my right foot ankle re-built two times last three years so no balance the rocks any more.
I admire all the guys who still love to get out and fly fish despite getting older and a bit broken down.... a couple years ago my sister-in-law commented one day how "I was lucky because I still love to fly fish just like I did as a kid and was still actively passionate about it."
Isn't it great that we enjoy something so much that as we age we don't just sit home and watch somebody else doing it on TV?
I'm available to fish the Clinch thursday morning if anyone wants to hook up; gotta to pop corn at the rod runs in PF fri thru sunday. Want to fish the lower back end of Millers Island if anyone can make it.
Fished with Danny two saturdays ago (in the slooooow water above the weir at the first canoe access) and watched him kick butt with sparse zebras in olive and black with tung beads. I took my first skunk in a decade mostly because I left my midge box at home and managed to LDR on four fish and popped two at the tippet knot!
Been throwing a tiger colored bunny streamer I created on the Holston (at Nance's) that works gang busters in fast deep troughs but so far Clinch trout ignore it for some reason.... almost seems like Clinch Trout are a mystery to me a times on streamers but I'm not ready to quit trying.
Wondering what the trout take your simple marabou streamer to be? A sculpin maybe? What size hook? Most of my Clinch fish this year are coming from Quasi's in size 16 and 18 regardless of time of day but last two trips I've focused on chucking and ducking with streamers looking for pigs to no avail.
I have caught better fish on the Clinch than the SOHO but like the dry fly action up there EXCEPT when the bite is on those little larvae black flies just under the film.... just not figured a consistent means to fool them when that occurs though small griff knats dragged under sometimes work....frustrating.