Re: Clinch River flies
Midge patterns from size 18 to 22 should do nicely. *Unfortunately, many of the commercially tied midge patterns are far too thick in the abdomnal area. *A simple fly like a WD-40 tied with a thread body work quite well in olive brown with yellow or amber mallard flank tied in as the tail and wingcase. *Another color is olive green with a light brown tail and wingcase. *The dubbing under the wingcase should be extremely small, producing only a subtle bump in the pattern.
Tungsten beadhead midges in sizes 18 to 20 are staple flies when tied with a stripped peacock herl body. *Again, there should be not thread build-up under the body and it should be very slender. *For both types of midge flies, the use of an indicator is helpful. *You can make your own from yarn coated with fly floatant, or cut out ovals from 2mm, self adhesive foam sheets available at craft stores, etc.*
Take along an aquarium net sometime and hold it just under the water's surface. *You'll catch a few midge pupa drifting along. *Check out how small and slender they are. *You may need a magnifying glass to see them clearly.
Further downstream, below the weir pool, and around the Clinton area, little black caddisflies and tan caddisflies are present. *The little blacks are about size 20 and 22. *
The tan caddis run about a size 16 in summer, but are smaller now, around size 18 or 19. *I've had good success with a tan biot-body, soft-hackled fly. *I tie it on a size 16 wetfly hook, but start the biot above the hookpoint to shorten the overall pattern, but stay with a larger hook. *Add a sparse amount of brown rabbit dubbing and finish off with a furnace, or ginger hen hackle, also tied sparse. *
Standing on a ledge, cast across and let the flies swing downstream into the deeper water. *Usually the trout will hook themselves. *If no hits on the swing, allow your flyline to straighten out completely downstream, then give a few, easy short pulls upstream.
At anytime during the fall, you may see spectacular trout activity as they are chasing caddiflies. *The trout will make splashy rises and sometimes come clear out of the water chasing a rapidly ascending caddisfly. *If you see this activity, look around at the water's surface and you'll usually see a grouping of tan, adult caddis. *Use a tan bodied, soft-hackled wetfly of the appropriate size and swing it in the current.
These occurences are usually (but not always) an ovipositing event whereby the females are laying eggs. *They trap an air bubble to ride back to the surface. *Unlike mayflies, most caddis can escape the film very quickly. *That's why the trout will loose all abandon chasing them.
Hope this is of some small help. *If you are not catching anything onstream, stop fishing for a few minutes and look around for insect activity. *See what's flying, what color and size. *As for the caddisflies, shake a few overhanging tree branches to see what flies out.
Tight loops. *