Re: Anyone fish the Clinch River lately?
Hey Griff. *I usually fish the Clinch about one or two times per week depending on generation and weather. *Fished this past Saturday and Sunday (Oct 21 & 22). *While the fishing was not red-hot, it was steady.
During August and early September, caddis pupa patterns and soft-hackled wetflies tied in tan colors were working very well. *Some days I was catching 15 to 20 trout in 3 hours time. *They are not producing well at this time, but I still carry them because I've experienced caddis adult ovipositing into late November at times whereby the trout are going crazy. *This happened to me November of last year during the middle of the month. *The best fish was a 17 inch brown trout taken on a size-18 soft hackle with tan hare's mask body and sparse tan, hen hackle, with fine gold wire ribbing.
Currently, midge patterns have been producing well around Clinton and upstream just below or above the weir dam.
Sat & Sun, I fished from 11:30 a.m. till 3:00 p.m. downstream around Clinton and hooked 4 trout in 3 hours. *All rainbows... two were small with two being about 12 inches, but feisty. *The better fish took a size-20, 1/16-inch black tungsten beadhead midge pattern with a body tied from a stripped peacock herl. *
To tie this pattern, I use Danville's 70 denier thread in an olive-brown color. *That color matches the herl well in case a gap develops in the herl during wrapping. *I use two, 4-turn whip finishes just behind the beadhead to secure it in place and to build up slightly to the size of the larger beadhead opening in back. *That keeps the beadhead from slipping backwards down the hook shank. *Lightly coat the herl and thread wraps with Sally Hansen's Hard-as-Nails nail polish (available at pharmacies). *Makes a decent head lacquer, too and it dries quickly.
Sunday, the same pattern worked well in the evening just below the weir dam. *I caught 3 nice brown trout. *They were not large, but put up a good fight. *Then I had to hustle to get off the river for the 6:00 p.m. generation.
I've been tying knotted leaders of about 10 feet in length. *To those I add about 4 feet of 6X tippet material. *When cast, it lands in a bit of a pile or series of "S" curves. *It gives the fly a chance to sink slightly before being pulled away. *The 6X works well in the clear water and its suppleness gives the tiny flies better action.
I've noticed also, that many of the hits occur after a dead-drift, which is followed by a subtle change of direction and increase of speed. *This likely appears to the trout as an emergence behavior and they grab the fly before it can get away. *Also, allow your flyline and leader to straighten out completely downstream before you make your next cast. *Let it hang there a few seconds, then either pull your flyline slowly upstream, move the rod tip off to one side so a secondary current can pull at it, or lift the rod tip slowly. *Many of my best trout take at this time. *If you lift the rod tip, simply make a rollcast pickup.
I've been flyfishing many years, but I relocated to Tennessee only 3 years ago. *Learning to fish the Clinch river has been an eye-opening experience, but I love it. *It's a great and grand challenge. *If you caught fish everytime out, it would soon loose it's appeal and challenging effects.
Hope these few words will give you some good reflection and help your fishing. *Just do not forget to experiment at times. *Also, when on the water, forget about the fishing at times, and be observant. *Take the time to look around and check out the insects and various trout feeding activity. *That will tell you a lot about what you need to do. *Sometimes, I do not rig up my flyrod until I've gotten in the water and take the time to look around. *That's on the days when time is less of a factor. *Then move to a log, or the shore to rig up after observing the "bugs" and the trout.
Tight loops to you... tie one on... S