Hey Greene Weenie, and other frustrated fly-fishers... are you familiar with the "approximate travel times" for the water to drop, or start to rise again on the river? *If you know this information, it will help to decide where you can fish safely, and for how long.
For example, if 2 generators are running and then stops, it takes about 75 to 90 minutes for safe wading just below the weir dam. *(Depends on how old and decrepit you are
). *In turn, if the water is turned on, it only takes about 35 to 45 minutes for it to come up, and it does so quickly. *Don't take a chance. *Get near your take out point, then fish a little extra, or just get out of the river altogether.
Downstream near Clinton at the jail or the church, it takes about 9.5 hours for the water to drop enough (2 generators) to start wade fishing. *In turn, it takes about 4 hours to start coming up with two generators, and 5.5 hours with one generator. *This is also dependent on whether the water fully had time to drop to the lowest level. *It'll come up faster if it never went to the lowest level.
To get a better idea of this concept, you can download the Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited
website to find the chart with some additional info. *Just cut and paste the chart to Microsoft Word, then print it out for your future reference.
I missed out on fishing today (Thanksgiving), but checked the generation schedule for Friday. *If you look at it, generation stops at midnight, then starts again at 5 a.m. *If you're really desparate to fish, that means you can try near the jail or church (Clinton) and have about a 2 hour window of opportunity to fish... that would be from about 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. *
Please notice, I'm saying, "about, around, approximately," because there are other variables to consider. *Make sure you have a watch for time reference. *When you go back to fish a particular area again and again, select a few reference points you can memorize, such as rocks, stumps, or something with features that stand out so you can tell if the water is rising. *
Based on the TU chart, I try to be near my exit location within 10 to 15 minutes of the time the water is expected to rise. *Sometimes, you can stay onstream an extra 30 minutes. *You just gotta experiment. *Be cautious at first and get to know what happens on different parts of the river. *
Hopefully, there will be some opportunity to fish this weekend. *Often, Sunday is better than Saturday, but who knows?
In the past 3 years, the generation schedules that allow fishing have been much, much better than in the past.
Hope this info helps anyone new to fishing the Clinch river. *I'm still fairly new to fishing it myself, and would appreciate any info from the Clinch veterans.
Be safe, tight loops, and tie one on.