Caught a few last night as a matter of fact on the Clinch. I'm an adrenaline junky with fish. It's like the saying from the book "A river runs through it", " I am haunted by rivers", I am haunted by big fish. They are like the illegal drugs out there, once you tried em, your hooked. The Clinch was my drug back in the late 80's and 90's. Big fish like the one above just about every 10-15 fish you caught. I would race down the interstate, run in full waders and gear down Birdsong trail after work just to get in 1 hour of fishing because there were so many big fish. Check with the old fellas on this board....waterwolf knows. I don't know what happened to that fishery (lots of theories) but hopefully it's starting to make a comeback if we can continue to protect it.
Bottom photo a North Fork White brown. Caught that the weekend UT fired Johnny Majors and hired Phil Fulmer......Maybe I am due to catch another big brown, if UT does their part!!
Backing to me is not to fill up the reel to make the line have less memory when it comes out. It's to keep the fish on the reel until you can run or work them down. Stripers will literally rip your rod out of your hand. The initial burst typically throws what line you have in the boat all around your rod and you have to scramble to get it untangled before they make another burst. They are big fish with attitudes, much like 20" or more trout, and redfish(which is another story altogether)
Call me a snob for big fish. I don't fish the mountain streams not because I don't like them, but for physical reasons. Arthritis in both my big toes with surgery have kept me off those rounded rocks.
Hopefully somebody will nail another 28# brown in the Clinch. I doubt it, but who knew that brut was there in 1987? Anyway, I thought the brown from NY was a beautiful fish. Isn't it amazing what regulations, and a little work from groups can do to protect and produce these fish. Those fish around the Great Lakes were gone until strict regulations went into effect. This is why we have to continue to work with TVA and TWRA.
Big 21...If you get up here again, give me shout.