Encouraged by the recent reports from Waterwolf and few others I decided to give the Clinch River a shot today. I had only fished the Clinch twice before during the Vetrans Day weekend of 2007 not long after moving to East TN. I didn't exactly tear it up that holiday weekend. If my memory is correct I caught one 7" brown trout in approximately 12 hrs of fishing in an around the weir area I tend to fish the mountains more than the tailwaters anyway, at least that's the best excuse I can come up with for that sorry fishing attempt.
I twisted Hans arm and talked him into fishing the Jail area of the Clinch with me this morning after hearing that all the sulphers hadn't been washed into the Gulf of Mexico I arrived at the church parking area around 930 am, Hans showed up about 10 minutes later. We rigged up and headed upstream a little ways before getting in the water. It was pretty slow to start out, only a few midges hatching with none of the highly regarded sulphers anywhere in the vicinity.
I managed a few bumps during the first couple hours of fishing, still no sulphers. Hans headed upstream and after a short time I headed upstream as well and found some nice water between Hans and a couple other fishermen. Finally around 12:15 a few sulphers had started coming off. I was fishing a 18 BHPH with a sulpher color emerger. I caught an 8" brown, then a 9" brookie on the emerger. Things seemed to be picking up, but the sulpher hatch was sporadic, and the fish never really started hitting on top so I stayed with the emerger. Another dry spell for 30-40 minutes as I starting working my way back downstream to the faster riffles and runs where we started fishing. The sulphers started coming off heavier around 1:00 as I reached the fastest run and I hooked up with a decent bow only to have it shake the hook before I could get him in the net. A few casts later I had a heavy feeling fish on for a few seconds before he or she shook the hook I was getting a little frustrated, but I stuck with the emerger and I hooked and landed a fat 13" bow around 10 minutes later after a good fight. Sorry, left the camera at home so there are no pics.
I saw Hans heading back down my way and I waved him towards me saying the sulphers were hatching pretty good in that run. I managed to catch another decent 11-12" bow while chatting with Hans. We were both getting pretty hungry at this point and it seemed to slow back down a little or maybe we were just to hungry to fish well at that point.
Not a spectactular day by some peoples standards, but I was happy to fish some new water and catch a few decent fish, especially the fat bow that gave a great fight. It was nice to catch a grand slam, I believe that was my first in one day of fishing in East TN. I think I will return in the near future since it's only 35 minutes from the house and the Holston at Nances Ferry has gotten a little warm for my taste.