Hey guys my name is Andy Huddleston and I have just signed up this wonderful fourth of July to become a memeber of this forum. I have dabbled in flyfishing the last year or so, but have recently "caught the fever"... I can not get enough of this sport. I am 19 and recently finished my freshamn year at UT, prior to that i did sports and never had enough time... but now i have lots of it and flyfishing is vastly becoming my first hobby. I really was blessed this past year at school to have found some awesome people who both mentored me in life, the smoky mountains, and the art of flyfishing. However, everytime I have been outside of the somkies three things happen. 1) I am not confident 2) I never catch fish 3) I have no idea what I am doing it seems like a whole different ball game to me, fishing in the park and fishing say on the clinch. I would love to begin learning how to fish tailwaters also and would love any advice on generation, on what flies to use, on when there will be some hatches (and what kind), places to go within about a two hour range from Knoxville (that's where I live specifically though the Clinch) and again i would love any information about anything that has to do with tailwaters, i have told myself for a while now (about a year)...Once I catch a fish on a tailwater (a decent sized one i hope), then i will begin fly tying... i am sad to say i still have not picked up this part of the sport yet, but i hope to soon, with the help of all you guys...Thanks for any information that you can offer!
I mainly fish the clinch and do pretty well there. Most of the time i fish at the 61 bridge in clinton. I have done really well on grifith gnats,zebra midges, and bead head pheasant tails all in size 18-20. I am also seeing some sulfer hatches around the 61 bridge on the clinch. Size 8-12 bead head olive or black wooley buggers are another pattern i do well with on the clinch. Hope this helps you out!
andy, welcome to the board. the tailwaters can be a whole different game. I'm just a few years older than you and started out fly fishing about 4 years ago in the smokies, and occasionally on the clinch. for the first 3 years, I did not know one other person that flyfished. I had to learn everything by trial and error, and the occasional random question to the staff at LRO. even with that, I learned fairly quickly and was soon catching fish successfully. I spent the majority of that time honing my skills in the smokies. the mountains can be a real testing ground sometimes, but the good news is, if you learn to be successful up there, you can be successful just about anywhere.
this year, I've had the opportunity to meet and fish with many people from this board, and it's been a huge learning experience. up until this year, I had never fished the south holston, watauga, caney or the hiwasse. these are all excellent streams (all better than the clinch IMO), and within 2 hours of knoxville. the fishing on these tailwaters can be absolutely phenomenal, and I've gotten to spend a good deal of time on them this year.
my best advice would be to meet some people and go fishing with them. there's alot of guys on this board (and I'm not one of them) with years of experience and know how. that's the fast track to learning where you can access a river, where the fish are, and what they'll eat. you may even find some real honey holes. if you ever want to go along with me sometime, you're more than welcome to, although, I'm kind of still learning the tailwaters myself.
Welcome to the board! Its always great to see other college students on here.... (I'm one myself) If you can afford it, hire a guide, even if it is for a half day. Hugh Hartsell would be a good one to try and if you haven't seen it, his website can be found here. If that is out of the question for now, the next best option would be what Trevor was saying and that is to find some people to go fish with that can help and advise. Despite his modesty, Trevor is a very good fisherman that will help you get into fish and if you get a chance to fish with him, definitely take it...
I'm definitely no expert but you're welcome to join me sometime if you want. I'll possibly be heading over to the South Holston sometime around the July 22-24 timeframe if you're interested...
Man you guys are so generous and i thank you for your generousity. I would love to fish with both of you guys if possible, Trevor and David. It's really neat to meet a couple other college guys who are into this as much as i am...my friends would like to call them selves bass fishermen but at best that is just to sound macho (and "cool to the ladies") and most of the time when i ask them to go "fly fishing" with me they are like... six in the morning-NO WAY! So it's really neat to find a couple other guys who are into it. If this is an easier way to communicate so that we could possibly go fishing together my email is firstname.lastname@example.org David i know your email because i checked out your blog and PS it is awesome, keep it up i will be a constant checker of it. So treaver email me if you could...Thanks.
Also, as far as the information about the spots on the clinch, the hatches, the fly suggestions... i am equally thankful. Thanks for all your help I really, really appreciate it.