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Old 05-24-2014, 09:30 PM
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Default Clinch Quality???

I made it out to the Clinch yesterday for the first time in probably 8 months. In years past I would be on the water 30+ days a year, so this was a long overdue return.... I must say I was initially shocked at the water level on the lower river, as I don't recall ever seeing it as low as it was yesterday afternoon (including the drought years).

Secondly, the didymo was so thick in some places that it was extending upward over 12" and laying on the surface in thick mats. That too was a first for me, as typically I have always seen much thinner mats of vegetations that seemed to hang closer to the bottom than extending to the surface.

Finally, I was also a little surprised to see a very thin and sporadic sulfur hatch coming off. The fish were not really targeting the sulfurs, as I observed about 50% of the bugs drifting lazily on the surface until they slowly took to the air. Previously I referenced the drought from a few years ago, and in my opinion that year saw one of the best sulfur hatches of the past 10+ years.

Anybody else want to comment on this?
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:58 PM
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Yesterday was a unique day in terms of water flows. TVA brilliantly ran an hour pulse on Thursday at around 5pm and didn't run water again until late Friday. 24 hours of off time is beyond ridiculous, and caused what you saw.

There is a ton of algae in the river this year, more algae than didymo from what I have seen. Sure there's plenty of the latter, but you're seeing the new algae, which is common in the Holston and has been for years. Mainly at Nances ferry and Riverpoint. I suspect it was brought to the Clinch by folks who frequent both places by way of their boots and waders. It sucks, but it happens, and higher flows will beat it back.

On the fish population, it's the Clinch some days are great some are brutal. Fishing the Clinch on 24 hours of no generation generally results in a humbling day.

On the bugs, good luck predicting them this year, it's very hit or miss. Last Saturday saw a blanket hatch, twice this week there were almost no bugs. The biologist types say the benthic population is normal to above to normal, so no worries from what they say.
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Old 05-25-2014, 06:31 AM
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The lower flows are making it tough on the trout in my opinion. The fish mongers are having a ball fishing in a bucket-literally... I heard of several slot fish being taken Saturday Morning.

I am not sure why TVA could not run water through one of the sluices at a very low flow...(?) I know it is being wasted in not making power; however, it gives great oxygen and helps the stability of the river flows.

The didymo seems to be low in my opinion...the aquatic vegetation is still hanging on though. It will need a few heavy cycles to clear it up.

Fishing still seems to be good! Also; I have experienced some good sulphur hatches as well.
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Old 05-25-2014, 02:41 PM
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I am lucky enough to live 12 minutes to the Clinch and 30 minutes to the Smokies back gate (don't try this at home kids!). I sometimes fish the Clinch four or more times a week, I am sure if you have seen the TVA flow reports you have seen this:
2014 Rain and Runoff

TVA manages the Tennessee River system and its tributaries to maximize its many benefits. We keep reservoirs full as possible during the summer for recreation, while also providing flood control, navigation, water supply and quality and low-cost power generation.
We depend on rain and runoff beginning in March through the spring to fill the reservoirs. Rain which results in runoff filling Norris is currently lower than normal. The average runoff during the spring fill for the Norris watershed is 5.85 inches. This year we’ve only received 2.57 (as of May 19th), this is 44% of normal. Unfortunately, the below average rain and runoff will result in lower than normal summer lake levels on Norris.


As they say this year is not good for rain and they posted above this past week. Last year you could not get a break from the rain, I guess this year it's the reverse. The past month or so its skinny water many days, I like to sight cast so it has just helped my skills, fishing has been good the majority of days, some good some bad. The suprising part is some of the biggest fish days have been in water knee deep or less like below:

This one I released last week after catching in super skinny water
note the aquatic vegatation




So this year I think sometimes you just gotta pop on Van Morrison's 'Moondance Deluxe" on the phone (you will be amazed to the references to fishing, and rivers on that album), and chiil out!

Last night about 5:30 PM

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Last edited by bigsur; 05-25-2014 at 02:56 PM.. Reason: tennesse hllbilly spellin
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Old 05-25-2014, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigsur View Post
So this year I think sometimes you just gotta pop on Van Morrison's 'Moondance Deluxe" on the phone (you will be amazed to the references to fishing, and rivers on that album), and chiil out!
I like Into the Mystic (Take 11) and alt version of Glad Tidings

But besides the obvious ones in And it Stoned Me can you please reference one or two for me

Music and Fly fishing are two of my passions. My listening room with powerful tube amps and acoustic treatment everywhere, and a killer turntable is the only place I still have in the house that the kids haven't taken over
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:54 PM
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bigsur bigsur is offline
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I hate when you can't fish and analyze!
CRAZY LOVE 1ST LYRIC
EVERYONE Last LYRIC
has water reference. Now tie some flies before I
come over there and put some Rick James on your
high dollar victrola!
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Old 05-25-2014, 05:06 PM
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thanks for the replies, guys... I wasn't necessarily complaining about how bad the fishery was, just some observations about how much it had changed since I was last there. However, I do think the fishing was a little below par for this time of year. Although that could be a result of the water being off for 24 hours. When I look back at my fishing logs for the Clinch in May and June a typical day was 5 - 7 fish per hour, with around 33% being over 14". This last trip was significantly slower than those numbers, although both of the fish I landed were over 14", and the two that broke me off definitely fought much harder. So, the size appeared to be there...

I also need to consider the fact that my days of 30+ days on the water have gone bye bye since my second child was born and I have taken up a broader range of hunting sports. So, as hard as it is to admit, it was probably the fisherman with rusty skills that was to blame for such low numbers. This just gives me more determination to make a dedicated effort this year to reclaim those previous skills



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