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Old 07-10-2009, 03:19 PM
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Smile Clinch - July 10th, 2009

Normally, I don’t like to fish the Clinch on Fridays, because it’s often quite crowded, at least by comparison to other weekdays. I definitely don’t fish there on the weekends - the fishermen outnumber the fish. But… based on the TVA discharge schedule published on their website Thursday evening, it appeared that they would run a reduced flow. Since Tuesday was such a productive day, it seemed like a good idea to try again while the fish were dumb and happy.

Leaving before 6:30AM, I covered the 30 miles and got to the river a little after 7AM. The fog lay thick over the cold water. With only the edge of the water visible, the first thing I noticed was that the flow was still high and fast. The two-generator flow had stopped at 1AM, but the river hadn’t drained down at the Second Baptist Church parking lot. It appeared to be running at least 12” – 15” above normal minimum flow. I leisurely lined my rod and selected some flies. I opted to use a #12 parachute Adams (instead of my normal Thingamabobber) for an indicator and a #16 Zebra Midge dropper tied on with 6x fluorocarbon. Slowly donning my waders to kill time didn’t work; the water still hadn’t receded. Finally, around 7:30AM I entered the river and felt the strong, cold flow from Norris Dam, some 12+ miles upstream.

I couldn’t see more than about 50 feet in the fog, but it quickly became evident that I wasn’t the first on the river. A spin fisherman was working my favorite riffle, so I moved up stream to another ledge that had produced on Tuesday. Quickly enough, I hooked a small rainbow on the Midge. Then a small Brown hit the Adams dry fly. After another hit and miss, the action stopped. I moved further out along a ledge and into the heavier flow, but could not see the Adams. I decided to put on an olive Wooly Bugger and work the pools below the ledge. I worked out across the flow and back, and finally a nice Rainbow took the Bugger.

It was now about 10AM, the fog was thinning and the river level was receding. I decided to go to the Thingamabobber and Midge that produced so well for me before. I took a couple of small Rainbows, before I was able to see that my riffle downstream was vacant. A fisherman had been working Soft Hackle flies through the area, but he moved further to the center of the river. I quickly moved downstream and set up where I could drift the midge through the soft water below the long, lateral ledge. Good move.

I began to pick up several nice Rainbows in fairly quick succession. I’m sure glad I brought the net, and I’m equally glad I use a reel with a good drag (Lamson Velocity 1.5 on a 5-wt TFO TiCr) to save the 6x tippet. I caught and released several fish over 12”, including a nice fat 15” Rainbow. The soft hackle fisherman was getting nothing while I kept catching fish. Feeling rather smug, and anxious to keep the parade going, I got careless with my backcast and tangled the indicator and midge. The fine 6x tippet couldn’t be salvaged, so I cut off some of the tangle and re-tied the Midge tippet to the indicator. The dropper was now about 14” long. The fish ignored me. I retied the Midge on a longer 20” tippet and the catching resumed.

By about 11AM, the water had reached normal low flow, and the fog cleared. The run where I picked up a half-dozen fish went quiet, so I began casting up into the base of the ledge, letting the Midge drift through the soft water. I quickly caught two more nice Rainbows. It was near lunch and I was getting hungry, so I did the old “one more fish” routine. It wasn’t long before a small Brown trout called my hand. I decided to call it a day.

The soft hackle fisherman called over to me and asked to see what I was using. I showed him the Zebra Midge I had on and gave him one I had tied. Before I could get out of the water, he had a fish on. That fish was almost as satisfying as the ones I was catching.
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gverholek View Post
The soft hackle fisherman called over to me and asked to see what I was using. I showed him the Zebra Midge I had on and gave him one I had tied. Before I could get out of the water, he had a fish on. That fish was almost as satisfying as the ones I was catching.
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Old 07-13-2009, 01:35 PM
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gverholek
Did we meet last week on the river?
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:20 PM
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Yes, we did. You were dragging your boat up stream to get started. I was leaving the river. It was nice chatting with you.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:58 AM
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I thought I recognized you bud! It was a pleasure meeting you and I enjoy reading your report. Very detailed and helpful...

Take care friend!
SM
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:17 AM
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Default midge miscalculations

gverholek, Thanks for your good post. I was on the Clinch on Friday. The tiny tan torpedoes were all a buzz, but I didn't fare so well as you. I am a reluctant indicator fisher and always looking over my shoulder for a way to fish downstream. My addiction to soft hackles is not without some justification since the pleasure of fishing them pulls me away from yarn and lead. More discipline = more fish. But the old learn slow. My midge patterns also look a bit like tiny hedge clippings.

I plan to be on the Clinch Friday. Hope to you run into you.

MadisonBoats, Possibly we'll see you and your fine boat.

Monk
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:10 AM
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monktrout
I plan on being out there Friday. It all depends on the pulse schedule so that I can make it up stream or not..

I netted the river several times yesterday to review what was coming off...

The Midge Pattern you will need to use to mimic the release is around a size 24. I would go small black bead with just black line. You may want to add a tuft to make it a pupa.


The scuds were super abundant and usually are...I fished a nice orange one and was very productive...

Water Temp - 60 around the Church and 55 at upper shoals...
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Last edited by MadisonBoats; 07-15-2009 at 09:24 AM.. Reason: Added Picture
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:02 AM
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MadisonBoats, Thanks for the midge photo. I've gone to a sz22 grey with a black bead. I'll think smaller. Scud paterns get overlooked especially on the lower end. We should be downstream of the church. I'll look for you. Depending on generation we should be on the river from 9a-1p.
Sure Knots, Monk
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:04 PM
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Madisonboats,
what size orange scud would you recommend on the Clinch? I have some in 14 and 16 but thought they may be too big.
mstone
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:35 PM
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I fished a #16 Zebra today and took 30-40 fish in a couple of hours before the fog lifted and the catching quit. I've not had to go smaller than #18 in the past several months. I can't see well enough to tie on anything smaller.
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