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  #21  
Old 04-26-2013, 01:25 AM
Corbo Corbo is offline
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Well; the SOHO sulphur hatches often last into December some years and the hatch is pretty well reliable day in and day out regardless of flow... one can pretty well expect dry fly action more often than not...

The Clinch by comparison is a nymphing river more often than not.... when it's on for sulhurs it's awesome no doubt but I show up expecting to fish wet, not dry.

To date I have never experienced a caddis hatch on the Holston that could be described as "strong" compared to so many other rivers I have fished...

As to "substrate" I would say the SOHO has more snot and this might acoount for more bugs.
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  #22  
Old 04-26-2013, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by waterwolf View Post
There is a ton that goes into why certain bugs live in certain rivers yet don't exist in others that appear similar.

The SOUTH HOLSTON has a different substrate than the clinch which allows for it to have Baetis, however the Clinch historically has just has big a Sulphur hatch as the SOUTH HOLSTON. It may last a shorter period of time, or be timed different, but I have seen a ton of hatches on the Clinch which covered the river bank to bank with adults, and it looked like it was reverse snowing yellow bugs. The Clinch is subjected to much higher flows which could cause fluctuations in hatch strength from year to year.

The Holston below cherokee has strong caddis because of the substrate being a lot of round rock and warmer water temps which seem to make caddis thrive.

I am not bug expert by any means, but stating the Clinch has a small and sparse Sulphur hatch makes this conversation almost a non starter. The Clinch has never had a great caddis population, other than the tiny black ones which hatch late summer.
I agree Jim! The Clinch substrate is varied compared to some of the other tailwaters. Also; the river-flow is extremely varied compared to the S. Holston. However; I believe there are several mini-ecosystems on the Clinch that do consist of some unique benthic life.

I have noticed a large increase in the amount of cased caddis on the lower end of the river this year. They seem to be consistent and plentiful. Anyone else finding these on the lower end?
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  #23  
Old 04-26-2013, 06:57 AM
waterwolf waterwolf is offline
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Originally Posted by Corbo View Post
Well; the SOHO sulphur hatches often last into December some years and the hatch is pretty well reliable day in and day out regardless of flow... one can pretty well expect dry fly action more often than not...

The Clinch by comparison is a nymphing river more often than not.... when it's on for sulhurs it's awesome no doubt but I show up expecting to fish wet, not dry.

To date I have never experienced a caddis hatch on the Holston that could be described as "strong" compared to so many other rivers I have fished...

As to "substrate" I would say the SOHO has more snot and this might acoount for more bugs.
The SOUTH HOLSTON does have a great Sulphur hatch, but saying the SOUTH HOLSTON has sulphurs through December might be a stretch. I have seen them into September there but not much later than that.

Starting in a week or so, every afternoon on the Clinch the Sulphurs will hatch and you can fish dries, some days the hatch will be very strong others not so much. It has been that way for decades now. As I said in my earlier post as far back as I can remember (mid 80's) we have been fishing heavy Sulphur hatches on the Clinch in May. If all you find is sporadic hatches maybe it is the stretch of river you frequent, and not the river in its entirety.

I have seen Caddis hatches on the Holston that would be considered pretty dang heavy for an eastern tailwater, nothing like the western rivers see, but enough bugs that every fish in the river is up eating caddis and the number of bugs becomes a nuisance. Those hatches have dropped off in intensity over the past few years, and my reasoning is that at first it was a food base that was not utilized before trout were introduced. Now they are preyed on heavily which may have had an impact on overall numbers of bugs.
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  #24  
Old 04-26-2013, 09:46 AM
Joe Congleton Joe Congleton is offline
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Corbo- l have only been fly fishing a decade longer than you so l may not have learned anything new in the last ten years. So in that regard we are equals. In terms of experience with our Tn tailwaters though l guess i have about a fifty year headstart on figuring them out. Still may not have all the science right but l do catch a nice fish every once in a while. I was asked to write dome articles in Trout magazine on our tailwaters in the late 70s early eighties which sort of outlined the state of the sourhrrn tailwaters at that time if you wanted to get some historical perspective. The questions you pose and the mission or trek Madison is on are not dissimilar from mine or what any inquisitive flyfisherman would pursue. I have been a student for a long time myself

What makes this river tick? How can it be improved? Etc

The clinch has has a sulphur population that l have seen since the sixties. In the preweir days it was sparse and primarily found at major creek mouths and in the last miles above Clinton. Prior to the weir In the sixties Norris had 2-3 consequetive months of oxygen levels that could approach zero parts per million, no minimum flow regime and low water was far lower and much warmer than what we consider low water to be today. Midge and blackfly was the bulk of the trout diet the that could survive and prosper.

When the weir was built immediately after Tellico Dam issues and in response to TU and potential 404 litigation it was a new concept. It was not engineered as well as the subsequent South Holston weir but it did dramtically improve the yr round oxygen , water temperature and min flow--these improvements basically created an entirely new ecosystem in the river and led to the prolific emphemeralla hatchs on the river today. Also improved the caddis diversity ,although the black caddis was seen occasionally even in the water wasteland days in the sixties. Today twra biologists say the Clinch is the overall best tailwater for trout productivity in the region , a statement that l m not sure l agree with but l am
Glad it is doing well.

The Holston below Cherokee was viewed by Twra historically as a tailwater unsuited for trout as it suffered both high water temps and low dissolved oxygen periods even more dramatic than the clinch. Rather than build a weir at Cherokee TVA used vented turbine improvements and other reoxygenation processes to dramtically improve the river. The temp issue solved itself with a minimum flow regime and the previously undervalued impacts of inflow from springs and cave waters. Because of the higher ph and the influence of spring inflow in the cherokee tailwater it carried more natural benthos diversity than the clinch.

The south Holston also had a good ph. More diverse rubble rocks like the main holston and unlike the hard ledgerock of the clinch. It had colder discharge water from higher elevation lakes and dams and always had a strong and more diverse mayfly base populaion which exploded on the greenhouse effects of weir improvements there. The SH weir is a much better engineered and constructed weir than the clinch weir, which was thrown up hastily with inherent limiting factors as tomits long term viability . Those SH weir improvements created a greenhouse with ideal water and nutrients for the sulphurs and the population responded dramatically. With yhe food base improvements the trout mass exploded too.

So historical perspective is important to understand l think. You have seen John Thurman's name in these posts. John is retired from TVA but still does contract benthos surveys on every Tva tailwater on an annual basis l
Think. He and l have spent a lot of time fishing and bird hunting all over the country and l will say he knows more about the Clinch benthos than anybody. Sometimes he manages to catch a nice fish too.

If ypu really want to know more about these tailwater bug issues you need to go to a TU meeting where John is speaking and catch him afterwards or find him on the clinch river. Look for two english setters in the water and you will find John.
John has given many collection vials to fisherman on the river and asked them to collect bugs they think are unusual snd get them back
To him to ID. HE SAYS HE NEVER GETS THEM BACK.

I agree with Waterwolf assessment of his list above of the other mayfly species besides sulphurs that he has seen on the Clinch. He and l have discussed those finds many times as has Thurman and l and l will simply say again none of us has ever seen a BWO or BAETIS on the Clinch. There are several different sizes of the "sulfurs" In the clinch from 14 to 20 or even 22. Their colors vary too. Some may appear more green in color and could perhaps be mistaken for some other species. Having fished extensive bwo hatches elsewhere for many years l think l could ID A bwo but l am not a trained entomologist so who knows. I am confident Thurman could. It would be great if the BWO was on the Clinch . But l would not personally believe what you read on somebodys hatch chart or river map or web page until a qualified scientist confirmed a proper ID, and so far that hasn't happened. I think Purdue university is viewed as having a premier entomolgy department and the TVA samples Thurman and others have done have been periodically reviewed by Purdue folks so there is some backchecking there. In any event Whether there might be a tiny bwo population or not, it is pretty clear thst the presence of them is completely insignificant as a food source in the clinch given the year round mass if other nenthos. This doesntb mean a bwo fly pattern wouldnt catch some of the clinch fish. So if you want to fish a bwo have at it.

Last edited by Joe Congleton; 04-26-2013 at 03:40 PM..
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  #25  
Old 04-27-2013, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Congleton View Post
Corbo- l have only been fly fishing a decade longer than you so l may not have learned anything new in the last ten years. So in that regard we are equals. In terms of experience with our Tn tailwaters though l guess i have about a fifty year headstart on figuring them out. Still may not have all the science right but l do catch a nice fish every once in a while. I was asked to write dome articles in Trout magazine on our tailwaters in the late 70s early eighties which sort of outlined the state of the sourhrrn tailwaters at that time if you wanted to get some historical perspective. The questions you pose and the mission or trek Madison is on are not dissimilar from mine or what any inquisitive flyfisherman would pursue. I have been a student for a long time myself

What makes this river tick? How can it be improved? Etc

The clinch has has a sulphur population that l have seen since the sixties. In the preweir days it was sparse and primarily found at major creek mouths and in the last miles above Clinton. Prior to the weir In the sixties Norris had 2-3 consequetive months of oxygen levels that could approach zero parts per million, no minimum flow regime and low water was far lower and much warmer than what we consider low water to be today. Midge and blackfly was the bulk of the trout diet the that could survive and prosper.

When the weir was built immediately after Tellico Dam issues and in response to TU and potential 404 litigation it was a new concept. It was not engineered as well as the subsequent South Holston weir but it did dramtically improve the yr round oxygen , water temperature and min flow--these improvements basically created an entirely new ecosystem in the river and led to the prolific emphemeralla hatchs on the river today. Also improved the caddis diversity ,although the black caddis was seen occasionally even in the water wasteland days in the sixties. Today twra biologists say the Clinch is the overall best tailwater for trout productivity in the region , a statement that l m not sure l agree with but l am
Glad it is doing well.

The Holston below Cherokee was viewed by Twra historically as a tailwater unsuited for trout as it suffered both high water temps and low dissolved oxygen periods even more dramatic than the clinch. Rather than build a weir at Cherokee TVA used vented turbine improvements and other reoxygenation processes to dramtically improve the river. The temp issue solved itself with a minimum flow regime and the previously undervalued impacts of inflow from springs and cave waters. Because of the higher ph and the influence of spring inflow in the cherokee tailwater it carried more natural benthos diversity than the clinch.

The south Holston also had a good ph. More diverse rubble rocks like the main holston and unlike the hard ledgerock of the clinch. It had colder discharge water from higher elevation lakes and dams and always had a strong and more diverse mayfly base populaion which exploded on the greenhouse effects of weir improvements there. The SH weir is a much better engineered and constructed weir than the clinch weir, which was thrown up hastily with inherent limiting factors as tomits long term viability . Those SH weir improvements created a greenhouse with ideal water and nutrients for the sulphurs and the population responded dramatically. With yhe food base improvements the trout mass exploded too.

So historical perspective is important to understand l think. You have seen John Thurman's name in these posts. John is retired from TVA but still does contract benthos surveys on every Tva tailwater on an annual basis l
Think. He and l have spent a lot of time fishing and bird hunting all over the country and l will say he knows more about the Clinch benthos than anybody. Sometimes he manages to catch a nice fish too.

If ypu really want to know more about these tailwater bug issues you need to go to a TU meeting where John is speaking and catch him afterwards or find him on the clinch river. Look for two english setters in the water and you will find John.
John has given many collection vials to fisherman on the river and asked them to collect bugs they think are unusual snd get them back
To him to ID. HE SAYS HE NEVER GETS THEM BACK.

I agree with Waterwolf assessment of his list above of the other mayfly species besides sulphurs that he has seen on the Clinch. He and l have discussed those finds many times as has Thurman and l and l will simply say again none of us has ever seen a BWO or BAETIS on the Clinch. There are several different sizes of the "sulfurs" In the clinch from 14 to 20 or even 22. Their colors vary too. Some may appear more green in color and could perhaps be mistaken for some other species. Having fished extensive bwo hatches elsewhere for many years l think l could ID A bwo but l am not a trained entomologist so who knows. I am confident Thurman could. It would be great if the BWO was on the Clinch . But l would not personally believe what you read on somebodys hatch chart or river map or web page until a qualified scientist confirmed a proper ID, and so far that hasn't happened. I think Purdue university is viewed as having a premier entomolgy department and the TVA samples Thurman and others have done have been periodically reviewed by Purdue folks so there is some backchecking there. In any event Whether there might be a tiny bwo population or not, it is pretty clear thst the presence of them is completely insignificant as a food source in the clinch given the year round mass if other nenthos. This doesntb mean a bwo fly pattern wouldnt catch some of the clinch fish. So if you want to fish a bwo have at it.
Joe,
Excellent post and great perspective!

I love this part! You definitely have me described right! I love learning and challenging myself and fly fishing is the perfect sport to fulfill those needs.


Quote:
...The questions you pose and the mission or trek Madison is on are not dissimilar from mine or what any inquisitive flyfisherman would pursue. I have been a student for a long time myself

What makes this river tick? How can it be improved? Etc ...
I also enjoy sharing and helping others learn as well. I believe we should take the approach of, "I found this bug...?"; post the picture and ask if someone can help identify. As with most internet posts; each person should tread lightly with what they read and make their own informative opinion.

Most of all; I know that if we work together and help one another-We can help protect the Clinch and other trout waters from the development changes that are coming! Trust me; it will take all of us together!

Looking forward to sharing some more bug pictures once I get on the river again. BTW; the dam is spilling and adding tons of fresh oxygen in the river.

Quote:
......if ypu really want to know more about these tailwater bug issues you need to go to a TU meeting where John is speaking and catch him afterwards or find him on the clinch river. Look for two english setters in the water and you will find John.....
You forgot to add ...wearing a RED cap...
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Last edited by MadisonBoats; 04-28-2013 at 07:01 AM..
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  #26  
Old 04-27-2013, 08:13 AM
Corbo Corbo is offline
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Thank You Joe for your response! Most enlightening and appreciated..

I am a TU Life member but have not transfered my membership south;
perhaps I could make it to a Clinch meeting. Do you regularly attend?

Now as to seeing BWO's on the Clinch about fuve weeks ago... I am not a bug scientist by any means but I've spent a bunch of time fishing eastern olive hatches and these were not sulphurs. This was a sparse hatch and none of the bugs made it off the water, the air outside was in the lower forties and a bunch of the bugs landed in an eddy behind miller's island so I had the opportunity to observe then in hand. very definitely BWO's with correct body and dark dun wings size 16... they were beautiful.
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  #27  
Old 04-27-2013, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Congleton View Post
Corbo- l have only been fly fishing a decade longer than you so l may not have learned anything new in the last ten years. So in that regard we are equals. In terms of experience with our Tn tailwaters though l guess i have about a fifty year headstart on figuring them out. Still may not have all the science right but l do catch a nice fish every once in a while. I was asked to write dome articles in Trout magazine on our tailwaters in the late 70s early eighties which sort of outlined the state of the sourhrrn tailwaters at that time if you wanted to get some historical perspective. The questions you pose and the mission or trek Madison is on are not dissimilar from mine or what any inquisitive flyfisherman would pursue. I have been a student for a long time myself

What makes this river tick? How can it be improved? Etc

The clinch has has a sulphur population that l have seen since the sixties. In the preweir days it was sparse and primarily found at major creek mouths and in the last miles above Clinton. Prior to the weir In the sixties Norris had 2-3 consequetive months of oxygen levels that could approach zero parts per million, no minimum flow regime and low water was far lower and much warmer than what we consider low water to be today. Midge and blackfly was the bulk of the trout diet the that could survive and prosper.

When the weir was built immediately after Tellico Dam issues and in response to TU and potential 404 litigation it was a new concept. It was not engineered as well as the subsequent South Holston weir but it did dramtically improve the yr round oxygen , water temperature and min flow--these improvements basically created an entirely new ecosystem in the river and led to the prolific emphemeralla hatchs on the river today. Also improved the caddis diversity ,although the black caddis was seen occasionally even in the water wasteland days in the sixties. Today twra biologists say the Clinch is the overall best tailwater for trout productivity in the region , a statement that l m not sure l agree with but l am
Glad it is doing well.

The Holston below Cherokee was viewed by Twra historically as a tailwater unsuited for trout as it suffered both high water temps and low dissolved oxygen periods even more dramatic than the clinch. Rather than build a weir at Cherokee TVA used vented turbine improvements and other reoxygenation processes to dramtically improve the river. The temp issue solved itself with a minimum flow regime and the previously undervalued impacts of inflow from springs and cave waters. Because of the higher ph and the influence of spring inflow in the cherokee tailwater it carried more natural benthos diversity than the clinch.

The south Holston also had a good ph. More diverse rubble rocks like the main holston and unlike the hard ledgerock of the clinch. It had colder discharge water from higher elevation lakes and dams and always had a strong and more diverse mayfly base populaion which exploded on the greenhouse effects of weir improvements there. The SH weir is a much better engineered and constructed weir than the clinch weir, which was thrown up hastily with inherent limiting factors as tomits long term viability . Those SH weir improvements created a greenhouse with ideal water and nutrients for the sulphurs and the population responded dramatically. With yhe food base improvements the trout mass exploded too.

So historical perspective is important to understand l think. You have seen John Thurman's name in these posts. John is retired from TVA but still does contract benthos surveys on every Tva tailwater on an annual basis l
Think. He and l have spent a lot of time fishing and bird hunting all over the country and l will say he knows more about the Clinch benthos than anybody. Sometimes he manages to catch a nice fish too.

If ypu really want to know more about these tailwater bug issues you need to go to a TU meeting where John is speaking and catch him afterwards or find him on the clinch river. Look for two english setters in the water and you will find John.
John has given many collection vials to fisherman on the river and asked them to collect bugs they think are unusual snd get them back
To him to ID. HE SAYS HE NEVER GETS THEM BACK.

I agree with Waterwolf assessment of his list above of the other mayfly species besides sulphurs that he has seen on the Clinch. He and l have discussed those finds many times as has Thurman and l and l will simply say again none of us has ever seen a BWO or BAETIS on the Clinch. There are several different sizes of the "sulfurs" In the clinch from 14 to 20 or even 22. Their colors vary too. Some may appear more green in color and could perhaps be mistaken for some other species. Having fished extensive bwo hatches elsewhere for many years l think l could ID A bwo but l am not a trained entomologist so who knows. I am confident Thurman could. It would be great if the BWO was on the Clinch . But l would not personally believe what you read on somebodys hatch chart or river map or web page until a qualified scientist confirmed a proper ID, and so far that hasn't happened. I think Purdue university is viewed as having a premier entomolgy department and the TVA samples Thurman and others have done have been periodically reviewed by Purdue folks so there is some backchecking there. In any event Whether there might be a tiny bwo population or not, it is pretty clear thst the presence of them is completely insignificant as a food source in the clinch given the year round mass if other nenthos. This doesntb mean a bwo fly pattern wouldnt catch some of the clinch fish. So if you want to fish a bwo have at it.
Thanks for your post. It was very informative. I appreciate you contributing to this fourm, and hope you will continue to do so
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  #28  
Old 04-29-2013, 03:27 PM
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'Wolf, there are sulphurs 12 months out of the year on the soho. I promise!
Saw what I would describe as quill Gordon's coming off this spring on the clinch to constitute a "hatch". That's nice.
Would LOVE to have bwo on the Clinch and I'm not dismissing a siting.
I've seen (one time only) a substantial #12 caddis hatch come off ABOVE the weir 2 winters ago. Again, I promise.
But, remember this (beginner or expert), if the bug is small and gray, fish a small gray fly and likewise other colors and sizes of bugs.
Great info Joe! Thanks!

4X
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:42 PM
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'Wolf, there are sulphurs 12 months out of the year on the soho. I promise!
Saw what I would describe as quill Gordon's coming off this spring on the clinch to constitute a "hatch". That's nice.
Would LOVE to have bwo on the Clinch and I'm not dismissing a siting.
I've seen (one time only) a substantial #12 caddis hatch come off ABOVE the weir 2 winters ago. Again, I promise.
But, remember this (beginner or expert), if the bug is small and gray, fish a small gray fly and likewise other colors and sizes of bugs.
Great info Joe! Thanks!

4X
Would you call them sho nuff hatches or just seeing a few bugs on the SOUTH HOLSTON ?
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  #30  
Old 04-30-2013, 05:04 PM
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Not full blown hatches, young Jim.
What's funny is, in jan. I've seen single duns here and there and they nearly all get eatin.
In fact, a brown trout told me she "loved them!" and "they taste like a cross between bananas, chicken, and honeydew".

4X
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