Monday, December 8, 2014

Sow Bug Pattern

For years I've felt that the sow bug was a bug that I underutilized on the Clinch River.  A few years ago, I wanted to create a sow pattern for my home river.  As I began researching other patterns I saw different methods and some attributes I liked and some I didn't.  A couple weeks ago, I saw FlyFishFood put out their "Gut Stack Sow Bug".  To my surprise it greatly resembled the bug I usually tie for the Clinch.  I would say it's improved greatly with UV resin.  I use Clear Cure Goo and really like it a lot.  Here are a couple pictures of the Gut Stack version I tied up recently.  I'm expecting good results and hope to have some to show soon.  On the clinch I've typically used #16 and #14 for sow bugs.
Light Gray Sow Dub version

Dark gray Sow Dub from Fly Fish Food with Orange hothead

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Clinch River Report - November 29

TVA gave wade fisherman the first glimpse of low water in what has seemed an eternity this past weekend.  The weather was fairly warm and and the water was low so I had to get outside.  The low water window was only about 3-4 hours so I had to fish the upper end of the river.  Fishing was ok.  I managed to locate some willing fish on some new midge patterns I wanted to experiment with in sizes 18 and 20.  I'm expecting a few more opportunities for low water fishing in the next coming weeks.
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Rainbow took a #18 olive sparkle midge

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fly Fish Food

I've been really impressed with the guys from Fly Fish Food.  They have some great ideas and new variations or twists on some original fly patterns.

They also now have an online store and offer a good variety of materials.  One of the best things about their fly tutorials is that they have links directly to the specific materials needed for the pattern.  Their tutorial videos are very well done and easy to follow(unlike some others I've watched over the years). 

If you get the chance be sure to check them out.
Fly Fish Food -- Fly Tying and Fly Fishing Fly Fish Food Website

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Trout Hatchery Funding Update

Below is the latest update I just received via Email from the Trout Unlimited Clinch River Chapter:

To all members and friends of the Clinch River Chapter:

For the most recent developments in the continuing controversy over funding for trout hatcheries, please see the message below from Dick Geiger, president of the Clinch River Chapter TU, and the comments from Rick Murphree, chairman of the Tennessee Council TU.

Their messages refer to a May 27 public meeting in Knoxville, hosted by TVA, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The meeting provided an opportunity for the public to comment on long-term funding recommendations to continue trout stocking programs in TVA reservoirs and tailwaters; the recommendations were developed by the Trout Hatchery Funding Stakeholder Working Group, whose members (one is our own Buzz Buffington) all benefit from recreation-based trout stocking. 

Clinch River Chapter members and friends,

Because of funding restrictions and sequestration in the federal government during the last several years, there have been potential impacts to the operation of the federal hatchery system. A letter-writing campaign to the TN delegation in Congress maintained the funding, but Congress instructed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to attempt to recover payments for operation of the hatcheries. TVA agreed to fund their portion of stocking the tailwaters below TVA dams ($900,000 per year for three years).

Please go to and download the 4 alternatives and provide comments to the working group. Your comments will show you are interested in maintaining the fisheries in the tail waters below the TVA dams.

Dick Geiger, President
Clinch River Chapter of Trout Unlimited

From Tennessee Council Chair Rick Murphree to the Tennessee TU members, May 28:

Last night TVA held a public meeting to gather input on 4 proposed alternatives for funding for USFWS trout hatcheries.  This was the first time we had seen the 4 alternatives. Attached is my statement. I didn't read all of this but did enter it into the record. 

I addressed the panel and did not directly endorse any of the alternatives as I'd not had an opportunity to get input from the Council.  However, I did address the 4th alternative whereby TVA would use its facilities to replace the trout currently produced by the USFWS and would absorb that cost.  In reading the summary of the alternative the only substantive objection was that TVA ratepayers would bear the cost estimated at some $900K per year.  I pointed out to the panel that, using TVA's own data, this was $0.10 per TVA customer per year and this seemed to me to be very reasonable.

According to TVA you should be able today to go to their web and download the summary statements of the 4 alternatives.


And a later comment, also from Rick Murphree on May 28:

As I understand Alternative 4, TVA would pay the $900K to produce the trout that are currently provided by the USFWS Hatchery system.  I assume from the text that TVA would use its hatcheries but it seems to me that it's more likely that the production would be shared between TWRA's hatchery system and TVA.

What I like about that is the we here in TN would control the future production for the tailwater systems.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Holston River - late May

Over the past couple weeks I've been hearing some good reports and seeing pictures from some great trips out on the Holston. I was able to get a taste of my own the other day and it was indeed a fun trip. 
The Holston has such an abundance of bugs which requires a variety filled fly box. Throughout the afternoon fish were rising to caddis, sulphurs, and other various mayflies. 
My experience on the holston is pretty limited. It's a terrific river but doesn't have a ton of public access in relation to the magnitude of the large river. It holds some large trout, small mouth bass, and a large carp population. 
I'm excited to learn more about the holston. It's a beautiful fishery and isn't too far from home. 
I caught fish on nymphs 14-18, sulphur dries and emergers 16, and caddis emergers 14-16. 
Also had a five lb carp eat a stealth bomber pheasant tail nymph variation. That was fun! 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Clinch River Update (Late April)

I've had a few opportunities the past couple weeks to get out on the Clinch River.  Fishing has been pretty good but sometimes inconsistent.  On the upper end of the river midges and scuds/sowbugs have been the ticket on most days.  The lower half of the river as been productive with midges, pheasant tails, and split case nymphs.
I fished the lower end yesterday and saw approximately 20 sulphurs in around 4 hours of fishing.  I'm hopeful for a good hatch in the up coming weeks.  The sulphur hatch on the Clinch River is often very sporadic and unpredictable.  Fingers crossed for 2014.

I'm planning to get out pretty consistently over the next several weeks.  I'll try and keep the reports updated.  Thanks!
Peaceful afternoon on the Clinch

Steady dose of Rainbows this size for the past couple weeks


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

East TN Tailwaters - January 20

Like most anglers, the winter as really taken a toll on us and we haven't been give a lot of great opportunities to fish our tailwaters.  Whether is be poor wading opportunities due to water release schedules or bad weather, its seemed as though this winter has been one of the worst in recent years. 
TVA built this weir below South Holston Dam to add oxygen to the river. Oxygen-rich water helps create a sustained habitat for aquatic insects, vegetation, and fish.
 I decided to take a solo trip up to the far east of TN and visit the South Holston.  The South Holston is a truly great river and produces numerous large fish year end and year out.  Each year I make a goal saying I would like to be able to fish this river more(watagua also), but its tough leaving my mother Clinch River when its almost always fishing well and 5 minutes from my front porch.  For the past several years, I've found myself making short trips up to the SoHo during the winter(usually when the Clinch is blown out), and it always helps fix my itch to catch some fish.  This is exactly what I needed this past weekend.

I arrived around 11:30am and TVA was scheduled to stop water generation around 12:00pm.  I spoke to a few locals and took a couple pictures. 
Not to my surprise was the crowds of anglers ready to get some time on the water.  I walked down the trail that starts up at the weir and anglers were already lined up like a scene from a magazine for a salmon run.  I found myself a fairly good entry spot and once water levels were safe I began fishing.

Fishing was pretty fair and I managed some good fish, but nothing huge on this trip.  I caught a few on a #18BHPT and the majority of my fish came on a #20 juju midge.  I felt like the fish were really responding to the flash of wings on the juju. 

I didn't take any fish pictures on this trip.  All I had was my phone and my hands were too cold and not worth the risk of dropping ANOTHER phone in the river.

As usual, my Sage One performed great and provided some good casts in the strong cold winds.

I'm really hoping that we get some low water on the Clinch soon.  I'm sure when we get to go the fish will be really active.  This has been the case following the past few years following high water winters.

I'm also getting some of my fly tying materials stocked up and getting ready for the up coming sulphur hatches.  I have a couple new patterns I'm anxious to tie and try
Sage One 590 has been my "work horse" since I picked it up.