I had big aspirations for last Saturday. This was going to be a major outing being Father's Day weekend and all. Mother nature had other plans as usual. The forecast was calling for 80% chance of rain and scattered thunderstorms, but that didn't scare us off because we were determined for an awesome day on the Clinch River. Although it never really did rain all that much, the winds were up around 20-30 mph constantly. We were also surprised to find out that the fish were really down and not as aggressive as they have been for the past several weeks.
One high point was that my buddy Rodney was able to break in his brand new Orvis Helios 2. Needless to say, he's pretty stoked about his new rod!
I have been asked a couple times lately about the current fishing conditions on my home river --> Clinch River below Norris Dam.
This past couple of months have been really great. Most fly fisherman I speak to fairly regular are catching good numbers of fish and also some good quality fish. We've had a pretty decent sulphur hatch this year, but like most years on the Clinch is really difficult to figure out from time to time. I was able to fish a handful of quality hatches on the lower end of the river over the past few weeks. Of those trips, only one day was I able to really feel confident in my abilities to catch fish on a dry. I don't know if it was the flies I tied up or just that the fish were over aggressive that day, but it's sure a lot of fun when you can cast to rising fish and acutally get them to take your fly. I recently read a great article about the Clinch River sulphur hatches and the complexity of our picky trout. I had never visited this site/blog and I don't personally know the author, but his name is Carter Lyles. The article can be found ------> The Technicality of the Clinch River Sulphur Hatch This article is extremely well written and was insightful. I learned a lot from reading it whether its true or not you can decide that yourself.
I recently fished the upper end of the Clinch. I hadn't fished up there in quite some time. For the past several years I have tended to focus on the upper end during the fall and winter months. I was curious to see how the fishing was up there and I had a small window of 2 hours that I was able to get out and fish. I caught six fish within the two hours, but all fish were really great quality.
Here are a couple shots from a trip to the Little Pigeon River. TVA hasn't provided us any wading opportunities on our tailwaters, so this left us searching for other options. We found some small mouth willing to play. We caught most on a Complex Twist Bugger by Fly Fish Food. My fishing partner in crime @BIGoRODJENNINGS caught a couple on a popper. All in all, we definitely considered this trip a success!
We've had some extreme weather in East TN lately. Two weeks straight of ice and snow.
I was able to squeeze in a quick trip to the Clinch. I opted to fish the pool below Norris Dam. I was in the river for around an hour and brought two fish to hand. The snow was still on the ground and it was great to get out in the brisk cold air.
The last half of December provided a few opportunities for me to get out and do some fishing on a couple of my local tailwaters - the Clinch and Holston Rivers. I had not been on the Holston since last May. Once my buddy and I arrived at the river, we immediately began seeing some rising fish in one of my favorite runs. Once we were rigged and wader'd up we were into the fish right out of the gate and action stayed pretty consistent for the couple hours we were there. Midges were primary producer of takes in size #18.
The Clinch river was fishing pretty well on the upper half of the river. We have been catching most of our fish on midges(#20-24).
I'm looking forward to 2015 and what it has in store. 2014 provided some excellent fishing around my neck of the woods. Hopefully this new year will continue to produce.
Also - I wanna give a shout out to my buddy Rodney - @big0rodjennings (instagram) to getting back into fly fishing after a short hiatus. Fishing buddies, swapping stories, fly tying, and getting to know others who enjoy fly fishing is half of the fun on the river.