Thursday, February 21, 2008

Clinch River 2/20

It was Wednesday, and presumably the nicest day of the week, so Sean and I decided to do some afternoon fishing on the Clinch. I must admit, that since moving to Tennessee, I have not given the Clinch its due. I used to live a half-mile from Twin Bridges on the South Fork of the Snake, and a 35 minute trip to the Clinch seems like quite a step down. I usually head to the National Park since it is only about 15 minutes farther away and I am a sucker for wild trout. Plus, since fishing in the Smokies is such a radically different style of fishing from western tailwaters, it can be judged on its own merits- and is a world class fishery in its own right. Comparing the Park to a tailwater is apples to oranges.

The weather wasn't super cold, it was windy but the water was off. We started the afternoon at Miller's Island and to our surprise there were only 2 other fishermen (another thing I like about the Park is the solitude if you are fishing more than a 1/2 mile from a parking spot).

There were fish rising on midges, but the wind was making casting 7x and midges difficult. The numbers of rising fish seemed low compared to calmer times, but we managed a couple of hookups. I was using a Griffith's Gnat with a green midge dropper. Sean went double nymph.

I caught one of the prettiest brownies that I have landed in months. It wasn't huge, especially by Clinch standards, but the colors were wonderful.

Sean caught a couple as well. When the wind really started to howl, we decided to pack it in. We drove up the the Weir Dam and scouted around a bit, but decided to roll back home ahead of the traffic.

It was nice to fish for just a couple of hours. I miss doing that, since when I head into the National Park it is usually for 6 hours or more. I know that there are more and bigger fish to catch on the Clinch and Holston, and as the spring progresses I am going to spend more time getting to know these two river that are so close to home.

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