After a long rainey spring that has had the lakes and rivers brim full, early summer seems to be coming into its own. Fantastic flows on our local cold and warm tailwaters have triggered the best fishing of the season yet.
Though the Clinch river has not had much in the way of hatches, the nymph fishing has been out standing. Shallow indicator rigs with a small Pheasant Tail or midge (size 16-20) have been putting up big numbers. But don’t over look your dry fly game all together. small midge patterns like griffith gnats and RS2 can be deadly when the the fish are rising consistently. My most important advice is to hit the water early right now, as soon as the sun sets in for the day the fishing slows down to a crawl. All that being said guide trips have been very successful with novice anglers landing plenty of fish and seasoned veterans laying into plenty of wise slot limit fish. Most of my anglers who can unfold a 30 ft cast are boating 25 to 40 fish a day ranging from 10 to 18 inches.
Fly fishing for Striper and throwing artificials on conventional tackle has been fantastic and will stay that way for several weeks. Some days you can slap a gurgler 10 feet from the boat and get smashed and others you may have to empty a spool of sinking line to get to the fish but they are eating consistently. Most of my fishing lately has taken place on the lower clinch river system but the Tennessee River below Ft. Loudon and Watts Bar have been producing as well. I would advise that you use extreme caution when fishing immediately below any dam. Most days it resembles a scene from “Water World” or “Mad Max”, so be careful and watch out for unsafe boaters.
Now is the perfect time to book your trout or striper adventure. Feel free to contact me with any questions you have and I will put together a trip to be remembered.