Clinch River was a Tough Nut

Flows on the Clinch River finally dropped to a fishable level and while conditions weren’t what I’d term perfect, they were the best we’d seen in a while. Besides, the drift boat hasn’t seen much action this spring so I was eager to get back behind the oars after last week’s float on the Tuckaseegee.

Brook Trout on measuring tape

If we slid this brookie back so his nose was on 0″ and straightened him out he would have been real close to 13″

After fishing a few premium spots it was pretty obvious that nymphing was a lost cause. Not a big deal because we preferred to spend the day stripping streamers, but we thought we’d try to break the ice with a beadhead early.

We moved far more fish than we hooked. There was one brown in the 18″ range that got all over a Circus Peanut and four or five more in the 16″ class, but everything else was a foot long or smaller. Over all it was a tough day, but the number of follows kept it interesting.

We’re just on the brink of great tailwater fishing. There were sulphurs hatching today and I don’t think it’s been going on very long. None of the fish or swallows were on them. Sometimes I wonder how any of the Sulphurs survive between the rising trout and diving birds.

We’ll be back in the Smokies this weekend and rowing the drift boat more next week. See you on the water!

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