04/10/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.   Blue-winged Olives
2.   Little Black Winter Stoneflies
3.   Quill Gordon Mayflies
4.   Blue Quill Mayflies
5.   Little Brown Stoneflies
6.   Little Black Caddis (American Grannoms)
7.   Hendricksons and Red Quills
8.   Little Short Horned Sedges
9.   Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
10  Midges

Local Conditions in the Smokies:
More snow on Mt. LeConte and other high elevations. Yes, the mountain tops
were white yesterday. I couldn't quite believe my eyes. The "catching" should
continue to be easy.

Tailwaters - Part 8 - Clinch River
As mentioned, the Clinch River has very few aquatic insect hatches. Other than
midges, the Sulphur mayfly is the best hatch. It usually starts at the end of April and
last through May. It is possible to have some good dry fly fishing during this hatch
but there isn't many other hatches in the mayfly department that exist significant
enough to bring about good dry fly fishing.

There are several species of caddisflies. I have found one species of Spotted
Sedge, plenty of Cinnamon Sedges (several species) and some of their Little
Sisters. There are a few other caddisflies that exist is less plentiful quantities. The
caddisfly fishing can be rather good at times but the fish prefer their pupae over the
adults most of the time.

I should also mention the Clinch River has scuds and sowbugs. You would think
they would be a prime source of food and may very well be but the locals don't
seem to prefer fishing imitations of them. Quite frankly, I don't know if it is the lack of
fishing them or that the trout don't seem to prefer them. I would guess its the
approach the average Clinch angler uses, rather than what the fish eat. Another
factor is a large portion of the fish caught are recent stockers. They don't know a
scud from a dough ball.

The Clinch does have some very large brown trout according to the state. I have
seen one huge one that was caught there along with several pictures of other large
ones. I think the main reason few are caught is the methods used. Brown trout over
twenty inches rarely feed on anything but baitfish in the Southern tailwaters. To
imitate large baitfish, you have to use a large streamer. Fishing large streamers
over any length of time is a pain, or at least it is for me. I simple just want do it for
long. It is more work than pleasure in my book.

Another habitat that the very large browns get into is not feeding until it is easy to
do so. They remind me of most saltwater fish that depend on the tide to make it
easier for them to feed. The large browns seem to rest when the flows in tailwaters
are slow or moderate and feed when the water is rolling high and fast. It makes it
more difficult to fish from a drift boat, but those willing to cast their arms off can
score with a very large brown trout - maybe, and thats the problem - maybe. You
may very well cast the large streamer for hours and even days without getting the
first taker. You may also catch one the first hour but the odds are very,very low. If
you want to work at it, and also have someone work at keeping the drift boat aligned
in the fast water with two turbines running, you may catch one. I didn't want to fail to
mention it.

There's one other option but it too is not really a great one. You can fish a large
streamer under a big yarn ball indicator. By casting up and across, quickly mending
by actually picking the indicator up again and moving it several feet upstream (to
get the indicator well upstream of the fly) you can make fewer cast. The fly can
actually drift a few feet. This will also wear out most guys arms within a short time. It
also catches far more limbs, logs and other things in the river than brown trout but it
is an alternative. Personally, I rather stick with the mighty midge most of the time.