Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide for the Clinch River Tennessee
The Clinch can be a tough river to fish for some anglers. Its water stays clear and cold and
it flows smooth in many places you need to fish. Success demands long, light leaders and
tippets under these conditions. Most of the time the flies you will be using will be no larger
than a size 18. Midges are the main aquatic insect that you will need to imitate.
There is a weir dam located about a mile below the dam. It forms a large pool of slow
moving water. Although it is usually full of trout, they are very difficult to catch. We suggest
you don't waste time there unless you just enjoy experimenting.
In the Miller's Island area there is a public boat launch area which provides a good place to
fish if you are planning on wading. The water isn't as smooth flowing as it is in most other
places and it is somewhat easier for many anglers to fish. There are some riffles and runs
in this area.
The best way to fish the Clinch River is to float it. If you use your own boat be sure you are
aware that it does have a lot of shallow rock ledges. You can tear up a boat fairly easy if
you are not careful. The best time to fish the river from a drift boat is during the times one
generator is operating. Two generators operating brings about some fast moving water. It
is certainly possible to catch trout under these conditions but you will drift down the river
very fast. It is also possible to drift the river in a canoe provided they are not running any
water. You can move around the river and stop to wade when the conditions are suitable.
The two big things to keep in mind is that the water discharges are of utmost importance on
the Clinch River. You have to fish according to what the dam is doing. The other thing to
keep in mind is that fishing dry flies is usually not the way to go. If you don't like fishing
nymphs and/or streamers, they you would be happier fishing somewhere else other than
the Clinch River.
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