Clinch River Tennessee
Clinch River
Copyright 2018 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Gear and Trout Flies for the Clinch River Tennessee
The Clinch River Tailwater has some very large trout. It is not a stream to be showing off a
new 3 weight fly rod on. When the water is on, meaning they dam is generating water, the
river can be high and fast and certainly no place for light gear.

Fly Line:
We just can't imagine anyone wanting anything lighter than five-weight line even though
midges may be the most used flies. There have been huge brown trout caught on tiny
midges. It isn't exactly easy landing a twelve to fifteen inch rainbow in swift water either. We
couldn't recommend anything lighter than a five-weight fly line. Most of the time the line
should be a floating line. There could be situations where you would want a sinking tip line.
I don't think sinking lines are ever necessary on the Clinch River.

There will be many situations were a streamer would be the top choice fly. This is
especially true when you are drifting the river and the water is on. We keep stressing that
there are some huge brown trout in the river. They like big flies and large heavily weighted
streamers are often used to catch them.

These two size lines, the 5 weight and 6 weight line for nymph fishing and throwing
streamers, is all you really need to fish the Clinch River.  

Fly Rod:
The rod for the 5 weight line should be nine feet in length in a medium fast to fast action.
The rod for the 6 weight line should be nine feet long in a moderately fast to fast action.
You would want some punch to it in order to deliver larger streamers.

Fly Reel:
The reels for the 5 weight line and 6 weight fly lines should be a good one. Again, there
are some very large brown trout in the Clinch River and you would not want to loose one
because you were using a lousy fly reel. You need a very good drag on either of the reels.
The disc drags are the best and what we would recommend. The large arbor reels are
ideal for the Clinch River.

You will be using a very large range of leader sizes both in length and size. The large
streamers would require heavy leaders. The tiny midge flies that you would be often using,
will require exactly the opposite.  Leaders ranging in sizes from 0X down to 6X may be
required. You would want the heavy leaders for streamers to be on the short side and the
lightest leaders for midges to be around 9 feet in length.

Extra tippet in sizes ranging from 0X to 6X.

Even if you drift the Clinch, you would want to use waders. You may have to or want to get
out of the boat.

Wading Boots:
Felt soles or either the new rubber sole boots would work best. The bottom varies from soft
soil to solid rock.

Wading Staff:
The water is not really bad enough for us to say a wading staff should be used. We would
call this optional. It would be a good thing to have if you got caught in rising water.

Naturally we recommend "Perfect Flies" for the Clinch. The larger, holdover brown trout
can become selective at times and the better your fly matches the natural insects, the
better off you are.

We feel like our specific imitations of caddisflies, Sulphur mayflies, midges, and streamers
are the best trout flies you can purchase. If you haven't done so already, please give them
a try. You will be glad you did.;
Clinch River
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Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

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