I had the great fortune of fishing the Clinch River tailwater this past weekend and it was a weekend of firsts!! The trip, with two friends, was a float trip that lasted almost 7 hours. We got on the water about 7:00 a.m. and fished most of the day. With it being my first trip to the Clinch, I had done a little research on various internet forums and found that like a lot of southern waters, the fish liked stuff in the 18-22 size range. Unfortunately, the second day was a 1/2 day wading trip that didn't really produce the fish for me like the previous day had. The local guides had made comments about the water being off color and the weather changes affecting the fish. Not knowing the area, or the water, I took them at their word.
I wound up fishing a size 20 black/silver zebra midge and brought to net a total of 14 fish on Saturday. I lost a monster brown about 5 feet from the boat as I was getting ready to net him. Needless to say I was heartbroken! I was given one more shot at a trophy fish and this time I brought it to net......A beautiful 17" rainbow that is my largest trout ever caught to date!
On this trip I also caught my first ever brown trout and my first ever brook trout! If there is such a thing, I actually accomplished what I would call a "Clinch Slam" in that I caught at least one brown, one brook, one stocker rainbow, and one wild rainbow. I actually caught several of each but to catch all four species/types on my first ever trip will never be forgotten!
Equipment used was my 9' 5 wt TFO Pro Series flyrod, Okuma SLV reel, Rio Grand WF-5-F line, Rio 6x Floro tippet, size 20 zebra midge, Korker boots, and Dan Bailey waders.
On to the photos
The Clinch River
The Clinch winding through the Tennessee countryside
Me with a wild rainbow on the 2nd day
My 17" Rainbow
A nice 11 inch Brookie
A solid 12" Brown
Another pretty little Brown
My first ever Brown trout