Tag Archives: Zebra Midges

Caney Fork 8/26/2009

If you hadn’t read my previous post last Friday was awesome! Twenty inch fish rising to dry flies. I don’t think I can imagine anything better.

Well Doug and I thought it would be a great idea to check it out again. TVA was going to generate one hour later than they had the previous trip up. Other than that it was for the most part the same conditions. We dropped the boat and were fishing by 7am. We started picking fish up on dry/dropper rigs, then switched to streamers for a bit.

At a real nice riffle section, we both got out and did a little wade fishing. Doug was fishing a dry/dropper rig and landed a few fish. I was using a double nymph rig with a zebra midge on top and a sow bug on bottom. I had landed three fish fairly quickly and the fourth fish was a really nice brook trout.

That’s when I realized there was something wrong. With every flip of his tail I had a terrible pain growing in my finger. Oh no, I’m hooked, fish is hooked! I grabbed both lines and broke the fish off, so I could check the damage. He got me good, the size 14 sowbug was completely buried in my finger along the side of my finger nail. I gave it a few tugs with my hemostats, but it wouldn’t budge, this was going to be brutal, I thought.

About that time Doug rowed up and I hoped in the boat. There was no way we were going to cut this fishing trip short for a teeny hook in my finger, but I had to get it out some how. Doug most graciously offered to do it himself, but I didn’t go for that. Especially when he had that half grin on his face. So after much haggling from Doug and having soaking my hand in the cooler to numb everything, I man upped and with one quick pop ripped it out. It wasn’t as bad as I had thought it’d be, but wow it stung!

Okay back to fishing and after all this drama we were up on the good stretch where we’d done so well the week before. It took a little time for the fish to start rising again. The only thing left now was for us to put the fly in front of them and not mess it up. We fortunately had some great success. I’ll let the pictures speak for them selves.






We did have two fish break us off and I missed a few again, but was much better on my hook sets than our last trip. One of the coolest moments was when I had a really nice twenty plus inch Brown jump about three feet out of the water! It was absolutely insane.

Definitely a great way to spend the day after my birthday, with a great friend on a great river catching some great fish.

Tightlines,
Kris Maurer

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Clinch River August 4th

A day that we could do no wrong. It is not very often that you have a day where everything comes together perfectly. The type of day that the fish cooperate and every fly that you pick seems to be the ticket. When those days happen you need to take advantage and really enjoy them. The only thing that makes it better is being able to enjoy it with friends.

It has been a few weeks since I last floated the Clinch. The rain and high water and possibly need for increased electricity had TVA running almost constantly. The flows are back to being conducive to floating and Doug and myself had the day off, so it seemed like a good idea to float. Coincidentally I had a new associate, John, start at the store and we invited him along as well.

We got on the water around 9:00am after having to weave the drift boat in between two bait fisherman’s cars. I don’t have anything against bait fisherman, but wish they would practice proper boat ramp etiquette. Anyways as soon as we got pushed off we started catching fish on dry dropper rigs. We stuck fish consistently all the way to first set of riffles. So consistently that Doug had landed 20 fish by the time we got to the first set of riffles and reluctantly handed the rod over to me so I could get off the oars. John had also landed a good amount, but was still getting some of the cob webs knocked off.

Doug and I continued to switch off about every dozen fish, which on this day didn’t take too long. Since John was the newbie he got the front of the boat pass. All newbies get this the first time, and if they fair well, they’ll get to row from them on.

Around noon we stopped for lunch and Doug got out to do a little wade fishing. I should say wet wading and for those of you that have fished the Clinch that is a cold proposition. While I was eating my sandwich I think I must have seen him land at least 8 fish!

Just as soon as we had pushed off John hooked up with a huge fish. All I saw was a gigantic brown tail flash as John set the hook. I thought this was the brown of a lifetime, but as it streaked by the boat I saw it’s big scales. It was a very nice carp. Although John had my 8’4″ 3wt Helios! in his hands with 6X tippet. I honestly thought there was no way we would land it, but I did my best to keep close to it with the boat as John played it perfectly. After a good fight we brought the bruiser to the net. Nothing better than a carp on a Midge with 6X tippet and a 3wt!

Just past Cold Water we got a text from Doug’s girlfriend saying that severe thunderstorms were heading our way. Honestly at this point we had caught more fish than should be allowed and we reeled in our rods and headed for the take out. We had been lucky enough all day and did not want to tempt our luck any longer. This had been one incredible day that will be remembered for a while.

Tips from the Trip: The rig of choice was dry dropper with and Adams size 14 dry fly and midge dropper. I don’t know if the dropper really mattered as the fish really wanted to eat that day. We used a red midge or the new Hickey’s Auto Emerger in Sulphur/PMD, both flies were size 16 to 18. Long leaders of 12ft and 6X fluorocarbon was a must.

Tightlines,
Kris Maurer

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Clinch River June

I’ve fished the Clinch six times in the last month and it has been fishing great! We’ve managed to catch good numbers and land a few respectable fish each trip. The menu has been made up of sulphur dries, split back sulphurs, pheasant tails and sow bugs in sizes 14 to 18. Most days We’ve kept the same size 16 split back sulphur on till it is literally shredded. Dry/dropper rigs or two nymph rigs with yarn indicators have been the name of the game. Once the sulphurs are done I’m sure it will switch over to more midges and standard tailwater fare.

Doug and I have floated Peach Orchard to the 61 bridge twice recently and fishing was spectacular. There is some really great water throughout that float. We landed fifty or more fish on each float. Both times we only made it about three fourths of the way before the water came up and pushed us out. There were only a couple places that get a little tight in a drift boat, but nothing unbearable and we had to get out once because we took a wrong turn around a shoal. I’m really looking forward to seeing the entire stretch on low water and really learning this river.

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