Tag Archives: Sulphurs

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.

Kris Maurer


One Confused Guy on the Water! SOHO 03-10-2008

Actually it was two confused guys on the water! We, my brother in law (Adam) and I ascended back up to the South Holston in search of putting him on a decent fish. See, Adam and I started fly fishing together about 6 years ago. I, was the fortunate one of the two who stuck with the sport and made it my obsession. Adam has, however, managed to keep his casting skills up somewhat casting to an occasional striper or bluegill every now and again.

Adam has been reading, I should say looking at pictures, of my blog and decided it was time for him to get back into the game. Life has gotten a little easier and a little more relaxed for him allowing him time to get back to old times! He called me about two weeks ago to let me know he wanted to ride along on my next trip! “Stand by!” I believe were my choice of words. “I have the place for you!” However now, while writing this report, I feel terrible! I talked a ton of hype and didn’t wind up with much to show for it!

We left early and headed up towards Bristol arriving on the water at around 9. We put in at one of my favorite spots for wading on the South Holston. I had tied up some pretty new BWO’s for the trip. I rigged my fly rod and then rigged his using one of my favorite set ups, the deadly dry dropper. I spent a great portion of the morning cussing him for making casts and watching the water, not his fly. It actually got kinda funny, I kept asking him “Where’s you fly?” with him replying “I don’t know!” I found my self saying “If you can’t see your fly, you can’t use this technique!” I said cussing, maybe not, but he eventually caught my drift! No pun intended!

They are suppossed to float in the film..That didn’t work…A little more tweaking and these things will be awesome! Hey, they already catch fish!

Adam’s first catch of the day, average for the day! Oh, well there will plenty more where that came from!

After about 30 minutes we had him on his first South Holston brown trout. Instant smiles on his face realizing he had properly fished that technique and now understood why I was getting aggravated with his can’t see the fly technique. After realizing he had it, I set out to find one of my own! It didn’t take long on my new pattern, I hooked up on a decent brown! Snapping some pictures along the way. I really spent the day enjoying the bad weather, overcast and wind.
Here’s a shot of that BWO I tied up working it’s magic. Have confidence in your flies, I learned that quickly!

Here’s another shot of that fish!

We wound up on our last spot of the day, a spot that holds several big fish, I’m talking over 28” and one that would go well over 36″!!! Silly me I spent the whole day casting to a monster brown that just wouldn’t eat what I had! I didn’t have a streamer box, shame on me! Adam casted a black bugger in the pool and lost it in about 30 seconds! “Poor knot?!” I believe is what I said to Adam, while Adam sat looking at his rod I believe saying “Damn, damn, damn!” Now laughing I knew it was time to head back. We casted all the way to the take out and didn’t hook set a single fish! Oh well, now I look like an idiot. Won’t make the first time! I promised him a nice spring day catching fish till his arm hurt and wanting to give the fish a break. He smiled and said “That’ll do!”
See if you can spot the monster in this picture…Oh, and I made it easy on ya, I tweaked the hell out of this picture to give you a clear veiw of the bottom!

We picked up about 15 fish total for the day. A tough day on the South Holston. A day that consisted of constantly changing flies. Conditions were terrible and I truly believe the fish are still in that transitional stage. They are trying to re locate on the stream, and the hatches just aren’t set for spring yet! I did manage pumping one fishes stomach that was completely loaded with midges ranging from 18 up to about a 26…Yes, they come that small and I’m convinced the fish certainly do seek them out to eat! So if your headed anywhere in the near future I’d look for alternative means of fishing. Float the Watauga, wade the Caney, Miller’s Island at the Clinch, or simply just find yourself deep in the Smoky Mountains National Forest on some back county stream! I believe I’d hit the Smokies for some quill action! Just my two cents!