Tennessee Fly Fishing

The Clinch and Its Tributaries

The Clinch

Many experienced anglers who have fished the premier trout waters of the United States consider the Clinch River tailwater to be one of the finest trout fisheries in the country. It is a challenging river to flyfish. The clear, shallow, slow moving Clinch demands a stealthy approach, delicate presentation, small flies, and drag-free drifts. It is very much like fishing a spring creek, but this “spring creek” is over 75-yards wide! To consistently catch its wild, wary rainbow and brown trout requires concentration, careful execution, and patience.

The Clinch tailwater is 13 miles in length and flows from Norris Dam, at River Mile 80, to the Highway 61 Bridge near Clinton, TN, at River Mile 67. The upper reaches of Melton Hill Reservoir extend to the Highway 61 Bridge where the Clinch changes from riverine character to slack water.

Clear Creek

Clear Creek is a small (two yards in width) coldwater tributary that flows into the Clinch about one mile below Norris dam. Clear Creek drains the City of Norris Watershed and is the water supply for the city. While the stream is small and summer flows sometimes are nothing more than a trickle, it does have decent winter and spring flows and has historically been used by spawning rainbow trout. Adult fish typically enter the stream in early December and spawning can continue on into February. While a number of fish successfully spawn in this stream, its small size does not support significant numbers of spawning fish.

Coal Creek

Coal Creek flows into the Clinch about three miles below Norris Dam. It is a warm water stream; but in winter and spring, trout enter the stream and move into its upper reaches. It is believed that some of these fish spawn in the creek, but spawning has not been documented. Coal Creek drains a watershed of about 35 square miles. This watershed has been impacted by coal mining and is a source of silt and metal runoff into the Clinch.

Cane Creek

Cane Creek is the next major tributary that flows into the Clinch downstream from Coal Creek. It drains a smaller watershed than Coal Creek, and mining has not impacted the Cane Creek watershed. It drains farmland (pasture) and rural residential properties. Cane Creek is a warm water stream, but trout have been found in the stream in winter and spring; and trout may spawn in the stream.

Hinds Creek

Hines Creek flows into Melton Hill Lake about one mile below the Highway 61 bridge (about 14 miles below Norris Dam). It drains a large watershed which is primarily farmland (pasture) and rural residential in land use. It is a warmwater stream, but trout are caught in the creek in winter. Spawning activity has not been documented.

Mountain Streams

All streams are gradient freestone streams, which can offer a pleasant days’ hike along with a remarkable day of fishing. These waters include Whitetop Laurel, Tennessee Laurel, and Beaver Dam.

Whitetop Laurel Creek

Whitetop Laurel Creek is considered to be the largest wild trout fishery in Virginia. Its runs parallel with the scenic Virginia Creeper Trail. John Ross, author of “Trout Unlimited’s Top 100 Trout Streams,” lists this stream in the top 100 greatest trout streams. It is noted for its prolific early season Green Drake hatch which can range in size from a #8-#12 fly.

Tennessee Laurel is a winding creek that runs parallel with route 91. This stream is a very productive stream filled with large browns and feisty rainbows. Nymph fishing is very popular for this creek, due to its deep holes and swift water. Anglers have a tendency to use large #12-#14 bead head nymphs for extra weight with the indicator running at least three foot above the fly.

Beaver Dam

Beaver Dam is well renowned for its beautiful rock tunnel, Backbone Rock. This is a very beautiful stream that is flawlessly decorated with vast boulders. This creek has various types of runs. While the lower section of Beaver Dam is slightly larger than the other streams, the upper section has a spring creek atmosphere, with a very similar fishing style. Of the three streams, Beaver Dam is known for holding the larger trout.

With streams such as; Whitetop Laurel, Tennessee Laurel, and Beaver Dam, as well as tailwaters fishing, it is obvious why some consider Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee to be the finest fishing on the east coast. Each stream offers its own array of landscape, wildlife, and gorgeous trout.

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Tennessee Fly Fishing Articles

Tennessee Gatlinburg Smoky Mtns
Fly fishing guide and fly fisherman outfitter in Gatlinburg Tennessee – trout fishing guide for the Great Smoky Mountains rainbow, brook and brown trout.
www.smokymountainangler.com
The Clinch’s Magnificent Trout
The same stretch of the Clinch River that produced the state-record trout remains one of the finest trout streams in Tennessee — and it may be getting better!
www.gameandfishmag.com/fishing/fishing_trout-fishing_tn_aa065004a/
36 Great Fishing Spots in Tennessee
The Volunteer State has great fishing all year ’round. These 36 destinations — 3 for each month — promise topflight fishing for Tennessee anglers.
www.tennesseesportsmanmag.com/tn_aa024904a
Call ‘Tails’ For Stripers
When winter days are cold, the swift tailwater section below several Tennessee dams provide hot action for heavyweight striped bass.
www.gameandfishmag.com/fishing/fishing_stripers-hybrids-fishing_tn_aa015003a/
Clinch River description from local Trout Unlimited
http://crctu.org/how-we-fish-the-river/
East Tennessee Lakes info
www.boatlodge.com/BoatlodgeEast.htm
Favorite flies of the Smokies
from Old Smoky Outfitters
www.oldsmoky.com/SmokieFlies.htm
Floating the South Holston
by Farrow Allen
www.flyfishamerica.com/ArticlesReports/SoutheastRegion/Southeast/SEA
llen99Jun/SouthHolstonAllen.html
Fly fishing the Tellico River
by Jeff Cupp
www.flyfisherman.com/south/jctellico/index3.html
Flyfishing at Callaway Gardens
from www.chattanoogan.com
www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_59986.asp
Hotspots for Volunteer Stripers
When temperatures plunge, baitfish head for the warmwater discharges of steam plants and nuclear plants. Wise anglers do the same.
www.tennesseesportsmanmag.com/tn_aa015004a/index.html
Mid-South Fly Fishers
a member club of the Federation of Fly Fishers
www.msff.org
Northbound for Tennessee River Largemouths
From the Alabama border all the way to Kentucky, the northerly flowing portion of the Tennessee River serves up super bassin’ action early in the year.
www.tennesseesportsmanmag.com/tn_aa014905a
Pickwick Dam: A good place to rock ‘n’ reel
Tennessee tips for catching summer and fall’s tailrace striped bass
www.espn.go.com/outdoors/fishing/s/f_fea_stripers_TN_Pickwick_T.Wils
on.html
Tellico river basin
Flies and tactics for the Tellico River, one of the largest natural trout streams in the southeast.
www.flyfisherman.com/south/jctellico/index.html
Tellico River Basin
Flies and tactics for the Tellico River, one of the largest natural trout streams in the southeast.
www.flyfisherman.com/south/jctellico
Tennessee Trout Fishing Lakes
Mountain streams and big tailwaters often overshadow the excellent lake fishing our state has to offer trout anglers.
www.tennesseesportsmanmag.com/tn_aa055003a/index.html
Tennessee Winter Striper Madness
give eastern Tennessee stripers and Cherokee bass a try
www.tennesseesportsmanmag.com/tn_aa015005a
Tennessee’s Day & Night Bass Fishing
www.tennesseesportsmanmag.com/tn_aa064903a/index.html
Tennessee’s Smallmouth Forecast
Whether you’re up for chasing smallmouth bass in subfreezing temperatures, during the spring spawn, all night long in the heat of the summer, or on rivers in the fall, it’s always brown bass season.
www.tennesseesportsmanmag.com/tn_aa034903a/index.html
Tennessee’s Top Bass Spots
Wherever you live in Tennessee, prime-time largemouth waters are not far away.
www.tennesseesportsmanmag.com/tn_aa034904a
Tennessee’s Two Best Striper Fisheries
The Clinch and Cumberland river systems have perhaps the best freshwater trophy-striper fisheries in the world. A world record could come from these waters any time.
www.tennesseesportsmanmag.com/tn_aa054902a/index.html
The Clinch and Its Tributaries
www.crctu.com/The_Clinch&/The%20Clinch%20and.html
Three Top Lakes for Middle Tennessee Bass
Spring largemouth fishing in Middle Tennessee is in full swing. Don’t miss the fishing at these three hotspots!
www.tennesseesportsmanmag.com/tn_aa055004a
TNT Outdoors TN/VA/NC Regional Fishing Calender
from TNT Outdoors
www.tntoutdoors.com/fishcalender.htm
Trolling for Big Stripers
Jim Duckworth firmly believes in the “big bait, big fish” theory when he’s trolling for trophy striped bass on the Cumberland River.
www.outdoorlife.com/outdoor/fishing/article/0,19912,457789,00.html
Trout 2004: Our Best Fishing
From mountain streams to tailwaters to lakes, Tennessee offers a little bit of everything for trout anglers.
www.tennesseesportsmanmag.com/tn_aa045004a
Two Topnotch Tennessee Smallmouth Lakes
Although there are uncounted numbers of good places to catch smallmouths in Tennessee, these two lakes take top billing in the winter.
www.tennesseesportsmanmag.com/tn_aa014904a/index.html
Volunteer Trout
by Jamie Dickinson
www.flyfishamerica.com/ArticlesReports/SoutheastRegion/Southeast/SED
ickinson97MJ/SEDickinson97MJ.html
Warmwater 101
by Jamie Dickinson
www.flyfishamerica.com/ArticlesReports/SoutheastRegion/Southeast/SED
ickinson97JA/SEDickinson97JA.html
Watauga and South Holston river pics and descriptions
rivermenoutfitters.com/river_info.htm
When and Where to Fish in Tennessee
from Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
www.state.tn.us/twra/fish/whenandwhere.html

www.highcountryflyshop.com/nc_hatch_chart.html
Hatch Chart for the NC, VA & TN Mountains

Tennessee Fly Fishing Maps
Abrams Creek map
www.oldsmoky.com/Abrams.htm
Great Smoky Mountains National Park maps
www.nps.gov/grsm/pphtml/maps.html
Hazel Creek map
www.oldsmoky.com/images/streams/HazelCreek/HazelCB.gif
Printable Maps Of Tennessee Lakes
www.lrn.usace.army.mil/opn/TNRiver
Twenty Mile Creek map
www.oldsmoky.com/images/streams/TwentyMile/TwentyMile.gif

Tennessee Fly Fishing Reports
East Tennessee Fly Fishing reports
from East Tennessee Fly Fishing
pages.preferred.com/%7Ejreep/reports.htm
Fishing Reports & Moon Phases
from www.chattanoogan.com
www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_7674.asp
Little River and Tremont reports
from Little River Outfitters (www.littleriveroutfitters.com)
www.littleriveroutfitters.com/pages/fishing/reports.htm#SMOKIES
Tennessee Angler Lake Fishing Reports
www.angelfire.com/tn/tnangler/page5.html
Tennessee Fishing
from anglerguide.com
www.anglerguide.com/tennessee
TWRA East Tennessee Fishing Report
www.state.tn.us/twra/eastfish.html

Tennessee Stream Flows / Water Levels

Tennessee Valley Authority
Up-to-Date Information on the Tennessee River System
www.tva.com/river/lakeinfo/index.htm

Tennessee Fly Fishing Clubs

Tennessee Fly Fishing Shops

TNT Outdoors
http://www.tntoutdoors.com/FLYFISHING1.htm
Little River Outfitters
P.O. Box 505, Townsend, Tennessee 37882 865-448-9459
www.littleriveroutfitters.com
Smoky Mountain Angler
466 Brookside Village Way, Suite 8, Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738, (865) 436-8746
www.smokymountainangler.com
Cumberland Transit
2807 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203, 615-321-4069
www.cumberlandtransit.com/

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