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

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give eastern Tennessee stripers and Cherokee bass a try
Tennessee’s Day & Night Bass Fishing
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Wherever you live in Tennessee, prime-time largemouth waters are not far away.
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.
The Clinch and Its Tributaries
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From mountain streams to tailwaters to lakes, Tennessee offers a little bit of everything for trout anglers.
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Volunteer Trout
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Warmwater 101
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When and Where to Fish in Tennessee
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Hatch Chart for the NC, VA & TN Mountains

Tennessee Fly Fishing Maps
Abrams Creek map
Great Smoky Mountains National Park maps
Hazel Creek map
Printable Maps Of Tennessee Lakes
Twenty Mile Creek map

Tennessee Fly Fishing Reports
East Tennessee Fly Fishing reports
from East Tennessee Fly Fishing
Fishing Reports & Moon Phases
from www.chattanoogan.com
Little River and Tremont reports
from Little River Outfitters (www.littleriveroutfitters.com)
Tennessee Angler Lake Fishing Reports
Tennessee Fishing
from anglerguide.com
TWRA East Tennessee Fishing Report

Tennessee Stream Flows / Water Levels

Tennessee Valley Authority
Up-to-Date Information on the Tennessee River System

Tennessee Fly Fishing Clubs

Tennessee Fly Fishing Shops

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

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