01/12/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2  .  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
3.    Midges



Different Stokes for Different -  Fly Guys?
The past few days I have been thinking about writing a series of articles for our
Perfect Fly website that describes fly fishing in general. The idea came as a result
of the varied types of questions and request for information we get from the site. I
guess I was looking for a fast and easy way to categorize and analyze people that
fly fish.

The number of inquires and customers that call for information, or to purchase flies
for a certain stream, has increased drastically during the past year. Although I'm
sure many fly shops get similar questions, at least their questions are directed at
specific nearby locations and the types of fly fishing the shop is involved in. Our
Perfect Fly site gets a huge variety of questions from all types of anglers that
relates to the specific areas of the nation they fish and the specific species of fish
they pursue. This mostly comes from the huge amount of traffic we are getting on
our
"Stream Section" of the site which has specific information on a few hundred
trout streams. Other questions and request for information also comes from anglers
seeking other freshwater and saltwater species of fish.

When someone calls our 800 number, or sends us an email, the first and foremost
most difficult thing for us to figure out is the level of knowledge and experience the
person has. The calls come from people that range from those who have never cast
a fly to highly experienced anglers and guides. If we're not careful, we could end up
either insulting the person's intelligence, or providing information that's over their
head. Some people tend to let you know the extent of their knowledge up front and
others don't. Sometimes, what they know and don't know is quite obvious and at
other times, it isn't. To help simplify the point that I really want to get to, I'll pin it
down to those that fly fish for trout. The problem becomes not only knowing
someone's level of expertise, you also need a good idea of what they like and
dislike about fly fishing for trout. That's an entirely different thing and can be a big
problem.

Anglers that fly fish for trout can be as different as night and day. For example,
some guys wouldn't think about fishing for stocked trout. Some want even fish a
stream that has both stocked trout and wild, stream-bred trout. Some don't even
know the difference. Some will tell you they could care less, that they only want their
line stretched, and others would think the same person who felt that way was a
complete idiot. I always get a kick out of guides that guide clients on stocked
streams. They can book a client, fish with them all day and never mention the trout
were just released from a stocking truck. I ran into a guy on the Madison River one
day that thought all trout were stocked. He ask what days they stocked the river. In
one sense, in most cases, most all trout streams were stocked, at one time.

I received a picture of a large brook trout the other day from a guy that thought the
brook trout on this site (Smoky Site) were all small, so he offered us images of large
brook trout he thought we could use. The pictures clearly showed he fished a lake
somewhere. When I wrote back and ask where he caught them and if they were
stocked brook trout or native brook trout, he didn't know. Later, I determined he
really didn't know what the question even meant. He just knew the fish were brook
trout that were in the lake. To relate that to our local waters, there's a huge
difference in catching a native brook trout in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
and one that has been stocked in the Tuckasegee River, for example. The trout
from the Tuck may weight two pounds and a large one from the park a few ounces.

The stocked and non-stocked element is only a part of the differences in angler's
preferences. They can also be very selective in the type of water they will fish.
Some wouldn't dare think about fishing still water and never have even tried it.
Contrary to that, I know some guys that spend three months a year on Henry's Lake
Idaho that will stay there all Summer and not fish the first trout stream - not even the
Madison River or Henry's Fork both close by.

I know many anglers that don't like fishing Spring Creeks. The reason is usually
obvious. They can't catch trout from a spring creek; however, I know some
Pennsylvania guys that won't fish anything else. They make fun of anglers that fish
the state's freestone streams and laugh at those who fish tailwaters. By the way,
that reminds me of a mistake I made on one of our fly fishing DVD programs. It's title
is "Fly Fishing Tailwaters". I didn't realize the number of guys that fish for trout quite
often who didn't know what a tailwater was. I should have named the program "Fly
Fishing for Trout Below Dams". Some anglers don't like fishing tailwaters. I  
sometimes call them "part time fisheries" but only when I am poking fun.

Getting back to Spring Creeks, I'm reminded of one of my favorite streams in the
nation - Silver Creek in Idaho. It has a huge number of large wild rainbow and brown
trout and is in a beautiful area, yet few anglers will fish it. It isn't easy to catch trout
from it, yet it is very possible and very rewarding when you do. When you mention
the fine stream, most anglers within the area will quickly tell you they don't fish it.
Because it has the "hard to fish" reputation, many won't fish it. California's Fall River
is the another stream that anglers either hate or love. It amazes me at how anglers
can do the same thing - fly fish for trout, yet be so different.

Some anglers, including many that have fly fished for trout for years, will pay a good
price to fish "trophy waters" where the trout are feed and raised to a large size while
at the same time, other anglers will make fun of them for doing it.

I know several anglers that don't think about fishing their own local water, yet travel
to far away fly fishing destinations every year. Some place a high degree of
importance of traveling to new destinations. I know of a Knoxville doctor that has
only fished the park once, has never fished the local tailwaters, yet he travels at
least two or three times a year to remote, far away destinations to fly fish for trout.

You also have those anglers that place far more importance on being with their
friends or family when they fish than where or what they are fishing for. Their main
objective is to spend quality time with their friends and/or family, not the fish they
may or may not catch.

Contrary to the above, you also have those anglers that simple don't like fishing in
sight of anyone. Some wouldn't consider going fly fishing for trout with anyone. They
enjoy the peace and solitude that being alone provides some guys.

Some anglers won't get a hundred yards off of a road to fish and others wouldn't
think about fishing anywhere near a road or easy accessed area. They rather hike
into the backcountry to fish. Some of these anglers will hike five miles in and out to
fish a certain area, yet wouldn't camp at a remote campsite under any
circumstances. Others, are just the opposite. They wouldn't consider walking that
far to fish without camping. In those cases, often the person enjoys the camping
more than the fishing. Some camp to only to fish and others camp and fish as an
added bonus or to have something to do while they are camping. I don't want to get
off into the subject of camping but you also have campers who wouldn't think about
staying in a tent and call camping staying in a 90 foot luxury motor home, etc.

I can go on and on but I'm tired of typing. My articles for the Perfect Fly site will just
have to wait until I can figure out how to write something that's appealing to all the
guys that fly fish for trout.
Do what? I think I just pointed out that's impossible.














Copyright 2011 James Marsh