01/13/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2  .  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
3.    Midges



Easy To Catch Versus Difficult To Catch Trout
I had a lot of response to yesterday's article, so I thought I would continue by
bringing out some more of the differences in anglers. In order to emphasize one of
the big differences between trout anglers, you could lump them into one of two
categories -
those that want plenty of action without any complications and
those that enjoy a challenge.
There is a huge number of those anglers that don't
have to opportunity to fish very often (more than those that do have the
opportunity) and don't want to spend the limited time they have for pleasure casting
their arms off without catching plenty of trout. In this case fishing for easy to catch,
stocked trout is completely understandable and justifiable. Now that I've written that,
to be perfectly honest, if that's what someone prefers, limited on time spent for
pleasure or not, they should be able to do just that. The choice of how, where and
what to fish for should be completely up to the individual.

Some try to insure they will catch plenty of trout by hiring a guide to in essence do
some of the fishing for them, and others just make sure they fish where there's
plenty of easy to catch, willing trout. This could be a heavily stocked stream or a pay
to fish location where the fish are fed. Again, I want to make certain that you
understand that as far as I am concerned, there isn't anything wrong with either
approach. I believe that fly fishing, first and foremost, should be fun.

Unless there are some holdover trout, I personally dislike fishing any heavily
stocked stream. That doesn't mean I think these streams shouldn't have their place
and or that I would belittle anyone that fished for hatchery planted trout. They serve
a good purpose in promoting the sport and providing fun for those that fish the
streams. I do
strongly object to the stocking of any stream where the trout could
reproduce on their own to an appreciable extent. I have fished many streams that
had what's referred to as supplemental stocked trout where I felt certain the
additional hatchery raised fish were not necessary in order to maintain a reasonable
population of trout. Overcrowding is one of the biggest problems with many trout
streams, including those stocked and some of those that are not stocked.

In general, those that fly fish for trout more often, or those anglers that take their
fishing a little more seriously, rather pass on the easy to catch stocked trout. They
prefer to catch wild or native trout. They enjoy the
challenge of catching trout. In a
simple sense, they enjoy fooling the trout into taking their fly. Off hand, you would
think that neatly categories the group of "serious" anglers; however, that's far from
being true. This group of anglers I just attempted to neatly categorize also have
huge differences in their preferences.

Often, the wild or native trout are easy to catch.
In general terms, fishing faster
moving water and only at times when conditions are optimal isn't that much
different from fishing for easy to catch stocked trout.
There are anglers who
are quick to tell you they prefer fishing for wild or native trout only, but at the same
time, only want to fish when the weather is perfect, water temperatures are optimum,
water levels are excellent, hatches are plentiful, etc.  They believe they are steps
ahead of those who hire guides, fish for easy to catch stocked trout and those that
fish for the quote "trophy" trout that have been fed. The truth is, there really isn't
that great of a difference, insofar as either knowledge or skill is concerned.

Let me qualify the fast water statement. Fast water alone doesn't necessarily make
the fishing easy, but it alway makes it easier than fishing slow moving or still water.
Fishing fast water with a broken surface, under optimum conditions, greatly lessens
the challenge of catching trout. Opposite of that would be fishing slow moving water
with a smooth, slick surface. The differences in these two scenarios is about as
great as the differences in fishing for stocked trout and wild trout. In summary, there
can be huge differences in the challenges involved when you are fishing for wild
and native trout.

For example, Angie and I have stopped catching brook trout in the Smokies on
many occasions when we were catching a fish every few cast. We have also
stopped fishing when we were catching a large number of smaller rainbows. I don't
mean this in a bragging sense by any means. I simply mean that at times, fishing
fast moving pocket under ideal conditions is like taking candy from a baby. The
anglers that fall into this category are not limited to those who fish the Smokies by
any stretch of the imagination. The same exact thing applies to those who fish
anywhere in the nation. We have moved away from streams where we quickly
caught large numbers of small to average size cutthroat trout many times. In these
cases the trout were native trout. We have done the same thing at times when we
were fishing for brook trout at various locations in the nation. Some Western
streams, where brook trout were stocked at one time, have such a huge population
the state's encourage anglers to keep them. Of course, these too are wild trout.

When it comes to the challenge trout provide anglers, the type of water you are
fishing is a huge factor. It isn't always as great as the difference in fishing for
stocked or wild/native trout, but it can be. In fact, depending on the particular waters
involved, it can be a larger factor than anything in one's ability to catch trout.

Since many anglers are dreaming and planning about fishing various destinations
this coming year while old man Winter is hanging around, during the next few days, I
will write about some destinations you may want to consider. I won't do this in the
normal fashion. We have the needed general information in our Streams Section of
the Perfect Fly Website. What I intend to write about during the next few days will be
our own personal opinions about the streams, or the things we like and dislike about
them. Before I finish i may do the same thing on some of the streams of the Great
Smoky Mountains National Park and possible some of the tailwaters nearby the
Smokies. I hope I can do that without ending up with half or more of those that read
my articles angry at me because of what I think about some of the streams. I'll just
ask for your forgiveness now, before I write anything.

Copyright 2011 James Marsh