Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2 . Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
3. Little Brown Stoneflies
4. Quill Gordons
5. Blue Quills
6. Little Black Caddis
Current Conditions In The Smokies
I woke up this morning about 5:00 AM thinking the ground would be white with snow.
That wasn't the case because according to our thermometer, the temperature was
still 35 degrees outside. I feel certain that isn't the case in the higher mountains.
They were getting snow yesterday afternoon. I probably shouldn't rejoice too much
because it's still early in the day.
Yesterday afternoon, the streams on the Tennessee side of the park were full and
in some cases, they were running slightly out of the banks. The Little Pigeon River
and Little River did not flood but got very near the flooding stage. They are
currently dropping fast, considering the amount of rain we have had during the past
All things considered, the recent rain will be a very good thing for the mountains. It
will help keep the water levels in better shape. As of now, next week's weather is
looking good and things should return to normal.
A Tip on Fishing High Water:
High water certainly isn't good for wading and in many cases, such as currently, it
shouldn't be attempted. High, fast turbulent water can also be dangerous, even life
threatening, in the event you slip and fall in. However, If you take the necessary
precautions, it's still very possible to catch trout under high water conditions.
High water is usually off color or slightly stained. This give the trout, especially the
brown trout, a sense of security. They will venture out of their normal hiding places
searching for food in stained water. The first area they venture to is near the banks
because that is where the high water brings in a new source of food such as worms
and grubs (larvae) of terrestrial insects.
During the past several years, I have been able to catch some nice brown trout
fishing streamers from the bank in areas you wouldn't normally think about casting a
fly. Although I haven't hooked any monsters, I've done well on those in the eight to
sixteen inch range for the few times I have fished high water with streamers. I feel
certain if I had fished more high water I would have hooked some much larger
One time I remember well took place along the banks in the Metcalf Picnic area. The
water was almost out of the banks at the time. By walking along the banks, taking
advantage of every open area free of trees that provided just enough room for me
to get to the bank, I was able to pick up several trout one Spring afternoon. I used
our Yellow Marabou Sculpin streamer fly with a good bit of weight added about eight
inches above the fly.
The technique, which was shown to me by guide Ian Rutter a few years before that,
was to cast upstream almost parallel with the bank. By casting side arm, you can
easily cast a fly twelve to fifteen feet or more, such that it lands close to the bank
upstream. By raising the rod as the fly comes back downstream, you can maintain
contact, or feel the fly enough to detect a strike even as it passes your position on
the bank. You should let it swing all the way around downstream, keeping the fly
close to the bank the entire way. When you work an area from about ten feet out in
the water all the way to the bank by making four or five presentations, you can move
to a new area of water.
You only need a small area just clear enough from trees and brushes for you to get
up to the bank to do this. You don't need a wide, open clear area to cast because
your sidearm backcast is in essence, downstream, not back across the area behind
you. I call it flippin because it's similar to flippin for bass. In fact I "shoot" a short
amount (about three or four feet) of fly line doing this much the same way I do
flippin. This makes it very easy to cast the short distance. The strikes are usually
hard and you have little trouble knowing you have fish on.
Down and Dirty (some are clean) Tips and Recommendations for Fly
Fishing Destinations - Part 34
Just keep in mind that it is strictly one opinion that happens to be mine. The intent is to hopefully
give those interested a general idea of what to expect. Most likely every guide, affiliated business
entity and local angler will have a different opinion. These streams also have full coverage on our
Perfect Fly Stream Section.
2011 James Marsh