03/16/11
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 Stream and Weather Conditions In The Smokies
The weather outlook for the next few days can be summarized in one word - Great!
The middle of March just doesn't get much better than what's to come the next few
days. Yesterday, we managed to escape another high water situation. We had just
enough rain in the park to raise the water levels slightly but it was only temporary.
The levels are reasonable now and on the way back down to being normal.
Conditions look excellent for the next several days from all standpoints.

For the past two weeks we have been extremely busy with Perfect Fly orders. Our
sales for January and February were more than double those of last year but so far
this month, sales have been up over 400%. I can't help but believe the same thing is
occurring for everyone that's involved in the fly fishing business. Although we have
had some miscellaneous orders for bream, bass and saltwater flies and gear, most
of the recent activity has come from Eastern and Mid-western trout anglers.

We have noticed something else that's very encouraging. There seems to be
a big surge in the number of people who are just getting started fly fishing. That's
very evident from our DVD sales which have been as high as they have ever been
for the past few months. Most of the customers placing orders for flies over the
phone were completely new to fly fishing. The orders that come through the website
seem to come from anglers that know what they are doing.

I have talked to several guys the past few days who have purchased their very first
fly rod. After the cold winter weather that most of us have experienced the past few
months, just the blooming Bradford Pear trees are enough to get many of us excited.

For the next few days, I will be doing a series on the basics of fly fishing. I know this
won't be of interest to many of you that read my daily articles, but I feel it would help
those who are just starting out. I will try to drop something of interest each day for
those that are experienced anglers but the main focus will be on helping those just
getting started. It's easy to forget that at some point in time, we all were beginners.

The Basics of Fly Fishing Series:
If you ask fifty different anglers what they like about fly fishing, you will probably get
fifty different answers. However, when you begin to analyze what the different
people say, you will find it always gets down to some very basic things that for the
most part are unique to fly fishing. Although it's similar to many other types of
fishing, in general, fly fishing for trout has less to do with the numbers and size of
the fish caught and more to do with the overall outdoor experience. Even so, I don't
know anyone that uses the fly rod who's perfectly satisfied with not catching
anything. The whole idea is to fool a fish into taking your fly. You can spin the
greatness of fly fishing around anyway you like, but the climax of any fly fishing trip
gets down to being able to successfully hook and land at least a few fish.

In the coming "Basics of Fly Fishing Series", I will do my best to keep everything as
simple and as easy to understand as possible. First and foremost, leaning to fly fish
should be fun. It's easy to let the subject get over complicated but in this case, I will
do my best to avoid it. It's also true that most of the things anyone has to say about
fishing has exceptions. I don't intend to add an exclusion or exception to everything I
write. I'll just present everyone with a general disclaimer and say that anything I write
will probably have some exceptions. This series will begin tomorrow.


Down and Dirty  (some are clean) Tips and Recommendations for Fly
Fishing Destinations - Part 37
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.

Gardner River (Yellowstone National Park)
The way most anglers react to fly fishing the Gardner River is almost weird. Unless
they cross about half the park coming from the West or Northeast entrances, or
almost all of the park coming from anywhere else, most anglers drive right by some
the best fishing the Gardner River has to offer. In other words it seems the only
ones that fish the lower part, or within ten miles of its exit from the park, are those
that drive there from a long distance away. When we first stayed a few days in the
little town of Gardiner, Angie and I did the same thing. We would dive in the park
each morning, pass through the main entrance to the park and drive right by a few
miles of the river on our way somewhere else in the park. It just seems to good to be
true that there's good fishing opportunities just inside the main gate.

Mostly, just because there was about an hour of fishing left before dark, we stopped
to fish the river just inside the park one day and ended up catching more trout in
that hour than we had all day long on the other streams we fished. We didn't see
another angler fishing the lower section of the river that morning when we passed
by or that afternoon. Since that day, we have made many stops as well as trips from
other locations around the park to fish the Gardner River. I'm not saying it's the best
section to fish although it's probably as good as any. I am saying it's overlooked,
probably because it just seems too convenient that there's plenty of trout in such an
easy to access location. The entire lower section of the river from the falls to the
Yellowstone confluence is a very good fast flowing, pocket-water stream with lots of
eager trout. About half of it is easily accessed and about half of it requires hiking to
reach.

I'll give the Gardner River an "A" minus. I am putting a minus on it for a variety of
reasons, none of which are reasons for anyone to not like the stream. From its
headwaters, which runs for miles above the Grand Loop Road downstream to the
Yellowstone River, the fish average a little on the small side, but if you like fast water
and lots of action, you will enjoy fishing the Gardner River.
Check it out on our
Perfect Fly stream section.



2011 James Marsh