03/28/11
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
9.    Hendricksons and the Red Quills

The Basics of Fly Fishing Series - Casting Part 4
I keep writing about the "crooked" cast without very much explanation, so I will focus
on those today. By crooked, I mean a cast that leaves some slack in the fly line,
leader and tippet.
If you've been keeping up, you know a straightened out fly
line/leader/tippet that falls across the current will instantly start to drag
your fly.
You would have to instantly mend your fly line to put some slack in it to
prevent the fly from dragging. That wouldn't be necessary if your cast allowed the fly
line/leader/tippet to land on the water with slack in it. That's the purpose of a
"crooked" or "slack line" cast.

If you cast directly upstream, exactly parallel with the direction of the current, then
the fly won't drag but
it will pass right over where your leader and fly line
landed
on the water. That may be okay if you make the short cast I wrote about
yesterday, keeping most of the fly line off the water by holding the rod high. You
may be able get a drag free drift of four or five feet. The problem is your not only
getting a short drift, your fly is coming directly over the same area the leader
landed. This means your leader landed right over the same location a trout that's
able to see your fly would be holding. That's not good.

You want to make the upstream presentations up and across the current. If
you don't, you will not only be allowing your fly to drift directly over the same area
your leader landed, you will only be able to cover a very narrow section of water
that's directly upstream of your position. Casting up and across the current at
various angles will allow you to cover much more water as well as insure your fly
doesn't pass directly over the same area your fly line and leader landed. The
problem is, as I stated above, casting across the current with a straightened out fly
line/leader/tippet creates instant drag on the fly. Mending to correct this is a solution
but not a good one.

When you mend your line, you are giving the trout more opportunity to
notice your fly line and leader.
The line/leader not only hits the water on the
cast, the fly line hits the water each time you mend the line. On a short cast, that
means your greatly increasing your odds of spooking trout. If you aren't making
short cast, chances are you will have another even worse problem. Your fly line may
land across conflicting currents, or currents flowing at different speeds and
directions. That's exactly what your attempting to avoid by making short cast.
The
bottom line is that if you don't learn to make slack line cast, you will have
problems,
especially when your fishing the fast, pocket water typical of the streams
in the Smokies.
A straight-line cast in the Smokies is almost useless.

Pile cast, curve cast, reach cast, S cast and other types of slack line cast or in the
air mends help you get a drag free drift, depending on the conditions. I will get into
how you make these slack line cast starting tomorrow.


The Hendrickson Hatch:
The Hendrickson hatch isn't considered an important hatch in the streams of the
Great Smoky Mountains; however, if you happen to encounter this hatch and your
not prepared to fish it, you will miss out on the best chance you have for catching
trout that day. These mayflies will start showing up any day now. My guess is, due to
the recent cool weather, it will be about another week or so before they start
hatching.

Throughout the park, in general, there's not that many hatches that take place. The
reason is the
Hendricksons (which is a common name used for the females)
and Red Quills (which is the common name used for the males) are crawler
nymphs, not the clinger nymphs that prefer fast water. These crawlers prefer water
of more moderate speeds.

Anywhere you find sections of moderately flowing water, you may find the
Ephemerella subvaria, or Hendricksons and the Red Quills. These mayflies exist in
just about all the major streams in the park, but
they only exist in certain areas
of the streams where the declination of the stream is moderate.
An example
on the North Carolina side of the park would be the section of water across from the
Palmer House in the Cataloochee River. There's several areas on the lower end of
Hazel Creek that have this mayfly. On the Tennessee side you will find plenty of
them around the Metcalf Bottoms area where the declination of the Little River is
more moderate. I'm just trying to give you an idea of the type of water, not specific
areas they exist in. There are hundreds if not thousands of areas within the major
streams that have this mayfly.

The reason for the two common names of the mayfly is that
the males and
females look completely different from one another.
 I will get into the details
of the hatch starting tomorrow.

2011 James Marsh