10/18/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2.    Little Yellow Quills (
Heptagenia Group)
3.    Needle Stoneflies
4     Slate Drakes
5     Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
6.    Grasshoppers
7.    Ants
8.    Beetles
9  .  Craneflies
10.  Great Brown Autumn Sedge

New Fly Fishing Strategies Series - What Fly To Use - Part 13
Remember: The key is to imitate the insects and or other food that's most
available and easiest for the trout to acquire. If you haven't read the first parts of this
series, please do so. It will help make this article more meaningful.

As all of you are well aware, like Spring, Autumn has its rapid changes in weather.
Since the first day of Fall, we have had hot temperatures some days, some very nice
Autumn days, and a couple of dips at night down to around forty degrees. We now
are looking at a low pressure system on the scope that will move through and change
things again. Today will be nice and beautiful with mostly sunny skies and a high near
80. It will be the first day in the last few days that the wind will calm down.

Early tonight, showers and thunderstorms will change to showers. Chance of
precipitation is 80% and I'll bet that gets changed to 100 percent. Tomorrow, we will
see some showers in the A.M. with a hight near 55. Wednesday night, more showers
with a low of around 40. Thursday morning, showers are predicted along with more
strong winds. The front will move through and the temperature will drop down to about
36 degrees. The high Friday, will be around 55. This weekend, will be clear, cooler
with bright skies and more like Fall.

The unknown thing is the water levels.. A couple of days ago, I thought we may get
a lot of rain and we still may, but it looks like the approaching front is moving faster
than I thought it would. I thought I could outguess the weather guys but it looks like I
won't succeed. This will shorten the duration of the low that's currently in Florida on its
way north. This will probably reduce the amount of rain we get. Local forecast are
based on the valley in the greater Knoxville area and the weather in the mountains
can vary from it considerably. I think the final results is still a big unknown..

The reason for all this weather information is that the strategy you should use for fly
fishing will greatly depend on it. The majority of anglers will be fishing this weekend as
opposed to during the week and under the circumstances, the water levels for this
weekend are not easy to predict. My guess is they will be fine and could even be a big
plus. From a long term perspective, we need the water.

The known things are that lower temperatures that will occur this weekend and that
will speed up the aquatic insect hatches of Great Autumn Brown Sedges, Little Yellow
Quills, Slate Drakes, Needle Stoneflies for certain, the Blue-winged Olives; however,
the intensity of the hatches will be lower due to the high pressure system headed this
way. This same thing, lower temperatures, will also speed up the brown trout's
pre-spawning activity. The brook trout are already spawning in most streams of the
higher elevations.

Even if the water levels are high, even if they are very high, you will still have some
good options and that is you will have a good opportunity to catch a large brown trout.
The higher, off-colored water will give them a sense of security and they will be either
on the move upstream or in the actual process of selecting mates and preparing their
redds. This pre-spawn activity is already taking place, the males are becoming more
aggressive, and the lower water temperatures and probable higher water levels this
weekend will just help to speed the up the process.

The fly pattern you use for catching the aggressive browns isn't all that important. The
aggressive browns will hit flies of various sizes and shapes. The primary key is to get
the fly to cross their path. Getting it close to hitting them in their nose is even better.
The color of the fly, more specifically
the visibility of the fly, can be important. If
the water is dingy, using a bright colored fly with lots of flash will be helpful.
Chartreuse is always a good selection for low visibility conditions. Black, the absence
of color, works great in clear or muddy water. The fly doesn't necessarily need to
imitate any particular creature in the stream.

According to our customers, our
Deep Damsel Nymphs, Dragon Fly Nymphs,
Hellgrammites, and Crane Fly Nymphs works great for this under normal clear water
conditions. If the water is off-color, our selection of generic
Buggers, Deceivers and
Clousers will work in the bright colors. The Chartreuse and White Clouser is a good
choice and by the way, our prices are low and include shipping cost. .

Assuming the water levels are okay, the streams can be safely waded and the water
isn't badly stained (clear to fairly clear), you may want to ignore the pre-spawn browns
and fish as you normally would fish the small streams of the Smokies. If your fishing a
stream that has brown trout, your odds of catching a large brown are still good even if
your using a small nymph. It's even possible to catch one on a dry fly at this time of
the year although it's not very probable. Don't think for a second, the large,
aggressive brown trout won't hit a very small nymph because they certainly will.

I'm very busy this week releasing a new video in both DVD and Blu-ray formats that I
will be announcing soon, as well as trying to get several important steelhead and
salmon streams finished for our Stream Section of the Perfect Fly website. We now
have a large number of steelhead and salmon flies online and more new patterns,
coming soon. This will include 16 Spey fly patterns due within the next two weeks.

I will continue with this Strategy Series, as relates to this week and weekend,
tomorrow. I will also tell you about the
bear cub I had a wonderful, close-up
experience with
yesterday. Yes, I had the opportunity to sit in my Jeep (I wasn't
about to get out of it) and observe a cub within ten feet from me for about three or
four minutes. Most likely, it had the opportunity to closely observe the first human and
probably, the first vehicle it had ever seen.  I finally drove away to keep from
interfering with it and it's mother that was certain to have been nearby, probably
behind and below me on the other side of the narrow road. The little cub kept looking
away from me to see if her mom was going to help with the new, strange objects that
suddenly appeared..

Angie and I have taken video of hundreds of wild bears throughout the nation,
including many in and around the Smokies. We have plenty of them around our
house, especially during the Fall. I have been closer than that to more than one
including some big ones just outside our door both in Pigeon Forge and our previous
home in Gatlinburg, but I have never experienced such a closeup, peaceful
experience with one. I feel certain, except for being nervous and wanting it's mother's
help, the bear ending up felling the same way about me. I couldn't believe it. The cub
stood on the steep hillside, at eye level about ten feet from me staring at me and with
me staring at it. I conceded to the bear (I guess I'm not a Davy Crockett) and drove
away to let the cub settle back down.  

You won't believe where this took place.  

Copyright 2011 James Marsh