11/28/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2.    Little Yellow Quills (
Heptagenia Group) (slight chance)
3.    Needle Stoneflies (slight chance)
4     Great Brown Autumn Sedge (slight chance)
5.    Midges
6.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)

Fishing Streamers In The Smokies - Part One
Before I get started with this article, let me make it very clear that I'm not referring to catching brown
trout that are spawning and protecting their redds. I'm pointing this out because some browns are still
in the spawning process and I don't want anyone to think this article is related to the spawn. Although
I've stated this often, I'll make it clear again, that while I don't feel like there's anything wrong with
catching the browns moving upstream on the way to their spawning grounds, I do think attempting to
catch them when they are actually building or protecting their redds is a very unsportsmanlike thing.
Even so, for the most part, the techniques I'm providing in this article wouldn't be very effective for
catching spawning trout. With the high water situation currently forthcoming and the fact high water
levels will be fairly common from now through the Spring months, I thought I would spend some time
on streamer fishing.

This is of little importance subject wise, but I will also mention the fact that fishing streamers isn't
exactly my favorite method of fly fishing. I much prefer fishing a dry fly but I also like catching fish.
When nymphs becomes far more effective, I will go to them. My favorite method of nymph fishing is
sight casting to fish. Most of the time, that doesn't work out well in the freestone streams of the
Smokies. NInety-five percent of the time I'm fishing nymphs and/or larvae imitations in the Smokies,
I'm fishing to fish I can't see but have a very good idea as to where they are. When both nymphs and
dry flies are not the most productive methods due to high, or stained water conditions, or when I'm
strictly targeting browns under low light conditions, I will fish streamers. Don't take this wrong.
Streamers can be effective anytime and many anglers enjoy fishing them equally as well as other
methods. There are probably even a few that prefers to fish a streamer, although I don't personally
know anyone that crazy.
I'm just kidding.

My point is, the method of fly fishing you prefer is strictly a matter of personal choice. I learned many
years ago, fishing bass and saltwater tournaments, that when you have a substantial investment
involved, and winning is important, you better not have any personal favorite fishing methods. If you
want to be consistent at catching fish of any species, you better learn how to become proficient using
any and all methods.  

Streamers imitate minnows, crayfish, bait fish, leeches, and a few other things trout eat. Unlike most
aquatic insects, the foods streamers imitate can usually swim well. Unless the streamer you are using
is a fairly accurate replication in terms of both an appearance and behavior standpoint, you better
give the trout only a short, quick glimpse of the fly. As I've often written, there's two major mistakes
you can make with a lure or fly. One is allowing the fish your after to see it too well and the other is
not allowing the fish to see it. The solution lies between these two extremes. You want the fish to see
your fly only well enough to take it for the real thing.

On very bright, clear days when your fishing clear water, effective presentations become far more
difficult. Early morning and late evenings are usually better times to fish streamers. Streamers may
still work under bright light conditions, but for the most part, they work when the fish are hiding and
attacking their prey. To make this clearer, on a bright sunny day you can swing a streamer a few
inches in front of  a brown trout hiding under a boulder and often succeed in catching it. It's also a
fact that many of the foods that trout eat that streamers imitate are more active during low light
situations and during the evenings. The other time streamers are usually more effective is when your
fishing stained or off-colored water. This also makes it much easier to fool the trout.

In any presentation scenario, speed is very important. The faster the water is flowing, the shorter the
time the fish have to view the fly. The faster the fly is going, the shorter the time the fish have to see
the fly. In the case of a streamer, you have control of this. Unlike most other trout flies, you don't
usually dead drift streamers. You usually impart most of the action and movement although current is
certainly a big factor.

To be continued
Copyright 2011 James Marsh