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)
6. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Fly Fishing Strategies - What Fly To Use - Part 20 Continued
As expected, changes have already occurred in the weather forecast. I didn't necessarily anticipate
the changes that are taking place. If I could do that, I could take over the National Weather Service
and make it more accurate. I just didn't think the frontal system would keep creeping along forever. I
know just enough about weather to know that's almost impossible to predict. It's speeding up some
and bringing cooler weather about a day earlier than they thought a day or two ago.
Tomorrow night (Wednesday night) will be the coldest night. The low in Gatlinburg will only be around
24 degrees. Today's high will only be 49. The highest odds for a baetis Blue-winged olive hatch will
be today. The odds for Thursday will still be fairly good, but not as good as today.
I drove around in the rain in some in the park yesterday, including a trip up to the Chimneys Picnic
area and over the hill to Little River. I didn't see the first person fishing, or any vehicle that made me
think it belonged to an angler from the park entrance to Metcalf Bottoms. It was raining and those
that may have fished earlier may have already left. I didn't make a cast because I'm just getting over
a cold and didn't want press my luck. The water was a little off-color and high but fishable in isolated
areas. Looking at the stream levels, it appears the North Carolina side of the park didn't come out as
well from yesterday's rain. The rain hasn't ended, but according to the weather guys, what's
forthcoming doesn't appear to be extremely heavy.
Today and possible in the morning, I would personally choose a streamer to start with. The
conditions are ideal for streamer fishing. I would use our "Perfect Fly" Yellow Marabou Sculpin but
there's other flies that will also work. You would have fairly good odds of hooking a brown trout that's
has finished spawning as well as the rainbows - provided the stream has both species. Don't expect a
trout every few minutes. If you choose this method, stick with it at least until mid day.
For numbers, today and tomorrow, I would fish the same thing I've been recommending - our "Perfect
Fly" hook size 18, Blue-winged Olive Nymph. You will be imitating the most plentiful and most
available aquatic insect in the streams. Why? It's by far the most accurate imitation of the naturals
from both an appearance and behavior standpoint.
Understand that there are many mayfly and stonefly nymphs in the water at this time. Many are still
half grown. Most of them (including the most plentiful - the clingers) are well hidden from the trout.
That's where the "most available" nymphs comes into play. They will represent the great majority of
any mayflies that may possibly hatch, meaning there will be exposed and available for the trout to
eat. I know this for an absolute fact from having taken hundreds of samples of aquatic insects,
during every month of the year using professional gear to do it over a period of a few years. I'm not
guessing. It also proves out to be successful when I imitate them fishing. I don't know any other way
to put it but like this. I consistently catch plenty of trout and often do it when others fail.
Fish the lower elevations. You will have your pick of the best spots to fish from the banks and slower,
marginal water around the banks. I would start today no latter than around 10:00 AM but later
tomorrow. If you see any BWOs on the surface, switch to an emerger or dun if your more comfortable
fishing a more visible fly. If that doesn't produce in a very short time, switch back to the nymph but
unweighted or with a tiny split shot at the most. Fish it as an emerging nymph. I wouldn't use an
indicator but many of you may prefer to do that. Under the high water and slightly stained conditions
of the water, an indicator may allow you to detect the strikes easier.
Although this is supposed to be a strategy article for a week, I'm reluctant to suggest any more for
any later until I see the actual stream and weather conditions forthcoming. There's still enough "ifs" to
adversely affect the strategy I would recommend beyond Thursday.
I write all of this detail about strategies, realizing few if any will actually be fishing. I also realize I can't
cover all the facts that should be taken into consideration. I'm just trying to highlight the thought
process. From a practical standpoint, those few locals that may fish would probably be out trying to
hook the last of the spawning browns, if there's any left. I'm writing the strategy series because I am
trying to show how I go about determining the best ways for fishing in the park under the varying
conditions. Hopefully, over a period of doing this for a year, I will be able to give those regular visitors
an idea of how I go about determining the strategy I would use. If you follow the series, I can
assure you that you can count on being able improve your own personal success.
Copyright 2011 James Marsh