Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
1. Little BWOs
2. Green Sedges (Caddisflies)
3. Cinnamon Caddis (Mostly Abrams Creek)
4. Little Short Horned Sedges
5. American March Browns
6. Giant Stoneflies
7. Light Cahills
8. Little Yellow Stoneflies (Yellow Sally)
9. Eastern Pale Evening Duns
11. Slate Drakes
12. Golden Stoneflies
Most available/ Other types of available food:
13. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Fly Fishing Strategies - What Fly To Use - Part 45
I just noticed when saving this page, it is article number 1501. I can't believe I've written 1500
articles but I have. I also just noticed it is part #45 which means week number 45 out of a
total of 52 weeks in a year. Seven more weeks of strategies will complete an entire year.
That would be just great if it were not for the fact the last few months have been so
unseasonable weather-wise, the strategies I outlined will probably be of little value for
another year. I guess that just serves to point out that there isn't much typical, standard,
usual, etc., about fly fishing for trout in the Smokies. Things are constantly changing and not
just from day to day, but from hour to hour and often even faster than that.
Normally I would look at the forecast, which indicates an approaching front, and delay the
strategies for a day until after I knew what the rain situation was. That would be of little help
this week for two reasons. Number one, for some reason, they are only showing a 60%
chance of rain for today and tonight. I would bet my best hat they change that to a higher
percentage and maybe even before noon today. I'm saying that simply because they always
do. The second reason is there's another front headed this way that will bring rain on
Thursday through Friday, or as they put it, there's a 50% chance of that. I'll bet my wife's
best hat they change that to a higher percentage. If both of these fronts move through
without dropping any rain the streams will dry out and the woods burn up. That's not going to
happen. I'm just complaining about the stupid percentages they come up with but always
The stream levels are perfect as far as my preferences are concerned but that means they
are getting low. Although I like the low water, I am well aware that isn't exactly a good sign.
The streams in the park are freestone streams that rely on rainfall for their very existence.
We need some rain.
I like them low because they are easier to wade and get around in, and the low water adds
some challenge to the fishing. It doesn't take much skill to catch the trout in higher, faster
flowing water when there's plenty of food and good water temperatures. Although I like the
streams low, many anglers don't and there is a simple reason why. Low water means slow
If you will notice, the USGS stream level data give two readouts, one stream level and the
other stream flows in CFS, or cubic feet per second. When the streams are low, the flows are
slow. When the flows are slow, that means the trout get a much better look at your
fly because the fly drifts slower. When that happens, the match anything standard
generic and attractor type flies fail to perform as well. When that happens, anglers complain
about the fishing being slow or off. That's the typical excuse for catching less fish but it's
nothing but an excuse because the trout eat just as much as they do when the water is high
and fast, they just aren't near as easy to fool. Try throwing your Royal Wulff or other
standard fly shop trout fly in the middle of a slow moving pool and watch what happens -
The other factor is low water makes the trout more cautious. Again, that makes them more
difficult to approach and fool into taking a fly. Sloppy presentations and a general lack of
understanding about how trout see things above the water causes anglers to spook more
trout than they catch.
Again, the trout eat as much as usual, it just requires a little skill to catch them. An angler
cannot be successful by simply stumbling upstream, beating the water to foam with a fly that
doesn't look like what they trout see and eat 24 hours a day for their entire life. When this
happens, many anglers content the fishing is slow, or not very good. The fishing is done
by people, not the fish. They "fishing isn't very good" is a correct statement. It means the
fishers aren't very good.
What's even more off the wall dumb is out of the other corner of the mouth, the same
phonies may say that when there's little food for the trout to eat, they get hungry and eat
anything that looks like food. I guess that's when cheese cake flies will work. That is going
beyond being a stupid statement. It attempts to relates trout to humans. It insults the sport
of fly fishing for trout.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh