09/08/12

Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
Hatching:
1.    BWOs (Little and Eastern BWOs)
2.    Little Yellow Quills
3.    Little Yellow Stoneflies
4.    Slate Drakes
5.    Needle Stoneflies
6.    Mahogany Duns

Most available/ Other types of food:
7.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
8.    Craneflies
9.    Beetles
10.  Grasshoppers
11.  Ants

Fly Presentation - Part 3

More on the purpose of this series of articles
Before I continue with the Fly Presentation articles, I probably need to add some more explanation
about the purpose of the series of articles. I have already received an email from a guy that in a
very nice way, stated that he had caught plenty of trout in the Smokies, yet he couldn't make any
of the "crooked" cast I referred to in yesterday's article. Thoughts along the same line may have
occurred to you. My answer to him went like this. In all probability, out of a day of casting, some of
his presentations just happened , probably by accident, to pass over the fish in a good enough
manner for the trout to have taken the fly for food. When trout only get a short glimpse of the fly, a
spit second look, they are not only easier to fool, they are not always spooked by things that may
otherwise spook them. In other words, you can sometimes catch a decent number of trout in the
fast water of freestone streams using less than the most effective presentations. The question
becomes, "how many trout would the gentleman catch if he learned to make better presentations"

You often hear the same thing when it comes to fly selection in the Smokies. A common statement
among some anglers is "you can get away using "X" fly for such and such insect or "I don't think
the particular fly you use is all that important". How many times have you heard statements like
that? It gets down to this.
Provided your satisfied with mediocre success, you can get by
with a lot of things that are less than they should be.
That's true with just about everything in
day to day life as well as fly fishing.  In other words, yes, you can get away with catching some trout
without being able to make the many different type of cast and presentations that will improve your
overall success. Yes, you can also sometimes get away with catching a few trout in the fast water
of the smokies using poor imitations of the food they survive on.

Another important point I failed to make before getting started with these articles is they are not
just about fly fishing the small streams of the Smokies. They apply to all types of fly fishing on
different types of streams throughout the country. Don't try to take everything written and apply it
directly to the small streams of the Smokies. They are quite different from a smooth, slow flowing
spring creek, for example. You may think the only way to approach trout is in an upstream direction
but tell that to a guy that regularly fishes the Harriman Park section of the Henry's Fork of the
Snake River. On the other hand, try fishing in a downstream direction in the Box Canyon section
not far from there on the same stream.

The best way to proceed fishing most small, fast flowing freestone streams is in an upstream
direction, casting in an upstream direction; however, there are situations where a downstream, or a
down and across stream presentation is best, even though they are few and far between. I don't
know of any situation where it's best to fish the streams of the Smokies headed in a downstream
direction.

I don't want this to turn into a down or up stream, one track issue. There's 360 degrees in a circle
and there's that many and more different directions you can cast across current headed in one
direction. To make it worse, the current isn't usually headed in exactly the same direction. It swirls
and curves and does all types of strange things depending on the bottom configuration and the
objects in the water it is flowing around.

What I hope the articles accomplishes, is to get you to thinking about is how to best handle
different current situations in order to get drag free drifts and not only that, but drag free drifts that
are made such that the fly line and leader doesn't end up spooking the trout. You may be getting
good drag free drifts but that's worthless if your fly land lands on the top of the trout your trying to
catch. It's worthless if you have to beat the water to foam mending your fly line.

If you want to improve your success in the Smokies or any type of water for that matter, you better
learn to make different types of "crooked" cast that provide a slack line presentation and you
better learn to handle all types of cross stream presentations.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh