Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little BWOs)
3. Little Winter Stoneflies
4. Little Brown Stoneflies
5. Quill Gordons
6. Blue Quills
7. Little Black Caddis
Most available - Other types of food:
8. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Update on Weather:
Since I wrote yesterday's article (Wednesday night), the long range weather forecast has been changed to
show a warming trend beginning earlier than expected at that time. Thursday of next week, they are showing
a high of 56 degrees at Gatlinburg. Next Friday's high should reach 60 and Saturday's high is shown at 64
degrees. Saddle up your horse or use your Citation X Jet to get here this next weekend. Be sure to wear eye
goggles to keep the Quill Gordons, Blue Quills, Blue-winged Olives, Little Brown stoneflies and Little Back
Caddis from getting in your eyes.
Getting Started - Some Tips on Catching Brook Trout
1. Fish High In the Mountains;
This means approximately 3000 feet above sea level and higher. This is easy to
determine with a GPS, either a hand-held unit or your automobile unit. Both can be
purchased for as little as a hundred bucks. If you cross the park on highway #441,
this means in Tennessee, starting about the head of the Chimneys Picnic Area on
Little Pigeon River, upstream to the top of its headwater streams-Road Prong
and Walkers Camp Prong. On the North Carolina side of the park, it means at the
headwaters of the Oconaluftee River, or Kephart Prong and Beech Flats Prong. Of
course, this is just an example. There are many, many other brook trout streams.
3. Fish In An Upstream Direction in the Small Brook Trout Streams:
This is true of just about all the fishing in the Smokies but I will point it out here to
make sure you are aware of this very basic rule.
4. Make Short, Upstream Cast:
You would rarely need to cast over twenty or twenty-five feet. Most our your cast
should be about 15 feet or even less.
5. Fish The Ends of the Runs and Riffles:
You might catch a brook trout in the fast white water. It happens occasionally, but
most strikes will occur near the ends of the fast water in areas of water that's flowing at a
moderate speed. Don't overlook the slow water. They will rise from water almost still
in some cases.
6. Make Several Cast to the Same Areas:
I have watched my wife make so many cast to the same area of water until I was
going nuts and then, guess what, she catches one. I have also watched her catch
as many as six brook trout from the same little pool. I move far too fast for this type
of fishing. At times and even though they are not that selective, it seems as if the brook
trout just want to want to take plenty of time and closely examine a fly before taking it.
7. Stay Low and Move Slowly:
If the brook trout see you, your chances of getting them to take a fly is greatly
reduced and sometimes impossible. The lower your profile, the less likely they will
spot you. Sudden movements catches their attention even though you may be a big
flat, blur though their window of vision.
8. Brook Trout Will Often Come Back to a Fly They Miss:
Unlike the wild rainbow and brown trout, brook trout will often come back and take a
fly they missed the first time. Just slow down and present the fly again.
9. Don't Be Fooled Into Thinking The Fly Isn't Important:
Brook trout are highly opportunistic but the fly can be very important. They remind
me of largemouth bass in respect to this. You can catch them on a large variety of
flies but if you use a fly that represents the food that is most available at the time,
you will catch far more. I learned that lesson bass fishing after losing thousands of
dollars to guys who knew better, and I have also learned that about the brook trout
in the Smokies. We have been able to catch as brookies on as many as one out of
every two cast at times using imitations of something hatching, or something about to
hatch in the brook trout waters. This brings up the next tip.
10. Don't think the little high elevation streams are almost void of food:
The few guys that have written books and articles about the Smokies, and not all,
but most of the fly shops salesman in the area of the Smokies, will tell you
the brook trout have very little to eat. This is just something that originally was most
likely speculation from folks that knew little about the food supply and that has been
copied and repeated over the years by other people that know very little about
aquatic insects. They usually blame this on the pH. It's true that water with a low pH
won't have as many aquatic insects as high pH water but in the Smokies,
there isn't near the difference some think there is. Our hundreds of test and studies have
proven that per square yard of stream area, there is not that much difference in the quantity
of aquatic insects in the high elevation brook trout streams than the lower elevation streams.
The insects population is quite different in terms of species but the there isn't near as
much difference in the quantities of the insects as many think. In many cases,
there are just different species of insects that exist in the middle and low elevations..
11. Get Our Fly Fishing DVD on Brook Trout:
We have a one hour long DVD on fishing for brook trout. Much of this program was
shot in Great Smoky Mountains National Park but it contains scenes from all over
the United States. It tells you just about everything you could possible need to know
about fly fishing for brook trout.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
New Schedule of Daily
Mondays: Weather and Stream
Conditions Forecast - Coming Week
Tuesdays: Fly Fishing Strategies -
Which Flies To Use - Coming Week
Wednesday: Fishing Tales
Thursday: Smoky Mountains Fishing
Friday: Getting Started
Saturday: Fly Fishing School
Sunday: This Week's Featured Trout
More Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us with the dates you will be
fishing the park and we will send
you a list of our fly suggestions.
Please allow up to 24 hours for a
2. Call us at 800-594-4726 and we
will help you decide which flies you
3. Call or email us with a budget for
flies and we will select them and get
them to you in time for your trip.
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