Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little BWOs)
2. Giant Black Stoneflies
3. Light Cahills
4. Cinnamon Caddis (mostly Abrams)
5. Eastern Pale Evening Duns
6. Little Short-horned Sedges
7. American March Browns
8. Eastern Green Drakes (Abrams)
9. Little Yellow Stoneflies
Most available - Other types of food:
10. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
11. Inch Worms
Getting Started - Some Casting Basics
Unless you are competing in a long distance casting competition, the one and only purpose of the cast is to
get the fly line and the fly into the right position for a good presentation. Most of the time you will want your
fly to dead-drift. A good dead-drift presentation is what makes the fly drift along the surface, at a mid-depth,
or on or near the bottom in the same manner a real adult fly, nymph, larva or pupa would drift in the current.
The fly should drift in the exact same manner as if it wasn't attached to anything. There are exceptions
where long cast may be helpful, such as when your fishing a streamer in a larger size stream where you want
to impart action to the fly, but most of the time you should be trying to get a good, natural dead-drift
The main reason long cast aren't usually necessary or practical is that in order to make a very long cast you
have to completely straighten out the fly line. You can't make a very long cast with slack in the fly line. You
have to straighten it out.
If you are fly fishing for trout in moving water and you make a cast that completely straightens out your fly
line, in most cases, you have make a big mistake. Most of the time, the main objective will be to get a good
dead-drift presentation. If your fishing streams with current, especially those with fast flowing, conflicting
currents, you can't accomplish that if your fly line lands on the water in a straight line.
If you completely straighten the fly line out that land in current, your going to get instant drag on the fly. The
only exception is when you make a cast that lands in the current directly upstream. In that case, you fly is
going to drift downstream along the same path the leader and fly line is drifting. Your not going to catch
many trout if your fly line drifts directly over the fish. That's what anglers call "lining" the fish.
In order to get a drag-free presentation, most of the time, you will need for your fly line and/or leader to land
on the water with some slack in it. You should cast at a slight angle to the current, either up and across the
current, or down and across the current. In either case, you should not completely straighten out you fly line,
leader and tippet.
Fishing the small, freestone streams of the Smokies, you will almost always need to cast up and across the
current. The idea is to have some slack in the leader and tippet when it hits the water. Rather than being
long, the cast should usually be rather short. In most cases, the cast only need to be about 15 to 20 feet
long. The more fly line that is on the surface of the water, the more difficult it is to get a drag free
If the line lands on the water with some slack in it or the leader and tippet, it will allow the fly to drift drag free
without your having to instantly mend the fly line. You don't usually have much time to mend your fly line
once it's on the water. Furthermore, mending the fly line on the water disturbs the surface of the water and
can spook the trout your trying to catch. There are plenty of situations where you will need to mend the fly
line on the water, but you sure don't want the fly to start dragging the instant it hits the water. Whether your
fishing a dry fly on the surface, or a nymph or larva imitation, the main objective should be to make shorter,
accurate cast with some slack in the line.
I will get into the different types of cast that create slack line later, but for now, the main point I want to make
is that if your fishing streams for trout, it isn't necessary to make long cast.
Some self-proclaimed fly fishing experts would like for you to think that casting a fly is a very complex and
difficult to learn skill. It is not. Even if you want to learn to cast 70 feet or longer, it still isn't that difficult to do.
If you start out with the preconception that learning to cast is going to be a long, drawn out, complex
process, then you are fooling yourself. Learning to cast a fly takes a little practice and time, but it is actually
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.
Shipping is free in the U. S. for all
orders of any size. Orders over $50
are shipped free via Priority Mail.