Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little BWOs)
2. Light Cahills
3. Cinnamon Caddis (mostly Abrams)
4. Eastern Pale Evening Duns
5. Little Short-horned Sedges
7. Green Sedges
8. Little Yellow Stoneflies
9. Golden Stoneflies
10. Slate Drakes
11. Little Green Stoneflies
Most available - Other types of food:
12. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
13. Inch Worms
Getting Started - Advice On Selecting Trout Flies
Anglers measure how good a trout fly is by the number and size of the trout the fly catches. That
seems to make perfect sense to many anglers but to those that are knowledgeable and
experienced trout anglers know that quantities and sizes of trout a particular fly catches may be
If I told you I caught fifty trout yesterday on fly "X", you better get more information about the
catch before you purchase a few dozen of them. If you found out that I caught them in
downtown Gatlinburg where the City had just planted a few hundred trout from the hatchery, the
fly I caught them on would suddenly not seem to be so important. Fly "X" may have been a good
imitation of a fish food pellet.
In defense of fishing for stocked trout, and in terms of judging the value of a given fly, let me add
that classifying a trout as a stocked trout should also bring up a lot of other questions. The length
of time the trout have been stocked is very important. Were they stocked as fingerlings, or were
they stocked 12 to 24 inches long? Have they been in the stream a day or two, for a month, or for
a year? Are they holdover trout that have been in the stream for over a year?
If you found out they were holdover trout, meaning they had been stocked for a over a year, you
may automatically (but unwisely) determine that if a given fly caught 30 of them, it must be a
great fly. That sounds good, but not if you find out the trout are feed live bait every so often to
make them grow large. Fly "X" may have looked very much like the live bait the "Trophy" trout
stream owner had been feeding the trout. Oh, how the little details can make a difference.
If you find out fly "X" caught 30 wild, stream-bred trout the day before your planning on fishing,
you may automatically (but unwisely) determine that the fly is going to be exactly what you need
for your trip to Abrams Creek. I say unwisely, because you may find out fly "X" caught 30, 5 inch
long brook trout in Walker's Camp Prong. In case you don't understand this, Abrams Creek
doesn't have any brook trout and brook trout aren't near as (I use this word to keep from
explaining a better description) picky as the rainbow trout in Abrams Creek.
Lets assume you find out the fly caught rainbow trout from Abrams Creek, not brookies from
Walker's Camp Prong, but your planning on fishing a spring creek in Virginia. You may find out fly
"X" didn't catch the first trout in the Virginia spring creek. You may later, after becoming more
knowledgeable and experienced, figure out that the fast flowing riffles of Abrams versus the
slower, smooth flowing water of the spring creek give the trout a entirely different view of the fly,
not to mention a much longer view of the fly in terms of time.
After learning far more than most anglers that fish the Smokies, you may also learn that fly "Y"
may have caught 60 brook trout on Walker's Camp Prong versus 30 fly "X" caught. That may
explain why you noticed many brookies looking at the fly but not taking it.
It's almost impossible to judge the performance of any trout fly without using it over a period of
time, and without knowing how to present it properly. What an ad says, what a fly shop salesman
tells you, or what you may have read on a fly fishing forum or blog, is only worthwhile information
if you know all the little, tiny minute details.
That's why when you hear anglers say, or write, all you need is a "such and such" fly to catch
trout on "XYZ" creek in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you better realize there's a big
difference in being a mediocre angler and a good one.
That's why getting information on fly fishing the streams of the Smokies from mediocre anglers or
fly shop salesmen that never fish the streams of the Smokies is as worthless and an ash tray
on a motorcycle.
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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orders of any size. Orders over $50
are shipped free via Priority Mail.