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.
Shipping is free in the U. S. for all
orders of any size. Orders over $50
are shipped free via Priority Mail.
Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little BWOs)
2. Light Cahills
3. Cinnamon Caddis
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
I need to do some catching up:
Smoky Mountains Fishing Report
As I have mentioned in other articles for the past few days, fly fishing the streams of Great Smoky Mountains
hasn't been very pleasurable or rewarding for many anglers due to the high water levels. The only good
reports we have received were earlier during the past week from a few anglers fishing the high elevation brook
trout streams. I say good reports, but even there the numbers of fish caught there seemed to be low.
Conditions are getting in good shape and I not only hope, but also think the results will be nothing short of very
good for those that fish within the next week. Some of the streams are still to high to safely wade, but it is
limited to a few larger streams. The West Prong of the Little Pigeon River is still high, Little River is still high
and some of those draining into Cherokee Lake may still be high. Most all the other major streams and
tributaries are in good shape. All streams are falling and should be in good shape very soon provided they
don't get hit with an isolated thundershower with lots of water.
The aquatic insect hatches continue to run about two weeks behind schedule due to average stream
temperatures that have been a little lower than normal for this time of the year. I have a feeling that's going to
change big time within the next couple of weeks.
The Little Blackfoot River, a small stream in Montana, is relatively unheard of by most anglers. Not only is it
unheard of outside the state of Montana, It's not well known within the big state of Montana outside of a few
anglers from Helena. Those that live in Helena have many other fine options for fly fishing for trout, such as the
Missouri River. There are so many thousands (not hundreds, but thousands) of miles of wild and native trout
streams in Montana many of them go unnoticed. The Little Blackfoot River is only 58 miles long, but there's
probably some privately owned ranches as long as the stream. Well, maybe that's stretching it but you get the
Angie and I were fishing the Frying Pan River in Colorado one April day where we met an angler from Montana.
To shorten the story, it turned out that he had two occupations that in one way seemed to conflict, but in
another way seemed to be perfect. The gentleman is a phychiatrists and licensed Montana fly fishing guide. He
invited us to visit him (for fishing purposes, not his clinic) but the next time we were in the area, he was
overseas on vacation. He told us about fishing the Missouri but said he preferred some small back county
streams few people fished. One of them he mentioned was the Little Blackfoot River. We love to fish new
streams, so the following year we included it on our list of new Montana streams to fish.
The uppermost section has several miles of the stream that flows out of the Boulder Mountains through public
property. The middle and lower sections flows mostly through ranches that are in the middle of no-where. By
the way, during other trips there, we found out that most of the ranchers could care less if you fished the
stream on their property as long as you took care of their property. It is full of trout for its entire 58 mile journey
to the Clarke's Fork River.
We first headed to the upper section. By the way, after fishing it about twenty times over the years, we have
yet to ever see another angler there. We stopped to fish at the first place we saw the Little Blackfoot River
within the public property section. On her first cast, Angie caught a small cutthroat trout. She fished for about
two hours within a couple of hundred yard stretch of water and suddenly wanted to stop fishing and go
somewhere else. The reason for it - she was catching a trout on about every third cast. She was catching
and releasing trout like they were bass and panfish coming from a Bass Pro Shop catch and release
fish tank. She actually became bored with catching what was mostly cutthroat but also some brook trout.
Some of the cutts were 12 inches but most of them probably averaged 8 to 10 inches.
I complained explaining that was what we were there for - capturing video of fly fishing for a complete series of
fly fishing programs we had been working on for a few years. I refused to leave and demanded that we
acquired all the good small stream fishing footage we could get. We were fishing an absolutely beautiful stream
packed with fish and everything was perfect - well, at least that was my opinion at the time.
I took over the fishing. I decided to do a live action scene introducing a segment of what turned out to be part
of the "Top 85 tips on fly fishing" DVD. I wanted to explain on camera, how short, upstream cast worked best in
small, pocket water streams. After starting the line of script on-camera, I wanted to actually cast and catch and
release a trout, all the time continuing the audio. I did several takes - maybe 6 or 8, before getting the job done.
By now, you may be wondering what was so unusual about that. The problem was getting my lines (on-camera
audio) right, not casting and catching a trout. On the first several takes, I always said something wrong or left
something out, but at the same time, I always caught a trout. I managed to catch a cutthroat trout on every
After that, I decided maybe Angie had a point. The fishing was too good. Catching a trout, and keep in mind
these are wild cutthroat trout, about every third cast, especially on every cast, can become boring. Catching
trout from the Little Blackfoot River is much easier than getting a ten sentence long script line right.
Here's four pages of information on fly fishing the Little Blackfoot River for those interested.