10/23/08

Fishing the Smokies Update - Part Two

I received email since yesterday's report requesting information regarding where to
fish in the Great Smoky National Park in the near future and what flies to use. One
email was from a guy from New York and another was from a guy from Michigan. I
am always amazed at the locations people email us from. Of course a proportional
amount of email usually comes from the North Carolina and Tennessee and the
adjoining states, but about half of it comes from other locations across the U.S.

So far this week we have sold eight of our "Fly Fishing Great Smoky Mountains
National Park" DVDs to individuals, all of which came from states other than the
bordering or adjoining states with the exception of one from Jackson, Tennessee. I
would have never dreamed our four hour long DVD would have sold a third as
many as it has. I would have also never guessed that over half of the sales would
come from states over a couple of hundred miles from the park. I don't know why I
should question that at all when the evidence is right before my eyes. Yesterday,
while I was running some errands, and thinking about that very subject, I started
noticing the tags of vehicles driving through Pigeon Forge.  Of course the city is
jam packed with visitors. Over half of the tags are from states other than North
Carolina, Tennessee, or any of the states that adjoin North Carolina and
Tennessee such as Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky.

It also amazes me to sit down and watch the news, which is almost totally devoted to
the economy (& economy re election), and then proceed to drive through Pigeon
Forge. If there is a recession going on, the people driving through Pigeon Forge
don't know about it. I don't know the statics on how many people are here. I just
know it is bumper to bumper, all day long and into the night.

Another thing that has amazed me is the activity since we have opened the Perfect
Fly Store, The fly fishing season in most states is about over. Yellowstone and he
Western Rocky Mountain states have less than a couple of weeks to go, the
Northeast is about shut down and soon about the only fresh water fly fishing
occurring will be in the smokies. I was expecting to be able to coast along until late
winter before orders for flies would start coming in to any appreciable extent. That
guess was bad wrong too. I actually sold out of several flies of which I had a
minimum of two to four dozen of each in stock. We had over 40,000 flies in stock.
We started running out of some flies before I finished the website. In fact it is still
very incomplete in terms of what I intend to do.
The saltwater flies sold about as I expected they would but the trout flies that were
ordered the first two months was about twenty times what I estimated. I guess I have
a lot to learn in that regard. Thank goodness I can and have restocked them
quickly. I am not complaining. That is for sure.  I am very thankful to all of you that
have purchased our DVD or flies.

Now I better get back to answering the questions asked in the email regarding the
smokies. I don't think it matters that much where you choose to fish. I saw few
anglers this past week, so the streams are not crowded. That is with the exception
of the leaf lookers. If you fish anywhere close to a road, you will be fishing in front of
visitors usually taking pictures. If that bothers you, I would suggest you don't fish
Little River below Elkmont or the Middle Prong below the end of the road. In fact,
you will have to hike a mile or two above Elkmont if you want to avoid sight-seeing
visitors. Unless you want to sit in traffic, or hike a long ways, I would avoid Abrams.

It should rain soon and that should make it a lot easier to catch fish. Assuming we
don't have high water, which is a likely assumption, I would suggest one of the
several places you can get away from the road on the Middle Prong of Little Pigeon
River, or the West Prong of Little Pigeon River. On the North Carolina side, you will
find several places you can get off the road on the Oconaluftee River. The Straight
Fork, Noland, and Twentymile Creeks are good streams and have fewer tourist. Of
course any of the streams across the lake will be excellent and as always, the
Cataloochee valley will provide some secluded places to fish as well as great fishing.

As far as flies are concerned, you should have
blue-winged olive nymphs,
emergers, duns and spinners in sizes from 16 to 20. That should be your main
focus. You should also have some streamers. Our
Marabou Sculpins, Brown and
White Belly Sculpin are excellent choices. You may want a few Great Autumn Brown
Sedge pupa flies, hook size 10, to try early and late. If you fish the higher elevation
streams you should have some
Little Yellow Quill nymphs, emergers, duns and
spinners, hook size 16. That is all I would suggest. Nothing else would be needed.
You would do well with just the blue-winged olives I mentioned and a few streamers.

Copyright 2008 James Marsh