08/22/09

Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.   Blue-winged Olives - mostly Little BWO - Isolated hatches
2.   Mahogany Duns
3.   Midges - hatching in isolated locations
4.   Little Yellow Stoneflies - hatching (Little Summer Stones)
5.   Slate Drakes - hatching
6.   Cream Cahills - hatching in Isolated locations
7.   Beetles
8.   Grasshoppers
9.   Ants
10. Inch Worms
11. Crane Flies
12. Helligramite
13. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish

Fishing Wet Flies - Part 2
When you are fishing wet flies you should cast at least thirty to thirty-five feet. Most
anglers don't have much problem doing that but they do have problems detecting a
strike and setting the hook at that distance sometimes. The trout are facing in your
direction when you cast downstream, so you cannot approach them as close as you
can from their rear fishing in an upstream direction in most cases. You have to be in
control of any slack line from the time the fly hits the water. One good thing about
this is that usually the fish attack the wet fly. Detecting the strike is not usually very
difficult. In fact, sometimes they want to take the rod out of your hands and if your
not careful, they will.

When trout are taking dry flies you can usually see them. You can also see the
currents and seams on the surface. You have a good idea of where to place the fly.
When you are fishing for trout that are not rising to the surface to take insects, you
have to figure out where your odds would be the best to catch one. Remember you
are imitating natural food that is drifting downstream and you need to figure out
where that food would be most likely to drift. There is no substitute for knowing
where the fish are. You don't want to try to cover every inch of the water because
doing so will take a lot of time and lower you success. You need to allow the fly to
drift in the seams that natural food would be most likely to drift in.

You do not need any special fishing gear to fish wet flies. In the Smokies about any
fly rod from eight to nine feet long, in a four or five weight will work. The action or
flex isn't important as long as you can cast the fly well. A floating fly line is all you
need. You do not need sinking tips or sinking lines. The fly will get down the deeps
of up to five feet easily by just adding some weight and mending the line.
Remember that if you cast up and across at about a forty-five degree angle and
allow it to swing all the way around, the fly will have more time to get down than it
would if you cast down and across. If you are not having trouble getting the fly
down, casting down and across is the best method.

Most anglers swing generic imitations, soft hackle flies or standard wet flies. I like to
use mayfly and stonefly nymphs, or caddisfly larva depending on which ones are
present in the largest quantities and easiest for the trout to acquire. If a species is
hatching, I usually try to swing imitations of that particular nymph or larva in the
mornings or other times when the hatch isn't occurring. I believe one is always far
better off using specific imitations of what the trout are most likely going to eat than
they are generic imitations that imitate a variety of insects. The generic may or may
not imitate the most available insect. If you know your stream and know what the
trout are most likely eating, there is never any need to use a generic fly.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh