10/02/09
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.   Blue-winged Olives - mostly Little BWO - Isolated hatches
2.   Midges - hatching in isolated locations
3.   Little Yellow Stoneflies
4.   Slate Drakes
5.   Cream Cahills - hatching in Isolated locations
6.   Little Yellow Quills
7.   Needle Stoneflies
8.   Beetles
9.   Grasshoppers
10. Ants
11. Crane Flies
12. Helligramite
13. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish

The Learning Process - Part 69
This past Saturday, I had one of the strangest fishing days I have had in a long
time. I was suppose to fish with Mr. Jerry Masler and his son, Steve. They host the
website
Trout University. Both live in Charlotte North Carolina - Steve, because he
is employed there as a manufacturing engineer, and Jerry, because that's were his
granddaughter (Steve's young daughter) lives. Jerry is a retired IBM Engineer, who
now occupies his time with fishing and associated projects.

Jerry is from the Northeast and lived for a long time only a few miles from the
Beaver Kill in the Catskills of New York, where fly fishing for trout first started in the
U. S. Now you would think he would be a life-long fly fisherman but in fact, he fished
most of his life using conventional casting and spinning tackle.  

The first thing I noticed was that when they stated talking about fishing, the stories
always involved the two of them. My mind would wander back to the many times I
fished with my father, something I did from the time I was a child up to a couple of
years before he passed. Of all the things I gathered from the two of them, the fact
they had spend many days together fishing was the most inspiring. I'm sure they
didn't realized it, but when they mentioned anything about a trip (which was not
often because I rarely give them much time to get a word in edgewise) my mind
went back to my dad.

I was constantly pointing out this and that as we drove through the park. They were
full of questions and I as always, had an answer for everything, or at least I thought
I did. They fished together in the park many times over the past several years. On
one occasion when they mentioned a trip they took together, in my daydreams, I
could clearly see my father, in his early seventies at the time, smiling as he put one
5 pound black snapper after another in my 25 foot Ranger boat, 35 miles offshore
Panama City, Florida. After loading the boat with black snapper, we were picking up
the loose ends on the boat, when he turned and ask me did I know the way back. I
don't think that had crossed his mind until then, or maybe it had, and I just didn't
realize it. Here I go again, day dreaming as I write this, but back to the Smokies, I
realized just how important any fishing trip any father and son takes together really
is. I am sure neither one of them will forget our trip, because
we never made a
cast.

The only area it seems they were not very familiar with in the park was the Little
River area. They had camped and fished upstream of Elkmont years ago, and they
had fished along the Little River road below there some, but that was about it. Deep
Creek is their favorite Smoky destination along with one other little tributary stream I
won't mention. That being the case, I took them to Little River.

The closer we got to Elkmont Campground, the higher and faster the water was
roaring downstream. If we had cast a streamer in that water, it would have cast it
back at us. I turned around and headed downstream to the Metcalf Bottoms area
thinking the smoother flows may provide us the opportunity to make some shoreline
cast with a streamer. It would have, except for one problem. The bottom fell out of
the sky.

I mentioned the Middle Fork of Little River, which they were not familiar with, so I
proceeded to show them that prong of the river. On the way there, I mentioned that
rain could fall heavy in one watershed and not in another just one mountain range
away. When we got to the Middle Prong around noon, it was as if I had played a
trick on them. It was absolutely beautiful. It may have been six inches higher than
normal, but not much. It looked like dry fly heaven. The problem was the rain
continued to pour. I have a good idea, the flow of that river changed fast. All in all, it
was a very good day. I enjoyed meeting them in person and the thoughts they
brought me all day about my father were wonderful.

If you are lucky enough to have a father or mother, or a son or daughter, you better
spend all the time you can with them. Any and all of the most important things in life
are subject to change and change fast.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh