11/22/09
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.   Blue-winged Olives
2.   Great Brown Autumn Sedge
3.   Little Yellow Quills
4.   Needle Stoneflies
5.   Crane Flies
6.   Hellgrammite
7.   Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish
8.   Midges

Stream and Lake Destinations - Clinch River
Okay, someone finally ask for a stream to be highlighted in the Southeast and
rightly so, I might add. The problem is we have written so much about them in the
past that we admittedly have been highlighting those in other areas of the country.
We are also running behind on completion of many of the streams we are doing.

One of the ones that local Smoky Mountain anglers are aware of is the
Clinch
River. Without even looking, I would guess that like all the other tailwaters in the
area of the Smokies today, the Clinch is probably on a roll. Click the TVA Release
Schedule Link at the bottom left of the page and check it out for yourself. .....I just
did and its says the turbines are off at 3:00 AM this morning so you better rise
early. Kidding.........Checking out our new stream section on it may help encourage
you to keep an eye on the discharges in preparation for fishing the river when the
right time does comes. Many of you are probably like us and almost forget about it
at times, given so many choices to select from.  Keep in mind that there are a lot of
locals that would rather everyone else stayed away. We can't let them get by with
that selfish attitude.

Basics of Fly Fishing:
Leaders - Part 7
The question that I am sure many of you have is "which size and type of leader" you
should use when fly fishing. The answer to that depends greatly on exactly what
type of water you are fishing. If you answered with "the Smokies", then consider
this. Right now the streams are Spring like and higher than normal. This means the
water most anywhere you would fish is fast pocket water. Two years ago, at this
same time, they were probably just the opposite and very low and clear. The water
was probably moving rather slow. The answer also greatly depends on the flies you
are fishing. If you were fishing a large streamer for the browns, it would require a
completely different size leader than it would if you were fishing a small dry fly.

In today's case, the size of the leader wouldn't be critical in terms of trying to
conceal it from the fish, irrespective of what fly you used. The trout wouldn't have a
lot of time to check it out in the fast moving, rough pocket water. Two years ago,
you may would have had to select a longer, lighter leader. Your presentation of the
fly in the slow moving, shallow, clear water would have needed to be much better
than it would be now. You may could get by with a 7 foot, 2X leader today, whereas
such a large leader would have been practically worthless in the low clear water of
two years ago.

This situation became obvious to Angie and I the first trip we ever made to
Yellowstone. We spent a month on that trip, which was only our second year of fly
fishing. It seemed like every time we would get something down pat, it changed. I will
never forget trying to catch fish in the meadow sections of the Madison River in the
park in June. The Blue-winged Olives were hatching. We were using size 18 and 20
BWO dry flies and long leaders. We were told we had to use at least a 12 foot
leader to catch the trout in the smooth flowing water. One guy showed us how to cut
the tippet of a stock 12 foot leader and tie on a 4 foot section of tippet making it
closer to a 14 foot leader. Then he showed us how to make a downstream, slack
line cast. It worked and we began to catch some nice trout.

The next week we were fishing the famous Forty Mile Riffle section of the Madison,
below the 3 Dollar Bridge. A local guide we had meet agreed to help us out on one
of his off days. We meet at the bridge parking lot that morning. He noticed our
leaders already tied on that we had been using on the Madison in the park and
mentioned that the first thing we needed to do was to cut all that stuff (he called it).
When I asked about the fish (in the section of the stream I had never fished) he
said "You can hit the trout in the Madison over the head with a rope and it want
scare them". We laughed and changed to a 4X shorter leader. I don't remember the
length. We caught plenty of trout and on dry flies that were a size 16, if I remember
correctly.

A month later, when we were going to drift the Madison for a day, a guide told us
the same thing. We figured out that was a local saying about that part of the river.
Getting in the drift boat the guy told us "you can hit these trout over the head with a
rope and they will take the fly". I jumped ahead of him and asked what he used on
the Madison in the park. His answer shocked me. He said "I have never fished the
Madison in the park". So there you have it. Today you can hit the trout in the
Smokies over the head with a rope and they will take the fly.

more about this tomorrow ............

Copyright 2009 James Marsh