07/31/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2.    Little Sister Caddisflies (Abrams Creek)
3.    Little Yellow Stoneflies - Summer Stones
4.    Slate Drakes
5.    Cream Cahills
6.    Little Green Stoneflies
7.    Ants
8.    Inchworms
9.    Beetles
10.  Grasshoppers
11.  Hellgrammite
12.  Cranefly
13.  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)

Fish the Smokies NOW if you can. As I pointed out yesterday, conditions for
this time of year are excellent right now.

Advice on Fishing Techniques, Strategies and Methods - Part 12
Continued from part 11
So far I have written about the brook and rainbow trout mostly. I did mention the way
the brown trout likes to hide and attack its prey and about some of their nocturnal
habits. They are by far the largest trout of the three species. In fact, a few grow to
be as large as they grow in many streams known for its brown trout.

Whereas the rainbows prefer the faster water, the browns prefer the slower water.
They prefer the pools and large, slow runs. If the water has some speed to it, they
will usually be found beneath the boulders or undercut banks. They prefer heavy
cover to hide from their predators, to avoid the current, and to hide and attack their
prey. The larger ones are not usually caught on dry flies as a practical matter. They
are usually in deeper water or wedged under a boulder. If you can get a nymph or
streamer to drift through their hideout, you stand a good chance of hooking up.

Unlike the rainbows, low light is a necessary key to fishing for brown trout. They
tend to feed early and late and during the night. Off color water, or water that is
high and stained from a recent rain, is a good time to fish for them. Cloudy, heavily
overcast days are also better days to fish for the brown trout.

A few years ago, I was telling a local Smoky Mountain guide about the large
rainbows in the Henry's Fork and said something like many had rather catch a few
of the large rainbows than dozens of medium and small ones from other streams
nearby. His comment was, "you can do the same thing here with the browns". I didn't
say so at the time because I didn't want to get him going, but there's a big
difference. The Henry's Fork has a large number of big rainbow trout. There are
dozens of eighteen inch and larger trout in a short stretch of water. That isn't true of
the brown trout in the Smokies. They are really few and far apart. The reason is
simple. The small size of the streams and food supply limits the numbers of them to
a few large ones. You will not find a half dozen large brown trout in a pool or a short
section of the stream. The ones there, and most likely, the "one" that is there, is by
far the most dominant trout in that area. Although I'm sure it has probably happened
once on a blue moon, I haven't heard of anyone catching several large brown trout
in a day in the Smokies. By large brown, let me say one that is over sixteen inches
long.

Your first key to catching a large brown is to look for their hideouts in a stretch of
water. There will be long sections of the streams that doesn't have any large ones,
meaning the right type of place for one to be just doesn't exist. If you scout the
water carefully, looking for the undercut banks, caves beneath the boulders, larger
logs, etc., you will increase your odds considerably. The best time to do this is when
the water is real low. When it's at the normal level or high you cannot spot many of
the likely places a large brown may hide. This is just a assumed condition, but to
give you an idea, in a stretch of a hundred yards there may not be but one likely
place. I doubt you would find a half dozen spots and then, I would almost bet there
isn't a hundred yard stretch of water with a half dozen large brown trout anywhere in
the Smokies. Continued