08/11/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives (See Below)
2.    Mahogany Duns
3.    Little Yellow Stoneflies - Summer Stones
4.    Slate Drakes
5.    Ants
6.    Inchworms
7.    Beetles
8.    Grasshoppers
9.    Hellgrammite
10.  Cranefly
11.  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
12.  Cream Cahills

Top Tips On The Basics -  Wading In The Smokies

1. Don't wade unless you have to:
Anytime you wade, you stand a chance of spooking trout. If you can reach the spot
you need to put your fly from the bank, don't wade. Cast from the bank. However,
most of the streams in the Smokies must be waded because of the trees and
bushes that line most all of the streams. Many of them cannot be fished from the
bank.

2. Check the water before getting in:
Often you will spook trout right out from under you when you first step in the water.
Take your time and check things out. At least check the water where you are going
to enter the stream before getting in. If it looks like a decent spot, stay back from
the bank and fish the area out including close to the bank. While you are fishing the
bank area, check the stream out good. Determine where the deep and shallow
water is in the stream and decide where you can and cannot wade. Give it a little
thought before just jumping in.

3. Don't ever wade deeper than the middle of your thighs:
Some anglers use the knee deep rule and start backing away from areas that are
deeper than knee deep. If the current is not high and strong, you can usually safely
wade up to about the middle of your thighs. When you get any deeper, the pressure
from the water starts getting more difficult to manage. When the water gets above
your crouch, much more pressure is added because of the much larger area of
your body the water is applying pressure to. Unless the water is almost calm, that is
getting too deep for anyone to wade, especially for any length of time. I suggest the
middle of your thighs as a point to stop and at least think about it wading any
deeper. After you have a lot of experience it will become natural but even
experienced anglers get into trouble. An experienced angler drowned just recently
in Yellowstone National Park wading the Yellowstone River.

4. Don't ever wade when you are tired
This is a big mistake and the cause of a lot of people drowning. It takes strength to
fight current. Most likely you will be using muscles you rarely use and it can really
put a strain on a person new at it or that hasn't waded in a long time. Don't over do
it. If you start getting tired, stop wading.

5. Take short steps but don't scrub your feet on the bottom
Always check the bottom before you take a step and only take short steps. This isn't
normal walking. Take it slow and easy and pay attention. Don't scrub your feet on
the bottom or dislodge any rocks, cobble, or pebbles or you will spook the trout all
around you. Trout can hear sounds under the water through their lateral line and
when you disturb the bottom, they will be well aware something is going on.

6. Wade slowly
I've probably already mentioned it once or twice, but to make a big point of its
importance, wade slowly. Don't rush. That is when mistakes occur.

7. If the current is strong and you start to get into trouble, turn your body
sideways to the current and get out:
You shouldn't get into this situation but if you do get to deep and the current is
hindering your effort, turn sideways to it. You will reduce the area of your body the
current is applying pressure to and it will be easier to move in the strong current.

8. Wear polarized glasses:
Always wear polarized glasses. They can be the cheap sunglasses but just be sure
you are wearing them to cut the glare from the water where you can see the bottom.
By the way, this is part of your overall fly fishing gear that is also important from a
fishing standpoint. You can see fish feeding in the current but more importantly, see
what is in the water, where it is deep and shallow and have a much better idea of
where you should be fishing..  

9. Always use a wading belt and keep it tight around your waist:
When your waders are loose around your waist, or you don't have a wading belt on,
you are in a dangerous situation. If you slip and fall down, which happens quite
often to experienced waders, you don't want water pouring into your waders at the
top and filling them up with water. Just a little water in the waders makes it much,
much harder to get back up out of the water. If they fill up with water, and it can
happen fast in current, you will have very difficult time getting up. Water is heavy.

10. Pay attention to leaves on the bottom of the stream:
In the Fall season in the Smokies, there will be lots of leaves that sink to the bottom
of the stream and collect in pockets. When you see leaves on the bottom, be
careful about stepping on them. The leaves may be three feet deep and you may
sink far deeper than you thought.

11. Wading Staff:
You may want to consider using a wading staff. The solid ones are the best ones
but collapsible types are easier to manage and work well enough.

Copyright 2010 James Marsh