Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives (Little Eastern BWOs)
2. Mahogany Duns
3. Cream Cahills
4. Little Yellow Stoneflies (Little Summer Stones)
5. Little Green Stoneflies
6. Slate Drakes
7. . Sculpin, Minnows (streamers)
8. Inch Worms
13. Flying Ants
"New" Fly Fishing Strategy Series (What Fly To Use) - Part 1
You will hear anglers say things like, "the particular fly you use really doesn't matter.
It's the presentation of the fly that's important". If you happen to hear this, ask them to
see their fly boxes and most likely you will find they have a few hundred different flies.
Continue to ask them, "if the fly isn't important, why they have so many flies"?
You may even hear anglers say, "the fly doesn't matter - in the Smokies, the trout will
hit a cigarette butt". Respond by saying, "if you really believe that, why don't you just
fish a cigarette butt with a hook in"? Continue to ask them, " that if they truly believe
that, why they waist their money on flies".
You may also hear anglers say that "knowing the insects in the streams of the
Smokies isn't important". What you won't find is anyone making that statement that
actually knows very much about the insects. It's always the ones that know very little
In some cases, even on a daily basis, you will read or hear fly shop salesmen who
haven't fished the Smokies two days in the last few years, tell you what flies you
should be fishing, and/or what they would use if they were fishing. There are plenty of
phonies when it comes to fishing and especially if it involves money.
Facts are, you can probably fish a Parachute Adams dry fly and a Hare's Ear Nymph
all day today and catch some trout. Although I haven't used either fly in years, I think
the two flies are probably the best generic flies available. Conditions are prime and
the streams are in good shape at the present time and you can probably even catch
some trout using a Green Weenie. It can appear to look like several different things in
the streams of the Smokies and as long as the fly is presented in fairly fast moving
water, the trout will occasionally take it. The big question becomes, "Will you catch as
many trout as you would if you imitated the food that was most plentiful and readily
available for the trout to eat"? The answer is, "Absolutely Not".
The success one has in fishing always gets down to a matter of odds. You
may catch a trout on a cigarette butt, but if you fished one all day tomorrow, how
many trout would you end up catching? If you fished a Royal Trude, a Green Weenie
or a Purple People Eater all day tomorrow, you would most likely catch some trout, but
again, the question becomes "did the fly bring you the most success possible"?
The facts are, when the conditions are ideal, if you fish just about any fly in a fast
moving, pocket=water trout stream anywhere in the Nation, chances are you will catch
some trout. This isn't a product of the streams of the Smokies. This is true of any fast,
pocket-water stream in the country. The big question becomes, "how many trout will
you catch and with what consistency will you catch them"?.
The reason for this is simple. It's because the fish only get a very short, quick glimpse
of the fly. Depending on the exact quick view a trout gets, at times the fly can appear
to be something the trout is used to seeing and eating and it may take the fly for food.
It may also see it well enough to reject it. You will often see last split-second refusals.
Most often you will just see a flash of the fish, but sometimes it may appear that the
fish missed the fly. These are actually last, split-second refusals.
Does this mean that just any fly will work just as well as a fly that actually looks and
acts like the food that's most plentiful and available for the trout to eat at the time?
The answer is "absolutely not". The facts are, the more the fly looks like the food
that's most plentiful and available for the trout to eat at any given time, the more likely
they are to take it.
This gets back to the same thing I wrote about yesterday. If you didn't read the last
two articles, please do so. It will make this new series more meaningful.
In order to catch more trout and become a better, more consistent angler under any
stream and weather conditions, ideal or not, I will repeat - you should imitate the food
that's most plentiful and easiest for the trout to acquire.
The question becomes, "how do you go about determining what is the most plentiful
and available (easy to acquire) food at any given time"? This information is listed
at the top of the pages of every daily article I write on this website. The
problem many anglers have with it, isn't just determining the fly to use to imitate it, but
also exactly how (presentation), when (time of day), and where (location in the
stream) to present it. This requires at least some knowledge about the particular food
involved. This requires a little more effort than many anglers are willing to exert, but I
can assure you, using this approach will give you the highest possible odds of
Once you learn to use this type of strategy and approach to fly selection and
presentation, you will soon care less what Joe Blow caught on such and such fly, or
what any local fly salesman may recommend. You will not only catch far more trout
and be far more consistent at doing it, you will enjoy your fishing much more. You
will learn that it's possible to consistently catch at least a few trout even under
adverse stream and weather conditions and at any time of the year. You not only
will be rewarded by catching more trout, but more importantly, you will be
rewarded from the satisfaction of knowing that your catching trout as a result
of knowing what you are doing rather than as a result of pure luck.
Tomorrow, we will get started by looking at what's most available and plentiful for the
trout to eat in the streams of the Smokies at this particular time. If the good Lord's
willing, even if the creek does rise, I will continue to do this at the first of each
and every week for the next year.
Copyright 2011 James Marsh