Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little and Eastern BWOs)
2. Little Yellow Quills
3. Little Yellow Stoneflies
4. Slate Drakes
5. Needle Stoneflies
6. Mahogany Duns
Most available/ Other types of food:
7. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Fly Presentation - Part 8
Presenting Emerging Nymphs and Pupae Imitations in Shallow Water– Down and
Presenting an emerging nymph or pupa just under the surface using a down and across method is
the same as I described in yesterday's last segment with the exception that you cast across or
down and across the stream, mending the line as necessary and providing enough slack line to
allow the fly, fly and indicator, or two fly rig to continue drifting downstream.
Presenting Dry Fly Imitations – Upstream or Up and Across Current:
The most obvious problem fishing a dry fly is, of course, drag. Remember that drag is more
obvious to the trout than it is to you. You may see your fly stop, move suddenly or create a v-wake
but you may not notice when the fly is barely moving in some direction or speed that's different
from the current. The trout, having watched real flies and other things drift downstream their entire
life, can and will easily detect unnatural movement in your imitation.
First, observe the water and try to predetermine where conflicting currents exist. Try to pick the
best spot to cast the fly to in order to get it to drift into the most likely location a trout may be
feeding without excessive drag. Sometimes you have to present the fly in water with conflicting
currents and deal with it the best way you can. Such situations definitely require slack line
presentations. I most often use a reach cast, or what some anglers call a reach mend. In situations
where you fail to get some slack in the tippet or leader, your have to resort to mending the line as
necessary to get as much of a drag free drift as possible.
Any of the methods of preventing drag with the cast, such as the reach cast, curve cast, wiggle
cast, pile cast and other types of slack line presentations, are better than mending the line on the
The second most obvious problem encountered casting a dry fly up and across is spooking the
trout with your leader and/or line. The line is, of course, very visible to the trout, even if it is a
natural, inconspicuous color. The leader can also be very visible and spook the trout, especially if
it lands of top of the fish. The first thing to avoid is casting the line and leader directly over a rising
trout or a location that may hold a trout. As I have written in previous articles, casting slightly up
and across is al;ways better than casting directly upstream. If you must cast directly upstream, and
sometimes you may need to, cast only about one half the length of your leader beyond a rising fish
or likely looking spot to help keep your fly line from becoming obvious to the trout.
Presenting Dry Fly Imitations – Downstream or Down and Across Current:
Presenting a dry fly directly downstream, or down and across, is sometimes the best method to
use. It's not often you need to make this type of presentation in the Smokies, but there are a few
occasions where it's the best method to use. Usually, downstream presentations are needed in
very clear, slow moving smooth flowing water situations. Some spring creeks are good examples. In
many spring creek situations, it's just about impossible to present the fly upstream without
spooking the trout. In my local area of eastern Tennessee, I use a downstream presentation most
often when fishing the South Holston River.
To present the fly directly downstream, make the cast to where the fly will land upstream of a rising
trout or likely spot a trout may be holding. As soon as the fly hits the water, lower the rod just fast
enough to prevent any drag from occurring. You don't want to create too much extra slack. If you
do, you may not be able to set the hook quick enough.
Another method that can be used in conjunction with lowering your rod tip, is to stop the tip of the
rod and bring it back up during the forward cast. This should be done just before the fly hits the
water. This creates slack line and allows the fly to drift downstream drag free. In either case, you
can let out extra line allowing the fly to continue downstream with creating drag.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh