Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little BWOs)
3. Little Winter Stoneflies
4. Little Brown Stoneflies
5. Quill Gordons
6. Blue Quills
7. Little Black Caddis
Most available - Other types of food:
8. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Smoky Mountains Fly Fishing Report
The ever changing weather and stream level conditions have made it tough on most of the anglers fishing
the park during the past week. As usual, the catches have varied depending on who's doing the fishing. All
in all, it's a much better report than I had last week. At least I did okay for the time and circumstances under
which I got to fish.
Wind hampered the fly fishing about as much as anything during the past week. The same is true with the
changing water levels. Many forget that a change in water heights and flows usually change the position fish
hold to feed and rest. When levels change, what's the idea location for fish to hold and feed one day, may
be completely different from the idea location the next. It also affects the availability of the insects. The
bottom line is rising water usually causes a short lull in feeding activity.
Now that I've written that, I can also add that from my own observations over the past few years, most
anglers don't change with changing conditions. They continue to fish the same way, day in and day out.
About the only change they ever make (other than changing flies twenty times too often) is changing their
location on a stream, or changing the streams they are fishing. They are always looking for greener grass
on the other side of the hill. The basic changes most anglers make is changing from a subsurface
presentation to a surface or dry fly presentation. Many try to do both at the same time and fish a dropper rig.
The failures, meaning poor results in catching, comes about from a one-track mindset on how to fish the
small streams of the park. Most of the visiting anglers, as well as a lot of locals that fish occasionally, rely on
fly shops to advise them as to how and where to fish. In most cases that amounts to the blind leading
the blind. Many handing out the advise never fish. Their advise amounts to nothing more than If dry flies
aren't working, change to nymphs, or just the opposite of that. If the anglers still fails to catch anything to
write home about, they tell them "the fishing is slow". They never stop to think, "the fishing" is done by
During the past week, I have only taken the time to visit and fish the park twice. My main objective was to just
check the status of the hatches. I say "taken" because each time I just left Angie and her mother both
swamped with fly orders coming in from across the nation. We have been extremely busy at Angie's Prefect
Fly Company for the past couple of months. We are working seven days a week, twelve to fourteen hours a
day. I guess I need to find another job.
Saturday, I fished the Little Pigeon River just inside the park at the Sugarland area for about 30 minutes. I
fished a hook size 12 Quill Gordon Emerging Adult (a wet fly) and caught two rainbow trout. This was done
from the bank. I didn't take the time to put my waders on. The only thing I noticed bug wise was a few very
tiny BWO's in the shallow pockets.
Monday, I fished again for about 30 minutes on Little River near the turn to Elkmont. Using the same fly, I
caught one rainbow about 6 inches long. I think I missed some takes because the wind was almost blowing
me off the bank into the stream. Twice, I got hung up and when I didn't, I always had a huge bow in the fly
line. The one trout I caught was accidental. I didn't even know I had it hooked before I saw it jump. Even so, I
managed to catch three trout from the bank in a total of about an hour of fishing including both Saturday
and Monday. I didn't see any insects on Little River Monday and that's probably because if anything did
hatch, it would have been blown off the water into the woods in a heartbeat.
I've talked to two or three anglers (don't remember for certain) that fished the park during the past week.
Only one caught any trout and that was only a few. At least one or maybe two of the others I talked to didn't.
One group was on Spring Break and are new at fly fishing. The one that did catch some trout was a visitor
from Florida. It seemed the tailwaters were the highlights of our local area. We had some very positive email
with catches from the tailwaters from customers using our flies for the first time.
We had several others that purchased flies from us that were planning on fishing the Smokies during, or
close to this past week's time frame, that we haven't heard from. Unless they call us specifically to tell us how
they did, I normally wouldn't hear from them. Let us hear from you. I promise not to use your name unless
you want us to. We want to hear from you if it's a good or bad report.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
New Schedule of Daily
Mondays: Weather and Stream
Conditions Forecast - Coming Week
Tuesdays: Fly Fishing Strategies -
Which Flies To Use - Coming Week
Wednesday: Fishing Tales
Thursday: Smoky Mountains Fishing
Friday: Getting Started
Saturday: Fly Fishing School
Sunday: This Week's Featured Trout
More Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us with the dates you will be
fishing the park and we will send
you a list of our fly suggestions.
Please allow up to 24 hours for a
2. Call us at 800-594-4726 and we
will help you decide which flies you
3. Call or email us with a budget for
flies and we will select them and get
them to you in time for your trip.
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