08/28/10
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.    Needle Stoneflies
6.    Little Yellow Quills
7.    Ants
8.    Inchworms
9.    Beetles
10.  Grasshoppers
11.  Hellgrammite
12.  Craneflies
13.  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)


Basics - The Fly - Part 3 - Tips
The following are some "off the top of my head" tips. I am rushed this morning (I
want to go fishing mainly to see what the recent changes have brought about) and
don't want to use articles in my can just yet because I am not quite finished with flies.

1. Select a fly to match whatever trout food, insect, crustacean or baitfish, you think
is most available and easiest for the trout to acquire. This information is available
from our hatch charts on the Smokies, most of the local tailwaters and other
freestone streams. You can also use the list of "flies recommended now" link just
above.

2. Don't select a fly because Joe Blow said to use it. The stupid trout Old Joe may
have caught (or lied about catching) may not be stupid enough to fall for the same
fly. Beware!  I know of one guy giving specific daily advice on what fly to use when
he haven't been fishing on the streams the advice is for this year and probably not
even last year. This type of advice isn't usually coming from guys writing on blogs.
It's coming from people you would think were honest and reputable. It's worse than
worthless. It is misleading.

3. If in doubt about the size of a particular fly, use a fly smaller than the one you
have questions about. The fly shouldn't be any larger than the size of the natural
you are imitating. Since all of the creatures grow, using a small size would be better
than using one larger than the creature gets. There may be a World record stonefly
in the Smokies, but instead of wanting to eat it, a trout may well run from it.

4. If you are fishing dry flies, make sure you dress it properly to float in the water.
Where and just how you apply floatants to your flies depends on the particular fly. It
would take a series of articles to cover the important details of that one thing. We
have problems with anglers applying floatant to our CDC mayfly emergers, for
example. They often put it on the body and the results is they turn up on their sides.
Some anglers even apply floatant to the CDC, ruining it.

5. Remember, trout can see your wet flies and nymphs (which includes larva) better
than they can see your dry flies. First of all, they see the subsurface flies top, sides
and in some cases, their bottoms. They see mostly just the bottom of dry flies. They
can see other parts of a fly, such as a dry flies wings in a very short window of
opportunity, but they cannot see a dry fly as well as a subsurface fly. The reason is
they can view a nymph or wet fly from several feet away. They can only view the
parts of a dry fly that are above the surface of the water in a small window due to
"Snell's Circle". Without getting into it, that basically means the trout can only see
the fly trough a circle (window) on the surface that is 2.26 times larger in diameter
than the depth of the fish. If the trout is a foot deep, it can only see things above the
surface of the water through a circular window that is about 2 feet and 4 inches in
diameter. The point I am making here is that
wet flies and nymphs should
imitate the naturals better than dry flies because the trout get a better
view of them.

6. A trout feeding near the surface that is feeding on insects drifting in a current
seam can only see the fly passing overhead for a very short time. Just imagine how
fast a fly drifts through a circular area on the surface that is just over 2 feet in
diameter. That would be the case if the trout was holding in water only a foot deep.
The exact time depends on the speed of the water, of course, but in a typical riffle
or run, it would only take the fly about a second or two at the most. I mention this to
make the same point.
The trout can see a nymph drifting near the bottom not
only much better, it can also see it for a much longer period of time.

7. Use nymphs that look like the naturals you are trying to imitate. Don't attempt to
imitate a Little Blue-winged Olive nymph with a fat, bulky tied generic nymph. At the
present time, for example, there aren't any grown size crawler nymphs in the
streams of the Smokies. BWO nymphs are slim, trim swimming nymphs. They are
not fat like crawlers, or wide and flat like clingers.
The nymph you use should
imitate the natural even better than the dry fly you use.
Why? The two
reasons given above for starters.

8. The fly shouldn't only look like the natural it imitates, it should closely mimic the
behavior of the natural. A fly imitating a small baitfish should dart around like
minnows. When a trout sees a minnow close enough to eat it, it usually sees it trying
its best to get away. A dry fly should drift on the surface "drag free", not making its
own wake dragging across the water. A nymph should drift through the water at the
same speed of the water, not being pulled rapidly through the water by a fly line on
the surface in much faster water.

9. The fly itself should have parts that move to mimic the behavior of the naturals. A
nymph cast in bronze from a mold may look just like a real nymph, but its legs, gills
and tail want move like a real nymph. Take a close look at the fly you are using.
Does it accomplish this well?

10. This tip was explained in detail yesterday. The trout doesn't give a flip about
your rod, reel and shark skin fly line. You better hope it doesn't see them. It will see
your fly. In theory, you would be better off with a ten buck flea market fly rod and a
fifty dollar fly if catching trout is important to you.

I could keep on going but "I gotta get out uh here"
Copyright 2010 James Marsh