Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2 . Green Sedges (Caddis)
3. Cinnamon Caddis (mostly Abrams Creek)
4. Little Sister Caddis (mostly Abrams Creek)
5. LIght Cahills
6. Little Short-horned Sedges
7. American March Browns
8. Eastern Pale Evening Duns
10. Little Yellow Stoneflies
11. Giant Black Stoneflies
12. Golden Stoneflies
13. Slate Drakes
14. Streamers (Sculpin, Minnows)
15. Inch Worms
Fishing Low, Slower Moving Water - Part Two - Staying
Hidden From The Fish
When I opened up the pages I would need to modify for today's article, I noticed this
picture of Angie that's on the home page of this website. It hit me that it illustrates
several of the main points I want to make about fishing low, slower moving pocket
1. She is stooped over, staying low. Just a foot of reduction in the height of her
head allows her to get a few feet closer to the trout without spooking them.
Although the picture doesn't show it, I will assure you her cast was made
side-armed and as low as possible. I'll also assure you she didn't make any false
cast to increase the odds of spooking trout. Even though she drove me crazy
having to wait on her, she didn't cast until she could do so such that her fly landed
exactly where she wanted it to land. The first cast is always the most important one.
Subsequent cast to the same area always have less chance of fooling the trout.
2. She is approaching the areas she's fishing (placing the fly) from behind the
boulders which helps to conceal the fish's view of her. We will get to this later.
3. She is dressed in clothing from her hat to her wading boots - vest, shirt and
waders, that are close to the shades of color of the objects (boulders, trees, etc.)
around her that the fish are able to see outside the water. We will get to this. You
can't see this in the still image but I will also assure you she moves around very
slowly. In fact, she moves so slow it drives me nuts waiting on my turn to fish.
However, that said, she usually catches more trout than I catch in this type of water.
One reason is that I often catch myself moving faster than I should. Fish will notice
sudden movements much easier than they will notice slow movements. Her patients
(something I have little of) pays off big time. You can often catch trout faster by
fishing (moving around) slower.
While I'm at it, let me point out some other things this one picture brings to mind.
I'm much taller than Angie. That makes it very difficult for me to stay as low as she
does. Because of this, I cannot get as close to the trout as she can without
spooking them. This means I have to make longer cast than she does. When you
make longer cast in this type of water, it makes it far more difficult to control drag.
The longer the cast, the more likely your fly line is going to cross over conflicting
currents, meaning currents that are moving in different directions. Short
presentations, short enough to keep most of your fly line off the water, are far more
effective in getting a drag-free drift.
Other than stooping over, you can't do much about your physical height but you
can be aware of the effects of your height above the water. This includes the
waving of your arms and fly rod when you cast. Sidearm presentations are better
when your fishing close to the trout your trying to catch.
The water level in the picture is probably close to normal. It may be a little on the
low side. The lower the stream level gets, the more difficult it is to approach the
trout. The best way to fish this type of pocket water is to plan out each move your
going to make before you begin to move. You should carefully observe the water
ahead, paying attention to the depths and obstructions you are going to encounter
when you proceed upstream. You want to plan your moves such that you can stay
behind the boulders as much as possible. If possible, you wan to avoid areas
ahead that you will have to climb over to proceed upstream. This will increase your
odds of being noticed. Moving around the boulders is always better than climbing
If possible, cast to each of the pockets, runs and plunges ahead from behind a
boulder. Take advantage of the boulders as cover as much as possible. In water
like this, which is very typical of the small streams of the Smokies, most of your cast
should be less than twenty feet with the majority even less than that. Keep in mind
that you will spook the trout that happen to be holding beneath the area of water
where your fly line lands. When you do, their fleeing movements will probably alert
all the nearby trout that's danger is approaching. Getting a lot of good, short drifts
of your fly is much better than trying to get longer drifts in this type of water.
2011 James Marsh