Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives and Little BWOs
2. Blue Quills
3. Cinnamon Caddis (Mostly Abrams Creek)
4. Little Short Horned Sedges
5. Eastern Green Drakes (Abrams Creek)
6. Hendricksons & Red Quills
7. American March Browns
Most available/ Near hatching and/or other types of available food:
8. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
More On Youngsters Being Able to Fly Fish For Trout
Yesterday just wasn't a good day for me. I noticed I had copied an old insects list from an
earlier article this year that still had Quill Gordons listed on it. I did correct it the first thing this
During the last month or two, we have had at least a couple dozen students contact us about
fly fishing in the park. We have also had the parents of several students contact us with
questions about how their sons and daughters could go about learning to fly fish. Since the
Great Smoky Mountains are located in the South,and most spring break visitors that come
here are from the Southern states, it means that only a small percentage of them live close to
water that holds trout. Many are from states north of here that have few, if any trout streams.
Examples are Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. In a majority of these cases, the students
or their parents don't have fly fishing gear and if they do, it's often more suited for bass and/or
saltwater fishing than trout. It is easy to forget that the majority of trout streams in the East and
especially the Southeast, are located only in or very near the Appalachian Mountain range.
There are a few tailwaters that are exceptions to this but the fact remains that most people
visiting the Smokies don't live near trout streams.
Although it is becoming less common as time goes by, getting an opportunity to fish for trout in
the clear, cold water streams of the Smokies is a dream of many youngsters that live in areas
where trout don't exist. Except for a year in South Georgia and another year in Ohio, I lived in
Arab, Alabama from birth until I finished high school. As soon as that happened, they gave me a
one-way bus ticket and a free box lunch to get out of town. The closest trout streams were in the
During those early years, I was able to visit the Smokies quite often, thanks to my family. My
family usually stayed in Gatlinburg and every time we drove through what is now Pigeon Forge
to Gatlinburg (the Spur), I couldn't take my eyes off of the Little Pigeon River. It was
completely different from the warm water creeks I was used to fishing. All I could think about
was catching fish from the streams that flow through and from the Smokies. By the way, I just
giggled at myself, because it just hit me, that not much has changed in that regard.
In other words, I can still relate to the youngsters that want to fish the streams. I think I know
exactly how at least some of them feel, even though it's fifty years later. If they want to fish
for trout in the streams of the Smokies, then they should have that opportunity
regardless of how much money they have.
The fly fishing industry should be smart enough to realize that many of the less fortunate high
school and college students that have that same desire will probably be representative of the
majority of those that would soon be able to purchase a $700.00 pair of waders and a $700.00
fly rod. From a business standpoint, they could be among the best customers in a shot time!
At this time, Angie's Perfect Fly company only sells DVD, flies, fly boxes, leaders and other
miscellaneous items and that's not through a brick and mortar store and never will be. That will
soon change with the addition of several new items of fly fishing gear and equipment. Part of
our long range plans for Perfect Fly is to be able to do much more than we can do now to help
out youngsters and for that matter, those less fortunate older people who want to learn to fly
fish. I'm writing this because I have at least 800 and sometimes as many as 1200 individuals
that read (at least open up the page) my daily article on this site. We have five to ten times
that many people who see our Perfect Fly website front page each day and I am working on
bringing this problem to everyone's attention on that site. The numbers are low now, but
nearer the Yellowstone Park fishing season, we do as well or better with our Yellowstone
website as we do with this one. The exact same problems with kids being able to fish exist
there as well as the Smokies. In fact, I feel sure the same problem exist any and everywhere
Much of it has to do with the perception others have of fly fishing. The fact most
anglers are seen dressed out like they are going to be in a fly fishing beauty contest with the
winner on the cover of a magazine, stock and investment ad on TV, exotic fly fishing
destination ad, or other well exposed media, give the impression that fly fishing is only for the
wealthy. In reality, this is a joke. In general, fly fishing actually cost less than most other
types of fishing.
If you compare it with bass fishing, although there are a few small aluminum john and bass
boats around most lakes, the cost of gear and equipment (even if you include a drift boat) is
far less than the cost of bass fishing. When you compare it to the cost of saltwater fishing,
even when you include the very few that fish from their own flats boat, fly fishing for trout is
very low. Flats boats are among the cheapest of saltwater boats and even so, they are not
even in the ball park compared to anything other than inshore saltwater fishing boats, gear
and equipment. Don't forget operation and maintenance expense. The high cost of gas and
diesel fuel has completely destroyed the boating industry. Not only that, most people cannot
get a loan to buy one if they wanted a boat. Most boat companies have gone bankrupt.
More importantly, don't forget a boat isn't necessary or even allowed for fly fishing the streams
of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Those that own larger bass boats and saltwater boats can't afford to operate them. My last 26
foot Ranger saltwater boat with twin 200 hp engines, would easily burn all the gas in the 200
gallon fuel tank running offshore in the Gulf or Atlantic and sometimes during saltwater fishing
tournaments, it had to be refueled during a one day event. Marina fuel is about $5.00 a gallon,
so that's an additional $1,000.00 per day expense. If you charter a boat, it's close to the same
expense. In other words, about the only type of fishing less expensive than fly fishing for trout
is sitting on the bank of a farm pond fishing with a cane pole.
By the way, to add some humor, many anglers that fly fish for trout are willing to pay a
thousand bucks or more to own a cane pole fly rod - like my friend Chris. I'll see if Chris is
reading this article from his Army post in Afghanistan. He is the host and star of our latest DVD
release "Stalking Appalachian Trout". Right now Chris is serving our country on his third
overseas tour of duty in a war zone - twice in the Marines and this time in the regular Army. He
is a sliightly older youngster that as of right now, can only dream of fishing when he returns
home this Summer.
Fly fishing for trout doesn't have to be expensive. Youngsters visiting the Smokies shouldn't
have to spend a lot of money to see if they want to learn to fly fish for trout. There's probably
some local fly shops that rent fly fishing gear, but I'm not even sure about that. Even so, that
may still be a lot of money for a Spring Break student to come up with when you add all the
little incidental expenses like license, leaders, tippet, flies, etc.
I'm writing again on this subject, hoping to catch the attention of anyone - manufacturers, fly
shops or anyone involved with the fishing industry or not, that wants to help youngsters have
an opportunity to fish the beautiful trout streams of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I'm
interested in anyone's ideas of how this could be accomplished or done in a better way.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh