Fishing Cold Water in the Great Smoky Mountains - Part Three

In the first two articles on fishing cold water in Great Smoky Mountains National
Park, I have pointed out where trout hold in cold water and several problems you
face in catching them. In summary they are:

1. Trout seek slow moving water and avoid swift currents when the water is very

2. The slow moving water can be one of these basic three types (a) very shallow
water around the banks, behind boulders, etc.; (b) slow moving water beneath fast
moving water near and on the surface in runs and riffles and (c) slow moving, deep
water in pools.

3. Trout only feed in the slow moving shallow water when there is a lot of available
food there or hatches occurring.

4. Getting a fly to drift at the same speed a natural larvae or nymph would drift in
slow moving water beneath fast moving water on the surface is not easy to do. Also,
you cannot usually see the trout holding in this type of water, so you are fishing

5. Catching the trout in the slow moving, deep water of pools isn't easy because the
trout can see you, your line and leader.

8. When you fly is moving slowly the trout have ample time to closely examine it.

9. And, I will add this: When you are not properly prepared for fishing very cold
water you can be very uncomfortable. It can even be dangerous.

First, let me focus on fishing slow moving water beneath fast water. In most cases,
this is what you are going to have to be able to do to catch trout.
As already mentioned, you will not know exactly where the deeper holes or places
the water is moving slowly are. One thing you can do is to wear polarized
sunglasses that have the right shaded lens for the light conditions you are fishing
under. This will not necessarily allow you to see trout but the right sunglasses will
help you determine where the deeper pockets and holes are. They will help give
you get a better idea of the areas you need to try to get your fly to drift. Much of the
bottom you cannot see with your naked eye will show up clearly with the
sunglasses. The deeper holes will appear darker. This will eliminate your having to
fish much of the bottom.
There are two basic approaches to fishing this type of water:

1. One is to normal way of casting a weighted fly and mending your line to get the
fly down. This can be done using an upstream, up and across, or down and across
presentation. The biggest pitfall to this method is the fact it is difficult to prevent
your fly line from dragging your fly too fast through the slow water when you do get
the fly down.

2. Another method, and the best option in my opinion, is to use the "short line
technique" method of presenting the fly. I will also use the name "high stickin"
because it is a common name for this method of nymph fishing in the Smokies. This
method of fishing the nymph was taken from Europe. It is called the "Czech" method
of nymphing which allows you to keep in direct contact with the fly and allows you to
control the speed of the fly much better than you can when you have fly line lying
across and in the fast water on and near the surface. Your fly line would rarely
touch the water.

Tomorrow I will get into these methods in more detail. Happy Thanksgiving Day! We
are thankful for you along with the many, many other things God has blessed us
with. By the way, if you are having tough financial times, let me just quote an old
friend by saying "when the storm clouds get the darkest, the sun is going to shine".

Copyright 2008 James Marsh