Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives (Baetis) - sparse hatches
2. Blue Quills - hatching
3. Quill Gordons - hatching
4. Hendricksons - could start within a couple more weeks
5. Little Black Caddis - hatching
6. Winter Stoneflies - sparse hatches
7. Little Brown Stoneflies - hatching
8. Midges - hatching in isolated locations
9. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish

A Fishing Story
I am late writing anything today about the Smokies. I didn't get up around 5:00 AM
this morning like I normally do. In fact, I just drew a blank and could not think of
anything to write about when I took my first sip of coffee. I predicted last weekend
that this week would be great for fishing the Smokies, so there is not a lot left to
say. When I started reading my email I noticed one that really caught my attention.
It was from Nathan Kennedy of the
TV Angler website.

I've been keeping up with both your Yellowstone and your Smokies sites.  I especially enjoy your
stories and reports about fishing specific streams.  I like those even more than the how-to stuff.  
Ever thought about writing a memoir of your fishing experiences?  

A memoir? There would not be enough trees in South America for the paper it
would take Nathan. I am partial to the Tennessee Valley because I grew up fishing
there for most (all but two) of my high school years. I finished high school at Arab,
Alabama, eight miles from Guntersville Lake. As soon as I did, they gave me a
one-way bus ticket and a free box lunch to leave. This one is for you Nathan:

How Not To Get Started Fishing:
A friend and I played "hooky" from school in about the tenth grade to slip into his
uncles new fish pond that had not been opened for anyone to fish. We did good.
We caught enough bass to fill a stringer than ran from the front bumper of his dad's
1959 Buick to the back bumper. We strung them up and ran the rope (stringer of
nylon cord that just hit the market) over the headlight, down the side of the car and
back over the taillight. There was maybe a hundred of them. After school let out, we
dove through Arab twice to show them off. A guy from the Arab Tribune yelled at us
in front of the Tribune office where we were waiting on the red light to change. We
pulled over and they took a picture of us holding up a stringer of some of them.
They asked where we caught them and my buddy said "Guntersville Lake". Where,
in Guntersville Lake" the guy asked. He couldn't come up with a name, so I said
"Beech Creek". Beech Creek was crowded after the paper came out. We got by
with that even though the principal of the school asked me how we caught them.
A month later, pulling the same trick with another friend Gerald (except we fished a
different pond), the Tribune made our picture with a nice string of bass for the front
page of the weekly newspaper. That one didn't turn out so good. We both got
suspended from school for a week for playing hooky and fishing. The principal, Mr.
Hinds, let me by the first time but not the second.
My first thought was that we just won't tell anyone we were suspended and we will
fish an entire week. I didn't have to tell anyone. Mr. Hinds called my dad knowing
dang well what we would do. I worked an entire week wheeling concrete pouring
floor slabs in the new Arab Hospital my father was building. On Friday, there was no
pay check.

Years later, I told that story to Rick Clunn, a multiple BASS Classic winner, after he
won a Classic at Guntersville. He actually caught most of his fish from the mouth of
Beech Creek. Several years later a good friend of mine, Jack Hains (another Bass
Master Classic Winner) and I fished Beech Creek in Guntersville Lake. It was in
advance of a BASS tournament coming up at Guntersville that Jack was fishing.
Jack and I caught what would have made the string of bass years earlier in the
paper look tiny. Those fish went around a three pound average. No, we didn't string
them up and have our picture made.

Just a few years ago, the Arab Tribune put that same picture of Gerald and I
holding up the stringer of fish in the paper asking if anyone could identify the guys
in the picture. Several people called and identified us. My mother cut it out of the
paper and sent it to me. It really made me sad. My friend Gerald just lived a short
time after that. He was killed in an automobile crash.  I tried to find it this morning to
post it with this article but couldn't put my hands on it. Maybe I will post it later.

Today, when someone ask how I got started fishing, I reply "Playing hooky from

Copyright 2009 James Marsh