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 any day now
5. Little Black Caddis - hatching
6. Little Brown Stoneflies - hatching
7. Midges - hatching in isolated locations
8. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish

Selecting the Right Fly Rod

So far, I have described the different types of fly rods that are in the size (weight,
length, etc.) range for the Smokies. Everything has been slanted towards selecting
a fly rod to best fit the varying conditions that are found fishing the small streams.
There is nothing that says you have to take just one fly rod with you on a trip to the
Smokies. However, you can only fish with one at a time.

If you are going to fish the very small brook trout streams in the high elevations of
the park, then you may want a one to three weight fly rod. As I previously
mentioned, some would prefer the rod length to be shorter than normal and others
would not prefer a short rod, even in the light weight line of rods. If you were going
to fish a heavy weighted, large stonefly nymph in the deeper water of fast runs,
then you may prefer a six weight, 9 foot fly rod that has a fast action or tip flex. This
would provide a lot of backbone for setting the hook and may offer an advantage in
landing a large brown trout provided you were not using a light tippet. If you were
fishing small dry flies for rainbows, browns and brook trout in the average size
streams of the Smokies you may prefer a 4 or 5 weight rod. Again, the length would
be optional. Some would prefer the eight foot length and some a nine foot length.
When you know the type of streams you are going to fish, the size and type of flies
you are going to fish and the species and size of fish you are pursuing, then you
can select a rod that is more specifically designed for those scenarios. If you are
only going to fish the small streams of the Smokies, you may consider using a
bamboo fly rod. These are basically slow action fly rods that would serve well for
most of the fishing done in the Smokies. They are even preferred by some anglers.
I have several of them, most of which are cheaper ones I just keep sitting around. I
love the looks of them. I love the looks of a 1957 Chevy but I only drive one every
once in a while. In many scenarios you would encounter fishing the Smokies, the
better crafted cane rods will perform just as well as the best choice of graphite fly

In the three different scenarios I just presented, you could take three different fly
rods, each of which would fit the particular scenarios you choose to undertake. You
could take this even further and consider that if you wanted to fish some of the
tailwaters in the area of the Smokies, you may want to expand the option of fly rods.
If you were going to fish some of the spring creeks in the Eastern U. S. you may
want to expand the options even further. If you wanted fly rods to use on an
occasional Western trip for trout, that would expand the list of options. If you wanted
to add panfish, bass, salmon or steelhead trout to your list, then you would need to
expand your need of certain fly rods even further. If you intend to fish for the
saltwater species, you would need to expand your fly rod list to include just about
every type of fly rod made.

If you are just getting started or you can only afford one fly rod to use in the
Smokies, choose a 5 weight, 8. 5 or 9 foot long graphite, medium action fly rod.
There is no need to spend more than one-hundred bucks for it.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh