Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2. Little Sister Caddisflies (Abrams Creek)
3. Little Yellow Stoneflies -Summer Stones
4. Slate Drakes
5. Cream Cahills
6. Little Green Stoneflies
13. Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
Advice on Fishing Techniques, Strategies and Methods - Part 2
Before I get started on the three species of trout in the park, I want to mention
something about any fishing advice. Unless the writer states that he or she is writing
about or focusing on catching only large trout, you have to assume the advice is to
do with the quantity of trout caught in a given time. I have received email before
asking why catching a lot of trout is such an important thing and I always get
negative email if I mention I caught a large number of trout. I want everyone to
understand that it doesn't necessarily require catching a lot of trout, or any other
fish for that matter, to make a satisfactory and enjoyable day of fishing.
Success depends of how one enjoys spending their time and that in many cases
has little to do with numbers of trout caught. Some anglers focus solely on catching
large trout. There isn't anything wrong with that. I've been there and done that for
many times and in my younger years, almost exclusively. Some anglers prefer to
fish a dry fly even though they know they may catch fewer trout. There isn't
anything wrong with that either. I'm not trying to set your personal standards for
fishing. I am trying to help you improve your success.
Once you get a very few basic things down pat, catching trout in the Smokies when
conditions are great isn't that difficult. Catching trout from fast moving freestone,
headwater streams anywhere in the nation when conditions are great isn't difficult.
Catching them consistently, day in and day out, regardless of the conditions is
difficult. Being consistently able to catch several or at least a few trout, even under
highly adverse conditions, isn't an easy task but it is always very possible. You
cannot do that by just getting a few of the basics down pat. You will often see guys
that you would think were good anglers catch only a few trout even when the water
temps, levels, hatches and all the variable were excellent. The reason is these
anglers are mostly relying on luck and their trial and error methods. Many anglers
fish their entire life without advancing beyond that level. The average angler knows
very little about the trout he or she is trying to catch, much less the food the trout
rely on to survive. Remember, that's what the trout think they are eating when they
eat your fly. Royal Wulffs are not a part of their diet. They don't exist in the Smokies
or the real world. Have your ever seen a Royal Wulff hatch?
When it gets down to it, most anglers don't enjoy just being able to catch a trout
every few hours. I don't know of any that gets a kick out of not being able to catch
many trout. If you fish all day, say eight hours, and catch eight trout, you are going
an hour between fish on the average. I would say most of you would much rather
catch one every 15 to 30 minutes than one an hour. I would also say that when
most of you failed to catch one in an hour, you would be making a lot of changes in
your trial and error methods. It's a fact that most anglers enjoy being able to catch
several trout and usually, the more the better.
When I give advice or mention "improving your success", unless I am specify that I
am referring only to catching large trout, or using only dry flies or some other
specific goal, I am referring to how you can increase the quantities of trout you
catch. When conditions are perfect in a fast water freestone stream, just about
anyone that can do a fairly good job of staying hidden from the trout and that can
cast twenty feet can catch some trout. That's also when a good angler should be
able to catch lots of trout. Like any other type of fishing, its those many other days
when conditions aren't perfect that makes the big difference. By the way, the days
the conditions are great are outnumbered by the days conditions aren't so great or
maybe aren't good at all, at least ten to one or usually more. That's when the
mediocre anglers starts reaching down deep in their bag of excuses. I can
just hear them saying things like "the water was low, too warm, or too cold". "The
water was stained or someone fished ahead of me". "The tubers messed the water
up or there wasn't anything hatching". I could list hundreds of excuses but it really
gets down to the angler not knowing what he or she is doing. Many days, time
seems to runs out quickly on the numerous trial and error methods one could
experiment with. I can hear them now, talking to themselves saying "I'm going to try
this fly, maybe it will work", or maybe "this place isn't producing, I'm going to head
over to Abrams Creek". Rarely do they realize the real problem is they know little
about what they are trying to accomplish.
When I give advice on fishing, please consider it to be for one and only one reason
- to improve your success. Unless I say differently, I am referring to how you can
catch more trout. I am also referring to how you can catch trout when others are
reaching deep in their bag of excuses to cover up their failures.
If you don't want to learn how to catch more trout, you shouldn't read what I have to
say. You should listen to the pure barnyard debris (nice as I know how to say it) you
can easily find most anywhere. Advice like, "I would try a dry fly and if that didn't
work, try a nymph". Heck, why not add streamers? Then you are covering all the
trout files you could possible throw at them. Advice like "some days the fishing just
isn't good but you may get lucky and catch a few". That one reminds me of a broke
guy sitting at the bar offering his buddy advice on how to make lots of money.
You will never learn all there are to know about fishing and even if you could
accomplished the impossible, it would result in taking a huge part of the fun and
enjoyment out of it. One thing that makes fishing enjoyable is the challenge of
catching the fish is always there. Its accepting and meeting those challenges
that provides true satisfaction for me.
If I happen to catch a trout, or any fish for that matter, knowing very well I didn't
actually know what it was that I did to accomplish the feat, I'm never excited about it.
Its always right the opposite. I get upset. I know that won't happen on a consistent
basis and I know I am guessing at fitting the puzzle together the right way. On the
other hand, when I catch a trout knowing I was about to do so any second, and
knowing exactly why I was going to catch it, it always gives me a very good, warm
feeling. Just catching a fish isn't good enough for me and I hope it isn't
good enough for you.
If you have ever played golf you know that players who have yet to break 90, birdies
a hole every once in a while. I never felt good about making a birdie when I knew
darn well I wasn't going to break 90 and I don't feel any better when I catch a trout
knowing darn well it was pure luck.