Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives (See Below)
2.    Mahogany Duns
3.    Little Yellow Stoneflies - Summer Stones
4.    Slate Drakes
5.    Needle Stoneflies
6.    Little Yellow Quills
7.    Ants
8.    Inchworms
9.    Beetles
10.  Grasshoppers
11.  Hellgrammite
12.  Craneflies
13.  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)

Back To The Basics Series:
I got off track with the Basic Series I started because I wanted to go over new
hatches, Little Yellow Quills and Needle Stoneflies that I have not covered this year.
So far we covered the basics of where you fly should drift, presentation, casting,
wading, each of the trout species - rainbow, brown and brook and top streams in
the Smokies. You can click on "articles" on the main menu and find these basic
articles posted within the past couple of weeks.

Basics - The Fly:
Yesterday, Jerry Maslar, Trout University, called me and one of the things he
wanted to discuss was the age old fly fishing question of "which is the most
important thing - the presentation or the fly". He had received that question for
some of his readers. He stated, that he thought it largely depended on the type of
water. That is true of course but not in the sense many take it.

Off the top of my head I said,
"first of all, although I have heard this same
discussion since I have been fly fishing, it really is a very stupid question -
it's like asking which is the most important thing on an airplane - the wings or the
. Both are necessary for the plane to fly and in the fly fishing case, both
the fly and the presentation are important. If either the fly or the presentation is
inadequate, you will not fool a wild trout.

In so far as the type of water is concerned, it really isn't a factor that's directly
related to the question either. If you are fishing for wild trout in water that is gin
clear, slick as glass, and flowing very slow (like many spring creek streams), both
the fly and the presentation are critical.

If you are fishing fast pocket water, with a broken surface both the fly and the
presentation are important but not as important as in the spring creek case. The
type of water really doesn't vary the importance as compared to each other -
meaning the fly and the presentation. It just lowers the importance of both. Also, just
so I don't forget it, it doesn't mater where the water is - on the West Coast or in the
Smokies on the East Coast, or a lake in the middle of the US. The location doesn't
have any bearing on the question. Also keep in mind, this isn't just a question for fly
fishing, it's the same old question asked for centuries about any type of fishing
done with an artificial bait or lure.

When it comes to choosing flies, most anglers get easily confused. Because
of all the different hype and hoopla they hear from anglers, guides and the fly
shops where they normally buy their product, they end up just not wanting any
complications, so they tend to just ignore the facts.

Here's yet another problem. I don't begrudge anyone for purchasing the fly fishing
product they can afford. You can buy cheap, low priced generic and attractor flies
for $.50 each (from my own Perfect Fly company for $.79), or you can buy quality,
flies that imitate the things trout and other fish eat for $1.95 to 2.25.
The reason
becomes very clear as soon as someone examines the flies.
That ends all of
the questions about price.

The trout don't care if your fly fishing reel is made of titanium and cost $700.00; if
your fly rod is a custom made bamboo rod that cost 3 grand, or the most expensive
Sage made; or even if you spent $6000.00 getting to an exotic location. One thing
is a fact.
They will notice your fly for certain. Even though most anglers are
aware of this, they will still cut corners on their flies.

Here is another problem.
All the fly shops basically sell the same flies. They
can't tell you one is better than another one.
If they did, they would only sell
one kind of fly
. They are going to start naming various flies that are quote "good
at the particular time".  However, in the same conversation,
out of the other side
of their mouth
, they will tell you the fly really isn't that important. For example, they
will tell you can catch trout right now in the Smokies on beetles, ants, grasshoppers,
inch worms, Parachute Adams, Hares ear nymphs, Green Weenies, Royal Wulfs,
and dozens of other flies.

When anyone tells you that,
ask them one simple question. If that is the
case, then what the hell do I need with a fly box full of different flies? If the trout will
hit all of them, and the particular fly really isn't important, why don't I just buy 6
dozen Green Weenies and fish the entire year in the Smokies with that one fly. Why
not just get 20 beetles and fish until next Spring? The answer is simple. At times,
the trout will take any of the above flies. If the water is moving fast enough the trout
only gets a quick glimpse of it, they may take a fly that imitates something they may
have never seen.  The question gets down to the odds. Just how often and just how
many will you catch if you fish a grasshopper every time you go from now on the
rest of your life, or if use trial and error and use all of the above flies, changing from
one to the other every few minutes?

You can take a white spinner bait and fish the Pro Bass Circuit and you will most
likely catch plenty of bass. You will also have to write home to tell Moma to sell the
outhouse because you will loose your A.......