View Full Version : fishing in small streams

05-06-2008, 09:33 AM
reading geirach's flyfishing small streams--he contends that clothing color is not important---and kind of makes fun of camoflage---he must be take about "out west" small streams because it seems like trout of the smokies,wild trout in general,get plumb skiddish when approached by moving beings clothed in loud colors--- about 15 years ago in I was fishing Little River when some kids walked to bank---one was wearing bright orange shorts--then river was down and the water crystal clear--actually saw a couple of fish race away from the bank and dart toward me--maybe the orange shorts did not spook the fish--I don't know,but from day one I have always heard to dress in green or brown clothes.

05-06-2008, 09:44 AM
This is a question I intended to ask Byron or Paula. I wear dark brown waders and a dark green shirt, camo ballcap. Last week fishing Little River, which was not low, I saw 2 fish come up to the fly and then dart back down. Was the fly not to their taste? Did they see me? Would camo shirt make a difference? I am not ready to trade in the waders but when wet wading time arrives, what color pants? Camo, dark green, dark brown, or doesn't it matter as long as they aren't Tennessee orange? (no offense Vol's fans)

Jack M.
05-06-2008, 09:58 AM
Without a doubt, trout will spook away based upon quick movements in or around the stream more so than the color of the object moving nearby. Non-camoflauge colors moving slowly and carefully probably aren't that big of a deal, but, given a choice, I'd rather fish in browns, greens, tans or other dark, earthy colors than white or bright pastels.

Rog 1
05-06-2008, 10:32 AM
Stealth is the word....even in camo movement will send them fishies scurrying...always keep a mind's eye as to how you will approach the next section of water....many times I will actually back down and cross over to the other side if there is better cover to fish from....

05-06-2008, 11:15 AM
"Better cover" being rocks in the stream, trees on the bank,?? At the place where the fish spooked, the cover streamside was just too thick for a cast. I waded out far enough to clear the trees. The cast was made, the fly was moving downstream towards me. The fish both came from under rocks towards the fly. I was not moving, just my rod following the drift and my hand gathering line to keep it tight. Perhaps that much movement was enough.
It was a mystery and very frustrating since those were 2 good fish and I never even got a chance to miss the strike!! :confused:

05-06-2008, 11:27 AM
Were you able to get some pictures from you wet camera?

Rog 1
05-06-2008, 12:04 PM
Trees, rocks, bushes....I have even fished from boulders that are 20 feet above the water looking straight down on the fish....sometimes the fish will come out to look at your bug and it just doesn't appeal to the taste....these little frustrations are all part of the learning curve....I have fished with a friend of mind for thirty years now and I will still find myself directing him to a position from which to cast....there have been times when I have had to cast to a certain pool on my knees or just put nothing but leader on the water with the rest of the line falling on rocks or gravel....always have to be thinking a couple of pools ahead of yourself....if only my school lessons had been so much fun to work on....

05-06-2008, 12:07 PM

I took it in last night. Will find out Friday if I ruined them or not.

For those of you who read the Message Board regularly, Don gave me some tips on catching a brook trout. As a result I caught my first brookie last Thursday. In my excitement I dropped the first one back in the water before I could get a picture. :cool: But I did get pictures of the second one. Unfortunately, on Friday I did the river dance big time and dunked the disposible camera. It was not soaked but I still may have ruined my brookie pictures.

I should have taken a picture of my bruised leg. I believe it is a world record for someone who was not in a car wreck or kicked by a Clydesdale.

05-06-2008, 02:32 PM
The fish both came from under rocks towards the fly. I was not moving, just my rod following the drift and my hand gathering line to keep it tight. Perhaps that much movement was enough.

First off, congrats on your first brookie! I'm sure there are many more to come. They can become an addiction if you're not careful...

As to your question/comments, you might be looking at things in the wrong way. Take a look at the article on this link from the MidCurrent Website (http://www.midcurrent.com/articles/techniques/schullery_rise.aspx) and you might change your opinions about what was happening. The fact that you are getting fish to rise to your fly speaks to the fact that you are probably closer to what you need to be doing than you think. Perhaps the fly was the wrong size or color, but more likely than not, it was drag. The trout were interested, but decided on closer inspection, something about the fly you had floating by them was not quite right. Take a look at this article on flyfishing myths (http://www.flyline.com/tips_trivia/myths_legends_lies/) (points 2,3 and 4) and I think you won't be as concerned about the colors you wear or being absolutely stealthy in your approach.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm with Rog and the others on being as inconspicuous as possible. Wild trout are very wary of everything and you need to minimize your movements and try not to act too unnatural. But if the fish were rising to examine your fly, then you obviously weren't spooking them. It had more to do with the fly and/or its behavior than anything you were or weren't doing.

A couple of weeks ago I was fishing for brookies and tried casting a yellow trude in a couple of pools. I could get them to rise, but not much else. I switched to a royal trude (of the same size) and all of a sudden I had fish hitting the fly with reckless abandon.

As long as the fish are reacting, you can strategize on how to hook them. If they aren't even looking at your fly, you have other issues to figure out first. I think you were closer to catching those two fish than you think. What were you casting to them, and is it possible that you had more drag than you could get away with? Obviously the slower the current, the less room for error...

05-06-2008, 02:35 PM
I can sympathise with the camera situation. Last spring, I had some wonderful pictures in my el-cheapo, Target special camera. I was fishing the last pool of my entire trip, there at Tremont, when I got lazy and took a step I shouldn't have. I fell backwards and did the backstroke; naturally, the camera was completely shot, and all those pictures were lost forever. I have since gone ahead and plunked down the $$$ for one of those Pentax submersible cameras...well worth the money.

As to whether to wear camo or not...I often wear camo shirts, with very subdued shorts when I wade wet. The big thing, as was stated above, is movement...try to keep it to a minimum. Also, if you are in the stream, try to wade in the heavier water - it will mask your noise....noise might be even more of a factor than sight when it comes to spooking these fish.

05-06-2008, 05:00 PM

I should have taken a picture of my bruised leg. I believe it is a world record for someone who was not in a car wreck or kicked by a Clydesdale.

I got one this past weekend on Abrams. We were about 3/4 through the little shoe and I slipped and planted my shin directily in the peak of a rock. I had to sit down for about 5 minutes and do lamasse breathing. :eek: . Made me think of what would happen if you broke an ankle back there. 36 year old thinking is a lot different than 26 year old thinking!! This happend Friday and it is still swollen.

05-07-2008, 12:18 AM
Mmm... How do we post pics??

Paula Begley
05-07-2008, 07:45 AM
Mmm... How do we post pics??

Marvin, here is a link to the sticky in the Website and Message Board forum about posting with pictures:


If you have any questions about it, you can email me or call the shop at 865/448-9459.


05-07-2008, 07:52 AM
36 year old thinking is a lot different than 26 year old thinking!!

48 year old thinking is even different than 36 year old thinking :smile:


05-07-2008, 09:12 AM
I fell back in January.I smashed my kneecap on a rock. It has had a small fracture in it that will not heal. Maybe because I never have quit fishing long enough to let it heal. It only hurts to touch that specific area. I still have some youthfully ignorant years to go before I let something like that slow me down.

Rog 1
05-07-2008, 10:22 AM
I do believe there is a law of nature that says if you bust your shin fishing and go back in the next day the changes are almost certain that you will bang that same spot again with double the pain....this is no theory....seem to prove it as a fact each year.

05-07-2008, 05:41 PM
I have done a ton of research on your theory, and I have proven it true...:biggrin:

05-07-2008, 10:54 PM
Thanks Paula, lets see if this works.



05-07-2008, 10:56 PM
OOPPSSS.... try this direct link to best pic


05-08-2008, 07:47 AM
i would assume that there is a reason waders are made in the colors they are. i have never seen a bright orange set of waders. i guess there could be some out there somewhere. weather i have waders on or i am wet wading i usually wear kaki colors or a olive color clothing.i sometimes do wear a light blue shirt. im not sure if the colors make a differece but in my mind they do. i still cannot figure out why i wear all this in my tree stand 20 feet up in the air.
as for falling.i had my second spill on this one particular creek last week.the first one about 2 years ago i fell about 10 feet and landed on my back.got the breath knocked out of me but the day pack i had on softened the blow.i did get drenched.the good thing was that when i opened my eyes back up from the jar i took i see my rod falling and i caught it in my right hand.scary feeling when you are 2 miles back and all alone.
last week was not as bad.slipped down one side of a rock and into a 2 foot deep pool.boy that went up my shorts pretty fast.

05-08-2008, 07:58 AM

Thanks for the link to the articles. Very interesting reading.

05-08-2008, 02:49 PM
Pete CZ,

Thanks for the link. I have read most, but not all, WORK keeps getting in my way. But what I read is so interesting! One of the fish that came up, looked and turned away was hiding on the upper side of a big rock in the stream. Usually I throw below a rock into the pocket of quiet water. But this time the drift came right down to the upper side, which, according to the article, is a very good place to put a fly.

Thinking about it, I believe the fly was too big. I wanted to use a dropper and the fly I had on was not working, too small, I guess, to hold up with a dropper and pretty good current. So I changed to a big elk hair caddis that I knew would hold the nymph. Probably would have held a small cell phone. That may have been a mistake. Next time I will quietly change to a different fly and try the run again.

Rog 1
05-08-2008, 03:31 PM
Starting in May I am usually fishing in shorts....but I don't guess what you are wearing the surprises in these waters amaze me....a couple of years ago my friend and I had fished the lower gorge section on Roaring Fork and had gotten to just below the last bridge....walking up the right hand side of the stream heading up current I stepped into what appeared to be a pocket of water about 3 inches deep....next thing I knew I was up to my waist in primordial muck....it was like I had stepped into a 50 gallon drum of decaying rot....gave my buddy a good laugh as I found the nearest plunge pool for an impromtu shower....