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BlueRaiderFan
12-15-2009, 07:31 PM
Seems to be very similar to high sticking with nymphs here.

tjw37909
12-15-2009, 09:40 PM
That is what I was thinking. I tied up a few in various sizes that I plan to try tomorrow. I watched some online videos about the czech technique and it was basically high sticking to me(which I do occasionally.........and poorly). I may high stick wit them a little, but I am going to put them behind some splitshot first. The videos showed people fishing three flies. That is begging for me to get in some horrible tangled messes. I will stick with two

Hugh Hartsell
12-15-2009, 10:18 PM
Fellas,
The techniques used in Czech Nymphing in Europe are a little different than our methods of high stickin with nymphs in the Smokies. The way the flies are attached is one thing and the number of flies is another. Each of these techniques can be compromised a little and still be successful.
The best Czech Nymphing is done in somewhat high water conditions and lots of weight is used to get the flies right onto the bottom. The flies are not exactly dead drifted, but lead with a slight amount of tension on the line.. Most of the fishing would be done in the upper parts of a heavy run and constant slow leading of the flies is kept so that a strike can be felt through the line and up the rod to the hand. This is different from dead drifting where we watch the leader or the end of the flyline to detect strikes. Conditions are pretty good for this type of fishing now and up through late March or when we come to the end of high water. You have got to have a pretty strong flow to keep the flies from hanging up very frequently. They will be bumping the bottom all of the time. High Stickin with nymphs and Czech Nymphing can both be productive, but my favorite is Tandem rig nymph fishing in the Park.
Good luck when you try, it and let us know how you do.
Hugh

BlueRaiderFan
12-15-2009, 10:54 PM
Can't do it in the park. Not certain about the rest of the state. Too many hooks, so it would be illegal in the park. I may try a similar rig though, just to see if it is more productive, but only with two nymphs.

Jim Casada
12-16-2009, 08:47 AM
Hugh--Do you (or anyone with long experience on mountain streams) by chance recall any old-timers who fished what were, in my boyhood, called "three-fly casts." This involved tandem-rigged wet flies (most often Yellarhammers or the wet fly form of the Royal Coachman) fished using a quite short cast (15 or 20 feet). Sometimes, but not always, the flies were attached to the main leader by dropper lines of a few inches. I recall seeing the technique used fairly often, and I know it was highly effective. Alas, I did not pay as much attention to the rigging as I should have, since at the time I was almost entirely a dry fly fisherman.
From what I remember, especially in terms of watching old fellows who used this technique, it sounds a lot like the Czech approach.
I did watch a guy use it on the Nantahala River perhaps a decade ago, and he was catching trout like nobody's business.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Hugh Hartsell
12-16-2009, 10:19 AM
Good morning Jim, and Merry Christmas to you and everyone on the board,
Jim, I was 10 years old when I began flyfishing and I was taught to use wet flies such as Grey Hackle Peacock, Brown Hackle Peacock, Black Gnats, and Yallerhammers. We used these flies individually or in tandem and they were tied with catgut leaders and shortly afterwards we began to use Eagle Claw tippet material. I used to see old timers using the 2-3 fly techniques but they had cane poles and just mainly lobbed their flies into the top part of a plunge pool with no more than 15 feet of line. They were very successful. I was just too young to understand how these flies were attached onto the line, but at about 13- 15 years of age I began fishing with a fellow named Bud Baxter and he taught me how to fish tandem rigged weighted nymphs. Apparently 2 flies had become the legal limit to use in the Park by then and that was the method that I fished for the next 35-40 years. I very rarely fished dry flies until about 15 years ago. Long, long ago I realized that weighted nymphs would produce larger fish and I just stuck with it. About 11-12 years ago I began experimenting with an old mountain Nymph called the Smoky Mountain Blackbird and I turned it into a wet emerger pattern. It paired well with a nymph tied in above it and has been my best selection that I have ever used in the Park. I rarely ever use 3 flies in the mountain streams outside of the Park, but I do use this setup quite frequently on tailwaters. It brings back lots of memories of times gone by.
Hugh

BlueRaiderFan
12-16-2009, 11:38 AM
I am definitely buying Mr. Casada's book for my birthday. Was wondering if you had written a book Mr. Hartsell? I think I asked you this before, but I don't remember the answer!

Hugh Hartsell
12-16-2009, 12:46 PM
BRF,
Yes, I do have a book that is written and unedited. I have been holding it for awhile and adding to it. I am doing the same with two others. One is about flies and the other is about Tailwaters. I will eventually slow down from guiding and flytying and get serious with publishing.
I have never done this before and as I said it is unedited, so don't grade it. This is the opening 1st and 2nd paragraphs to the book called "Walking the Dream". It is an autobiography of my life as far as the flyfishing aspect goes, and it walks the reader through the enjoyment of growing up in East Tennessee and learning the beautiful and addicting sport of flyfishing. It continues on through my adult years and into the art of flytying and then professional guiding. It has been a beautiful experience and I hope that it touches many people as it has me to be in the center of such a fulfilling walk in life.

Age 5-18
Bud!-- Bud! Come in for a minute. I have something to tell you. What is it, mother? Your dad wants you to catch some grasshoppers from the field across the road. What is dad going to do with grasshoppers? He is going to go trout fishing and he wants you to catch some small or medium-sized ones. I'll get some, mother. I'll need a jar, and I'll need to put some holes in the lid. Can I go fishing too? No, there are snakes up there in the mountains and you might get lost. But, I want to go, too! He will take you when he goes to the river or the lake. You will have to wait a few years before you go to the mountains. What kinds of fish are in the mountains? He is going to fish for trout. I've never seen a trout, mother. What do they look like? They are very pretty, son. Your dad wants the grasshoppers so that he can go fishing early in the morning.

That was my first introduction to trout fishing, and I was about 5 years old at the time. I went across the road from my house in Newport, Tennessee, and within a half-hour, I had caught about 15-20 grasshoppers. This was at a time that using live bait was legal in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As soon as my dad came home, I found out that he was going to Big Creek, which is right on the Tennessee/North Carolina border. The next morning I did not get to fish, but we were taken up to the Big Creek campgrounds. It was drizzling rain all day. In this campground, I was to learn about a little critter called a Dominekker Gnat. The gnats came in droves and literally ate us up. I had whelks on me for days and I scratched endlessly. What an introduction! My dad would go fishing numbers of times in the mountains for trout, but I was never able to go with him. He did take me fishing in the French Broad and Pigeon Rivers as well as Douglas Lake. He probably knew that as a child, I could not safely make my way along the streams, so he chose a safer area to introduce me to fishing. I would see and hear from neighbors, who lived around me, about their mystical trips to the mountains, and I would see the results of trips, as they would bring their ice coolers in and show what they had caught. The fish were so delicate and beautiful.
Hugh

Jim Casada
12-16-2009, 12:46 PM
Hugh--First of all, your Christmas greetings to one and all on the forum are warmly reciprocated. Thanks, and a fair amount of what you describe coincides with my memories. That includes use of cane poles, although the best "hand" I knew for tandem nymphing was a Park ranger who used a fly rod, Buford Messer. He may well have tipped his flies with bait (lots of local lore suggests he would remove the eyes of the first trout he caught and put them on his wet fly or nymph), but he could flat-out catch big trout. I never saw him make a real cast. He just sort of flipped/roll cast then kep his rod tip high and his line tight.
Your mention of a black gnat pattern certainly rings true. It was a favorite on the N. C. side. Thanks for sharing the memories, and I hope we can meet at talk at Troutfest.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

flyman
12-16-2009, 02:14 PM
The European method is a little different in a couple ways. The technique was developed because most international fishing competitions don't allow weight on the leader or the use of strike indicators on the leader. The leader and flles are a little different than most of us use. They usually place a bright piece of material between the leader and fly line to use as the indicator. The leaders are almost without taper. Usually they are about a rod length of a couple sizes of leader material. They are generally nothing more than a 4 or 5 foot piece of 4 or 5X leader material with 2 pieces of 5X tippet about 20-24 inches added. Most use either a blood or surgeons knot to add the tippet pieces and only trim one side of the tag ends. The 1st and middle fly are tied to the tag ends. I try to leave my tag ends about 8-10 inches long. The heaviest fly is generally placed in the middle of the system and is called the anchor fly. You generally hold the rod parallel to the water and gently lead the anchor fly thru the run, the other two flies are free to move around and will catch most of the fish. This same leader system works well for fishing a cast of wet flies. The main difference I see in this technique is what Hugh was saying about slack in the system. High sticking depends on slack in the system to produce a dead drift, and much of this is accomplished by raising and lower the rod during the drift. With the European method you are maintaing slight tension on the anchor fly and gently leading the cast of flies thru the run without lowering or raising the rod as much. There is lots of information out there on this technique. It can be deadly for maneuvering the fly into an exact spot on the stream bottom. One last note, pay attention the the placement and weight of the flies. Here is a good link with the leader system and placement of flies according to their weight. If tying your own leaders isn't your thing they can be commercially bought, I know Umpqua makes one.

http://stevenojai.tripod.com/images/nymphrig1.gif

BlueRaiderFan
12-16-2009, 02:35 PM
Mr. Hartsell,

Those are great memories. I bet your father had some stories to tell. I would love to have been and adult back then when the park wasn't so busy. I look forward to reading your book. BTW my wife sometimes does some editing. Articles always look a lot better when she's done with them, so you may want to consider it. (not that you need it) She's a yankee though and tends to take some of the southern flair out :biggrin:

Flyman,

Thanks for the link! Makes more sense now :biggrin:

Mr. Casada, I think I will put a link to your book at LRO on my blog, if I can figure out how to. I only get about 7000 hits per year so far, but you never know.

Jim Casada
12-16-2009, 05:31 PM
BlueRaiderFan--Thanks, and rest assured I can use all the publicity for the book I can possibly get. The self-publishing side of things is scary, at best, and after dozens of books with commercial publishers is a whole new world for me. One's perspective changes quite a bit when you are paying all the freight!
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

BlueRaiderFan
12-16-2009, 07:23 PM
Yeah, I have a friend that produces music and owns a small recording studio and it is amazing how much marketing he has to do. I can imagine the difficulties. The link is up on my blog if you want to check it out.

Maurer
12-17-2009, 05:03 PM
Mr. Hartsell,
That excert was great! Don't wait to publish it, cause I want to hear more!
Kris

BlueRaiderFan
12-17-2009, 09:05 PM
Mr. Hartsell,
That excert was great! Don't wait to publish it, cause I want to hear more!
Kris


No doubt, I will be reading Mr. Hartsell's book as well.:smile:

Hugh Hartsell
12-17-2009, 11:11 PM
Guys,
Thank you for the very generous comments. I sure don't feel that I am an accomplished writer in any sense of the word. I do think that if I get the book out on the market that you will enjoy reading and seeing how this sport has progressed through the years and how it has become such a pleasing activity to be involved in. It has been a blessing in my life and what a joy it has been to teach others many of the things that I have learned through the years. I'll take this moment to give thanks and credit to all of the men who came before me that helped to show me so many important things that have helped me on the stream. It has now been my privilege to "Walk this Dream" for 58 years.
Hugh

Jim Casada
12-18-2009, 10:20 AM
Hugh--Well said! Like you, I have been privileged to wade through streams of dreams thanks in large measure to a host of wonderful mentors and friends. About the only difference is that my time of living that dream is a bit longer (61 of my 67 years, although it took me three years to catch the first trout on a fly rod), and I certainly look back with a mixture of awe and gratitude to those who opened my eyes to a life filled with tight lines and fine times.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Grampus
12-20-2009, 10:10 PM
Hey BlueRaiderFan,

There are several ways to high stick, some of which are identical to the "Czech" technique. When I was being "learnt" how to fish in the late 70's, there were at least 3 "masters' who were in their 60's that used the technique. They never used anything smaller than a size eight and were very adept at catching large browns. I was fortunate to fish with them before they hung up their rods. Depending on the situation, I use the technique occasionally. I remember one of them explaining to me that it drew more strikes vs a dead drift because it triggered the "chase" response from feeding trout as well as reducing bottom snags. My fondest memory is my dad using it on Deep Creek one July 4th many years ago. He caught over 50 browns that day.

Merry Christmas All!

Grampus
12-21-2009, 09:06 PM
Hugh,

In what part of Newport did you grow up? I grew up in Edwina along the Pigeon. Can't believe we never crossed paths??

Grampus

BlueRaiderFan
12-21-2009, 09:35 PM
Grampus,

Wow, that sounds like a lot of fun! Wish I could have been there. I wish I could find a job in that area (WNC/ET). At least I can drive from Nashville in a relatively short amount of time.

Hugh Hartsell
12-21-2009, 09:48 PM
Grampus,
I grew up on 4th Street, in the Eastport community of Newport. My house was just a stones throw from overlooking the Pigeon River. That river has improved a lot since I was a kid.
By the way, what is your name? I was always called "Bud" when I lived there.
Hugh

jeffnles1
12-21-2009, 10:03 PM
Blue,
I took a note from you and also placed a link to Jim's book in my blog.

I could only hope to have 7,000 visits per year. I've only had it up a couple days and just got google analytics set up today so I should have some info in a few days about the visits.

I'm not sure just where I want to go with the blog yet. I know I want to have writings about fishing adventures (mine and those of friends), I want to have some meaty information and current events, some op-ed type stuff and have it laced with my, sometimes, quirky sense of humor. I just need to figure out its personality.

Jim, it is a pleasure to post a link from my blog to your book and to LRO. I've read your book a couple times and will be reading it again over the winter. I enjoy your writing.

Hugh, I'd definitely read your book and look forward to the opportunity some day. There will also be a link when it's published.

Jeff

Jim Casada
12-22-2009, 09:49 AM
Jeff--Thanks ever so much, and Merry Christmas.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

BlueRaiderFan
12-22-2009, 10:19 AM
Jeff,

You should easily get 7000 hits once you get it going. I use my blog link as my signature on any message baord that I use that will let me. I don't post nearly as much content as I should and stink at HTML Code. It is fun when someone makes a comment about how much I helped them with a certain river. I just hope I'm not helping people too much! No worries, there are many places that I'll never write about. Hopefully it will sell a couple of books on occasion. Take care.

Dwayne

Grampus
12-22-2009, 08:35 PM
Grew up in Wood Acres. Cut my teeth on the Pigeon. Taught to nymph fish by Hank Maxwell, Earl Phillips, Charlie Murrell, and Elmer Leatherwood (all masters in their own right). Taught to tie flies by Kirk Jenkins, a true artist! First trip to Big Creek in the mid 70's at tender age of 13.

Grampus
Jim Parks

Hugh Hartsell
12-22-2009, 09:12 PM
Jim,
I've known of you for a long time by your given name, but I did not know you as Grampus. You are a great Nymph fisherman and you were in the company of the best. Some of my early flytying came through Kirk as well. Most of my early tuteledge came from Jack Shuttle. My home was just about straight across the river from Wood Acres. My Dad bought a lot there when it was first subdivided and raised strawberries for years. It was beside Walt and Leona Douglas house. I knew most of the names that you mentioned and many more that I worked with at the Can Shop. It seemed like almost everyone that worked there were trout fishermen. You might remember some of these names. Charles (Buddy) Suggs, Duvall Brookes, Delmer Lovinggood, Ovie Williams, Bud and David Baxter. They are just a few who help me along the way. I wish that we could have run into each other on the stream. Your reputation speaks for itself.
Folks, give this man a big hand. He is one of the best.
Hugh

Jim Casada
12-22-2009, 10:04 PM
Grampus (Jim)--I hadn't thought of Kirk Jenkins in ages. I didn't know him as well, I'm sure, as you and Hugh and probably other East Tennesseans. I got to know him in the early years of teaching in the Smoky Mountain Field School. What a wonderful gentleman. Is he still living?
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Grampus
12-23-2009, 12:09 AM
Hugh, thanks for the kind words. I am humbled. My mother-in-law was Barbara Jo Hartsell, before she married Charlie Dunn. She passed away last year, Charlie lives on Jefferson Ave, and plays one heck of a guitar! We need to get together and share our history. I bet you've got some interesting tales.

Jim, we met way back around '87 at a conclave in Gatlinburg and shared lunch. I don't know if Kirk is still living. I moved away from his street over 25 yrs ago and lost contact. It was rumored that he "invented" the yellowhammer. It is what he taught me to tie. Do you know if this rumor has any validity? He tied them palmered on a peacock body with about 3 or 4 wraps on a size 8. I've never seen them tied that way except at Jack Suttles' shop in Newport. I believe Jack tied his own for the shop back then.

A small world it is.

Hugh Hartsell
12-23-2009, 08:16 AM
Folks,
As insignificant as this conversation sounds, you are actually reading about the history of flyfishing in East Tenn.. and N.C. being handed down through 3 individuals who are still alive to account for it. Everybody has to wonder how something that began as a way of survival grew to be the beautiful and satisfying sport that we know now. You are reading just a few tidbits, of the people and the ways, that they perfected from the Pioneer days up to the present. Jim Casada has written in his book from the N.C. perspective as he lived it while he was growing up and into adulthood. The next book coming from the Tennessee side will just link the two history's together in a way that will just keep you hungry for the next chapter. I am sure thankful that 3 people, by some stroke of fate were able to sit down and share some of this history with all the other people on a great flyfishing board. Thanks to Byron, Paula, and Daniel for giving us the forum to tell these little stories to the world.
Hugh

Jim Casada
12-23-2009, 08:49 AM
Grampus--I remember the Conclave but not the lunch (but then there are a passel of things I don't remember--I even thought the Conclave was in 1989!). What I do recall, vividly, is leaving it after my presentation one day, driving over to Luftee in a misting rain, and having perhaps my single best brown trout day ever beneath grey, gloomy skies and amidst steady drizzle. I had laughed when some of the Conclave attendees expressed amazement I would go fishing in such conditions.
As for the yellarhammer, I doubt if Kirk "invented" it, and I'm not sure anyone knows who did. L. J. DeCuir, in his book on Southeastern flies, doesn't suggest any individual. The fly was around when I was a kid and my Dad said it was popular when he was a young man. Since he's 100 years old that suggests it wasn't Kirk.
As for Newport, as I told Hugh in a private e-mail, two of my best friends in college (I went to undergraduate school at King College, up in Bristol) were from there--Gerald O'Dell and Charlie Seehorn. Charlie and I played soccer together while Gerald and I played golf together and double-dated with girls at Sullins and Virginia Intermont on a frequent basis. I haven't seen either of them in many years, although I did talk to Charlie a few years back when I spent the night in Newport en route to a National Wild Turkey Federation convention. I think he ended his career as a high school principal or Cocke County superintendent of schools.
Small world indeed.
Merry Christmas.
Jim Casada

Jim Casada
12-23-2009, 08:58 AM
Hugh--One of my enduring regrets in life is that I didn't take more time to interview old-timers who helped me with fishing and to talk with a much wider circle who knew a great deal about the sport. I could name a dozen or more whose wisdom would have been priceless. Mind you, I didn't ignore it, but if I had only had the foresight to conduct sort of formal inteviews or, better still, do some taping, I'd know ever so much more.
The message is, of course, and it's one you are keenly aware of (as I am now), to do what the great Western artist Charlie Russell said about the Big Sky Country of Montana in the earlies--"Get it all down before it's all gone." In his case getting it down was on canvas in in other art forms, while we are talking about paper. Let's just hope others on the forum realize this is more than the meanderings of three older guys with roots running deep in the mountains. Instead, it's three people who realize you can't know where you are going (in fishing as in life) if you don't know where you've been.
What we need to do is have a sit-down conversation with several people involved and delve into fly-fishing history of the mountains. Byron, if you happen to read this, there's you a topic for Troutfest which ought to have quite a bit of general audience appeal.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

silvercreek
12-23-2009, 09:26 AM
This is very interesting. I wish you guys would get together either in person or by video, tell some of your stories, and get them recorded on audio and even video. Would be a great way to keep the thread unbroken. Regards, Silvercreek

BlueRaiderFan
12-23-2009, 11:38 AM
This is very interesting. I wish you guys would get together either in person or by video, tell some of your stories, and get them recorded on audio and even video. Would be a great way to keep the thread unbroken. Regards, Silvercreek

I'd pay good money for that video!

The Principal
12-23-2009, 02:25 PM
Byron,
Jim's idea is a very good one. Old timer story telling. That would be worth paying admission to hear tales of Fly Fishing in the mountains.