View Full Version : Best Fly 2006

David Knapp
11-16-2006, 10:48 PM
I am starting to notice that different years I have more success on certain flies than others. For awhile, I almost fished very small GRHEs exclusively in the park and did very well. This year, one fly stood out for me in that it produced fish the whole season. In fact, I probably fished it 50-75% of the time this year. I had 40+ fish days and some very nice browns caught on it. The fly, a beadhead (or not) Tellico. I've fished it plenty before this year but this was the first year I have consistently done very well on it all season. Days that I wasn't doing very well would be turned around by tying this fly on.

So, what flies were hot for everyone else this year?

11-16-2006, 11:30 PM
Bead head phesants tail fished on a dropper behind a stimulator. Dry fly was a tan or yellow Caddis fly. last time I Fished was in sept. had one day they were destroying a green weenie. The next day couldn't get them to eat the green weenie, but caught several on phesants tail.

11-16-2006, 11:36 PM
I didn't have a "go to" fly, but I usually did well with a BHPT. Keep in mind that I've only been FF for a few months.

11-16-2006, 11:40 PM
There were two...

My #1 = The Green Weenie!!!! Caught a 12" Rainbow, a 10" Brown and countless days of 25+ fish with this little jewel.

My #2 = #14 Yellow Stimulator. I love fishing nymphs. The size of the fish and consistency of the strikes are much better below the surface (In my humble opinion). But there's nothing quite like seeing the splash, or gentle sip of a fly being taken on top. This dry produced virtually anytime I used it.

FYI... I only fish in the park. No stockers, or tailwaters for me yet, but I think Mr. Hugh Hartsell will have me on some tailwaters in 2007!

I know I've thanked Hans on here before, but his time, patience and friendship helped me have a great year. Thanks again Hans, I can't wait till the spring!


Dancing Bear
11-17-2006, 08:13 AM
My best flies this year were #16 black ant for Brookies, a #16 orange sulphur parachute or emerger and a yellow stimulator. The Brookies would leave those ants in shreds. It is weird how a fly that is hot for me one year isn't so hot the next. Anyone else have this experience?

11-17-2006, 05:16 PM
Well, Kevin you are going to quit being so nice I might have to become more grumpy when we are out. ;D Can't wait myself to spring. I have some big plans for the spring with some serious hiking but we are going to fish in solitude( and there's all three species of trout, well two of em' and one char) in that wathershed. We are going to see more bears and less people, be ready come first of March next year.

11-17-2006, 06:02 PM
Yellow stimulators, worked well for me in the park as well as red and green cooper johns, and green hares ears also. Tryed the greenie weenies everyone was talking about and got skunked and got dunked. Dead drift may not be the way to fish them. Heres a loaded question, if you could fish only one dry and one nymph in the park, what would it be, spring, summer, fall, winter, what would you chose. My brother says "fly selection dosent matter, give me a Adams and a PT nymph and I can catch trout anywhere. Its in the presenatation, fish are colored blind anyway". I remind him of that line of BS every time he asks me to barrow a BWO or other very effective pattern .

David Knapp
11-17-2006, 06:14 PM
Interesting replies so far guys, keep 'em coming.

Woody, I keep hearing about red copper johns, both around here and out west this summer. I just might have to take it as a sign and tie one on next time I go fishing... 8-)

11-17-2006, 07:30 PM
I have grown to greatly appreciate the power of two flies
1. 16 - 18 red copper john
2. 16 mr. rapidan (especially early in the season)

11-18-2006, 11:28 AM
I have had the same go to fly for the past two seasons. #12 thru #18 Hares Ear Parachute has produced when all else fails for the mountain fish. I still try other patterns depending on the time of year, but usually end up coming back to this one.

David Knapp
11-18-2006, 11:59 AM
Trouttater, that is a fly that you don't hear about as often but those that use it generally swear by it. Interesting pick, I might have to tie a few up...Also, welcome to the board!

11-19-2006, 01:28 PM
I've never used a hares ear parachute in the smokies (or the southeast) for that matter. However, it was THE saving pattern for me a couple of years ago on some heavily pressured waters out west. A hares ear parachute size 12 was the ticket.


appalachian angler
11-19-2006, 03:34 PM
Pheasant Tail soft hackle: Tiemco 3761 sz. 14 with Tan 6/0 danville thread tied in and wrapped to just before the bend. Tie in small copper wire then some Natural Pheasant tail about 6-8 fibers, spiral the fibers foward with wraps butted up against each other (not overlapped), forming a slender body. Reverse wrap the *small copper wire rib foward and tie down forming a small mound to butt the collar up against (this will cause the collar to flare slightly which is good). Tye in a brown Partridge feather by the tip, fold the hackle rearward, make one complete turn and tie down with a few firm wraps.Snip off excess feather and stem, then form a nice little bulbous head with the tan tying thread, whip finnish, and apply Salley Hansens Hard as Nails.

Fish High Stick upstream and let drift downstream (if no hits). Strip, lift, twitch on the swing.
This has been the most consistent fish getter for me this year in the Smokies, both high and low. I hope ya'll won't think me pretensious for posting tying instructions, but I though some here that are new to tying might appreciate this because the fly is easy to tie, materials cheap and the darn thing just plain works!


11-19-2006, 04:22 PM
Caught several rainbows and a couple of brookies on roaring fork using thunderheads and #16 royal wolfs,a good day--but i usually fish nymphs--copperjohns and pheasant tails--drop em' with a stimulator on top--use an indicator --usually kick up some live nymphs from under rocks etc--just to see whats there---then mix and match---when i get up enough ambition to "test the waters" i usually do ok.yesterday,we had an early thanksgiving--was stalked by a kid wanting to learn fly fishing---that is-- fly fishing in the smokies---he finally asked if spinners and little spoons catch fish-I said yes--but--it is like kissing your sister--there is not much of a charge in it--he said ohhhhh--wanted to know where LRO is located---

11-19-2006, 09:02 PM
AA -- the PT soft hackle is hard to beat. Works well on tailwaters, too! ;)

David Knapp
11-20-2006, 03:08 PM
AA, the PT softhackle sounds like a great fly. Very easy and cheap to tie. I remember you mentioned that fly to me but I still haven't tied any up. I'm gonna just have to tie up a few and try 'em out... 8-)

Lauxier, that is another good story! I think it is great that you were nice enough to talk to the kid. I remember I was inspired to start fly fishing just by seeing guys fly fishing in Little River when I was a little kid. You might be the inspiration for that kid to take up this great sport!

11-20-2006, 05:10 PM
I was inventoring my Trout flyboxes awhile back to see what I needed to tie over the winter. My "Best " fly overall this year has been a #14 Para Adams.
I usually start out with it in the Smokies and I have had to tie them alot this year and have bought several also. Best nymph is usually a #6 rubber leg Tellico or *#14 Prince but I have gone through alot of #16 gold flashback grey hairs-ears. I haven't fished streamers very much in the park this year but a #6 white & dun bugger*has worked well for smallmouth on the tailwaters.

11-20-2006, 05:15 PM
Little yellow dries,
They worked best for me.
But to my dismay,
They're very hard to see.

David Knapp
11-20-2006, 06:47 PM
...Best nymph is usually a #6 rubber leg Tellico...

Man, you must catch some good fish on flies that big. What kind of water do you have the most success in with flies that size? I saw fairly good numbers of the large yellow stoneflies this year but never bothered trying to match them.

11-20-2006, 07:57 PM
PA, I was encouraged to try a large tellico pattern several years ago by Tim Doyle. He is a local guide and along with Jack Gregory and Jim Parks they have probably caught more Big Browns inside the park than anybody around. Jim taught me to High Stick nymphs in fast water and it really increased my catching success. Tim and Jack usually tie at LRO during the winter months and I would encourage you to attend on the free tying demos on Saturdays. Tellicos have always worked well in the mtns and adding the rubber legs makes them even better. You would be amazed at the sizes of stoneflies that show up during the electro-fishing surveys that the park biologist do during the summer. I have seen them up to 4". I tie them on a #6 and #8 streamer hooks with brown rubber legs. If your a high sticker, you should try one next year!

David Knapp
11-20-2006, 08:29 PM
Troutman, check your PMs...

11-23-2006, 02:05 PM
I know its not special or anything, but a parachute adams probably produced the most fish for me. I also got really turned on to caddis flies this year. when there were no hatches and the fish weren't rising, I could almost always get them to take a small tan caddis. last year, I fished the entire fall season almost exclusively with an orange palmer. this year however, I can't get a fish to even look at one. what gives?

David Knapp
11-23-2006, 04:45 PM
I had the same thing happen to me with the orange flies. Last fall I started tying a variant of an orange EHC. First fish I caught on it was probably on the 5th or 6th cast and was a 14 inch rainbow. Over the next couple of days, the fish tore up every one of the 6 or 7 I had tied and I thought I had the best fall pattern ever. This fall was awfully slow on big orange dries... :-? I think they'll be eating them tomorrow though. ::) ;D

11-23-2006, 11:37 PM
This topic sounds like the good start for a fly swap. *Although I'm not sure if that is within the rules for the site. *Is there much interest out there?

11-24-2006, 12:41 AM
I'd see nothing wrong with it, as long as you bought your tying materials from LRO ;). I'd love to swap flies, but all I can tie right now is a wooly bugger and an adams that falls apart before it even hits the water, so I don't have much to offer. my favorite thing though is to visit some stream and have a native give me a fly that they designed specifically for that area. last time I was in pennsylvania, I met a man probably in his 80's, he gave me a fly he made. basically it was elk hair dyed chartruese on a hook. it was supposed to immitate some kind of wooly inch worm, but unlike a green weenie, this thing floated and was almost spherical. it didn't look like much, but the fish loved it. also once in north carolina I walked up on a man in full camo coveralls, hiding in some mtn laurel. he was using a very strange fishing method that I won't mention here because he said it was his "secret" and made me promise not to tell anyone. but that particular day i was having no luck. and this is a stream I've fished many times and know fairly well. well... this guy gave me a fly that was basically a cross between a griffiths gnat and an ant tied with something irridescent (peacock maybe?) and about size 22. needless to say, I started catching fish immediately with this fly. I've saved these flies in hopes that I can duplicate them one day.