View Full Version : Best way to approach stream.

01-07-2007, 11:36 PM
I cut my flyfishing teeth on tail water fishing. Throw a little uptream and let the fly swing with the current. I catch myself trying to the same thing on the gsm streams. I was wondering how most of you work a mountian stream? work up stream, quartering the current or working down stream. I try to allways work the pools ahed of me at a slight angle that won't spook the fish. But I have Caught several fish working the stream like a tail water and swinging the fly.

01-08-2007, 12:21 AM
I'd love to help, but I only seem to do well on small streams and I'm not real sure how to explain it. Hans taught me how to read the water and I fished a ton getting a feel for what he taught me. I can tell you honestly that I'm not that good, but I get unexplainably good results. Mainly from reading the water. Saturday I was able to target fish in almost every hole I came to, but I fished that water about twice a week all summer long. Wish I could be more help, but I'm just learning myself!

01-08-2007, 12:31 AM
I usually do the upstream thing in the mountains, plan my route and keep moving...trying to get the fly in the fishiest seams as I go along if there is no hatch with risers. If I spot fish, I'll work 'em some. Lately though, I've been doing a lot of high sticking which puts you pretty much over the fish, but they don't seem as spooky as I thought they would be standing there, though I do wear camo and try not to move around too much....
On tailwaters, its pretty much an upstream game for me (unless its crowded and I'll move around and find my rock to park on) though I'll fish up and across when I can see the fish and am stalking them...though some days it seems that you can fish a run and never move a step because the fish are active around you ...if what you're using stops working, switch flies and go back to picking up fish....I've not done much I the downstream swing , except when caddis are coming off at Nances Ferry but I bet it's killer when the fish are ultra warry anywhere...

David Knapp
01-08-2007, 12:42 AM
I can tell you honestly that I'm not that good, but I get unexplainably good results.

Kevin is being modest ;)...I've fished with the guy and he knows how to cover the water. Those good results can be explained by his good understanding of reading water...

I generally fish upstream in the mountains. Remember though that the fish face into the current and this does not always mean that they are facing upstream... Work upstream, but read each section for what it was and fish it accordingly. As Waterborn mentioned, high sticking is probably just about the most productive way to fish the mountain water generally.

Also, there are times that the wet fly swing is deadly in the Smokies. Early in the spring when the hatches are starting, fish will take nymphs and emergers for awhile more readily than the dry. This is the time to use the wet fly swing. Also, early on any day as a hatch is starting, the fish will key on nymphs and emergers that are moving well before you actually see any bugs on the surface. I've had some memorable fishing on Abrams early in the spring swinging softhackles. I fished for awhile with nymphs and moved one or two very small fish. I then switched to a softhackle and caught 5 or 6 fish in 15 minutes.

01-08-2007, 02:33 AM
I say do whatever works. I fish mostly dries upstream, but every waters different. I'll throw a dry any way I think I can get a drift. even if its just for 2 seconds, that may be enough time for a trout to explode on it. something I learned about caddis, and this is true for stimulators as well is that fish will still hit them with a little drag. maybe someone who knows more can back this up, but apparently a caddis will skate across the water, so a little drag is ok and may actually be good. typically i'll stand in a spot and will work a couple different spots where I think fish are holding. directly upstream, to the side and behind me. as far as nymphs go, everything I know plateau taught me, so... what he said.

01-08-2007, 08:39 PM
To me, the best way to approach a stream, especially one in the smokies, is to approach it stealthily! I know this is something that you have already heard, it doesn't matter how you fish it, if they know you are there then you won't catch a thing. Always wear camo or drab clothing and stay low and out of sight. Sometimes that means crouching, other times that means laying down and fishing on my belly (which is surprisingly fun!!). Like others have said, fish upstream and put the fly in the obvious spots such as in eddies, behind boulders, and seams. I rarely use the swing method personally, but i have heard that it can be deadly.

I love fishing small wild streams and in the smokies for this reason. You really have to work hard for those fiesty fish and although somedays i have little luck, it's all worth it.

01-08-2007, 10:00 PM
So far, in my brief trout-fishing career ::) , I find it best, when nymphing, to stand in the roughest water I can find (and still keep my balance), while fishing upstream and across a pool. I have found that I can get pretty close, as the heavy water masks my approach, and since I use a fairly fast action 3wt, the closer I can get, the better.