View Full Version : Pretzel Fly

Brian Griffing
10-17-2007, 09:04 PM
The wife and I were taking the kids back to the Aquarium in Gatlinburg today. For anyone that has small kids, and hasn't been there, its a great 1/2 day trip (if you go during the week). As I would rather suffer through a bikini wax while chewing on big ball of tin foil than ever drive through Pigeon Forge, we took the route through the park from Maryville. As we were getting near Elkmont our two-year-old boy started complaining about his stomach and turned the color of olive dubbing. I pulled off at a turn-out and sat above the stream with him on my lap while my daughter sat next to us looking at the stream. My wife was back in the van with the baby, so I was concentrating on keeping the kids from falling off the rocky 5-foot drop into the water and trying to steal quick glances at the water and potential holding places. We tried to settle the boy's stomach by giving him a few small pretzels, and he quickly tired of them, handing me a few slobbered-on, half dissolved pretzels. Just as I looked up, I saw a small trout hit the surface in the middle of the current. I looked a little harder and saw a side-flash in the deeper water. After a minute, a 10-12 inch rainbow materialized, holding just to the side of a submerged boulder and moving in and out of the faster current. It is a good thing I had left my rod in my truck at home, or everyone driving on 411 in the park would have seen an irate woman holding a sick kid, coralling two others, and screaming at a man in blue jeans ignoring her from the middle of the stream. So, with nothing else at my disposal, I broke off a piece of the gummed-up pretzel and threw it into the current above the good-sized trout. It had barely hit the water at the head of the pool when a fingerling came out of nowhere to hammer it. Having sustained relatively light damage, the pretzel continued until it worked its way to the raibow holding next to the boulder. He didn't even think about. He shot to the surface and nailed that pretzel piece like it owed him money. Immediately, several questions came to mind:
1. How hungry are these fish?
2. When can I sneak away to get back here?
3. How good are these pretzels?
4. Who has been up here teaching these fish to eat pretzels, and what other junk food have they been throwing in the water?
And lastly, Does anyone around here tie pretzel flies?

10-17-2007, 09:42 PM

I think you're on to something with the pretzel thing. A stick pretzel could easily be used to imitate one of those red worms that comes out in the spring on the sidewalk during a heavy rain and then gets baked in the sun when the rain stops. If you use the kind with the little salt crystal jobbies stuck all over them, you wouldn't need a parachute to keep track of it as it floats. I'm thinking just tie a pretzel stick to a #12 hook with some tippit and let 'er fly. By the time the ranger stops to check what you're fishing with, the trout's either taken the bait or it's dissolved. We could start a little cottage industry here in Maryville shooting out pretzel flies by the dozens.

Ever wonder how they get those little salt jobbies to stick to the pretzels? Some kind of biodegradable glue or something? Inquiring minds need to know.;)

Gerry Romer
10-18-2007, 11:21 AM
1) Very hungry.
2) That's between you and your conscience -- and maybe the wife.
3) More info please. What brand? Size? Twisted or stick? Have you considered having your son's spittle analyzed?
4)Obviously, Visitors have conditioned some of the native trout to eat just about everything and anything thrown in the water :mad:. You don't wanna know.
5) If it was a stick pretzel, it's be a darn good imitation of an October Cased Caddis... a Floating October Cased Caddis :biggrin:. More rock salt, please!


Brian Griffing
10-18-2007, 06:55 PM
I was able to get back up on the Little River Road for a few hours today and I went back to that same spot about 1 1/12 miles upstream of the picnic area at Metcalf Bottoms. I couldn't find the fish that hit the pretzel piece (at least a fish that was in the same spot) but I did catch a 9 inch brown about 30 yards upstream. Very pretty colors, the bright red circles of spawning colors were clearly visible. Not having any toddlers with me, I didn't have any snacks readily available, and was forced to catch the brown and a number of small rainbows (3-6 inches) on a tan elk hair caddis with bright yellow elk hair. For those of you that find yourself on the stream, empty on yellow haired caddis imitations, the pretzel was from a Snyder's Minis snack pack.

10-18-2007, 09:06 PM
I think we're on to something with the spittle being analyzed. Properly packaged and marketed as an attractant, it could go for $5.00 for a Visine container.

Now you just have to convince the Missus to keep your offspring infected and Olive colored!

Brian Griffing
10-19-2007, 10:09 AM
JD, that's good thinking. I have hidden all the boy's winter clothes, put the AC back on, and give him a good night cough every night.

On a serious note, my dad swears that fish are attracted to human saliva, and I have seen him drool a big old glob of it on some flies. And he consistently catches fish in places I would never even think to cast. So maybe there is something to it...

Possible new thread: Does spit help catch fish?