View Full Version : where to throw the fly

02-22-2008, 09:05 PM
Alright, I am used to fishing in Florida. You cast on the edges of grass lines, in the lilies, up under overhangs or black holes in rivers. However,,,, Iam on a mission to catch a trout for the first time in 57 years of fishin. I have got the rod and reel and some dry flies thanks to LRO and this forum. I even practiced some special knots. I am ready. Someone please comment on the presentation to the cover or water location or whatever with the fly. What is a good spot to throw it into when i first cast?? Ain't never fished a mountain stream with a fly rod. I have done some recon on the Little River without a fishin pole... Don't tell me a overhangin tree I've already done that! :cool:

Hugh Hartsell
02-22-2008, 09:35 PM
Hello Stumpknocker,
When you are casting the dry fly you will probably be approaching from downstream. You will need to cast upstream or up and across as you work from the lower part of the hole toward the top where the water is pouring in. Be looking for rocks that break the current or that are under cut to give a fish a place to hide. There may be seams of faster water and slight breaks in the current that will provide a resting place for the fish. They will be resting in the slower parts and waiting for the current to bring some morsel of food right by them. Your goal is to get that fly to hit just along the outside edge of the faster water and you will need to mend line properly as the current brings the fly back downstream. It is very important to be on top of this mending situation so that slack does not form and cause you to miss strikes or cause drag on the fly.
If you are fishing nymphs, you will cast up and across but you will need to get the flyline above the water so it will slow down and give the fish a natural look as it comes by them. As you get to the upper reaches of a hole, you will only need to cast the fly far enough to get most of the leader under water. Try to keep the flyline completely out (4-6in. above the water)so that there is no drag placed upon your line.This will be the way that you will do most of your early season fishing. Good luck and let us know how you fare.

David Knapp
02-22-2008, 09:38 PM
Stumpknocker, there is not really a "right" place to put the fly because the fish will be holding in different places on different days. However, fishing good holding water will up your chances dramatically. Look for any type of current seam between faster and slower water. The fish will wait right at the edge of fast water for a meal to come by. I usually present my fly upstream or up and across and allow it to drift back down to these likely holding spots. Look for areas of calm water surrounded by faster flow such as behind boulders in midstream or at the head of a pool where the faster water is coming in. Also remember that just because the surface water is flowing quickly doesn't mean that it is flowing fast all the way to the bottom. The rocks on the bottom will break up the flow and often the best place to fish nymphs is in the faster water right on the bottom... This time of year, the fish will often be found in slower water such as the slow deeper runs and big pools. As it warms up, don't overlook the really shallow water if it has a good flow. I'm surprised every year of the places I catch fish in...so don't overlook certain parts of the stream just because they don't always produce...

For a great book that really explains how a trout stream is composed and where the fish are, check out Reading the Water by Dave Hughes...

Looks like I posted just after Hugh...sorry for the repetition... I might add, if you can afford it, spending a day with Hugh Hartsell who is an excellent guide would be the best way to figure out how to find trout in the park...

02-24-2008, 09:30 PM
Great stuff in the seams as already mentioned - and gotta pay attention to all those crazy mountain cross currents - you'll definatelly have fish in odd places and many times facing at you down stream as they rest in a eddy...fishing seams and bubble lines and other areas where faster water rubs slower can hide fish....
something I always try to do though tough because I get impatient and excited to hit the water is to just stop at the waters edge and do nothing but be a consciencious observer....don't even rig your rod yet...just take a moment to absorb your self into the moment (no I'm not some quasi tree huggin new age hippie skippie - just love trout and the environs they live in) but really- you might spot some fish - see where they are hanging out - see how they are feeding and how they show themselves- are they feeding below,mid, or topwater.... pay attention to the currents to get to them, lay out a plan of approach on covering the stream...check streamside spiderwebs to see what bugs are there can help you choose a fly...you'd be suprised how much info you can get and apply as you work your way up stream to a rewarding first and many fish there after...

03-10-2008, 08:24 PM
you guys are speaking to a real novice as I am discovering rapidly. However, this venture is very exciting. It is a never done before undertaking on my part. I am going to catch one of those boogers. I have taken on many sport adventures in 50 plus years and suddenly I decided to catch a trout, in a stream, in the Smoky Mt. I can't wait till April. See ya'll there. :biggrin:

03-10-2008, 10:05 PM

The first time I went fishing in the Smokies I hired a guide. I had read tons of books, articles, blogs, posts, and watched several DVD's....the four hours I spent with my guide taught me more than I had read or seen!! He helped me learn to "read the water and food lanes" and also learn to be patient and not lazy with my short "roll cast" or "flips". I would highly recommend a guide. Not a must, but a great benefit and was WELL worth the money for me......Actually, my wife said it was the worst money she ever spent because it started my addiction......

03-10-2008, 10:31 PM
Lots of good advice on this thread...if I had to summarize where to place a fly, I would say to place it where the water is moving at "medium" speed...in other words, not in the white water, and not in the slack water. I find that the fish like to concentrate in feeding lanes where the water is moving at a certain pace - fast enough to drift the food to them, but not so fast that they cannot maintain their position in the stream. Sometimes, you're lucky enough to see them rise all the way from their holding position - all they do is tilt upwards, which brings them right up to the top, they sip in the insect, then return back down to their original level, downstream of their original position. It is almost perfect economy of motion, with no wasted effort.

Now, each pool will have at least one, and some several, feeding stations. My favorite place to put down a fly is at the head of a pool, just to the side of the main flow. Usually, there is a pocket of slower moving water at this point, and inevitably there is a trout there. If the fish are rising, and you can present your fly without drag, you'll get a hit. However, make sure you fish the entire pool, from the tail end up to the front. In the small streams I like to fish, I'm usually just flipping it out there - I only have a few inches of flyline hanging off the end of my rod. In some cases, I'm only casting leader, and I'm holding all but an inch or so of leader off the water.

03-11-2008, 08:23 AM
I agree with BamaBum 100%! The best place to put your fly might be back in your box and let the guide show you!

I fished (wasted is more like it) an entire spring break one year. Caught one fish. The next year my wife and I hired a guide for 1/2 day. My wife was in the water first and first cast, first pool, first time ever....guide had my wife on a nice rainbow! After that day I went out on my own and did great. Couldn't have done it without a guide.

Sometimes all the information in the world isn't enough without a "translater".

Rog 1
03-11-2008, 09:51 AM
If you can't find a guide ask to hookup with someone on this board for a day trip and watch....I got some basic training from a cousin who took me up Fish Camp Prong and the WPLP one week....after that there was a lot of trial and error....then I began spending time just watching my grandfather.....he would cover a stretch of water like the dew on Dixie....I began watching him pull fish out of pockets no bigger than the kitchen sink ..... not unlike Brad Pitt's character in that "movie" I have seen a seam or pocket that has that look and waded the fast water to get to it...it is all personal taste and how you develope your own technique....my 15 year old son already has a favorite type of water and his own way of attacking certain kinds of water...don't just limit yourself to what you read or what someone tells you....in time you will gain your own individual signature on the water that will just seem natural.

03-11-2008, 06:57 PM
Absolutely Rog 1, I fish nothing like the guide that first took me out. I have developed my own attack and even my own way of reading. After allot of missed hook sets, spooked fish, and nearly taking on water after a spill, I would agree, if not a guide then ask or post on this site. Somebody had to show almost all of us the ropes, and most of us would love to return the favor.