How many (kinds of) flies do you need for the GSMNP?
I have really worked to simplify my flies I fish with. Although I still tie 5 times as many kinds as I actually fish, I think I can get by with 2 (kinds for the day) and usually keep one on all day. In reality I probably only fish with 4 or so patterns all year.
1.) first choice - some type of topwater such as a Neversink/EHC or foam hopper. I pick one of these for the day and put 6-8 in an easily accessible box (clipped to outside of pack). May take the other kind but bury them down in another box down in the pack.
2.) then a nymph/streamer such as a WB or WW (sometimes a killer bug but using less and less).
Both in size 12 for trout, both in size 4 for warm water. I will change it up if fish are coming up to fly but not trying to take it, but I have got pretty confident in covering more water (not making 10 casts to every hole) as a better solution than changing flies as often.
How may flies?
Slider, you can't have too many flies can you? If you can, don't tell my wife!
As far as Smoky patterns, on the LRO website they try to help answer that by breaking flies down into Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall patterns as follows:
Smoky Mountain Winter Flies
Smoky Mountain Spring Flies
Smoky Mountain Summer Flies
Smoky Mountain Fall Flies
All that said, it will be a matter of personal preference on your fly choices. I listen real closely to the veterans of Smoky fly fishing and there is a reason the same type patterns keep being discussed. I think it's because they are proven to work. Just my opinion.
It has to do with the stream your fishing and the bugs in or on the water. So yes you could cut down on the flies you fish with on a particular day. That would be a learning experience and research on your part. Hatch charts, interaction with others and what you notice on the water yourself. I will say this from April onto Oct if it is yellow you have a good chance of catching fish...;)
My wife already thinks I'm crazy for tying more flies and more days than I can fish - wait, that is not quite right....
Agree on the yellow, same thing around here for smallies.
I was just wondering how many fish the park regularly by not necessarily "matching the hatch" but using a small handful of representative flies that do match the size and color of the hatch but not particular insects. Seems like some certainly do and do well with it. Reading on here, sounds like yellow or orange Neversink would work 80% of the time.
I would like to work on a small group of flies maybe 4 or so in diff sizes and colors then mix it up a little based on the season. That way not stress myself about "do I have the right fly?" but work on my fish finding and fly presentation skills.
stone fly dark and light
All I need is a Pink San Juan worm and an egg pattern, spaghetti and meat balls:biggrin:
All you need is a can of corn
I carry tons of patters. Way too many. But it seems as a nymph the ole pheasant tail never fails. For a dry either an elk hair caddis or stimulator in some color or size will work. Through in some parachute Adams in various sizes and you're set for all seasons
I just went through the log of my last 25 trips. The only months not represented were December and February. Total of 14 different streams in the GSMNP and Cherokee NF. I stopped adding up the trout at 150.
I only saw five trips where I did not use a hare's ear; parachute or nymph. I do vary the hook some (1x and 2x length on drys, 2x and 3x on nymphs) and tie the nymphs with and without beads. I will blend in some black and brown. When I did wander, it was to a muddler, elk hair caddis, stimulator, neversink or a parachute Adams. For nymphs I did try an occasional pheasant tail nymph or caddis larva (tan or olive wire), and of course a greenie weenie.
Thanks guys, that is what I was hoping to hear: 3-4 dries and a couple nymphs (and a san juan worm however you classify that).
I'll keep checking the board for what seems to be catching fish, but I am going to try and keep it simple and focus on fishing.
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