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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    southern Indiana
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    Default is fly pattern important?

    I've been thinking about this.... I got a lot of replies to my "spring flies" question... Some people like type A, others don't use type A but like fly B...So does type of fly matter that much? Or is it more about technique/skill of the fisherman? Won't these fish pretty much eat anything that looks like a bug if it gets near?....(just an observation in the form of questions? )

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Morristown Tn.
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    Jross,
    It is hard to over emphasize how important presentation and technique are. By the same token, it is very important to know what flies are hatching and just what insects the fish are keying on. The fish in the mountain streams are more opportunistic than tailwater fish and they tend to take almost any good presentation that passes by them. However, if you carry this thought into any type of fishing that you might do, get ready to have some days on the tailwaters that are humbling. This can also happen on streams like Cataloochee or the Davidson River.
    Try to perfect your presentation first of all, and be very aware of the insects that you observe on the stream. It's not too hard to identify something like a Little Yellow Sally and match it with a good yellow Caddis pattern. It is a little harder to present that pattern in a light and delicate way to that nice brown that is slowly feeding back under an over hanging log that goes almost into the water. Work on both of these things but get the presentation down to an art.
    Hugh
    Last edited by Hugh Hartsell; 02-02-2010 at 05:38 PM.
    Hugh Hartsell---East Tenn.
    smokymountainflyguide.com

  3. #3
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    Apr 2009
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    SE Tennessee
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    Default Flies

    I have had my best luck with an #12 or 14 Elk Hair Caddis or #14 or 16 pheasant tail. I don't carry a lot of flies when I fish the park (which is not often enough).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cosby
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Hartsell View Post
    Jross,
    It is hard to over emphasize how important presentation and technique are. By the same token, it is very important to know what flies are hatching and just what insects the fish are keying on. The fish in the mountain streams are more opportunistic than tailwater fish and they tend to take almost any good presentation that passes by them. However, if you carry this thought into any type of fishing that you might do, get ready to have some days on the tailwaters that are humbling. This can also happen on streams like Cataloochee or the Davidson River.
    Try to perfect your presentation first of all, and be very aware of the insects that you observe on the stream. It's not too hard to identify something like a Little Yellow Sally and match it with a good yellow Caddis pattern. It is a little harder to present that pattern in a light and delicate way to that nice brown that is slowly feeding back under an over hanging log that goes almost into the water. Work on both of these things but get the presentation down to an art.
    Hugh

    lol. drift is more important. you can (if you're lucky) see a hatch and match it, but if your drift is bad, you won't catch (m)any at all. as long as your flies aren't ridiculously out of place.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Norris, TN
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    2,139

    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by jross View Post
    Won't these fish pretty much eat anything that looks like a bug if it gets near?....(just an observation in the form of questions? )
    Matching the hatch is very important if you want to increase your odds significantly. This can be the difference between 5-6 fish and 25-30 fish. Also, be mindful; the hatch can change 2-3 times a day and from larval-pupae, etc...

    That being said; you can catch fish with just about any type of fly. Trout will hit for food, instinct, and protection of beds among other things (key with some streamers)... So, fishing attractor, stimulator, or imitator flies will work just fine.

    Now, back to matching the hatch; this is the holy grail in my mind of fly fishing. You have to take in to consideration of so many variables.

    One of the easiest and quickest ways to better your game is to listen to an old timer. These dudes know the technique of trial and error - dialing in what works best, when and where! So; if you get an old timer offering some advice; stop and listen intently - then, thank them very much!

    Probably the best way to enhance your fishing experience would be to study some basic entomology of local rivers and streams. This will explain more of the why and how of matching the hatch.

    Good Luck!
    “Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will, & creative imagination.
    These give us the ultimate human freedom... The
    power
    to choose, to respond, to change.”



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Rock Hill, SC
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    Default

    jross--My view is that in the freestone waters of the Smokies (inside the Park and out), when dealing with wild trout, presentation is always more important than pattern. These streams are not overly fertile and as a result trout have to be, to an appreciable degree, opportunistic feeders. If there was one tip I would give to the serious Smokies' angler, it would be to focus on precise presentation and drag-free drifts.

    That being said, you should by no means ignore the matter of pattern. There are times when it makes a world of difference, but those times are but a small percentage of the entire amount of hours you are likely to spend fishing. If a hatch comes off by all means observe and try to match it; otherwise, pick a pattern such as a Parachute Adams, Cahill, Adams Variant, some type of stimulator, or, in season, a terrestrial for the surface and something like a Prince, Copper John, or Tellico beneath the surface.

    Tailwaters are a whole different story, and there pattern becomes of great importance.

    Those are my general thoughts, and I'll go back to the beginning--learn to case with great precision at distance up to 40 feet, add to that the ability to read water well, and you are on the road to success in the Smokies.

    Jim Casada
    www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com

  7. #7
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    SE Tennessee
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    I see the Tellico mentioned. I have fished it and never caught anything with that fly, even on the Tellico! Has anyone fished the brown hackle peacock in the park? I agree with Jim C. that presentation is very important. Matching the hatch can be to your advantage. Three years ago I was on vacation at the Little River Village campground (now KOA). That week in May, I caught a hatch behind the campground of what I believe were dark hendricksons. I used a #14 EHC, the closest pattern I had, and probably caught over a hundred fish out of two spots in the course of a few days.
    Last edited by Knothead; 02-02-2010 at 11:14 AM. Reason: additional comments

  8. #8
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    Jun 2009
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    Knothead--Can't say why you aren't catching fish on a Tellico nymph. It has long been one of my favorites and there's no telling how many trout I've caught on Tellico nymphs over the years. Yellow is a magic color whether in a Tellico or in other flies. Incidentally, were you aware of the fact that there are two streams with the name Tellico? The one you likely mean is in Tennessee. There's another one in Macon County in North Carolina.
    Jim Casada

  9. #9
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    SE Tennessee
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    Default Tellico nymph

    Jim, I have fished the Tellico in a number of trout streams and tailwaters. Nothing! Zilch! Nada! Nichts!

  10. #10
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    Not really, I just use whatever I find in the rhodendrum bushes. I figure if that's what everyone else was using, then it's good enough for me.
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

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