NDuncan, I don't know what the deal on that bow is. I caught that fish @ the Clinch. I wonder if maybe he's a differant strain. I've fished that river a long time, never seen fish colored like that til the last 4 or 5 years. He was the most beautifully colored fish I've ever caught. I shared it with Byron and that's how it ended up on LRO sight. Very proud of that fish. It took me about an hour to catch him.
A guy posted a brown on the Drake last year that I would have never believed it was real if I had seen it in a magazine. It had browns on it that I didn't know existed in nature. You got to love what nature can do sometimes.
I apologize for this late post. Got a "rootkit" virus and thought I had lost everything on my computer. I hate computers.
I decided to give up highsticking and go over to the dark (dry fly) side for the last day of my trip. It was a beautiful day and the rainbows were hitting dry flies! Caught 14 which is a great afternoon for me.
One pretty deep pool had a log partly across the head of the pool, making a cast difficult. When I finally got the fly in there, a rainbow grapped it and shot towards me. For a second in that clear water I could see him, his sides flashing silver as he shook his head trying to rid himself of the hook. What an image!
Fly fishing is good for the soul.
Wow! Beat my best day by two fish...nice. Dries are a ton of fun to me. I love to watch the water break when a trout hits a dry.
I fished for bass for many years before taking up the fly for trout. I did a great deal of fishing with plastic worms and that requires line watching and filling the bump. When I high stick I am always filling for the bump with practice you can tell the difference between stones and strikes. While dry flies are top of my list for the smokies when it gets tough or the fish just will not come the the dry drifting a nymph and staying in touch with it works. I is easy to work up to a position of cover and drift the nymph into holes and I love the electric jolt communicated up the line to the butt of the graphite rod. It may be just a tic but I never tire of the anticipation of it. With that said I have found keeping and eye on the line in the moving environment of the steam difficult, so for me when I go to the nymph and high sticking it is fill. I know I miss many but I catch many. And with practice and many drifts you will learn the stone from the strike and it's fun getting there.
Happy high sticking,
Never thought of connecting high sticking and worm fishing for bass. I will remember that next trip. I worm fished for years before I ever trout fished. I have been watching the line and in fast moving water it is hard. Will try "feel" next time more than "watch". (of course only if they aren't hitting dries! )
Things I've learned over the years that makes high-sticking easier. When teaching newbies how to high stick, the most common mistake they make is to not keep their rod tip up, thus keeping slack out of their line. If you allow slack, you delay the time you are able to detect a strike, if at all (depending on amount of slack). Keep your line as tight as possible without pulling the fly while allowing a natural looking dead drift. As a disclaimer, I've seen some get by with slightly pulling their fly...go figure!
A great place to practice is in shallow pocket water where you have plenty of space behind you to prevent getting hung if you miss a strike. The pocket water above Metcalf Bottoms bridge is good.
- Keep rod tip up, keep rod tip up, keep rod tip up!!
- Keep slack out of line
- Follow your fly with your rod tip. A longer rod (9ft) helps, but you will get hung up more. It takes getting used to.
- Hold rod in one hand, fly line in the other. You can use your line hand to pull slack out and to help set the hook. Setting the hook with your line hand is helpful in tight quarters.
- Don't pull the fly. It doesn't look natural.
- Shorter leaders are easier to control. I rarely use over 7 1/2 ft tapered down to 4X in the Park. On smaller streams, I use 5 ft. Shorter tippets are also easier 12-18 inches. The faster the water, the larger tippet size you can get away with, because trout have less time to inspect. 3X to 5X works.
- Wear camo or other drab clothing (including hats). High sticking is close quarters, so stealth is a must. I love a UT hat, but so do trout because they can see it
- Weighted nymphs are easier to use because they provide resistance which assists in keeping slack out of leader
- Polarized glasses.. they help reduce glare making it easier to see your line. Many fish can be spotted before during or after the strike. If you see a flash, but not a strike, cast back immediately!
- When fishing tight quarters, overhanging limbs etc, the "bow and arrow" cast works well.
- Practice roll casts, not just overhead but sideways
- Watch for an "unnatural" twitch in your line. If you wait to feel the strike, you will miss a lot of fish.
- The best place to watch your leader is where it comes out of the water.
- Practice with 1 fly before going to a tandem rig.
- If in doubt....jerk
- In lieu of strike indicators, knotted leaders help you see your leader.
Persistance pays off
Thanks, Grampus...that helps a lot. I can't wait to get back to the park and try it.
-Shawn Madison“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.”