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Thread: The changing face of park fishing

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    1

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    Great thoughts Jim, I was introduced to East Tennessee fly fishing by you during a Smoky Mountain field school class about 30 years ago. Have fished the area every chance I get ever since. I concur that the front range fishing is more pronounced. Its hard to drive up little river road and find any un-fished waters now. However the backcountry seems quiet. I spent a couple of days last year on Lynn Camp during what I would consider peak fishing days, and only saw 1 other group both days. Headed to the upper Little river headwaters this next week. My rule of thumb is to try and get at least 1/2 mile from the road before fishing if possible.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    58

    Default Grampus

    What are some of the old flies grampus? Love hearing about the vintage flies
    Last edited by alc609; 04-11-2018 at 10:14 PM. Reason: Left some out

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    58

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    I can remember catching the red eyes when I was a kid, havenít caught one in years

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Hillbilly Hollow, NC
    Posts
    1,075

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    The growth of the forrest has changed quite a bit in the 50+ years I have been fishing the park. Seems like more fish, but they are smaller.
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    135

    Default Old Flies

    Quote Originally Posted by alc609 View Post
    What are some of the old flies grampus? Love hearing about the vintage flies

    I preface this by saying many, if not all, of the old flies were created out of necessity. ie: Necessity is the mother of invention.....

    Back before there were fly shops, internet, and much in the way of fly tying catalogs, we simply used what was available. With that said, some of the old patterns are known, but in several variations.

    Yellowhammer: It is tied from the split feather from the wind of a yellow-shafted flicker. I was taught by Kirk Jenkins to tie these in a palmered fashion with a peacock body.

    Guinea Fly: A fly tied with a light gray body and the split feather of a guinea fowl (common "watch dog" birds on farms) with the feather palmered just around the front of the fly. This is a gaudy looking fly when the feather splays out. I've caught 20+ inch browns on this, especially in the Spring, including a 21" last May.

    Crow Fly: This fly is has a black body and has the short side of a split wing feather from a crow palmered either full body length or just around the front of the fly.

    Tobacco Worm: This fly mimics the worms that ate tobacco leaves. The body is light green with a dove feather palmered the length of the body. Today, I simply use a grizzly hackle. I also use a variation of this with a pale yellow body which mimics yellow stoneflies.

    These were all we used back when I learned. There were always several flies that came and went, but these 4 were "go to" patterns and all were tied in size 8, with an occasional small tied in a 10 or even a tiny 12. All were weighted nymphs.

    Grampus: Is an exception for me that I created in the early 80's. I was helping some of my mentors run a trot line in the French Broad River and we seined grampus out of the rapids to use as bait. This got me to thinking so I tied a size 12 on a 3X hook weighted. On my first trip, I fished just above the Sinks on Little River and had what I thought was a dark stone on the river bottom take the fly, quickly breaking my line! Since then, I've caught numerous large rainbows and browns, and lost a few, on it mostly in late June thru August. It has worked well not only in the Smokies, but on the Clinch, SoHo, and in Montana. The pattern is tied using black material my wife used for cross-stitch. It has black goose biots along the side, with peacock over the thorax tied with black hackle and 2 Chinese Boar Hair on the front as antenna.

    This is the bulk of my Smokies fly box and still works for me in catching good numbers and nice sized trout. I've kept a fishing diary since 1989 and I am continuously trying new patterns, but I still predominately use these as they are still as effective as the day I first started using them. Over time, I've found the trouts' diet changes with the season and food available, but doesn't change much from year to year. To me when fishing in the Smokies, fly selection is much simpler than most fishermen believe. It's more the approach and presentation than the fly.

    Grampus
    Jim Parks
    Fly Fishing the Smokies since 4/15/78

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Hillbilly Hollow, NC
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    1,075

    Default

    Good stuff Jim, I'd sure like to get a peek at your Grampus imitation some time.
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

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