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Thread: Fly Selection Game Plan

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Knoxville, TN

    Default Fly Selection Game Plan

    Just wanted to see opinions on different game plans for fly selection. If you don't see anything in particular (hatchwise) when you start fishing. How often do you (should you) change patterns with no bites? 10 casts? 15 casts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Maryville, Tennessee


    I know that this is not what you wanted for and answer but here it goes.

    I have found that most of my fly selection goes with confidence. I cast better when i am confident and I tend to catch fish when I am confident. If I go through a pocket that I know that there are fish and I can not get them to take as I go I will go ahead a change flies and go back and try again. I don't get hung up on going back though because I could have spooked fish or something else the first time through. I move onto the next pocket and continue until I figure out something that works. I don't stick around in one place for long I like moving. It might be 10 casts I have no idea. I am far from an expert in fly fishing and just enjoy being outdoors and near the water. Having a lousy day of fishing doesn't bother me as long as I feel like I had a chance.
    "The gods do not deduct from man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing." Babylonian Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Crossville, TN


    Depends on where I'm fishing and what type of bugs I expect to be around at that time of year. If I'm fishing a place where I know a certain fly to work, I'll stick with it for awhile. There are times when the fish just aren't feeding as heavily. During these times I go to flies I know catch fish under tough conditions.

    In the park, I will fish certain flies at certain times of the year and they are tied directly to what the current hatches are/should be. If I'm on new water, I'll change flies much faster since I don't know what will work as well...

    Usually in the park, if I change patterns it will be a drastic change. The fish feed opportunistically and will not be picky usually. This means that if I'm not catching on nymphs then I'll switch to dries, etc.
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    East Tn


    friday i fished watauga and saw a pool with about ten fish (saw browns, bows, and brooks) just going crazy on something there. they werent exactly rising to insects on the top but they were kinda rolling near the top. im a very much a beginner fly fisherman, but i assumed it was some kinda of nymph or emerger rising from the bottom of the river they were eating. i started with a prince and got no bites. then switched to a pheasant tail and got no bites. then i switched to a parachute adams and hooked a bow and long released it. then no more bites, but the fish were still feeding. finally i tied on a size 18 zebra midge, and caught a bow and brown on my next two casts and missed another.

    moral of the story, i knew fish were there, i knew they were hungry, i dont know much about insect life or the area, but i just kep changing after about 5 casts or so to them till they found something they liked.

    like plateau angler said, in the smokies i usually change from dries to nymphs before i get too particular with my flies. tan or yellow caddis are usually my first choice though. or a yellow stimilutar.
    "I've got to stop wishin, I've got to go fishin"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Alcoa, TN

    Default Re-hashing my thoughts!

    Confidence in a fly and how to fish it! I have since rehashed my thoughts on fly selection! Try picking out the good hatches to select your flies from. If you are confident in you flies you will catch fish. As an instance, my father has one fly box that holds probably around 60 flies per page and there's four pages! That's 240 flies, in one box, all dries, and some will probably never see water. A side from the mention of money 240 X $1.65 = $396.00....The interesting fact behind this is that his box is full of flies that are very similar in general makeup! There are an infinate amount of patterns out there and I don't think the fish are very picky with what there eating! Can they be, absolutely! The way i'm seeing it, you could be covering alot more water instead of consistantly changes flies! A for instance....can't remember his name dad has the video.....The gentleman who recently produced the Chezk Nymphing video! The entire video while fishing several different streams uses three flies the entire time, through out the video! He has a time tested pattern that catches fish and he covers an enormous amount of water in very, very little time! My father recently discovered a guide out west that fishes 5 to 6 patterns, tied in different colors and different sizes! I don't know his secret but I'm thinking there isn't one! I'm thinking it's all based on the fish! He knows how to fish that designated fly on that designated day! Temperature, depth, and the days given hatches! Temperature can give some basis of knowledge on hatches and water column the fish will be in which will give depth. Hatches will determine depth and fish behavior, determining what water column to fish the designated fly!

    There's alot to consider and I wish I had the time and money to watch these guys do what they do best on the water! I'd be willing to bet they have very similar traits on the way they fish! Very few patterns, split shot, and confidence from years of fishing!

    Something to consider!

    I'm no expert, but like Plateau said, find out where the fish are feeding and pick your fly!

    PS~You can't go wrong with some BWO's, Sulpher's, Parachute Adams, Zebra's, BHPT's, and Wooly Bugger's!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Maryville, TN

    Default All about confidence

    I would echo the sentiment of a couple of posters here that confidence is a huge deal in fly selection. While there are a number of good patterns that are being recommended right now (and I have tried several), I always return to a parachute adams. It just feels right, I can see it well and I feel like I'm going to catch something when I throw it out.

    The last time I went out, I changed flies several times but kept coming back to the same PA that I started the day with and caught all the fish for the day on that same fly. Part of it is that I am still too new to the sport to be too scientific with fly selection and finding something that I'm comfortable with is worth much more to me than trying to out think myself and the fish with too much strategy.

    Maybe as I get a bit more skill at the sport, the fly selection will expand but right now it's the classic "If it ain't broke....."
    Charlie B

    His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Knoxville, TN


    Thanks for all the info and advice! Just wanted to see what some of your thought process was as it concerns the Smokies and fly selection.

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