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Old 02-02-2010, 02:10 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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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
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:03 PM
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jeffnles1 jeffnles1 is offline
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I'm not the most scientific angler out there (although I have used their lines from time to time...), nor would I ever try to lay claim to being the world's greatest fisherman. I can say that I doubt if anyone has more fun fishing than I do (as much fun yes, more, never).

My approach is much the same as others have stated.

I first try to determine what the fish are doing. Are they hitting at the surface, in the film or are they holding to the bottom. I then try to make an educated (or just wild) guess as to what they may be eating. What size of bug they're looking at and as best as I can gauge the color.

If they are eating something off the surface, and it's dark, I'll most likely tie on an adams of about the right size and give it a shot. If they are eating bugs that look light, I'll tie on a light color fly. etc.

For dry flies, basically, I have light color and dark color flies in a variety of likely sizes. I also carry a wide range of flies, but I tend to stick to generic light and dark dry flies of an approximate size to what I think they're eating.

For nymphs, I'll try a hare's ear or a prince or a pheasant tail (if one doesn't work I'll try the other) until I find out what they are keying in on. terrestrials sometimes (beatles, ants, hoppers, green weenie, etc.).

On tail waters, I start small and go smaller until I either can't see the fly, or start getting strikes.

I approach bass and bluegill the same way.

Nothing scientific about what I do, it's try different stuff until I find something that works. I usually catch fish. Some days it's 3 or 4 some days it's 50 with most days being somewhere between and on some days I get skunked.

I have equal fun on all of those days because I just love being out there fishing. It's not about catching fish, for me, it's about fishing.

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Old 02-02-2010, 04:34 PM
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buzzmcmanus buzzmcmanus is offline
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I usually just use what I still have tied on from last time I went, and if I don't get it snagged, it's what I'll be starting with next time. I think the presentation is far more important than the pattern in the mountains.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:52 PM
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Rockyraccoon Rockyraccoon is offline
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All of the above advice sounds solid.

I'd also recommend being confident in what your fishing. People seem to perform better and make better presentations when they are fishing bugs they are confident in.

I'd also recommend trying to always make great presentations. If your presentation is right, and your not getting bites....you know your pattern is wrong.

Wild mountain trout can be a lot less picky, but if there is a hatch going on.....you need to be able to pick up on it. You also need to identify quickly what stage of said bug the fish are taking.

Now this is where you need to work on how to match the hatch. I'd shoot for matching the size and fly type first over color most of the time. Then try to match color if you've still not busted it.

Same case for tailwaters. You just have to be ready to go smaller.

Now, in times of no hatch, and no fish activity, pattern can be crucial. But the best pattern in the world will only be effective as the presentation that put it in front of the fish.

Anyway, Lots of good advice already posted.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:12 AM
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highstick highstick is offline
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Silhouette, size, then color when choosing a pattern.

Presentation, location, and stealth are much more important than pattern in the park.

Confidence is on both park and tailwaters. If you are not fishing with confidence you are probably not focusing as well on the presentation and location of your casts. We all probably have way to many bugs in our boxes, which means we are often thinking of what fly to tie on next and not how and where we should be fishing. Or at least I have found that to be the case on both watery venues.

I can not count the number of times I have stumbled up a park stream trying pattern after pattern only to realize:

1. If I would slow down I will quit stumbling
2. If I would slow down and fish the fly I had on where it need to be and how it needed to be there............I would catch more fish. Pattern is not always that important.

Tailwaters can be a whole new ball game. Floated the SOHO last fall. Possibly the prettiest day on the water. Sulphers where coming off everywhere and fish where actively rising. I tried dries, emergers, nymphs, and then repeated the process in differing sizes many times with no luck. Switched to streamers and had a great last part of the day, but talked to a guy at the ramp who said he caught his fish on bwo's....I didn't see a bwo all day. Got to focused on those little yellow easy to see bugs missed several hundred fish that I left rising along that river. Pattern can be very important.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:22 AM
Knothead Knothead is offline
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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!
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:21 PM
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flyman flyman is offline
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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."
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:01 PM
MtnMike MtnMike is offline
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I like Flyman's idea of getting them out of the bushes. But then I remembered that it is usually when a fly isn't working that I am willing to give it up. When a fly is working, then I am going in after it.

I had a buddy leave an orange stimulater just out of reach while we were watching Elk one evening in Cataloochee. We were on Rough Fork. He went back a couple of months later with the family and pulled over in that spot, climbed on top on his SUV and retreived his orange stimi.

I think I'm going to spend a little more time looking in the bushes.

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Old 02-03-2010, 01:11 PM
MtnMike MtnMike is offline
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I guess I should say in all seriousness that while I don't think that fly pattern is nearly as important in the smokies as it is in the tailwaters, there are days that it does make a difference. For the most part the fish in the smokies are opportunistic feeders by nature. But I do believe that you need to pay attention to the types of bugs available. Caddis, Stoneflies, Mayflies, Hoppers or Bettles. I usually have 3 "go to" dry patterns in different sizes, Parachute Adams, Mr. Rapidan, and Orange & Yellow Stimulators. I have certainly seen days when 1 of these patterns would clearly "outfish" another. So while, I don't carry a ton of the "match the hatch" stuff I am willing to try another fly. The 4th dry that I always carry but don't seem to fish a lot would be the BWO for when they want the small stuff.
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:12 PM
Crockett Crockett is offline
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I seem to almost always use a yellow neversink caddis in the smokies for the dry and change out the dropper more frequently between bh prince nymphs, rainbow prince nymphs, or a copper john. In the heat of summer I will switch to greenie weenies. I probably should mix the dry up more often but I don't like changing out flies a lot and find myself doing like buzz and leaving on what I was using the last time I was fishing often.
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