Guided Trips


Things have changed a lot since the last report. Unseasonably warm weather has kicked off the first hatches of the year in the Great Smoky Mountains while an extremely wet February means all of the tailwaters are blown out across middle and east Tennessee.

If you want to fish in the Smokies, nymphs and streamers will be your best bet unless you encounter a hatch. In that case, Blue Quills and Quill Gordons should be in your arsenal as well as Blue-winged Olives.

For now, just forget about the tailwaters in the short term. continued rain means it will be at least another month before the tailwaters are fishable again. With luck, we can start thinking about some streamer float trips on the Caney Fork in mid to late March, although that may be optimistic. In the meantime, head for the mountains and enjoy chasing the wild trout there.

Photo of the Month: Breaking Cabin Fever

Photo of the Month: Breaking Cabin Fever

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Junk and Shame

In fly fishing, there is the purist approach where you fish upstream and with dries only. Often you don't wade but instead walk the stream banks looking for that rising fish to cast to. Then there's that other approach, the one where you use flies that are gaudy and often quite ugly. Of course, there is a lot of middle ground here that one can comfortably negotiate without going all out one way or the other. I fall somewhere between the two extremes but occasionally resort to somewhat questionable methods that always leave me feeling a little guilty.

Most if not all of the "junk" flies actually imitate something the fish might be able to eat. Then why the guilty conscience? As do many fly fisherman, I prefer to fish dry flies but when they aren't rising enough to keep me happy, I'll tie on something else in a heartbeat. In fact, I sometimes get annoyed fishing dries because if the fishing is too good, then I must constantly(or so it seems) be drying the fly or tying on another.

The recent poll suggested that many of you would not want to fish an egg pattern or a SJ worm. I'm guessing that those are probably the ones that are much closer to mastering the art of fly fishing than I am. It is easy and enlightening to view junk flies as a crutch and in my opinion they are (and yet I still use them). That is probably why I feel guilty using them.

The majority are in the same boat as I am and admitted to using these flies on occasion. A few of you disagreed with my assessment of what is and what isn't a junk fly. I'm curious which ones and why if you care to respond. Just hit the comment button and let me know what you think....

Finally, much thanks to the purist out there!!! I was beginning to think that no one that fit that category was going to vote...I applaud you for maintaining the purity of tradition in this fine sport... Hopefully I'll be coming closer to your side of the debate by weaning myself from the use of junk flies although I doubt you'll see me giving up wet flies any time soon...

New poll is up by the way...check it out!

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