Warning: I'm not going to apologize for the following rant, so if you don't want to hear me complaining, then stop reading now.
Seriously people? Fly fishermen have long had a reputation for looking down on "lower" forms of fishing. Exactly where the reputation came from I have no idea, but I'm guessing there is probably some good reasons for people's opinions of our sport. Fly fisherman are known as sticklers for the rules, often telling other people when they are in error. Of all fisherman I've met stream side, I have run into far fewer fly fishermen who were trying to get ahead by cheating then any other.
In my opinion, chucking bait is not any better or any worse than any other type of fishing. In fact, I'm guessing that's where most of us got our start, and let's admit, it's fun to watch that little bobber with a worm dangling under it. However, I'm guessing that a lot of the bait chucker crowd tend to have less of a clue about the rules for a very simple reason: they don't know much else about fishing and probably just bought the gear they are using. It might even be there first time ever trying out fishing. "We have to have a license to do this?" It's just ignorance. In my opinion, ignorance is a problem, but is forgivable considering it's definitely not as bad as willfully breaking the rules.
On the other hand, if someone has progressed to the point of being a fly fisherman, there is a pretty good chance they at least know a little about what they are doing. Same thing goes for someone who is an expert with a bait caster and haul in the bass one after the other. They've been around the block a few times and know exactly what they are doing. My favorites are the ones who do a little bit of everything and fish bait when they want to take a few home. Those are probably some of the best fishermen out there and they always know the rules too.
That's why I hold some anglers to a higher standard than others. Fly fishermen should know better than to break the rules and should always try to play by the rules. All of this is leading up to why I was so ticked off yesterday.
While chucking streamers in the Smokies in what proved to be a futile effort, I came across a HUGE articulated fly beside a pool that has been known to produce some big fish. I won't say how big, because someone would doubt without pictures, and I'm not at liberty to share pictures that friends have sent me. Let's just say there are some monsters in the Park and leave it at that.
Anyway, as I get out of my car, I see what looks like a dead bird stuck to the side of a tree. Walking over to investigate, I find a huge articulated fly stuck there. How someone snagged the tree, broke off the fly, and completely did not see it is beyond me. This is larger than a lot of flies I throw for musky. I love throwing articulated flies in the Park, but am very careful to cut off all but one of the hooks.
This fly had two hooks. Big ones too, I might add. If you are fly fishing, you know better. Park rules clearly state that the use of a dropper fly is permitted but the second fly must be a minimum of 12 inches from the first fly. An articulated fly is no better than throwing bait on treble hooks.
The big browns of the Park are susceptible to unscrupulous fishermen and it doesn't take a whole lot of skill to put a serious dent in the Park's population of large browns. Fly fishermen should know better. Play by the rules people!!!
FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 5/22/2017
Fishing is good to excellent across the area. The Caney Fork River continues to shine on both high and low water. In the Smokies, strong hatches have been keeping fish looking up.
Yesterday, Blue-winged Olives hatched for hours during the light rain and drizzle. Fish were looking up but also took nymphs well. Streamers were moving some quality fish as well. The summer hatches are well under way now. Expect Golden and Little Yellow stoneflies and Isonychia (Slate Drake) mayflies. Light Cahills and Sulfurs have been around as well.
The Caney Fork River continues to fish anywhere from good to great on high water streamer floats. Anyone who wants to target trout with streamers will find this to be exciting fishing. Low water is becoming more and more likely, and if that trend continues we will see some great low water floats. The fish are hungry and we are going into some of the best fishing months on this fine tailwater.
Cumberland Plateau smallmouth streams are rounding into fine shape now. Rain will bump flows up again, but in between the fish are hungry and willing to hammer a fly! Musky floats are about over for the year unless we get more rain.