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Fly Fishing for Trout on Smokey Mountain Streams

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by DekeDog, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Holic

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    My wife wants to learn fly fishing. I used to be seriously into it in my late teens and early 20s, but that was fifty years ago. My grandfather taught me, and he had the contacts to fish some of the best streams with private access in NC. I've misplaced all of my stuff, so I'll have to replace it all and purchase equipment for her.

    Does anyone have advice on the best values in equipment?

    Anybody have any ideas on the best ways to access areas that don't get overfished?
     
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  2. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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  3. donrichfan

    donrichfan Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    Evening. I grew up in North Georgia and fly fished a lot of the small, remote brookie streams nearby. The out of the way places require a little planning and knowledge of the area you're wanting to go, but totally worth it. A Bureau of Land Management (BLM) map and Google maps is a good way to find the blue lines. There are apps that show private and public land as well...
    Also, I'd recommend calling Hunter Banks fly shop in Asheville. I've ordered waders that were on sale from them before; they're really cool and knowledgeable and I'm sure would be more than willing to help. They may even have some sale gear, or old gear their guides no longer use that they'd be willing to sell for cheap. Guides in my neck of the Western world usually use gear for a season and then sell it off, so worth checking.
    Are you looking for bigger rivers with bigger browns & rainbows, or the smaller streams with native brook trout? That's something you'll have to figure out and the shop should be able to help you sort it all out.

    Nothing like getting off the beaten path and catching wild fish. Good luck.

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    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
  4. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Okay, here is my story:

    I learned from grandfather back in the 60s and flyfished every summer with him for about ten years. He gave me his old bamboo rod and automatic reel around 1965. I was still using them in 2000 when a friend dropped off his teenage son for a summer to spend time out in the forest helping me build the cabin. He wanted to learn how to flyfishing, so I bought him a $30 rod and manual reel to learn with. I gave it it's first cast and decided that moment that I had to upgrade. Then I found out that with modern Fiberglas/carbon poles that you had to cast completely different than the old bible in the armpit method and had to take an all day class to "catch up".

    It is highly specialized these days, so go to a flyfishing specialty store (tons of them up here) and explain where and how you are going to flyfish and they will point you to the correct options.

    It is still the same zen sport, but you can cast way farther and more accurately with modern equipment and techniques.

    Have fun.
     
  5. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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  6. donrichfan

    donrichfan Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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  7. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I was river fishing in Eagle, CO and there was a bend in the river that had created a hole. The only way to get to that spot was by standing on one of several very large boulders that were the size on a pickup truck. I was fishing with salmon eggs or something and I got a bite and it turned out to be a very large rainbow trout. I was very excited and I had the rod and reel in one hand and the trout, still hooked, in the other hand and I was trying to make my way back to the bank. I slipped and fell right onto the large boulder without breaking my fall at all until I landed on my arm with my entire body weight. I should have broken my arm right then and there but, miraculously, I did not. The end.
     
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  8. cravenmonket

    cravenmonket Tele-Holic

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    When I moved here from England, I taught myself how to fly fish in the rivers near my home in Northern California. I spent maybe $500 on a rod, reels, flies, waders, etc. and I put in some hours.

    The most fun I had fly fishing was for shad - that is a fun fish to hunt. Ocean fish that spawns up rivers, fights hard, looks beautiful, and demands a finesse technique. And it helps that the shad arrive in May when it's beautiful and warm and delightful to be on the river.

    Best advice I have is to find a water you feel comfortable in - learn the seasons for the particular fish in your river. Find an outfitter in your area - most regions have a fly fishing outfitter that can help you get set up and tell you where to go. Some are better than others. Don't spend too much on esoteric flies - most fish will hit the same half dozen nymphs and flies. Get a medium weight rod, maybe a 5W, and a sinking tip line and if you can afford it, get a floating tip line too. Most trout are caught with nymphs so a sink tip is your best bet.

    Fly fishing is about being out on the water. It's about patience. You have to accept that probably you won't catch anything. Go out with that mentality, and then enjoy the peace and air and space and meditative quality of working the tackle. I imagine you already know all of this!

    Find a good independent fly fishing outfit and slip them a $100 and they'll sort you out...
     
  9. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I don't know how far you are from the Nantahala River, but there's an instructor there named Ken Kastorff, with a shop called Endless Rivers. The building is on the South side of the highway, up a steep hill about halfway between Nantahala Outdoor Center and the Ferebee River Access. Yes, he also sells kayaking equipment and rents of lots of rafts and duckies. He could provide the instruction and then fill you in on some leads, maybe up Snowbird Creek or Santeetlah or side creeks of those. I don't think they got heavy damage from Zeta in the valley there, but it wouldn't hurt to double check on that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
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  10. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    My wife and I went to a fly fishing camp last year. Great. Everything from knots to how to walk with waders in streams.
     
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  11. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You'll need to read this, then....:D

    trout.jpg
     
  12. donrichfan

    donrichfan Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    You were at one of my favorite rivers in Colorado--the Eagle river. The town of Eagle is about 3.5 hours from my house so can't fish it everyday, but I try to get there about 3 or 4 times a year. Was just there last month, upstream from Eagle at Wolcott. Always good fishing on the Eagle, and beautiful scenery.
    Sounds like you got lucky. Those rocks can be tricky to navigate, especially the snot-slick submerged variety...

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  13. dkmw

    dkmw Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you’re going to learn fly fishing the first thing you have to do is learn to cast. It’s a beautiful thing, shooting fly line.

    I was a saltwater guy, never even fished a stream. So that’s all the advice I have:lol:

    But re those old bamboo rods @Obsessed : About 30 years ago one of my old friends was trading in vintage fishing gear. He knew I could cast okay so he asked me to test out some of his split bamboo rods. So I brought over a reel loaded with 7wt line and hooked it up on about six rods. Five of them sucked, just lifeless and stiff (if not for the floppiness lol). But one 8’6” was magic. It loaded up effortlessly, and would throw a loop that would go through a screen door. The vagaries of wood....

    I tried to buy it from him but all of a sudden the price was out of reach because I’d given it a good review. I felt used and sulked home.
     
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  14. thesamhill

    thesamhill Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    @donrichfan thanks for those pictures! Beautiful fish, beautiful country.
     
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  15. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    When I was fly fishing regularly some years back St. Croix made top quality "medium priced" rods. Cabella's on line has lots of decent starter sets of reels and rods a bit cheaper but decent quality. As far as access and direction to the best spots to fish, as already mentioned, always seek "local information": Find a dedicated fly shop in your area, spend a couple of bucks, purchase some flys, line, leader or something, chat it up with the guy behind the counter and then ask for a recommendation for a spot. You'll be into fish in no time. Tight lines brother!
     
  16. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    Just drove through Ashville a couple months back. I have no help for Appalachian based fishing, sorry. If you ever get to Idaho, particularly around McCall Idaho, I know a lot of secret spots for Rainbow, Brown and Golden trout. Remember, the worst day fishing is better than the best day working.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
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  17. PBO Blues

    PBO Blues Tele-Holic

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    You are correct. Louis (a good buddy of mine) lives just outside of Atlanta, though the only place we've fished together is in the Bahamas. We're both hopeless bonefish junkies.

    Coincidentally, he's one heck of a luthier.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
  18. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    +1, Great suggestion @uriah1. I did same a couple times years ago. Great way to get started or re-started and a lot fun. Shop around, the expensive ones are easy to find on line but your local fly shops will also offer more affordable weekend courses too. Have fun. Great way to spend time and relax. Watch "A River Runs Through It" for a little extra motivation!
     
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  19. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    For appalqchians I think I get fb posts from a called Fleming. Think he is guide down there.
     
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  20. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I have a couple of old bamboo rods, woven creel and old fly reel too. Haven't looked at them in years.
     
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