Pattern or Stealth?

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September 14, 2019 by Art of the Angle

The sweet smell of rain filled the Indian summer sky as the heavily laden clouds fleeted west.  The air seemed thick but alive as we slowly plotted our way step by careful step up the tiny freestone creek.

We needed no coaxing for this pre autumn trout fishing trip and knew to the ounce the weight of the reality of how scarce these trips would become.

“What do you think they will be feeding on this morning” asked Chap, half heartedly second guessing his choice in fly pattern.

“I don’t know, but at this point in the season I am guessing just about anything we put in their feeding lane wet or dry” I said.  ” That Grouse and Flash you got there should be the ticket.”

Wild and native trout of the southern Appalachian mountains 3600 feet in elevation and above aren’t too picky in these no name blue lines, they don’t have that luxury.  Instead, an angler who opts for stealth and careful presentation will often be successful with most appropriate fly patterns.

However, late summer and fall fly selection for us usually means smaller than #14 both wet and dry patterns such as Adam’s, Wulff and Cahills.  Wet fly and nymph patterns are almost always soft hackle patterns or attractors such as Copper John, Crystal Blue Persuasion, Lil Patriot or Chap’s infamous Grouse and Flash.

So if you are fortunate enough to find yourself on a no name blue line high upon a southern Appalachian mountain with a flyrod in your hand, don’t lose yourself in fly selection but in the magic of stealth.  My heart will always be in the autumn mountains and late season trout fills my soul.

Tight Lines!


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