i'm a beginner and i tied some prince nymphs and last weeek i got a chance to use them on some of the streams in the mountains the tuck ,nantahala, avery, raven fork, to mention a few . it seemed like no matter where i fished the only fly i caught any on was that one. ialso tried many others dry and nymphs but to no luck .is there a reason on why they only took that one and no other. Also i tried dry flies and i just can't figure out how to watch my fly when its out there. is there any suggestions on that?i'm going back in juune and hope to try to fish the dry flies and catch some then lol
Your question is a difficult one. Why certain Trout take certain flies is a topic that many have viewpoints on (plethora of books & first hand experiences based). In my recent trip to the Smokies, I too had good success with a Prince nymph as a dropper. I believe it is a generic attractor pattern that does not exactly match any specific mayfly stage yet 'looks' like many. Incidentally, the Prince nymph has some similarities to the 'Tellico' nymph that is very specific to the Smokies area.
In smaller streams, the native fish will not be shy to go after such attractor fly patterns since they have a limited time to decide whether the fly looks edible before it drifts out of their small holding zone (pockets).
For your second question - visibility to the dry fly. Try tying or buying 'parachute' dry patterns using a white or brightly colored post material. This makes them very visible in the fast currents.
Location: White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
Re: prince nymph
Make mine a bead head PN, but is my go to fly for low water summer run steelhead fishing here on the Rogue. Usually the second fly on a two fly (in line) fly tie up.
There are lots of patterns that have 'stood the test of time' and are as effective today as they were 100 years ago. But the the effectiveness of most trout flies is they look like 'food' of some sort. There are many (very effective ones I might add) that look like nothing in nature that I've ever seen.
The prince nymph is very effective here in WNC as it is every where else i have used it .If you are coming back in June you might just start off with it if fishing is slow or not many takes on it then start switching to other pattens..
Just go with it, buddy. I have only been fishing with PNs for the last two years, and mostly I take 'bows with it. Browns seem to be blind to them. But some of those 'bows were pushing 20 inches.
As for the dry fly thing, I agree it's difficult to see them, especially if they are smaller than size 16 in faster water. And try paras as someone else has already suggested, they help alot. In the end, though, you're just going to have to train your dry fly eye. And at first it's going to be frustrating.
As I am no expert, I'll give you my twenty seconds of knowledge on the subject for free.
Try to cast so that your fly lands in a straight line from your line. I know that sounds incredibly obvious, but I can't tell you how many times I still cast and the fly lands off to the right or left of center. Sometimes it's the wind, but sometimes it's me. But try to work on it, so that when you cast dries that disappear shortly after you shoot, you'll be confident in its general direction.
Then. Take a deep breath. Whistle "99 bottles of beer on the wall."
Why? Whistling forces you to relax. In fact, it's almost impossible to whistle while tense. It's also almost impossible to fish dries while tense. You won't set the hook properly. or mend properly. Or be able to flick your fly back to the ring when the fish misses the first time. So whistle.
Then, don't search for your fly on the water. Watch the water.
Why? Because if you try to find your fly, you get so focused on that task, you won't be ready to set when the strike comes. Or you'll miss it entirely because you were looking in vain at the wrong piece of water. Instead, watch the water in the area of your fly for a rise. On any rise within that basketball size area of where you know your fly should be, say "God save the queen," out loud. And set the hook.
Why? Because in general, if you set at the moment you see the rise, you'll be early, and you'll yank that fly from the fish's mouth before it can clamp down on it. This helps also if the fish misses, which they do. If he misses and you yank, you might spook him. But if you say GSTQ, and he misses, and you don't move the fly, he almost always comes back. I've had fish come back four or five times before they finally took the fly. So, GSTQ.
Now, at first, you'll be wrong a lot, and you'll set on air (try to set to one side, so you don't have a dry fly hurtle into your face). You'll be late, you'll be early; your fly will have somehow teleported to a space four feet to the right of where you thought it was. And so forth.
But then, you'll set on a fish. And at that moment, you'll only want one thing: to do it again. And again. And again.
And after that first one, it might be a little while before you successfully set on the second. But don't worry, just go back to the basics and you'll get another one. Then you'll be the one who's hooked.
"Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark
Instead of buying the "hi vis" parchute style flies, just get the regular style parachutes and buy a fluoresent pink sharpie and color them. Not many hi vis options unless you tie them yourself. Also tie on a bigger dry first then your smaller dry, watch the bigger dry.
thank you for all your advice . i wish i had alot of time i spend on the creek or at least live near them so i can practice alot more. i no practice makes better but when you only get the chance 3-4 times a year to trout fish it stinks not being any good. i try to remember all you guys suggest or everything i read and use it but man is it hard to try to jam all that advice into a week long fishing trip and make it work. lol i guess thats the fun of trying. i am not complaining why the pn works its just weird that all i throw at them and the only thing i caught tehm on is that. maybe my other flies i tied are worse thatn i think they are and they won't eat them.
Flysean, I posted this in another thread but it's also applicable here. First and foremost, this idea came from another member of the forum but I can't remember who for the life of me... if you're having trouble seeing the smaller dries which are often your best bet, use another larger dry like an Elk Hair Caddis as an indicator and then drop the second dry off the hook bend with a length of nylon tippet. That way it is also easier to see if you're getting any funky drag on your line. Also, don't forget that you can practice casting basically anywhere, you don't necessarily need water! Plus you can practice dry fly fishing to bluegills and other fish, not just trout, and it's a good way to work on your different dry fly casts before you have to worry about them when you finally get the chance to throw at rising trout.
If you don't mind me asking, where do you live that you only get the chance to trout fish 3/4 times a year? I'm sure you can find some other fish to target with your fly rod, but as a complete fly fishing addict and a fan of trout fishing, I know what its like to want to get out after trout in beautiful mountain streams but not have the kind of access that one would like (I have to drive quite a few hours for that kind of fishing).