• Ray Sugg

Tying Southern Appalachian Trout Flies


I recently got the opportunity to create and teach a class on tying Southern Appalachian trout flies for Haywood County Recreation and Parks. I love my day job teaching social studies to high school seniors, but working with motivated adults has proven to be equally rewarding. I have been making step-by-step videos of each pattern ahead of time for use in the class, and then posting the videos on my YouTube channel as a resource for the participants. I will be adding separate posts for each of the flies, but for now here is the link to their website: https://www.haywoodcountync.gov/209/Recreation-Parks


Here is the course syllabus:


This course will provide basic instruction in fly-tying techniques and working with different types of materials with the end goal of successfully tying Southern Appalachian trout flies. The patterns will include some that originated in the Southern Appalachian region, along with some that originated elsewhere but have become very popular in the region. Each class will be a “stand alone” class, with a basic review of techniques (if necessary) at the beginning of each class, though the flies will progress in difficulty from Day 1 to Day 9. Nymph and streamer patterns will be tied with bead heads, or will be weighted, as is the current regional trend. The following patterns will be tied:

Day 1 – Pink Worm (San Juan worm), Green Weenie, Green Inch Worm

Day 2 – Girdle Bug, Woolly Bugger

Day 3 – Coffey’s Creeper stonefly, Stick Bait, Copper John

Day 4 – Hare’s Ear nymph, Prince nymph, Secret Weapon

Day 5 – Tellico nymph, Sheep Fly

Day 6 – Yellow and Orange Palmers, Elk Hair Caddis

Day 7 – Jack Cabe Hopper, Rattler

Day 8 – Thunder Head, Tennessee Wulff

Day 9 – Parachute Adams, Parachute Hazel Creek


Here are the sources I used in preparing this course (in alphabetical order by author):


Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: An Insider’s Guide to a Pursuit of Passion, by Jim Casada

2009, High Country Press

A combination fishing guide/history book. Jim is the master at weaving in local history and stories. More information on the NC side of the park.


Tying and Fishing Southern Appalachian Trout Flies, by Don Howell

1999, Fern Creek Press

Good step-by-step diagrams for each fly



Hatches and Fly Patterns of the Great Smoky Mountains, By Don Kirk

2014, Stackpole Books

Great chapters on famous regional fly tiers, and pictures, recipes and histories of 124 fly patterns. More information on TN side of the park.



Roger Lowe’s Fly Pattern Guide to the Great Smoky Mountains, by Roger Lowe,

2005, York Creative Services

Great pictures and recipes for 101 fly patterns



Great Smoky Mountains National Park Angler’s Companion, by Ian Rutter

2002, Frank Amato Publications

Great guide book about park streams, chapter on “Trout Flies for the Great Smoky Mountains” includes color plate of flies, description, and brief history










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