Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2 . Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
3. Little Brown Stoneflies
4. Quill Gordons
5. Blue Quills
6. Little Black Caddis
7. Hendricksons and the Red Quills
8. Little Short-horned Sedges
9. American March Browns
Current Conditions In The Smokies
My plans for yesterday changed. I didn't get to go fishing, even for a short period of
time. It was a beautiful day and with the exception of the high water and early
morning chill, conditions should have returned back to near normal for April.
I'm sure the recent drop in water temperature altered the hatches to some extent.
Prior to the last cold front, hatches were just about on a normal schedule and
possible getting a little ahead of normal. If the long range weather forecast holds
true, the hatches may possibly fall behind a week or two, but they should remain
very close to normal. Keep in mind that the order in which the insects hatch always
remains the same irregardless of the weather.
Today should be a great day to be outside and if possible, fishing the streams of
the Great Smoky Mountains. Although it may be a little on the windy side Friday, it
too will probably be a good day for fishing the park. I'm not so sure about Saturday.
Following is the forecast for Friday and Saturday at Gatlinburg but keep in mind it's
still a little too early to know what the conditions will be.
Friday: Increasing clouds. A chance of rain showers and a slight chance of
thunderstorms late in the afternoon. Windy. Highs in the 60s to lower 70s.
Southeast winds 20 to 30 mph. Gusts up to 45 mph in the afternoon. Chance of rain
Friday Night: Showers and thunderstorms. Windy. Lows in the mid 40s to mid 50s.
South winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts to around 45 mph. Chance of rain 90 percent.
Saturday:.Mostly cloudy with showers likely. Breezy. Highs in the mid 50s to lower
60s. Chance of rain 70 percent.
American March Brown - Emergers
The biggest problem with fishing the American March Brown hatch is determining
when it's underway. You will not normally see many duns around the streams at any
one time of the day. If they are hatching, most likely, you would just spot one or two,
here and there.
As mentioned yesterday, the hatch can last for a couple of months and there isn't
any particular time of day they hatch. They may emerge anytime from mid-morning
to dark. In the first part of the long hatch period, even if you find as few as a one or
two duns, you can assume there are more nymphs that are ready to hatch. .
Another thing to consider is that almost any area of fast water has March Brown
nymphs, so choosing one area over another usually isn't a feasible alternative. If
you spot a few duns, you should try fishing an imitation of the emerging nymph. If
that doesn't produce in a relatively short time, you should try an imitation of the
Keep in mind, the area of water you should fish the nymph imitation in is different
from the area you should fish an imitation of the emergers. The nymphs move from
the fast water of the runs and riffles to nearby, more moderately following water.
Often this is the pockets behind the boulders, just inside the current seams. You
want to position yourself in the best possible place to fish the area where they
hatch. It's sometimes easy to spook the trout in the calmer water the March Browns
hatch in, so you should use the best type of presentation you can make to reach
the smoother sections of the stream.
You want the emerger imitation weighted just enough to get it down to the bottom in
the moderately flowing water. It should be allowed to drift along the bottom for
a few feet and then (by raising your rod) rise back to the surface. You may want to
use a fairly light and long leader and tippet. I suggest a 9 foot, 5X leader.
If you use a trailing shuck imitation of the emerging dun (and we suggest you try it),
you should fish it unweighted and allow it to drift, drag free, in the margins or current
I doubt that there are ever enough of the March Browns hatching at any one time
and place for the trout to feed selectively on them, but they will see enough of them
to be fooled by a good imitation of the emerging nymphs. They get a good look at
the fly in the moderate to slow water they hatch in.
Our "Perfect Fly" imitations of the American March Brown emerger with a trailing
Our Perfect Fly trailing Shuck versions of emergering mayflies are different from our
regular emerger imitations in that regular emergers are designed to imitate the
nymph when the mayfly's wings are just beginning to open. It looks more like a
nymph than a dun.
The trailing shuck version of the emergers look more like the dun than the nymph.
It's a dun in the very early stage, before it departs the water that hasn't yet lost its
nymph's exoskeleton. Anglers call this the shuck. This translucent exoskeleton that
comes off the nymphs is imitated well with Antron in a shade of color similar to the
2011 James Marsh