04/19/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2  .  Blue Quills
3.    Cinnamon Caddis (mostly Abrams Creek)
4.    Little Brown Stoneflies
5.    Hendricksons and the Red Quills
6.    Streamers
7.    Little Short-horned Sedges
8.    American March Browns

Current Stream and Weather Conditions
There's a small chance of a thundershower today and the odds of rain increase as
the week goes by. The long range forecast calls for chances of thunderstorms from
now for the rest of the week. It doesn't appear that we will have the steady showers
that we have the past month or so, but more like Summer weather patterns whereas
most of the precipitation comes from thunderstorms. Hopefully, these will be
isolated.

The streams are still high. Most of the larger streams are still too high to safely
wade as a general rule. You can pick and choose certain areas of the streams and
wade if your careful but often, it's more trouble than its worth. Fishing from the
banks is probably still the best option on the larger streams.

If the rainfall we get is isolated, choosing the right stream to fish may become
important. The
National Weather Service weather precipitation map should help
with this. Enter Smoky Mountains in the location box. Hopefully, the amounts will be
low for the next few days.

Eastern Green Drakes - Emergers
The Eastern Green Drakes emerge from the smoother water of Abrams Creek and
in a very few other places we have found they live inside the park. The only
substantial quantities we have found were in Abrams Creek. They must have a soft
bottom or soft banks to live in a stream because their nymphs are burrowers. I know
that "soft banks" sounds strange to many of you and it did to me until we found
several streams in Pennsylvania that had Eastern Green Drakes but also had
almost solid rock bottoms. Finally, digging around trying our best to capture a
nymph, we discovered they can also make their burrowers in the banks of a stream.
My guess is that about half the nymphs in Penns Creek, a stream famous for this
hatch, live in the banks. Much of its bottom is rock and it has a huge amount of
these big mayflies. I suspect that may be the case with part of Abrams Creek
because we have found the drakes well below the spring creek section, or what I'm
calling the portion of the stream above the foot bridge at the parking lot in Cades
Cove.

The big nymphs get to the surface of the water with a swimming type of action often
described as an up and down wiggle motion. They shed their shucks in the surface
skim, dry their big wings and depart the water provided the trout give them a
chance. They may drift several feet or even yards before they are able to leave the
surface. When a trout eats one of them, you will know it. It's more like a largemouth
bass taking a popping bug than a trout taking a mayfly.

This emergence is an off and on occurrence that last throughout the day and
therefore, is not usually concentrated during the hatch. It's during this time, from
mornings to mid-afternoon, that our emerger flies work best. The mayflies wings are
usually very dark when they first come to the surface and then change to  lighter
shades of a yellowish green as they dry. That's why we make the CDC wings on the
Perfect Fly trailing shuck emerger darker than those of the dun.

The emerger can be fished with a swimming action from the bottom to the surface
during the period of a hatch. This is usually done by slightly weighting the fly, or in
very slow moving water, using an non-weighted fly. Fish the emerger down and
across on the swing, not up and across like most Smoky Mountain anglers normally
fish. You fish it more like a caddisfly emerger than a mayfly. This lets you mend the
fly line to get the fly down some and then allow it to swing around back to the
surface. It will also let you feed line out to get the fly a good distance away for your
position in the clear, smooth water of the spring creek section.

I recommend at least an eight-foot leader with a two, foot long size 4X tippet. By the
way, this hatch should be occurring in Abrams Creek at the present time.

























"Perfect Fly" Eastern Green Drake Trailing Shuck emerger

2011 James Marsh