04/28/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2  .  Green Sedges (Caddis)
3.    Cinnamon Caddis (mostly Abrams Creek)
4.    Little Sister Caddis (mostly Abrams Creek)
5.    Hendricksons and the Red Quills
6.    LIght Cahills
7.    Little Short-horned Sedges
8.    American March Browns
9.    Pale Evening Duns
10.  Giant Black Stoneflies
11.  Little Yellow Stoneflies
12.  Streamers (Sculpin, Minnows)

Weather and Stream Conditions
Considering what happened south of us in Alabama, the Smokies were blessed
during the passage of the huge weather front. I watched the news and weather
reports on TV and the Internet most of the afternoon and early evening. All of my
family, including both daughters and grandchildren, live in Alabama. They were all
located directly in line with the huge tornado that hit Tuscaloosa until it took a slight
turn and went to the north of Birmingham.

My mother lives in Guntersville. She has made it for 87 years but naturally, I was a
little worried, mostly because I have always been aware of what the locals in North
Alabama call tornado alley. I did think Guntersville was safe, however, because it's
located in a valley that misses out on most of the tornado action. Again, I though I
was getting all the news I needed, only to find out this morning a tornado hit
Guntersville directly and did considerable property damage along the lake.

It's only been a few days since I wrote of a tornado crossing Smith Lake, barely
missing me in a boat. That happened many years ago, but I couldn't help but
remember it clearly as I watched one hit Cullman yesterday via the Weather
Channel. The portion of Smith Lake I referred to was only ten or twelve miles from
Cullman. I worried the same storm would hit Arab and Guntersville, my hometown
area where I have friends as well as my mother. What I didn't know, as I watched
this particular tornado (on the radar) go from Cullman to Arab, Guntersville and
beyond, seven (7) people had already been killed early that morning in almost the
same path. It's amazing at all the information available on TV and the Internet but at
the same time, it's amazing that with all that information, I didn't have a clue about
what had already occurred. I'm sure many of you had very similar experiences. I
hope everything turned out as well for all of you as it did for me.

For some reason, I never had the slightest worry about the possibility of one
affecting Angie and I at Pigeon Forge. That changed about 6:00 PM when a fairly
large tree came crashing down across our front yard missing the porch by just a
few feet, it occurred to me something could happen where I least expected it. That
woke me up to the fact Tennessee was also getting some bad weather. I'm writing
this early in the morning well aware that reports will probably be coming in all day
about other destruction.

Now, getting to the local fishing situation, it appears we ended up with far less rain
than I expected.
The National Weather Service precipitation map (enter Smoky
Mountains in location box) is showing most areas of the park only received from a
quarter to a half inch of rain. Some areas have up to an inch. Areas around the
park seems to have gotten more than the higher elevations. The stream levels had
just gotten back to normal, but the water table is still high.
Little River levels appear
to already be falling and actually didn't have much of an increase.


Giant Black Stoneflies - Adults
As mentioned yesterday, the Giant Black Stoneflies (Salmonflies) adults can live up
to four weeks but average living a week or two. About the only way you are going to
find one of these bugs is to catch one near a light. It's fairly easy to do it if your
camping but if not, there can be a large hatch going on and you may never see
even one adult. They tend to stay well hidden in the trees during the day. For some
reason they have a tendency to stay up high in the trees as opposed to lower limbs
and bushes. About your only chance to spot one during the day is to start looking
high overhead very late in the afternoon. We had a time capturing one of them in
the park for our Stonefly DVD, prior to setting out some light traps a few years ago.
That got us about ten dozen in one night. The bottom line to this is that you will not
normally be able to detect the hatch by finding the adults. The best clue that a
hatch is occurring, or I should say "has occurred", is to find the empty shucks along
the banks or on rocks and boulders where they have crawled out of the water to
hatch.

The female adults deposit their eggs during the evenings, so I guess you may be
wondering why I would even write about the adults or mention imitating them.
Fishing at night isn't allowed in the park and wouldn't be very feasible if it was
allowed. The reason I am writing about it is the trout are very aware of the egg
laying activity, as well as the hatch. They can observe this far better than we can.
Once they start seeing the egg laying activity occurring during the evenings, they
become far more prone to take an imitation of the adult. We have caught trout very
early in the morning with our Giant Black Stonefly imitation. We have also done well
late in the day once we knew a hatch had occurred. I think they tend to hit the flies
long after the hatch and egg laying activity has ended.

2011 James Marsh
Our "Perfect Fly" Giant Black Stonefly Adult