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. LIght Cahills
6. Little Short-horned Sedges
7. American March Browns
8. Pale Evening Duns
9. Giant Black Stoneflies
10. Little Yellow Stoneflies
11. Streamers (Sculpin, Minnows)
12. Inch Worms
Visit Our Booth May 14 and 15 At Troutfest 2011
Current Weather and Stream Conditions
The fishing conditions for the streams of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
couldn't be better for this time of the year. It may be tough to keep everyone off the
water and in the tents of Troutfest this weekend but we hope you get the
opportunity to visit our booth. The pictures of our Perfect Flies that you see on our
website just doesn't do justice for the flies. When you pick one up and see the
detail involved and consider the time it takes to tie the flies, you will quickly discover
why they are becoming so popular why they are so effective in fooling fish.
Yesterday was bordering being hot, with temperature reaching ninety degrees in
the lower elevations. The fifty percent chance of rain in the Pigeon
Forge/Gatlinburg area must have meant there was a fifty percent chance it wasn't
going to rain because it didn't. It looks like it will be hot again today with only a small
chance of rain but that will change some tomorrow and this weekend. The National
Weather Service is calling for a 70 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms on
Saturday. That may send everyone into the big tent at Troutfest to see the show
and our display of flies and gear. Also, after tomorrow, the temperatures should
drop back down to more normally daily highs for this time of the year.
Unless you fish early in the day, I would suggest you avoid the lower elevations in
the park today. The water temperature in the lower elevations was too warm
yesterday afternoon, reaching almost seventy degrees. The water is ranging a little
lower than normal for this time of the year but it's great for fishing and wading. We
could use some rain to help keep the stream levels up for the coming hot months.
Light Cahill Nymphs:
The Light Cahill nymphs are clinger nymphs that spend most of the time clinging to
the underside of rocks on the stream-bed in the fast water sections of the streams.
They live in the runs and riffles. If not under the rocks they are down in between the
cracks and crevices of the rocks on the bottom and are not readily available for the
trout to eat except at times when they are feeding or starting to hatch.
The nymphs rely on the fast, highly oxygenated water for the oxygen they need to
survive. That's why the bodies of the clinger nymphs are designed to "cling" to
rocks. They must be able to hang onto the rocks in the current. That's also why this
mayfly is one of those that exist in good populations in the streams of Great Smoky
Mountains National Park. Much of the streams consist of fast water.
At the time of the year for them to hatch (now and for the next couple of months)
they migrate to the slower moving, calmer water nearby their fast water habitat.
They hatch in the pockets and areas of more moderate flows, not directly in the fast
water. As with most of the other clinger nymphs, I recommend fishing imitations of
the nymph when the hatch is either about to begin or underway. By underway, I
mean on the days the hatch is occurring, but not at the time the nymphs are
emerging into duns. You will want to switch to an emerger or dun pattern at that
Remember, this hatch only last from two to three weeks at any on location on a
stream. The hatch will progress upstream from the lower elevations to the high
elevations from now until near first of July in the highest elevations, depending on
the weather. From the time a hatch is within a week or two of beginning, you should
try imitating the nymphs migrating from their normal fast water habitat to slower,
more moderately flowing water nearest their normal habitat.
After the hatch actually starts in any one area of a stream, you should fish an
imitation of the nymph in the mornings and early afternoon up until the time the
nymphs begin to emerge. You will want to add weight to the fly as necessary to
keep in on the bottom. You should present the fly at the edges or seams of the fast
moving riffles and runs. Your basic approach should be focused on bringing the
nymph out of the fast water into the areas where the water is moving slower. This
could be pockets along the outside edge of a run. The current seams created by
pockets or slicks behind bounders is another place you would want to concentrate
I usually place split shot about six to eight inches above the nymph. You want to
keep adding weight until you can get the nymph down quickly and keep in on the
Short up-stream or up and across presentation work best for this. You can also
use the typical "high-stick" method of nymphing but I feel a short cast works
best in this particular case. Strike indicators can be used but I feel like they hurt the
presentation by keeping the fly off of the bottom. If you are the type of angler that
don't concentrate on your fly very well, you may want to use an indicator but it's far
more productive not to use one. This is only provided you carefully watch your fly
line and leader for unusual movements and keep close contact to feel the fly.
Use a relatively short leader not over nine feet. If you make short cast, not over
twenty feet long, and keep a relatively tight line you can either feel the takes or see
the end of your fly line stop or move unnaturally in the drift.
This is our Perfect Fly Light Cahill Nymph.
2011 James Marsh