05/22/11
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.    LIght Cahills
6.    Little Short-horned Sedges
7.    American March Browns
8.    Eastern Pale Evening Duns
9.    Sulphurs
10.  Little Yellow Stoneflies
11.  Giant Black Stoneflies
12.  Golden Stoneflies
13.  Streamers (Sculpin, Minnows)
14.  Inch Worms

Fishing Conditions Remain Excellent
Just a quick note to tell you that if you haven't been fishing the Smokies this
weekend, you have missed out on some perfect conditions. Now, how do you like
that "you should have been here yesterday" fishing report.

Live, Learn and Get Softer By The Day:
As a young boy, I had beagles and hunted rabbits. I think my dad got them for me
to keep me from ruining his prize pointer bird dogs. Anyway, I thought I knew a little
about the common cottontail rabbit but as it turned out, I didn't.

During the storm that created the tornadoes that torn up the South not long ago,
we had a large oak tree split into and part of it (about ten inches in diameter) fell in
our front yard just missing the porch. It covered most of the front yard. Determined
to get it out of the yard myself, instead of using common sense and hiring it done, I
ventured to a real hardware store and purchased a fine axe. As a side note, I
learned they don't work that well on hard oak but I managed to get it cut into pieces
and mostly moved from the front yard. The yard is on a steep decline and I was
able to roll the limbs out of the yard into the woods.

Biddie, our Cocker Spaniel child, barked the entire time I worked on the tree. When
I moved the last large limb, including its dead leaves, I noticed a small hole in the
deep grass was dug beneath it. The hole was about three inches in diameter. A
neat pile of fresh dirt that obviously came from the excavation was at the entrance
to it.

As a kid, I dug up a mole which was destroying our yard but really, just to see what
a mole looked like. I was certain this was a mole, but being careful to make sure it
wasn't a snake, I removed the hair and leaves covering the hole. The hair looked
like Spirit River dubbing and I couldn't remember if moles had hair or not. I didn't
think they did. There was movement in the hole. I still couldn't determine what it was
so using the corner of a small rake, I flipped the creature out of its hole to falsely
determine it was a baby groundhog - that is until I couldn't figure out why it was in
such a small hole. Suddenly, it hit me, groundhogs would have their little ones in a
larger hole with them. I also thought the creature's ears were large for a groundhog.

It looked about the size of a mouse but had big ears. It squealed and Biddie went
nuts barking from the porch above. We had to tie her up to keep her from digging
whatever it was up. I notice other creatures were in the hole moving the dubbing
and leaves around. Angie showed up and began to issue instructions about not
hurting the baby whatever it was.  I finally figured out it was upside down, so I
flipped it over with the rake and quickly recognized it was a baby rabbit. It couldn't
have been over a day or two old. It was tiny and of course, it's eyes were closed.

That tree had been in the yard since the storm and mother rabbit had hid her
babies underneath the limbs covered with leaves. She probably choose that
location to have her babies and then hid them from predators. She had the opening
covered up with her hair, which again, looked just like fine dubbing. I learned
rabbits can dig holes.

We got a small plastic flower garden shovel and gently rolled the baby into it and
placed it back in the hole with the other baby rabbits. Angie placed the hair and
leaves back over the hole just like it was when we found it. I got the large section of
tree limb, that was about 6 inches in diameter and thirty feet long, that was in that
exact position and after about an hour of back breaking work, I was able to move it
back, uphill, into the middle of the front yard.

Now we can only hope we haven't destroyed the family of rabbits and that I didn't
hurt the one I flipped out of the hole.

Our usually, beautiful front lawn looks like another storm hit it. The grass is still
about 8 inches deep around the big limb. I assume the neighbors will conclude that
I am a very lazy man, so lazy I want even get the tree out of the yard or mow the tall
grass. Little do they know, this getting old man is controlled only by two things - a
soft heart and a young wife.  

Eastern Pale Evening Dun - Spinners
The Eastern Pale Evening Dun Spinners fall in the Smokies near dark. On cloudy,
overcast days they can begin to fall much earlier. Theses mayflies are a little
different from many in that they mate near the banks and vegetation. The males
usually don't fall in the water. Of course, the female spinners do fall on the water as
soon as they finish depositing their eggs.

You should fish the heads of pools and eddies where the spent spinners tend to
congregate. Also the very ends of long runs and riffles are good.

The spinners are almost impossible to see on the water. If there has been a good
hatch, there will be a good spinner fall. As just mentioned, since the males don't
usually fall on the water, the numbers of spinners that do is about half the mayflies
that hatched.

A down or down and across presentation of the spinner imitation that's allowed to
drift into the calmer water where the naturals are collecting, is usually the best
method of presentation. In the slower moving water, the idea is to let the trout see
the fly before you spook them with your leader, tippet or fly line.  That means long,
light leaders should be used. It's often necessary to go to a 6X or even a 7X tippet
to be successful. Some anglers are afraid to use 7X but with practice and mostly
just being careful and applying steady pressure to the fish, you can catch large
trout on light tippet. Most of the time, 6X will do it, but if your not getting good
results and there are spinners on the water, you should try it. This most often
happens when trout are eating them in the pools in clear, low water conditions.

If it's near dark, you may want to place a more visible fly about two feet ahead of
the spinner. This will help you detect the takes easier but with experience, watching
your fly line and leader for odd movements is the best way to do it.

2011 James Marsh