06/15/11
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.    Sulphurs
7.    Little Yellow Stoneflies
8.    Little Green Stoneflies
9.   Golden Stoneflies
10.  Slate Drakes
11.  Streamers (Sculpin, Minnows)
12.  Inch Worms
13.  Grasshoppers
14.  Ants
15.  Beetles

Current Weather and Stream Conditions
Conditions remain in great shape in the Smokies. Yes, we could use some rain to
keep the water levels up but that's not an unusual situation for this time of the year.
There's a 40% change of rain today and that increases to 60% percent tonight and
then it goes back to the normal summer weather pattern ranging from about 20% to
30%. That means we have a slightly better than normal chance of rain tonight. That
may replenish the Pigeon Forge water supply that I depleted this past month
watering my grass. Temperature wise, the heat wave has diminished and the
weather has returned to a more normal pattern for this time of the year.

As it has been for the past few days, the North Carolina side of the park still
continues to have more water in the streams than the Tennessee side. Some are in
good shape compared to the majority of the park. On the Tennessee side, the
West and Middle Prongs of the Little Pigeon River are in better shape water wise
than the Little River drainage.

The lower water makes it more difficult for many less than average skilled anglers to
catch trout.. A better way to state the same thing is that higher water levels makes it
very easy to catch trout in the pocket water streams of the Smokies. Many guys get
used to catching trout under the "easy" conditions and then consider the fishing to
be "poor" or "slow" when they can't catch as many trout under low water conditions.
I wonder if they ever stop to think that the water level has little, if anything, to do
with how much the trout eat.

To be correct, they should content they it's their fly fishing strategies, skills and
techniques that's "poor".
When you hear someone say "fishing is slow or
poor" and blame it on low water levels, they are just admitting their own
fishing skills are poor.
The trout don't go hungry because the water is low.


Ants - Another Important Terrestrial Insect
If a trout stream ran through our front yard, the trout wouldn't have to look for
anything to eat. I don't have any idea how many thousand or million of ants there
are in the grass but I see enough of them on our concrete driveway each day to
feed a plenty of trout and by the way, they are getting big. Since we are less than a
mile from the Spur, which is in the National Park, I would assume it's that way all
over the Smokies and my guess is there's more ants per a given amount of area in
the park than they are at our house.

You can walk down a stream along the bank and unless you stop and look closely,
you may not see the first ant. I wouldn't sit too long though. You may end up with
some of them up your the legs of your pants. They are not easy to spot in the
forest.

I don't think I have ever seen a formation of ants march off into a trout stream. I
think they normally know, or I guess I should say instinctively react to stay on the
ground rather than crawl into the water. I think the major reason they occasionally
get in the streams is that they get washed in, or carried in by water that drains into
the streams. I believe a thunderstorm that drops a lot of water in a short time can
put plenty of ants in the water. It could also be that some get blown into the streams
by strong winds but those would have to be crawling around in the bushes, high
grass and trees, not on the ground.

I guess you have figured out that what I am getting to is the fact that a good time to
fish an imitation of an ant is just after a heavy downpour. This isn't to say that the
trout won't eat them at times when it hasn't rained in days because they will. What I
mean by this is that when small branches and trickles of water is draining the terrain
around a stream after a heavy rain, it carries some ants along with it. When this
happens, and the trout see appreciable numbers of ants coming into a stream at
any point, they would be well aware of it and concentrate on dinning on the sudden
supply of food being delivered to them.

Tomorrow, I will get into some fishing methods, techniques and ant flies that  work
well.

2011 James Marsh