06/19/11
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

A Father's Day Story:
I was very fortunate. My father and his father, my grandfather, of course, took me
fishing very often from the time I was old enough to walk. We fished rivers, lakes,
farm ponds and the Gulf of Mexico on a regular basis. One fishing trip I remember
vividly, took place after I was married and visiting my parents one weekend. My dad
and W. A. Daniel, my partner in a construction business at the time who also owned
another company dad worked for as an estimator, took me fishing just above
Guntersville Lake Dam. This was something W. A. and I did often and I dare say, a
type of fishing few have even done. We would anchor the boat about a hundred
yards above the dam's turbines (in the lake, not the river) and fish for striped bass
and white catfish. When the turbines are running, these fish and often other
species congregate near or on the bottom in one particular area in about twenty
feet of water. That's not so unusual but our bait was.
We fished with frozen
willow flies.
These are large Hexigenia mayflies usually called Great Olive Wing
Duns. They hatch in the lake and really turn on the fish but for only about a week or
so. After they die, they begin to have a very strong odor. During the time they
hatched, W. A. would scrape them off of trees and telephone poles where they
congregate thickly to mate, put them in freezer bags and freeze them. By the way, if
you try this, I highly suggest you hide them in the freezer and don't tell your wife.

Don't worry about flattening them out or damaging them. They end up a gooey
mess when thawed out. You put them in the boat frozen and when they begin to
thaw, you wad them up like a dough ball, put them on a hook and all types of fish
will eat them like they were rib-eye steaks. There's a trick to it and that's keeping
them on the hook, especially when you cast them on a baitcasting rod and reel.
You have to add lots of weight to get the bait down on the bottom in rather fast
water flowing towards the turbines which feed below the surface but have inlets with
grate covers on top to catch floating trash.

Both W. A. and I had done that many times but it was dad's first trip with us. He
always out fished the both of us everywhere else we fished, so we were not about
to tell him or show him anything. With our backs turned to him, we would wad the
frozen mayfly mess up in a tight ball around the hook and make a cast without
flexing the rod. If you didn't do it just right, the mayflies would all fall off during the
cast. If you did it right, the bait would usually never get to the bottom before a
striped bass would get it. Now these are not true striped bass I'm referring to. They
are white bass, locally called stripes in most Tennessee River lakes. They average
about a pound or two at the most. If the bait makes it to the bottom, you
automatically get a white catfish. They run about the same size. Often you can
catch one or the other on every cast.

Both W.A. and I begin to catch them very fast but not dad. He couldn't keep the
mayflies on the hook and in spite of asking us how we were doing it, we didn't tell
him. We replied that he needed to learn to fish and worse, soon begin to make fun
of him about not catching the first fish while we were loading the boat.   

To make a long story short. We overdid it and goofed. We forgot about his temper,
something I inherited, by the way. He took it for a few minutes and all of a sudden I
heard a splash and then seconds later, another splash. Both of our tackle boxes
were floating downstream towards the turbines. He threw them both overboard and
then said,
"lets see how many XXX fish you'all catch now!

We had to pull anchor, not an easy thing to do, and go down to turbines to get our
tackle boxes which were both full of water hung on top of the metal grates that
cover the turbines flush with the surface of the lake. He refused to fish any more.

Today, I would give not only every fishing item I own but everything else I
own for that matter, just to get to go fishing with him again.


Stream Conditions Looking Better
I was able to get to wet a hook yesterday afternoon, but just as soon it got wet, what
normally would be aggravating, turned out to be just fine with me. It started to rain
and rain hard. It didn't appear to be an isolated thunderstorm because the skies
were cloudy all day. A pilot would refer to them as embedded thunderstorms, which
from a flying standpoint, isn't good for small planes but the cloud cover was great
for fly fishing and the rain was great for the trout in the streams in the Smokies.

No, I didn't catch the first trout. I didn't even get to change the fly that was still tied
on the tippet which, of course, means I didn't put the rod up the last time I used it.
Usually when that happens, and it shouldn't, it means I was very tired when I
stopped fishing the last time. I think it was last Tuesday, if I remember correctly.

According to the National Weather Service precipitation report, the Smokies
received from a half to an inch of rain depending on the location. It's possible it's
still raining in the mountains as I'm writing this on Saturday night. I haven't checked
the radar but we still have a chance for more rain tonight and for tomorrow. When I
finish this article, my plan is not to lay eyes on this computer monitor until Monday
at the earliest.

The rain came just in time. Added to what fell just a few days ago and hopefully,
increased the amount of underground water, it may have well prevented a problem.
It will get warmer this coming week, but according to the long range forecast, there's
still a chance of rain three of the five next days. Hopefully, the stream levels will get
back close to normal and stay that way through the fall season. I love fishing the
low water, but neither I or the wild trout like it when it gets too low and hot at the
same time. This coming week should be a great time to fish the Smokies. I hope you
have an opportunity to fish.

2011 James Marsh