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
7. Little Yellow Stoneflies
8. Little Green Stoneflies
9. Golden Stoneflies
10. Slate Drakes
11. Streamers (Sculpin, Minnows)
12. Inch Worms
Brook Trout Streams - Part 1
It's the time of year when the high elevation streams really become important, so for
the next few days I will be pointing out some high elevation brook trout streams (and
some not so high), many of which you may be familiar with and some you may not
be familiar with.
I doubt many of you know that LeConte Creek that flows along Cherokee Orchard
Road just outside the city limits of Gatlinburg has brook trout. In fact, I think it was
the first stream that the park biologist restored with native brook trout.
I first had second thoughts about mentioning it. It's easy to access and probably
quite fragile in the sense that it could easily be over-fished, so if you do fish it,
please keep that in mind. It can also be accessed from Rainbow Falls Trail.
Cream Cahill Nymphs
Once you know a Cream Cahill hatch is occurring, or even if you know one
occurred on another stream at about the same elevation, you may want to try
fishing an imitation of the Cream Cahill nymph. Now if you have read much of what I
have written in the past about nymphs, you know that I contend with very good
reasons that having a good imitation of the real nymphs is even more important
than having a good imitation of the duns. Without going into it in detail, let me just
say that's because the trout can get a much better view of a nymph than they can a
dun. They can also view it much longer than they can view a dun drifting on the
surface of the water.
Once an insect begins to hatch, the trout know it. I mean after all, this takes place in
their living rooms. Once they start seeing a certain nymph, they will begin to focus
on them. Now, I am not saying that they will do that exclusive of all other insects, but
they will focus on what's most available and plentiful and right now, the number of
nymphs in the streams of the Smokies have less than half of what's available at the
start of the year. That's because many of them have hatched and their offspring
are either eggs or tiny nymphs. When your fishing an imitation of a particular
nymph that's moving around exposed to hatch, you have higher odds of success.
It's that simple.
Even more important than the particular fly or imitation of the nymph you are
fishing, is the particular location the nymphs hatch in the stream. In this case, it's
the closest proximity of slow to moderate speed water that's to fast water runs and
riffles. This may be the margins of the edges of the stream, pockets and any place
there's slow to moderately moving water close to fast water. When your fishing the
nymph in those places, rather than the fast water itself, you have just increased
your odds again. When your fishing a very good imitation of the particular nymph,
in this case a Cream Cahill nymph, in the right area of the stream, you have much
higher odds of success. Of course, you must present it without spooking the trout
and it must drift at the same speed of the current the nymph is in to appear natural.
You should fish the Cream Cahill nymphs from the time you start fishing in the
morning, up until you begin to see duns appearing on the surface or happen to see
them around the banks. You may not see them as they come off the water. Once
that happens, you should switch to an emerger or dun Cream Cahill fly pattern.
Fish your imitation heavily weighted, right on the bottom 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
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 like short cast works
better. Strike indicators can be used but I feel like they hurt the presentation by
keeping the fly off of the bottom, especially when the water is low and clear. Use a
relatively short leader of about seven and a half 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.
By the way, I don't mean this in a bragging sense, but we have the only specific
imitation of a Cream Cahill nymph. Most generic nymphs are not very good
imitations of this mayfly.
2011 James Marsh