07/23/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives (Little Eastern BWOs)
2.    Little Sister Caddis (mostly Abrams Creek)
3.    Cream Cahills
4.    Little Yellow Stoneflies (Little Summer Stones)
5.    Little Green Stoneflies
6.    Slate Drakes
7. .  Streamers (Sculpin, Minnows)
8.    Inch Worms
9.    Grasshoppers
10.  Ants
11.  Beetles


Current Weather and Stream Conditions in the Smokies
Yesterday, I mentioned that the North Carolina side of the park, specifically the
Oconaluftee River and Cataloochee Creek watersheds, didn't receive the amount of
rain that the Little Pigeon River and Little River systems did. I didn't look at the data
closely. It was showing "unavailable" in the recent column. I noticed that but failed to
realize that affected what they were showing on the graph. Looking at it this morning, I
see that both these watersheds got a good dose of water during the past two days.

Cataloochee:

Oconaluftee:

Little River:

Notice the water fell about as fast as it rose on the North Carolina side. Little River did
also, but it appears it received more rain recently than the streams on the eastern
side of the mountains. It's flowing at 348 cfs at the time I am writing this at 6:00 AM this
morning.

A few Tips:
If your fishing this weekend and a heavy rain drops a lot of water where your fishing,
don't panic and think your trip has been ruined. You will just need to change
strategies.

If your fishing the high elevation brook trout streams, I doubt it will affect you that
much. The water usually drops very fast and of course there will be far less water than
you will find downstream in the same watershed.

If your fishing in the mid elevations and this happens, you will probably be smart to
take off the dry flies your using and fish subsurface with a nymph or streamer. This
doesn't mean dry flies won't work. It depends on several things, but mostly the water
clarity.

As long as the
water levels are rising and provided the visibility is low, I suggest
you
change to a streamer. Try something with a little chartreuse color in it and fish it
close to the banks. I also like solid black in off-colored water that's not too low in
clarity. You want the fish to see the fly, but just well enough to know something is
there.

When the
water begins to fall, look for places where the surrounding terrain is
draining into the streambed. If the flows are fairly substantial and the clarity low,
you should probably stick with the streamer.

If the flows are small, isolated trickles of water, but enough flow capable of bringing
ants, beetles, worms, various larvae, and other terrestrial foods into the stream, I
suggest you
change to an imitation of as terrestrial. I would try an ant or beetle
first.
Concentrate only on those types of areas along the banks and cover a
lot of water.

As long as the clarity of the water is fairly good, you may prefer fishing dry (surface)
terrestrial imitations. You may also consider dropping an wet ant or beetle from a dry
terrestrial such as a foam hopper.


Copyright 2011 James Marsh