Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives (Little Eastern BWOs)
2. Mahogany Duns
3. Cream Cahills
4. Little Yellow Stoneflies (Little Summer Stones)
5. Little Green Stoneflies
6. Slate Drakes
7. . Sculpin, Minnows (streamers)
8. Inch Worms
13. Flying Ants
Quick Update On The Fishing
I spent the weekend working with Chris on catching brown trout. Although he is use to
catching large, lake-run brown trout from Lake Ontario that move up into New York's
Salmon River, he had only caught a very few small stream, wild browns. During his trip
here during the 4th of July weekend, we focused on rainbows and brook trout. This
time he wanted to catch browns and that he did. He didn't just catch some, he
caught 11 brown trout on Saturday including two at 16 inches, one at 14 and the
others from 6 to 12. Amazingly, he only caught 2 rainbow trout all day Saturday.
Although we strictly focused on browns, the numbers, or more specifically the ratio of
browns to rainbows, surprised me.
Yesterday, didn't turn out quite that good but he did manage two more browns and
nine rainbows. We fished the upper part of Little River which was heavily "used". The
park was still very crowded this weekend and we didn't take the time to fish water that
wasn't beat to death by kids and anglers. We only fished for about three and a half
hours so he could get any early start back to Ft. Bragg.
I made him commit to fishing subsurface only 100% of the time and it paid off. The
only time he fished a dry fly was a couple of times when he fished shallow water and
used a hopper for an indicator. He mostly hi-sticked without an indicator. Being used
to fishing for steelhead gives him a strong tendency to swing the fly more than he
should in the Smokies but he had the high-stickin technique down pat in a very short
time. He picked the technique up very, very fast.
By the way, I didn't made a cast. I just drove Chris nuts telling him what to do. The
bottom line is, I don't see how the day could of turned out any better, especially since
this is about the worst possible time of the year you could devote to fishing for brown
trout. Chris and his wife will return next weekend and then as soon as he returns to Ft.
Bragg, he will be off to Afghanistan for a year. It will be his forth tour of duty overseas,
three of which were in the Marines and this time, with the Army Infantry. I'm more
concerned about his safety than he is. He is a very fine young man.
One of the large browns came on a small black Wooly Bugger and the other one on a
small black wet fly he managed to sneak in on me. We started fishing at 9:30 and
stopped at 3:00 PM and that included fishing Little River first and then moving to the
Oconaluftee around noon. The first large brown was caught within five minutes of the
time he climbed down into the Little River. Two of the larger browns came from
Oconaluftee smack in the mid day heat and the first large one (from Little River) near
the turn into Elkmont Campground. The water in the Lufte was much cooler.
Mahogany duns emerge in shallow, slower moving water close to fast water as
opposed to the moderate water runs and riffles the nymphs normally reside live in.
When the duns hatch, they usually are able to avoid the current seams before they
get caught up in them. Normally the water is fairly warm and their wings dry rather
fast. This means they leave the water quickly after they emerge.
This is completely unlike their close relatives, the Blue Quills that hatch in the early
spring. This means that you need to present our "Perfect Fly" Dun in the calmer water
immediately adjacent to the fast water, not the current seams or directly in the fast
water as your probably normally do.
Up and across presentations usually work best but if they are emerging in very slick or
smooth water, you may want to use a down and across presentation to get the
drag-free drift you need. This gets the tippet out of the view of the trout if done
As i said in the previous sections, these mayflies often hatch near the banks and
behind boulders where the water is calm and sometimes very shallow and clear. In
those cases you almost have to use a down and across or directly downstream
presentation for the fly to be effective.
Long, light leaders and tippets help fool the trout in the calmer water. This can be a
matter of casting to a spot, picking the line up and casting to another likely spot.
Sometimes, getting a long drag free drift is about impossible if you place the fly in
the type of water the Mahogany Duns hatch in. The fast water will catch the leader
and line and drag the fly out of the slow water. In these cases, you may have to
make a lot of cast where the fly remains on the water for only a short period of time.
Perfect Fly Mahogany Dun
Copyright 2011 James Marsh