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
"New" Fly Fishing Strategy Series (What Fly To Use) - Part 3
Remember: The key is to imitate the insects and or other food that is most
available and easiest for the trout to acquire.
If you haven't read the first part of this series (What Fly to Use 1), and (What Fly to
Use Part 2) please do so because it will make the following much more meaningful.
Much of what should happen this week and weekend should follow the same thing I
predicted last week in the above two articles. Since then, I have put some time in on
the water including a couple of afternoons, all day Saturday and most of Sunday. If
you will read yesterdays article, you will see the results of our very successful fishing
trips which were targeted only to brown trout.
I didn't see any Mahogany Duns but they could be hatching at a lower elevation than I
fished. We did fish an hour or so early in the morning not far above Metcalf Bottoms
on Little River. Again, fish imitations of them ONLY if you see them hatching.
I didn't see any Cream Cahills but there could still be some left in the brook trout
streams which we did not fish. Fish imitations of them ONLY if you see them hatching.
The Little Yellow Stoneflies (Summer Stones) didn't appear anywhere we fished but
again, they could exist at a higher elevation than we fished. If they are hatching, you
will see some egg layers near dark. If you do see some, fish the nymph the next day
beginning at about 7 PM. When you see egg laying activity start, swap to the adult
imitation for the most fun, or continue fishing the nymph for more fish. Remember, this
is hit or miss depending on where your fishing. I give your chances of finding them
only about 10% this coming week.
The Little Green Stoneflies are hatching but mostly at the ends of pools and in the
mid elevations. I saw plenty of the adults flying around at most of the locations
we fished. Fishing an imitation of the nymphs very late in the day should be very
productive. Also, imitating the egg layers with an adult pattern will work provided they
are depositing their eggs. Remember, stoneflies can hatch and be around for a week
or two prior to depositing their eggs.
The Slate Drakes are in the middle of their hatch period and as reported last week,
that lowers the odds of imitating the nymphs. I didn't find any shucks or adults
depositing eggs over the weekend. Keep in mind though, an imitation of the big
nymph is a good fly to use at this time of year anytime of the day, where they are
hatching or not. I wouldn't place more importance on it than the BWOs I'll mention next
Remember, these are Little Blue-winged olives and include several species. These
are size 18 at the largest and mostly size 20 with some males even smaller. We found
some huge hatches of very tiny BWOs, so tiny they probably wouldn't be productive to
match. There were plenty of size 18 and 20's on the Oconaluftee River this past
weekend. Keep in mind that some of the spinners, depending on the species, will fall
in the mornings rather than the late afternoons and evenings. Little BWOs (non baetis
species) will most likely be hatching wherever you are. They are even in the high
elevation brook trout streams but vary greatly, depending on the stream. The BWO
nymph, or emerger or dun (when they are hatching) should be the number one fly you
should use. They will catch trout and they will even catch large trout, so don't let the
small fly size fool you. High-stick'n the nymph with weight is your best bet. You can
also try a beetle or hopper dry fly as an indicator, especially if your fishing rather
shallow water. Drop the nymph below our Japanese Beetle, hook size 14, or our
Sandwich Hopper, size 10 or 12.
Like last week, I still recommend you start the day out with a streamer, provided your
fishing early before much light hits the water. If not, start the day with using the BWO
nymph and don't change it. You will catch fish. If you don't, your doing something bad
wrong, like making poor presentations, letting the trout see you or not following other
I mentioned last week, an exception you may try is fishing terrestrials. This is only
provided you follow the details of last weeks recommendations. You may want to
review what I wrote about fishing terrestrial imitations in the park.
Mahogany Dun Spinners
By the way, notice that I haven't yet listed Mahogany Duns as hatching and that's
because they really haven't started. We show them beginning near the first of the
month of August but that can vary a week or two and it will also vary with the
elevation. Some will hatch in water too warm for trout at the very beginning of the
hatch. We will make several changes in the insects listed above about the middle of
this month. I'm just getting a head start on covering the insects that will hatch.
Many anglers may not ever even notice the Mahogany Dun spinners. They are easy
to see if the lighting is just right but impossible to see otherwise. The most noticeable
thing about them is the up and down dance they perform. The males, called Jenny
Spinners, fly up and down about a foot or two. The Jenny Spinner has a almost
They look different from the females which turn a basic rusty color. The males may or
may not fall in the water and are not near as important as the female Mahogany Duns.
Present the "Perfect Fly" Mahogany Dun Spinner into the calm water areas -the ends
of pools, eddies, pockets behind rocks, etc. The fish will just sip the spinners and you
may not notice the takes at all. It is about impossible to see your fly. You just have to
watch for a small swirl or your line to move. The trout are remaining in one area
looking for the spinners, so if you don't get a take in one place, try another.
Perfect Fly Mahogany Dun Spinner
Copyright 2011 James Marsh