08/12/11
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
9.    Grasshoppers
10.  Ants
11.  Beetles
12.  Craneflies
13.  Flying Ants

The Needlefly (Stonefly)
I stated the following in a 2009 article and I will state it again. The Needlefly is one of,
if not the, most overlooked aquatic insect in the Smokies. I will add to this by saying
that starting as early as late August and continuing on until as late as mid-December,
these insects are about as important as any that will hatch in Great Smoky Mountains
National Park. The only other aquatic insects to rival the little Needleflies in terms of
importance as trout food from now until late Fall are the Little Yellow Quills, a second
go around of other Little Yellow Stonefly species (called Yellow Sallies locally), and
the second (Fall) hatch of the bi-brooded Blue-winged Olives. I don't think any of the
caddisflies, including the Great Brown Autumn Sedge, are feed on by trout as much
as the Needleflies.

These little stoneflies represent one of the nine main families of stoneflies, the
Leuctridae family. In their adult stage of life, they are the easiest to identify stonefly
that exist. They are quite different from the other smaller stoneflies.











The adults are a hook size 18. If you included the wing that extends out well past the
abdomen, they would be a larger size.

Most of the time anglers think these are caddisflies because in flight, they look far
more like a caddisfly than a stonefly. When they are not flying, they don't resemble a
caddisfly at all. Each Fall I hear guys talking about Little Brown caddisflies when most
likely they are referring to Little Needle Stoneflies. By the way, another common name
for these stoneflies is the "roll-wing stonefly". The needle name comes from the long,
narrow shape of their bodies.

In their nymphal stage of life, they look similar to the Little Brown and Little Yellow
stoneflies except for the color. The nymphs and adults are small, or about a hook size
18 and are a brownish yellow color, unlike the Little Yellow Stonefly nymphs which are
brown..

In the Smokies these little stoneflies hatch in large quantities over a long period of
time and are a very important part of the trout's diet. They are just as plentiful in the
high elevations streams as they are anywhere and they don't seem to mind the low pH
that exist in some streams at all. They are not plentiful in the lower elevations.

They don't cover as large an area or hatch over as long a period of time as the many
species of Little Yellow Stoneflies and members of other stonefly families commonly
called Yellow Sallies, but it's only because the catch-all, common name "Yellow Sally"
covers several different species of stoneflies that are a yellow color.

A big plus for the Leuctridae stonefly species is the fact they hatch during the late
Summer and Fall when there are few other hatches taking place. We will get into that
tomorrow, but you fish this hatch about the same way you fish the Little Yellow
Stonefly hatches.

Copyright 2011 James Marsh