Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives (Little BWOs)
2. Mahogany Duns
3. Little Yellow Quills (Heptagenia Group)
4. Little Yellow Stoneflies
5. Needle Stoneflies
6. Slate Drakes
7. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
9. Ants (includes Flying Ants)
Great Brown Autumn Sedge
It's not quite time to start seeing them just yet, but the cool weather trend of this week
should shorten the waiting time. We show the first of October as the start of the hatch
on our Great Smoky Mountains hatch chart, but if I remember correctly, I started
seeing a few before that in past years. At any rate, they will show up in the near future
and I need to cover the hatch beforehand, rather than after it's already underway.
The Great Brown Autumn Sedge is the last of the large aquatic insect hatches to take
place in the streams of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In fact, it's the last of
the large insect hatches to take place in the streams of the Eastern United States. It's
already underway in Shenandoah where Angie will be returning from as this is being
released. The hatch has already started in New England and most of the Northeast.
The problem in those areas is finding a stream that hasn't been recently flooded.
Those streams have really getting a beating this year.
First, let me solve a common confusion with the common names of two late season
large caddisfly hatches. I've noticed that many anglers confuse the common name of
the western October Caddis with the Great Brown Autumn Sedge. It makes absolutely
no difference what you call them, but if your talking fishing with anyone that fishes the
western streams as well as the Smokies, you will leave a question in their minds if you
refer to the Great Brown Autumn Brown Sedge as the October Caddis. Granted, as I
just wrote, the Great Autumn Sedge hatches in October and it's a large caddisfly but
that's about all there are in common with the two species of insects. They are also
called Fall Caddis and I see little wrong with that other than they are not the only
caddisfly to hatch in the Fall in many eastern streams. By the way, for those of you
that may not know, sedge is just another word for caddisfly.
The Great Brown Autumn Sedge is in the Limnephillidae family of caddisflies and the
Pycnopsyche genus. There are three species that are almost identical. They only live
in clear, mountain streams and always were there's a lot of timber. Wood is a key
element in their life. They build cases made out of wooden sticks. You will commonly
find them in the streams of the Smokies. It's quite amazing to watch a little clump of
sticks, arranged similarly to a stack of fire wood, as much as two inches long, crawl
around on the ground or a rock. The larvae will stick their little heads and legs out of
the wood pile and start trying to escape as soon as they think they are safe enough to
The October Caddis is in the Limnephilldae family but they are in the Dicasmoecus
genus. There are three main species of them - the jucundus, gilvipes and the atripes.
All of three of the species look very similar. They are more orange in color than the
Giant Brown Autumn Sedge which has an orange tint, but are more brown/cinnamon
than orange. The wings of the October caddis are very orange, almost a pure orange
By the way, entomologist think they build these long cases of wood in their pupa stage
of life to prevent trout from eating them. I'm not certain that's the case (how's that for
my joke of the day) but it makes sense. They are fairly large cases that consist of far
more wood than trout food.
We will return to Pigeon Forge just in time to cast a fly at the smallmouth I recently
discovered. I will also be casting a fly in the streams of the Smokies this weekend.
Stream and weather conditions should be excellent unless we get a heavy downpour
of rain in any of the watersheds. Although that's not very likely, it's possible. .
Adult Great Brown Autumn Sedge