Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2. Little Yellow Quills (Heptagenia Group)
3. Needle Stoneflies
4 Slate Drakes
5 Great Brown Autumn Sedge
7. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
When the pupae hatch into two winged adults, there's little time for the trout to catch
them although they sometimes do. The adults usually leave the water just as soon as
they are free of their shuck. As mentioned in yesterday's article on midges, most of
them are eaten by trout when they are still in their pupa stage of life and therefore,
you are better off fishing pupae imitations than adult imitations during the actual
hatch. Keep in mind you can fish the pupa imitation in the surface skim. It doesn't
have to be fished below the surface. In other words, you're not going to have very
good odds when you're fishing an imitation of the adult during the actual hatch.
After the midges hatch from the pupae, they buzz about in erratic motions, darting
about in an unpredictable pattern. The adults become important to anglers when they
are mating and depositing their eggs. They mate in swarming masses. It's common to
see fish rising and midges skittering along the surface of the water at the same time in
just about any type of water that holds trout. Most adult species skim the surface of
the water when they deposit their eggs. They rarely lite on the water to deposit their
eggs but they do usually end up falling and dying on the water after they deposit their
Although this isn't the case very often in the streams of the Smokies and other
freestone, pocket water streams, It's not uncommon on some waters to see large
clusters of midges along the bank. When this happens you will usually see trout rising
to them. These clusters of midges occur during the time the midges are mating and
usually, in streams where there's large concentrations of midges. The current and
wind combine to collect them along the banks and in current seams in clusters. This
will usually concentrate the trout and cause a feeding frenzy. It's not uncommon to
see trout feeding on the surface even in very cold water when there's clusters of
midges on the surface.
Fishing Imitations of the Adults:
It isn't easy to see the hook size 20 and 22 dry fly imitations of the adults on the water.
This is especially true when your fishing water that isn't flowing smoothly which is
usually the case in the streams of the Smokies. It's also common for trout to just sip
the adult egg layers from the surface with little surface disturbance. If you have
trouble seeing the small dry flies, you may try fishing the adult midge fly in tandem
with a larger dry fly. The larger fly acts like a strike indicator except it won't necessarily
go under when a trout takes the midge.
On the streams of the Smokies, and other similar fast flowing pocket water streams, a
nine foot, 6X leader is usually plenty long and light enough. Tie on a hook size 16 dry
fly such as a Blue-winged Olive dun, for example. Tie an 18 inch long section of 6X
tippet to the bend of the BWO dry fly hook and the size 20 or 22 imitation of the adult
midge on the tag end. When a trout takes the adult midge fly, you will see the larger
BWO dry fly stop drifting or move in a direction it wouldn't otherwise move.
Our "Perfect Fly" Cream Adult Midge Imitation. This is one of our most popular
and best selling flies. It comes in hook sizes 20 and 22 and is of course, much, much
smaller in actual size than the image.
Our New DVD Release "Stalking Appalachian Trout".
Copyright 2011 James Marsh