01/9/12

Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Midges
2.    Little Winter Stoneflies
3.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)

Jump Start on "Fly Fishing Strategies - What Fly To Use - Part 25"
I wrote yesterday about the beautiful weather in the Smokies. If you live in the Southeast, I'm sure
you are experiencing the warm, spring-like weather. I noticed this morning that the National
Weather Service has added the expected rainfall amounts to the forecast. They are not expecting
much today or tomorrow, but Wednesday they are predicting from one to two inches. If the stream
levels stay up and we get two inches or more, that could possible blow the streams out a short
time. That's always difficult to predict. I'm pointing this out to imply that if you have an opportunity
to fish this part of the week, I recommend you do it today or tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I will be doing the weekly fly fishing strategy article. Since the water level may be high
beyond tomorrow and for certain, the water temperature will drop back down low Thursday, I will
go ahead and point out the strategy should be very similar to that I proposed in the last article for
last week. There's a lot of small, immature crawler and swimmer nymphs in the water for the trout
to eat, but other than baitfish and minnows, there's little else that easy for the trout to acquire.
The crawler and swimming nymphs cannot hide near as well as the clinger nymphs. Remember,
most of the mayflies and all of the stoneflies in the Smokies are clinger nymphs. They don't
become easy to acquire until a week or two prior to the time they hatch.

None of the crawler nymphs are large at this time of year. None have reached their fully grown
stage. All of them will have to molt at least a time or two to reach their full grown size. Most of the
swimming nymphs are mayflies most of which are called Blue-winged Olives. These too are very
small. Some are just beginning to hatch from eggs. There are plenty of one year old Slate Drake
nymphs.

The point I'm getting to, is that the main food the trout will be eating under the current conditions,
with only the exceptions I noted, will be very small nymphs. In the case of larvae, there's one
exception to this and that's small, immature Rock Worms, which are Green Sedge Caddisflies and
Midges. The little rock worms are exposed to the trout and so are the midge larvae, which for the
most part (midges), aren't burrowers.

I'll put it this way. With the warm water we are currently experiencing,
you cannot expect
anything to hatch.
It's too warm for the Little Winter Stoneflies to hatch. The BWOs have
hatched except for some almost rare and tiny (hook size 22) species.
Today and tomorrow, a
small nymphs no larger than a hook size 18 will offer your highest odds of success
. You
can probably do well drifting them up off the bottom near the ends of the runs and riffles.
Another other option is to sight fish for a large brown trout. That's fine is you want to
devote the time and effort and realize you may not succeed.

The warmer, slightly higher water, and considering the cloud cover we should have for the next
three days, should make conditions excellent for streamer fishing.
That will give you higher
odds of success, with still a very good chance to hook a larger size trout.
Personally,
that would be the strategy I would follow but I do want to point out, it will not provide as high of
odds of success numbers wise as the small nymphs will provide. It may also catch the largest
trout in the park if you can land it on the lighter tippet.

Thursday, these conditions will change for certain. I'll get into that tomorrow.  
Copyright 2012 James Marsh