Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
2. Little Winter Stoneflies
3. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Little Winter Stoneflies
I started to write one of my normal "bug" articles, to reveal what I know about the Little Winter
Stoneflies that are beginning to hatch on the streams of the Smokies, but I suddenly stopped and
tried to figure out a way to make the article more interesting than my usual article on aquatic
insects. The more I thought about it (well, actually only about ten minutes or less), the more the
following came to mind. So, But before I get started: Attention!
There's Such A Thing As "Voodoo Fishanomics"
The typical angler's attention level for the bugs trout eat is short and sweet. During the
past few years, I've written hundreds of articles about the "bugs" that trout eat. Most of my articles
on aquatic insects probably maintains the interest of the typical fly guy for only a few seconds
before his or her attention level begins to rapidly decline. About the only thing I think would hold
their interest for a few more seconds is a picture of a large mayfly dun. That magically directs the
mind of the typical angler to envision a trout rising to the surface of a trout stream to clobber his
or her dry fly. From that spit second on, the mind of the typical angler begins to picture dry flies.
The extent of their knowledge ends right then and there. From that point on, they focus only on
the fly they are going to use and the stream they are going to use it on.
In the minds of many anglers, they don't need any other information. In order to be successful,
they think they need to know only two things - "which fly the trout are hitting" and
"how's the fishing".
They may go fishing two or three, maybe as much as ten times, during any given year and end
up having what they consider a good day of fishing about one out of four times. They may be
disappointed but they don't usually get discouraged when they don't catch as many fish as they
wanted to catch because they usually hear something like "you should have been here
yesterday", or "the fishing is slow right now". As a general rule, they never stop to think that
their lack of success had anything to do with the fact they really didn't know what they
were doing. They don't relate the lack of success to their lack of knowledge and skill. They
relate it only to "the fishing is slow" or "the fishing is good" type of scenarios.
Now there's absolutely nothing wrong with anyone approaching fly fishing for trout as I have just
described. It's a sport that should be more than anything else, relaxing and fun. In this same
respect, it isn't any different than any other type of fishing. In my over 60 years of fishing, 31
years of which have been the prime source of my livelihood (how I have made my
living), that part of fishing hasn't changed any. It doesn't make any difference if it's bass
fishing, bream fishing, walleye fishing, saltwater bottom fishing, bonefishing, sailfishing or marlin
fishing, fishing success, or the lack of it, follows the same exact scenarios.
It's up to you, the individual angler, to decide how you want to approach fly fishing and or for that
matter, any other type of fishing. There's absolutely nothing wrong with anyone taking their
fishing lightly and not giving a flip about the infinitesimal number of details involved with improving
their knowledge or skills. I'm pointing this out only for one reason. I want to make certain you
know there's a choice. Anyone can improve their skills and knowledge about fishing and by
doing so, improve their odds of success. They don't have to settle for luck only. The reason I'm
pointing out what should be obvious to anyone is because there are many anglers, some
guides and even some fly shop owners and employees that are actually such mediocre,
amateur anglers themselves, that they think fishing success has more to do with the
fish than the angler.
It's up to you to determine if you want to accept the challenge of catching trout by learning
more about the trout and the food they rely on to survive, or if you're perfectly content with being
a mediocre angler. If you choose the later, then a "fishing gauge" may be helpful. That's a
gauge that usually indicates one individual's opinion as to whether or not the fish are bitting. It will
tell those that believe in voodoo fishanomics, what they're going to catch without them even
having to go. Why go when you can simply look at a voodoo fishing gauge?
From now on, just go fishing when the voodoo gauges say "excellent". I promise you if
you do that, you will see a big change in what the voodoo gauges normally show. I'm betting they
will show "slow" or "poor" fishing only when it's below zero, a tornado warning is in effect, or a
national disaster has just occurred in the park..
I'll do my best to make any future articles on "bugs", as interesting and informative as possible. I
hope you read them and I'm positive that if you do, it will help you to increase your odds of
Copyright 2012 James Marsh