02/06/12

Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
Hatching:
1.    Midges
2.    Little Winter Stoneflies

Most available/ Near hatching and other types of available food:
3.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
4.    Blue Quills  (Nymphs)     
5.    Blue-winged Olives (Nymphs)

Fishing Conditions the Past Weekend
I drove to the park and stopped at two places on the Little Pigeon River about 3:00 PM Friday
afternoon to check the water temperature and to see if I could find anything hatching.. At both
places, one just inside the park and the other at the Chimney Picnic area, the temperature was
45 degrees. I didn't spot anything hatching or that had hatched.

A customer from Knoxville, whom I had met that morning, called earlier that afternoon to say the
water temperature was 48 degrees at Cosby Creek. He didn't catch any trout but reported the
stream was covered with what he thought were very small Blue=winged Olives.

Saturday, my visitors and I arrived at the Picnic area of Metcalf Bottoms on Little River about
10:00 AM. The water temperature was 46 degrees. One of them fished there for about two hours
or so. I didn't see the first insect of any kind and not one fish was caught. The water was just a
little high and strong but okay to wade in most places. We moved on up the river to check a long
run out. The same situation occurred there. From there we moved to Jake's Creek. I didn't see
the first bug there either. That stop produced one small rainbow trout.

From there, we moved to Little River just above the bridge at Elkmont where one of us fished until
about 3:30. We did see a few Little Winter Stoneflies there. These were Taeniopterygidae family
Winter stoneflies that were about a hook size 16. They were crawling around on the rocks. We
also found one Quill Gordon cripple that wasn't able to open and dry its wings.

The water was high and most of it fast enough to be white. Checking the precipitation map and
stream level gauge on Sunday morning, it was clear the water had risen all day Saturday. You
have to take into consideration the river is much wider at the gauge near Townsend several miles
downstream (from a height standpoint) and that it takes a few hours for water near Elkmont to
reach the station. It actually came up about a foot and a half while we were fishing.

Most of the park had around three-quarters to an inch of rain in the higher elevations although It
only sprinkled where we fished. In places as much as an inch and a half of rain fell in the park on
Saturday, mostly on the North Carolina side. At Elkmont it was quite high and even out of the
banks in places.

We spotted three people fishing from Metcalf Bottoms to Elkmont, one of which was using a
spinning rod. A couple of guys showed up at Metcalf Bottoms to fish as we were leaving.

Yesterday afternoon (Sunday) I returned to Little River just to check the conditions and also the
Middle Prong. I spotted three people fishing the entire distance from the turn to Elkmont to the Y
and including most of the Middle Prong. I talked to one gentleman who had fished most of the day
who had yet to catch a fish. He said he had fished dry flies all day. Conditions should have been
some better yesterday but I didn't take the time to fish. I did enjoy watching the Superbowl.

I will be doing the weekly fly fishing strategy article tomorrow.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh