03/29/12

Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
Hatching:
1.    Blue-winged Ollives and Little BWOs
2.    Blue Quills
3.    Quill Gordons
4.    Little Short Horned Sedges
5.    Little Brown Stoneflies
6.    Hendricksons & Red Quills
7.    American March Browns

Most available/ Near hatching and/or other types of available food:
8.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)

Update on the outlook for this weekend:
As sure as I write this about the current weather forecast, nature will prove me wrong,
but according to three weather sites I have studied extensively, about all that can be
expected in the way of rain in Great Smoky Mountain National Park is possible a few
thunderstorms with maybe, some lingering showers. Neither of the three weather sites
are expecting over a quarter of an inch of rain and that looks like Friday night and
Saturday morning. Even then, there only about a 50% chance of rain.

Of course, a forecast is like any estimate. It it subject to being wrong. That was proven
last night when it didn't rain or to my knowledge, even thunder like it wanted to rain.
Weather-wise, the high elevations of the mountains have a way of proving everything
wrong if based on the foothills.
The bottom line to this is, if your waiting on a
good weekend weather forecast for a spring day, I don't know what more you
could ask for.

Current stream levels are good. The water has fell down everywhere to wading levels
that are fine provided you use a little caution. Cataloochee Creek has the best levels
right now, Oconaluftee River is second and Little River just fell to within the okay
category with caution levels. Those are the only three with USGS stations. The Little
Pigeon and Middle Prongs have been running high (going by visual obserations) but
are getting in better shape. I don't know about the streams flowing into Cherokee Lake
but the precipitation maps show they should be in good shape. The slightly higher
water means faster flowing water and that makes it easier for you to fool the trout. Your
only problem will be handling the multiple hatches.

KISS A Bug Series - Eastern Green Drakes - Part 3
Spinners

If you ever want to see some truly explosive action on the surface from trout, try fishing
a Green Drake spinner fall near dark (and even after dark) where there are some large
brown trout. The Green Drake spinners are called Coffin Flies. You won't have to
watch your fly in the low light. You will hear the crash of the trout. The only thing is that
sometimes they may take a real one near your fly and you end up setting the hook and
being disappointed. It's possible to catch several large trout in a short period of time. I
video taped Angie catching four brown trout from twelve to sixteen inches on four
consecutive cast in Penns Creek Pennsylvania just before dark a few years ago. The
video was very grainy due to the low light (almost dark) situation. Each time her fly hit
the water, within seconds, a trout crashed her fly.

There's not any large browns in Abrams Creek, or at least I haven't caught any, but
there are some very nice size rainbows. If you could catch a cloudy day, or even if it is
raining and not raining heavily, you might well get in on some action in Abrams Creek
during legal fishing hours. This entire hatch and spinner fall only last about two weeks
on any given area of water.  My guess is that's happening right now or within the next
month for certain. The warmer weather may not have had the same warming effect on
the spring creek water that bubbles up out of the ground in upper Abrams Creek. The
hatch may not be as much affected as the other streams. I would be interested in
hearing from any of you regarding the timing of the hatch that notices it on Abrams
Creek this year.

On a clear day, spinners begin to appear just before dark with the males showing up
first and the females joining them later. The event usually will last for only an hour or
so. I have seen this take place on some spring creeks where it looked like the entire
sky over the water was full of humming birds.

After mating, the females drop their eggs by dipping their bellies on the surface of the
water. In addition to the females, the males usually land and depart the water before
dieing. It's during this time that the trout usually go crazy over them. After the females
have lost their eggs, the trout sometimes show a preference for the male spinners.
They all end up dead and usually drifting on the water.

On cloudy, rainy days, you may find the spinner fall occurring in the late afternoon
before sunset. At times it's effective to imitate the male spinners as well as the female’s
egg laying process.  That's why we have two spinner patterns - a male and a female
spinner. Both can be effective. We think it may be determined by the number of the
males and females on the water but that's pure speculation. What does at least seem
to be the situation is that trout prefer the males over the females at times. They do look
completely different. They are different sizes and colors.

A downstream presentation may be necessary in smooth water  Since you will be  
fishing in a  low light situation, an eight foot leader, with a two, foot long 4X tippet would
probably work well enough. The trout we have caught on the Green Drake spinner fall
in Pennsylvania's spring creeks (and that's a bunch of them) took the imitation as if
they wanted to kill it. They will hit the spinners with a loud noise. They will usually set
the hook themselves. I have had my fly reel start stripping out line  without even
knowing I had hooked a trout. Most anglers fish until long after dark. It appears the
trout continue to feed on the spinners until they are about all eaten. That's again, pure
speculation.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh
Eastern Green Drake Female Spinner
"Perfect Fly" Eastern Green Drake
Female Spinner (Coffin Fly)
All Images Thumbnails: Click to Enlarge
"Perfect Fly" Eastern Green Drake
Female Spinner  (Coffin Fly)
Notice the smaller size of the male