04/06/12

Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
Hatching:
1.    Blue-winged Olives and Little BWOs
2.    Blue Quills
3.    Cinnamon Caddis (Mostly Abrams Creek)
4.    Little Short Horned Sedges
5.    Eastern Green Drakes (Abrams Creek)
6.    Hendricksons & Red Quills
7.    American March Browns

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

Changes in Above Insect/Food list / Flies You Need
Notice there are a couple of changes in the above list of insects and as a result, changes in
the flies you need. We removed the Quill Gordons and Little Brown Stoneflies. Although there
are probably still a very few around the higher elevations, the great majority have hatched.

Current Weather and Steam Conditions:
It's early Friday morning and not raining here in Pigeon Forge. According to the radar, there is
still some light precipitation to the west but for the most part, the front has passed. It will be
cooler and clear today. The high pressure system should remain in effect through the
weekend. This isn't exactly good for hatches but the park sure doesn't need any more rain at
this time.

All three stream USGS stations (Little River, Oconaluftee River and Cataloochee Creek) near
the park are registering in the "wading not recommended" category. I haven't seen the Little
Pigeon River yet but it was high yesterday, so it's probably rolling strong. You may find some
small, headwater streams you could wade before the day is over. The good news is the
streams will start dropping (one already has) and continue to drop throughout the day. They
will still be high tomorrow, or Saturday, because the ground is very wet but they will continue to
fall throughout the weekend. Hopefully, by tomorrow afternoon there will be some areas of the
larger streams you can wade provided you are very cautious.

KISS A Bug Series - Cinnamon Caddis (Sedge)
Larva

Note:
Although these caddisflies are only plentiful in Abrams Creek in the park, those of you
who fish tailwaters in the Southeast and other streams with a higher pH, may find the
information useful. The tailwaters all have good populations of Cinnamon Caddis.

I went over how pH levels affect the population of these caddisflies yesterday and pointed out
that most all the streams in the park have only a few. Abrams Creek has plenty of them. I
mentioned where algae was present there were usually Cinnamon Caddis present.

These caddisflies need plankton to survive and acidic, freestone streams that have little
plankton are about the only trout streams that doesn't have them. To make this simple for you,
consider this.
If you find the rocks in the stream you are fishing are slick, and you
have trouble wading without slipping, you can rest assured that there will be a good
population of net-spinning caddisflies in the stream
. In the Eastern United States and
parts of the Mid-west, most of these net-spinners will be
Ceratopsyche species, which are the
Cinnamon Caddisfles. There will also be some Spotted Sedges, or members of the
Hydropsyche genus. Some anglers call the Cinnamon Caddis "Spotted  Sedges'. There's little
difference in them. The common names are easily confused because it depends on the extent
and contrast of the spots that appear on their wings. Most all of the species within the big
family of net-spinner caddisflies have some spots on their wings.

Keep in mind that where the caddisflies are plentiful, they are very important. The
different species hatch at different times from about the middle of April (earlier this year) until
the middle of September. When they are not hatching, the larva are often available for trout to
eat. They stay under little open shelters (not cases) they build on the rocks, but eat the food
they catch in their little silk nets. When fully open, these nets are about the size of a pea at the
very largest. If you pick a rock up from the stream they will collapse and you will probably not
be able to see them. In the current they remain open much like a parachute. The larvae repel
down the silk line to the nets to feed and that's when the trout eat them the most.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh
Various methods of Imitating the larvae hanging at the end of the silk line have been
developed over the years, but we have not had that good of results with them, and we do not
recommend that approach. You may want to try it and come to your own conclusion about it.
We do better just fishing our Perfect Fly larva imitation on the bottom. It looks almost exactly
like the real thing. The legs and tail of the fly will move around some in the current like the real
ones.  

You want to fish this fly in the riffles with a weight attached a few inches above the fly. We use
small split shot. An up and across presentation works best in rough water such as pocket
water and riffles. Allow the fly to swing all the way around and downstream keeping it near the
bottom.

If the water is smooth, you may want to use a longer down and across presentation. Mend your
line as soon as the fly hits the water to help get it down to where the split shot will bounce
along the bottom. Allow the fly to swing all the way around, directly downstream of your
position. Step downstream and repeat the cast to cover new water.

By the way,
this fly is deadly on all the tailwaters in the Smoky Mountains area as well
as most other tailwaters. Fish it when there isn't a hatch taking place, which of course, is most
of the time. You will want to switch to a pupa when a hatch begins.
Perfect Fly "Cinnamon Sedge Larva"
Click image to enlarge