04/17/12

Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
Hatching:
1.    Blue-winged Olives and Little BWOs
2.    Green Sedges (Caddisflies)
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
8.    Giant Stoneflies
9.    Light Cahills

Most available/ Other types of available food:
10.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)

I'm Delaying This Week's Strategy Article:
The stream conditions in the Smokies are subject to change within the next day or two, and I
would like to have a better idea of the rainfall amounts before outlining a strategy for fishing
this week and weekend. Today, the weather forecast is calling for a high near 68 with showers
and a possible thunderstorm. The chances are listed at 70% with rainfall amounts from a
quarter to a half inch. That's all well and fine except they are saying the chances for tonight go
to 90% with rainfall amounts from a half to three quarters of an inch. The chances on
Wednesday morning are 60% with rainfall amounts of a quarter to a half inch. Sounds okay
until you add that up to a possible inch or two of rain. I doubt that will be the case but it's very
possible.

On top of that, they are expecting more rain for Friday and Saturday. I will probably end up
making a big guess based on the forecast, but maybe by tomorrow we will have a better idea
of what to expect in the way of stream levels. We could have conditions ranging from the rain
bringing the streams up to ideal levels to completely blown out conditions for the weekend. It is
going to rain for sure. With two weather frontal systems approaching, I will probably end up
with a strategy that will need revising near the end of the week. I'm also hoping to do a little
"field testing" today.

As of right now, conditions are excellent in all respects.

KISS A Bug Series - Sulphurs - Part 1
General
Although we have some other insects I need to get to as soon as possible, (Giant Stoneflies,
Light Cahills, Green Sedges and others) I'm going ahead and covering the Sulphur mayflies
because they are very similar to the Eastern Pale Evening Duns I just finished writing about.
Like the Eastern Pale Evening Duns, the Sulphurs only exist in isolated areas of some of the
lower and middle elevations streams of the park. They are very important where they exist and
they can provide some excellent dry fly action when they hatch, but they only exist in high
numbers in isolated areas. The fast pocket water, freestone streams of the Smokies just don't
provide a very good habitat for crawler nymphs. As I have mentioned often in this series, the
water is much better suited for the clinger nymphs and as a result, the clingers represent the
majority of the mayflies in the streams of the park. Of course, all stonefly nymphs are clinger
nymphs.

As a side note, the Sulphurs are very plentiful, in fact, the most plentiful of all mayflies that
exist in the Clinch River and the South Holston River. This is true even though the Eastern
Pale Evening Duns exist in plentiful quantities in both of these streams and are usually
misidentified as Sulphurs.

The Sulphurs are slightly smaller than the Eastern Pale Evening Duns. As mentioned in the
EPED section, the abdomens of the Sulphur mayflies are a true sulfur color. The EPED are
more of a tanish yellow color. The most important difference is the two mayflies prefer slightly
different types of water. You will find the EPEDs in faster water than the Sulphurs. Don't
misunderstand this to mean they prefer fast water. It just means they prefer faster water than
the Sulphurs which prefer moderate to slow water. Whereas the EPEDs will inhibit the
moderately flowing riffles and runs, the Sulphurs prefer the slower moving water of the pockets
and pools of the streams.

These should start hatching about two weeks past the start of the Pale Evening Duns. The
hatches often overlap. Normally they would start about the middle of May but things are
running at least two weeks ahead of schedule. I think they will begin to emerge in the Smokies
as early as the last week of April to no later than the first week of May.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh
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