Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
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
10. Little Yellow Stoneflies (Yellow Sally)
Most available/ Other types of available food:
11. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
KISS A Bug Series - Light Cahills - Part 4
When trout eat this mayfly on the surface of the water, you will know it. They know they better
grab the insect quickly or it will be airbone in a hearthbeat. The Light Cahill duns don't spend
much time on the surface of the water. They hatch well into the season and the water is
usually in the mid fifties to sixty degrees at the time they hatch. The warmer the weather and
water, the less time they spend on the surface. Their wings dry fast and they usually depart
the water within seconds from the time they hatch. Theses mayflies hatch when the trout's
metabolism is near its peak and the trout don't waste any time eating them. The trout usually
take the Light Cahill dun imitations readily. You want usually have any trouble detecting the
As I have already written a few times, the Light Cahill mayflies hatch in the slower to moderate
flowing water that's immediately adjacent to their normal fast water habitat in the runs and
riffles. By the time the dun looses it's nymphal shuck, they are usually caught up in the current
seams that develop between the fast and slower moving water. They usually finish getting rid
of their shuck to become duns near the ends of the runs and riffles.
You want to start by presenting the dun near the ends of the runs and riffles and work your
way upstream making up and across presentations. Ideally, the fly will drift in the current seams
that concentrate the emerging mayflies. If the upstream water has much turbulence, you will
usually find the duns drifting about the same place you see bubbles floating on the surface of
the water. If LIght Cahills are hatching and your fly is drifting in the bubbles drag free, get
ready to set the hook.
Often the emergers work just as well or better than the duns. The problem many anglers have
is they are not nearly as easy to fish. Catching trout on the dun imitation is usually much more
fun. They tend to sip emergers and crash the duns. The trout usually become well aware
the duns can escape before they can grab them.
Short upstream, or slightly up and across cast, work better than longer presentations. It makes
it much easier to get a drag free drift. The more line you have on the water, the more difficult it
is to get a drag free drift in the areas these mayflies hatch. Keep your rod high and most of
you fly line off the water to prevent drag. Another advantage of the short cast is you can cover
a lot of water fast as you move upstream. Hit the most likely seams and keep moving. You will
rarely find a heavy concentration of these mayflies.
In some situations you may possibly get by with a 4X tippet but usually a 5X is much better.
Although you can and in most cases should use a 7 and half foot leader in fast pocket water
streams of the Smokies, most of the time a nine foot long leader and tippet works better in
smoother flowing water common in tailwaters and other types of streams.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh