04/30/12
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
10.  Little Yellow Stoneflies (Yellow Sally)
11.  Eastern Pale Evening Duns
12.  Sulphurs

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

The Strange Weather Is Just Keeping on Keeping On
Back at the first of the month of April, when the Winter and early Spring heat wave was
continuing, I noticed that AccuWeather was giving a long range forecast for much cooler
weather than normal for the last two weeks of April. That turned out true and true enough that
frost killed three-fourths of my tomatoes and other plants I set out too early in the year. The
cool spell recently ended and it now appears were back to a warmer than normal weather
pattern.

According to all the weather sites, this week is going to be in the mid to high eighties with warm
nights continuing. AccuWeather does show much cooler temperatures for next week in their
long range forecast. They show the highs ranging from the mid sixties to the mid seventies. If
they are right, we will have a warm week ahead and cool week following it. It just seems like
everything this year has been reverse of normal. Much of it may be due to the fact that I'm
paying closer attention to it than I normally do.  

The strange weather isn't just occurring in the Smokies. It's occurring throughout most of the
nation. I noticed Yellowstone National Park is having a runoff situations more common to what
normally occurs during June than late April. While Angie was sun bathing at home last week,
anglers were shoveling snow from their driveways in many northern areas. Before that took
place, Hendricksons were hatching in some of the same areas.

While the warm weather definitely created early aquatic insect hatches throughout the country,
it seems the cooler weather spells had little to no effect in slowing the development of the
larvae down. Hatches in the Smokies have been occurring faster than I can cover the various
species of insects in my KISS Bug Series. Green Sedges, Little Yellow Stoneflies and Giant
Stoneflies have already started to hatch before I have been able to get to them.

It isn't just the aquatic insects that's developing ahead of the normal schedule. I noticed some
Carpenter ants in my yard last week large enough to be the highlight of a National Geographic
TV program.

When aquatic insects hatch and mate, they soon die. Mayflies only last a day or two.
Adult caddisflies and stoneflies live a little longer than that but usually less than a few days at
the most. After that, the various species exist only as tiny eggs for many days. When the eggs
hatch, they are tiny, tiny insects in their larval stage of life and they remain tiny insects for a
few months. There's always less available food for the trout in the Smokies during the late
Summer and early Fall period of time than any other time of the year. I have attempted to get
some answers from the entomologist I normally communicate with as to just how early hatches
affects the trout but so far, I have had little to no success. No one seems to know the answer.
The guesses they have on the effect on the amount of food the trout will have to eat varies
from little to no effect, to it having a huge effect on the amount of it.  I honestly don't think
anyone knows for sure. The subject isn't of much interest to most entomologist, even the few
that specialize in aquatic insects. Only the few that in addition to being entomologist , also
happen to be trout nuts even venture to take a guess at it. As far as I have been able to
determine, the effects on fish from early aquatic insect hatches hasn't been the subject of any
studies or at least any I can find documented.

My guess is, the early aquatic insect hatches taking place almost nationwide isn't a good thing
for the trout. I think it will have some adverse affects on the growth and existence of trout in
some situations, especially those that live in streams with a relatively low pH such as the
Smokies. My guess is
it could easily double the amount of time the trout's metabolism is
still in high gear when at the same time the normal amount of food available for them to eat is
even lower than it normally is. I hope I am wrong.

Tomorrow, another Fly Fishing Strategy article is due and after that, I'll get back trying to catch
up with the bugs.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh