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)
11. Eastern Pale Evening Duns
Most available/ Other types of available food:
13. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
KISS A Bug Series - Little Yellow Stoneflies - Part 3
Many, if not even most stoneflies, deposit their eggs during the nighttime. Others don't start
until well after the sun sets. Yellow Sallies tend to start earlier than most other stoneflies and
this makes the dry fly fishing during the egg laying activity very appealing. The adult female
Little Yellow Stoneflies can bring about some great dry fly fishing late in afternoons on the
streams of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The different species of the stoneflies commonly called Yellow Sallies, deposit their eggs at
different times of the day, depending on the particular species and the time of year they hatch.
Some of them, especially those species that hatch during the hot summer, deposit their eggs
only in the evenings. The isoperia species, or true Yellow Sallies, usually start depositing their
eggs in the afternoons prior to dark. This is the key thing about the Yellow Sally that makes
them so appealing to anglers.
In the Smokies, the egg laying females will normally start depositing their eggs about the time
the sun sets. On cloudy days, they usually start earlier. The park rules say the fishing hours
ends at 30 minutes after official sunset, so that doesn't leave much time to fish on bright, clear
days. Even so, you can normally catch a good number of trout during a very short time. This
all depends on the weather and water temperatures. At this particular time, the egg laying is
starting to take place earlier in the afternoons, and it it's cloudy, as much as an hour prior to
sunset. Later on during the hot summer, the egg laying activity will start later in the afternoons
and on bright clear days, may not start until it is dark.
You should start fishing an imitation of the adult Little Yellow Stonefly anytime you
actually observe the stoneflies depositing their eggs. You should look for this activity to
take place in the riffles and runs. Wherever you see them depositing their eggs is exactly
where you want to fish imitations of the adults. You can easily see this activity. They deposit
the eggs by dropping down and bouncing along on the surface. The bouncing helps them
drop the eggs. At times they will actually lite on the surface for a short time but for the most
part, they just knock their eggs off by touching the surface of the water.
The egg laying activity can begin during at the same time the stoneflies are crawling out of the
water hatching. It isn't always so noticeable that the trout are eating the egg layers is because
sometimes when the first egg layers start dropping their eggs, the hatch is still in progress and
the trout are still concentrating on eating the nymphs. Depending on the duration of the hatch,
the nymphs may still be crawling out of the water to hatch at the same time females from
earlier hatches are depositing their eggs. If you see egg laying activity going on and you don't
see any trout eating them, most likely this is what's going on. When the hatch is still in
progress and the egg laying has also started from earlier hatches, the nymph is by far the
most productive imitation to use. It's much easier for the trout to eat the migrating nymphs than
it is the egg layers. However, many anglers, including myself, rather fish the dry fly and get in
on the surface action even though it probably means less numbers of trout will be caught.
It would be nice if you could imitate the actual bouncing type of action but I can't seem to make
my fly, fly up and down to touch the water again after it lands. (Just Kidding) Although I've
never tried it, anglers tell me they have caught trout "dabbling" a fly over the water. Other than
this, when you make normal cast, you can try jerking the fly around in attempts to imitate the
bouncing action of the egg laying stoneflies but you will probably end up spooking more trout
than you fool. I think it's best to just use a drag free drift. Up and across presentations seem to
work best for this but it really doesn't matter as long as you get the fly in the same area of the
stream they are depositing their eggs in without spooking the trout.
We have caught as many trout imitating egg laying Yellow Sallies as we have caught in any
short time span imitating any insect in the park. The only problem you have is making sure you
don't fish beyond 30 minutes after official sunset, so that you comply with the park's rules.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh
"Perfect Fly" Adult Yellow Sally