Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
1. Little BWOs
2. Green Sedges (Caddisflies)
3. Cinnamon Caddis (Mostly Abrams Creek)
4. Little Short Horned Sedges
5. American March Browns
6. Giant Stoneflies
7. Light Cahills
8. Little Yellow Stoneflies (Yellow Sally)
9. Eastern Pale Evening Duns
Most available/ Other types of available food:
11. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
KISS A Bug Series - Slate Drakes
Believe it or not, I'm about to catch up with the KISS articles on the hatches taking place in
the Smokies. The unseasonably, warm weather we experienced this past Winter and early
Spring put the insect ahead of my schedule about two months ago and I've been behind
writing about them (prior to them starting to hatch) since February. A couple more insects
and I should be caught up with them.
One of those that's just beginning to hatch is the Slate Drakes. There are some anglers that
call this mayfly the Leadwing Coachman. That's because there's an old fly pattern that some
anglers used to imitate them called the Leadwing Coachman. It's an old wet fly that wasn't
actually designed to imitate the Slate Drake mayfly but one that was the best thing anglers
could find for a long time. Since the origination of that fly there have been other attempts to
imitate the Slate Drake but some were originated by fly tyers are so pathetic they
were not even aware that this mayfly hatches out of the water. The flies imitate the
duns that, unless they get caught in a big wind storm and blown into the water, never get
wet. The duns change to spinners and which, other than the nymph, are the only stage of life
of the Slate Drake that gets into the water.
You can find some fly shops that sell imitations of the Slate Drake dun. Obviously, they don't
know the duns hatch out of the water. They probably get these junk flies and others that
have little to do with what trout eat them from wholesale fly companies that know little
about aquatic insects that get them from Thiland (Umpqua, Raineys, Montana Fly
Company) and China (Solitude). I's a case of the blind leading the blind.
The Slate Drake is one of the most important mayflies that exist in the streams of the
Smokies. They are big mayflies that are very plentiful and very available for the trout to eat
but not as duns, rather as nymphs and spinners.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh
This is a Slate Drake (isonychia bicolor) dun. Do you have a fly pattern that imitates this
dun? I sure hope not.
Notice the light color of the legs. This is where the bi - color part of the scientific name came
from. Slate color wings and almost cream colored legs.