Hatches Made Easy:

Crickets - (Gryllidae)     

05/23/08

The cricket is probably the most overlooked terrestrial insect that trout eat in the
Smokies. That is really strange considering it is the number one insect used to
catch bream. I wish I had a dollar for every fish I have caught on either a live one
or the rubber legged variety of cricket.
Quite frankly, I had not caught a trout on one that I can remember until last year.
In fact, I didn't even have one in my trout fly boxes. They were in my bream fly
boxes. But, after noticing crickets crawling around on the bank of a low water
stream last year during the late summer, I decided to carry a few with me on the
next trip. The first attempt was at the upper Straight Fork Creek which kept its
flow up quite well in the drought. Several rainbows and brook trout caught in less
than a couple of hours was the results of the first test. We had problems
catching a lot of fish on the same stream during the previous trip there even
when the yellow quills were hatching.
Some of you would probably be quick to say that it was because it was a fly the
fish had not seen before. I would be inclined to agree except that in spite of what
we would like to think, fish don't have a much of a memory. Besides, the trout in
upper Straight Fork don't see many flies of any description. During the next
several trips in the Smokies we continued to catch trout on the cricket patern in
the streams at the higher elevations even though the water was low. We also
continued to try to find the naturals on the streams. In some areas they seem to
be very plentiful and in some areas we couldn't find any, so the results of that
effort was mixed.
The particular fly we used was a black Shane Stalcup cricket, not the rubber
legged variety, although they may work just as well. That is about the extent of
our experience catching trout on the cricket but it is enough for me to have a few
with me this coming summer. Let just hope there is enough water to float them
and right now, it appears there will be.
I welcome any information from any of you regarding the lowly cricket.

Coming Up Next:
Ants - (Formicidae)          

Copyright 2008 James Marsh