06/12/12

Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
Hatching:
1.    Little BWOs
2.    Green Sedges (Caddisflies)
3.    Cinnamon Caddis (Mostly Abrams Creek)
4.    Light Cahills
5.    Little Yellow Stoneflies (Yellow Sally)
6.    Sulphurs
7.    Slate Drakes
8.    Golden Stoneflies
9.    Little Green Stoneflies

Most available/ Other types of food:
10.  Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
11.  Inch Worm (moth larva)
12.  Beetles
13.  Grasshoppers


Fly Fishing Strategies - What Fly To Use - Part 47

I get up so early in the morning the National Weather Service is still reporting "overnight"
weather instead of the day's weather. I guess the NWS employees can't imagine anyone
having to get out of bed before 8 o'clock in the morning.

At least they got the forecast right and they usually do when they are forecasting "current"
weather conditions. Since it's raining outside as I write this, I guess "showers are likely". For
today (they call it Tuesday), they predict that showers are likely to continue with a possible
thunderstorm. They continue to report that some of the storms could produce heavy rain.
"Could" gives them an outlet in case they don't produce heavy rain.

For Wednesday, it should be clear and sunny with a high near 85. Thursday begins another
cycle with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. They must not be expecting much from
that one because on Friday, it should again be sunny with a high near 82. Saturday and
Sunday's forecast calls for continued excellent weather with only a slight chance of rain with
highs in the low 80's.

The best I can make of this is that today and tonight it should rain, maybe (I hope) quite a bit,
and then change to mostly clear skies through the rest of the week and weekend.  Assuming
the current rain isn't excessive,
stream and weather conditions should continue to be
excellent as
they have been for almost a month. If the rain today is heavy, the streams
should be high for only a short time and should quickly return to their normal levels.

Notes on what I have observed this past week
I have only had the opportunity to fish twice during the past week and only an hour each of
those times. I managed to catch about all the trout it's possible to catch in those two short
trips. I have driven through portions of the park three times this past week, two of which I just
mentioned. The third trip was returning home from at trip to Guntersville Alabama, Sunday
afternoon. Cutting through Maryville and Townsend into the park is well out of my way home
but I wanted to drive through the park as a nice change from the Interstate traffic. I did the
same thing about two months ago and encountered the same problem.
The road is
blocked down to one lane near Townsend after months of a meager attempt to
patch a very minor rock slide.
Of course, not a single sole is working on the weekends
and apparently not a single sole is working through the week because I could have build an
Interstate highway through the area quicker than they can patch a minor rock slide. In short,
that's the last time I'll take that route to the park.

Maybe the Cherokee people are haunting the road for digging up the largest burial ground
in the country just as you enter the Townsend Town limits. After driving a few hundred miles,
stopping and waiting on a red light to change every ten minutes in the middle of no where
makes you want to shoot it out.

Now, some choice strategies for fly fishing in the park:
The only exception to the previous strategy article is the possibility of higher, stained water
but I don't think that's going to be the case. Even if it is, it will only be temporary.  

Slate Drakes are hatching. There are still some Golden Stoneflies showing up in the fast
water sections of some streams. The Little Green Stoneflies should be hatching but I still
haven't seen any. I don't think I have been at the right place at the right time. There has
been a big decline in the numbers of Little Yellow Stoneflies (Sallies) hatching and since I
didn't see any or talk to anyone that did, I think they are about done for a short time span.
They will resume (the Summer stones, different species called Little Yellow Stoneflies by
many anglers) about the first week of September. There are probably still some adults still
around that haven't finished laying their eggs. You may also still find some areas that have
Sulphurs hatching.

General Strategy:
As just about always, start out in the mornings fishing a nymph or larva imitation and change
to an emerger/pupa, or a dun/adult dry fly pattern if and when you spot something hatching.
Most hatches should start taking place around 2:00 to 4:00 PM and again, the hatches will
depend greatly on the elevation of the stream your fishing. Keep in mind this doesn't include
the Slate Drakes, Golden Stoneflies or Little Green Stoneflies. They start hatching (crawling
out of the water) very late in the day.

When the other hatches subside (non Slate Drakes and Stoneflies) switch back to the
morning pattern. Again, even though the trout will continue to fall for a few dry flies, I'm
advising what to do based on your highest odds of success, not necessarily your highest
odds of fun.

From about 6:00 PM to as late as you can legally fish, watch closely for stonefly egg laying
activity and both mayfly egg laying and spinner falls. Fishing the spinner falls can result in
the fastest action and the most fish caught in a short time span but you will have to keep
checking for them well above the streams late in the day. Otherwise, you probably won't
even be aware they fall. It will mostly consist of Light Cahills and maybe some Slate Drake
spinners.

By fishing a nymph or dry fly,
I don't mean just any nymph or any dry fly. I am referring
to nymphs and dry flies that specifically match the insects that I list below.
This will
increase your odds of success over the "match anything" generic and attractor type of flies
that usually only produce mediocre success.

Most Plentiful and Available Insects:
The Golden Stoneflies and Little Green stoneflies are probably hatching but they will not be
as plentiful as the previous Little Yellow hatches. Remember, they start to hatch (crawl out of
the water) very late in the day and deposit their eggs late in the day. Fish the nymph
imitation starting around 5 PM and switch to an adult only when you see egg laying activity
which is usually late in the day.

The Green Sedges (caddisflies) are hatching but they are usually rather sparse hatches. It's
the larva imitation of the free-living "green rock worm" that's productive anytime of the day.
Light Cahills are continuing to hatch from the fast water areas of the streams in the middle
and higher elevations. Imitations of
this mayfly can be very productive during a hatch.
They should be a top priority if they are encountered.

It's also possible you will still see some Sulphurs but only in very isolated sections of the mid
to large size streams.

Which nymph/larva imitation to fish?
If you know for a fact any of the above insects hatched within the previous day or two of the
particular time you are fishing, fish the nymph or larva fly that imitates that particular species
during the mornings and continue to do so until you see it or another insect hatching.

Which Fly to use During Hatches?
If you happen to find any Sulphurs hatching, by all means fish an imitation of the emerging
dun, or the dun, in priority to any of the other insects. By the way, the Sulphurs would be top
priority because they cannot hide as well and are more available for the trout to eat than the
clingers. Next in priority would be the Light Cahills. Next in priority are the Green Sedges. If
they are hatching, fish an imitation of the pupa.

Which Fly to use Late In The Day:
Late in the day, depending on which of the hatches listed above you may happen to have
found, watch for the spinner fall and/or egg laying activity as applicable. By all means, if you
see a spinner fall, fish it. Light Cahills will likely fall. If you do find Sulphurs, their spinners will
fall. If there isn't any spinner falls occurring, but some caddis egg laying activity is taking
place, fish the adult pattern of that caddisfly.

Up until you see a spinner fall or heavy egg laying activity from caddisflies,
fish an imitation
of the Little Green Stonefly nymph or a Golden Stonefly nymph.
They will start
crawling across the bottom to the banks to hatch late in the day. They crawl out to hatch
after sunset. Do this until you begin to see any depositing their eggs and then switch to the
adult imitation.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh