06/13/12

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


Rain - Where Did You Go?
Unfortunately, very, very little rain fell in the park during the last day or two. The 70%
prediction for rain in the Gatlinburg area wasn't a good forecast. I also noticed yesterday's
prediction for rain on Thursday has vanished from the forecast. There's very little rain in the
forecast for the next week. One weather site is showing a 20% chance of thunderstorms one
day out of the next seven.

Although I like fishing the low stream levels, the lack of rain isn't exactly a good thing for the
water table since we are headed into the hot summer months of the year. So far this year,
the levels have been higher than normal. I hope we don't see that change.

Terrestrials - Ants
On any given average summer day, there's still about a hundered times more aquatic insects
in the water than there are terrestrial insects in the water. Even so, there are also terrestrials
that get into the water. They supplement the food the trout have to eat. One group of those
are ants.

I haven't added ants to the above list of food yet but I probably should have. I will be doing
so as soon as I have time. If there's enough of them that happen to get into the water, they
are certainly already large enough for the trout to get a good meal from them.  I noticed I
wrote in an article a couple of years ago that if a trout stream ran through our front yard, the
trout wouldn't have to look for anything to eat. I continued to write that I didn't have any idea
how many thousand or million of ants there were in the grass but that if they are equal to the
numbers of them on our concrete driveway each day, there would be enough of them to feed
plenty of trout. My guess is there's as many ants per a given amount of area in the park as
they are in our front yard.

Last year during high winds from a thunderstorm a very large limb broke out of an oak tree in
the front yard. I discovered that the limb broke off from about thirty feet up the tree truck
because of damage that appeared to be caused by ants. I'm not sure what causes this and
know little about ants or trees, but I do wonder just how many situations like this exist in the
park. I think the ants get into a damaged part of a tree, or maybe they cause the damage
themselves. Whatever the case, it was obvious that hundreds, if not thousands of ants were
in that broken limb.

You can walk down a stream along the bank and unless you stop and look closely, you may
not see the first ant; however, I wouldn't sit too long in one spot. You may end up with ants
up the legs of your shorts. They are not easy to spot in the forest.

I don't think I have ever seen a formation of ants just march off into a trout stream. I think
they normally know, or I guess I should say instinctively react to stay on the ground rather
than crawl into the water. I think the major reason they occasionally get in the streams is that
they get washed in, or carried in by water that drains into the streams from heavy rain. A
thunderstorm that drops a lot of water in a short time can put plenty of ants in the water. It
could also be that some get blown into the streams by strong winds but those would have to
be crawling around in the bushes, high grass and trees, not on the ground where you
normally find them.

I guess you have figured out that what I am getting to is the fact that a good time to fish an
imitation of an ant is just after a heavy downpour. This isn't to say that the trout won't eat
them at times when it hasn't rained in days because they will. What I mean by this is that
when small branches and trickles of water is draining the terrain around a stream after a
heavy rain, it carries some ants along with it. When this happens, and the trout see
appreciable numbers of ants coming into a stream at any point, they will concentrate on
dinning on the sudden supply of food being delivered to them. That makes it quite obvious
that under those circumstances it would be a good idea to fish an imitation of an ant at such
places.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh