07/02/12

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

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

Some Welcome Relief From Above
I woke up last night to some powerful thunderstorms and heavy downpours. Lightning was
flashing through the windows, thunder was shaking the house and soon, heavy rain began to
fall. My mother-in-law, who is afraid of her own shadow and scared to death of thunder was
up and downstairs walking the floors. She said "we are having bad weather", as if I had lost
my hearing. I replied, "it sounds like good weather to me". I didn't try to explain anything.

Most of the park received over an inch of rain. Some areas, mostly in the western portion of
the park received less than that, but just about the entire park received over a half inch of
rain. It was very welcome. At 5:40 AM, the time I'm writing this, the USGS station at Townsend
shows Little River rising some. I think it will continue to rise this morning as most of the rain
that fell in its headwater areas probably hasn't arrived at the station yet. The Little River and
Abrams Creek drainage needed the rain the most but still didn't receive as much as the
other sections of the park. As dry as it has been, my guess is the ground will soak up most of
the rain and the streams won't rise as much as they normally would. Considering we only had
a 20 percent chance of rain, we should be very thankful.

A good customer provided the following very useful information from his fishing trip on
Saturday. The water temperature at Metcalf Bottoms under the bridge at the School House
Trail at 8:15 AM was 66.4 degrees. At 5:00 PM it was 74.2 degrees F. He didn't fish there,
just took the water temperature. It is obvious the water is far too warm to fish in that area.
Based on that and my experience in how the temperatures change with differences in
elevations, I doubt the water was suitable for fishing in the afternoons as high as the Elkmont
area. I have been advising anglers that were fishing Little River during the afternoons to fish
at a higher elevation than Elkmont.

Mr. Buchanan and his friend fished Road Prong. At the trailhead bridge at 9:00 AM,  the
water was 59.6 degrees. At 4:00 PM, at the bridge below the Chimney Trailhead parking lot,
the water was 67.4 degrees. This confirms what I expected. The afternoon water temperature
below the elevation of the Chimney Trailhead is marginal.

He also reported finding quite a few stonefly shucks on the rocks at Road Prong. They
reported spotting some very pale caddis about a hook size 16 (probably a
ceratopsyche
species) and some Cream Cahills that were about a hook size 14.  He mentioned that some
stoneflies larger and darker than Yellow Sallies that resembled Golden stoneflies appeared
on their clothes around 3 to 4 PM. My guess is they were Golden Stoneflies that hatched
during previous days.

The weather forecast looks good for the next few days. Today, it will remain very hot with
highs near 98 at Gatlinburg but there's a 40% chance of rain for today and tonight. Maybe
we will get more rain. The high temps should start down tomorrow, with highs only reaching
the low 90s. That will be a welcome relief from the abnormally high heat.

I will be providing the normal Tuesday Fly Fishing Strategy article tomorrow.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh