07/11/12

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

Fly Fishing Strategies - Which Fly To Use - Part 51 Conti

Today, the National Weather Service has increased their forecast from yesterday morning.
They are now saying there's a 90% chance of thunderstorms and rain for Gatlinburg. I guess
that means it probably going to rain. Those odds stay high for the rest of the week. Last
night's rain brought most of the stream levels up to about their normal levels. Some may
even be on the high side. The USGS station for Little River shows it is at a good level but
today's rain may change things.

General Strategy:
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.

From about 6:00 PM to as late as you can legally fish, watch closely for stonefly egg laying
activity, mostly Little Green stoneflies with a few Summer stones (yellow) hatching in places.  
Watch for 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 Cream Cahills, Eastern BWOs 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.

The recent rains will be washing terrestrials in the streams. The high winds associated with
the thunderstorms should blow some of them into the streams. Anywhere you find water
draining into the streams, I suggest you try an imitation of an ant or beetle. If the wind is
blowing at a good clip and your in a grassy area, try a hopper. You will find that the hopper
imitations work far better when the sun is shinning on the water. Unlike what many anglers
think, fishing hoppers under low light conditions usually produces less fish. There are
exceptions and brown trout is one of them. They will take the them during very low light
conditions.

Most Plentiful and Available Insects:
The Little Yellow Summer stoneflies and the Little Green stoneflies will continue to hatch but
in isolated areas. 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.
That, and a few sparse cinnamon sedges, are the main reason some anglers can catch a
few trout on a moth imitation or Green Larva of the moth. The generics are usually called
Green Weenies. They look very much like the Green Sedge pupae and net spinning
caddisfly pupae. Pinks work too, but they appear brown to the trout under water.

Cream Cahills are hatching from many of 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. Eastern Blue-winged Olives are
beginning to show up more. They not only include the larger size 16
Drunella species, it
includes the smaller size 18
Attenella species called Little Eastern Blue Winged Olives.
These can be imitated with the same flies as the other species of BWOs. I'm pointing out the
difference only because these are crawlers, not swimmers and there's a difference in their
habitat or the areas of water they inhibit. The hatches are rather isolated and never occur in
huge numbers but when few insects are hatching, it makes them that even more important.

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?
First in priority would be the Eastern Blue Winged Olives, if you happen to find them. Cream
Cahills (clingers) would fall next in priority. Next would be 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. Cream Cahills will likely fall and possibly some Eastern BWOs. 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 Little Yellow Stonefly (Summer Stone).
They
will start crawling across the bottom to the banks to hatch very 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