09/20/12

Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
Hatching:
1.    BWOs (Little and Eastern BWOs)
2.    Little Yellow Quills
3.    Little Yellow Stoneflies
4.    Slate Drakes
5.    Needle Stoneflies
6.    Mahogany Duns

Most available/ Other types of food:
7.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
8.    Craneflies
9.    Beetles
10.  Grasshoppers
11.  Ants

Great Autumn Brown Sedge
I show these big caddisflies on our hatch chart starting to show up on the streams of Great Smoky
Mountains National Park the first of October. In most places in the eastern part of the country, they
appear in September. As cool as the weather has turned, and it's going to get even cooler by this
weekend, I don't doubt that they will begin to show up a little early this year.

The huge Great Autumn Brown Sedge is found on many trout streams in the East and Mid-West.  It
emerges mostly during the night and egg laying usually occurs very late in the day or during the
evenings. It can be a big meal for a trout. These are tube case caddisflies that build large cases
out of sticks. The are in the Limnephillidae family of caddisflies and the
Pycnopsyche genus. There
are three species that are almost identical.

These are often confused with the western species called October Caddis and sometimes Giant
Orange Sedges but the common name "October Caddis" should apply only to the large orange
colored caddisflies of the
Dicasmoecus genus. There are three main species of them - the
jucundus, gilvipes and the atripes. All of them look very similar. They are members of the Northern
Case Maker group of caddisflies.
The October Caddis cases are huge and made of tiny
pebbles and rocks, not sticks like the Great Autumn Brown Sedges.

The Autumn Brown Sedge Larvae:
We have found little evidence that the trout eat these large stick larvae cases and all. In fact, it is
thought that is why they build them out of sticks - to keep fish from eating them.

These caddisflies live in fast moving, clear mountain water usually where the streams flows through
lot of woods. That certainly fits the Smokies. They can hatch from the first of September up North,
to the end of October in the South.

Pupae:
These caddisflies, or sedges if you prefer, often crawl out of the water on the banks and rocks to
shed their larva shuck and then emerge into an adults. We don't think trout eat them after they
become adults prior to the females depositing their eggs. For that reason, we think the Pupa stage
of the hatch is the most important stage to imitate. During the hatch, the pupae are easy pickings
for the trout. They have no defense whatsoever.

These caddisflies hatch during the night but can start in the late afternoons and still be hatching at
daylight. This is more apt to happen when there's lots of cloud cover or when it's raining. We
suggest that you fish the "Perfect Fly" imitation of the pupa late in the day. On cloudy, rainy days,
start fishing the pupa fly earlier in the day at least an hour or two before dark.

Add a little weight to the tippet a few inches above the fly. Cast the fly down and across near the
ends of runs and riffles and mend the line to get it down. Allow the fly to swing around directly
downstream of your position. Hold the tip of the rod up high and let the fly rise back to the surface
in the current. Most takes occur at the point the fly reaches the surface, so don't be too quick to
make another cast..
Copyright 2012 James Marsh