Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little and baetis 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)
Midges - Part 9
The first eight parts of Midges were mostly to do with the larva and pupa stages of life and how you
go about imitating those stages. The adult stage of life may or may not be important to anglers
depending on the particular stream or lake and the time of year.
When fishing the small streams of the Smokies, we have found the adult stage of midges to be
important only on a very few occasions. I think the main reason for this is that we only pay attention
to midges when the water is very cold when hatches of other aquatic insects don't exist.
On the coldest days of the year, you can just about always find at least a few midges hatching. The
problem is the trout rarely eat the adults on the surface when the water is very cold. By very cold,
I'm referring to water that is below 40 degrees. I think the main reason for this is that in most cases
they don't need to expend the energy it takes to eat the hatching adults from the surface when
they can eat the emerging pupae with less effort, expending less energy. When the water is very
cold, I think this is generally true of all freestone trout streams.
Trout feeding on midges in tailwaters and spring creeks react differently from those in freestone
streams. Under the same low, very cold air temperature, the water temperature of tailwaters and
spring creeks is usually higher than that of freestone streams. Even though the very shallow water
very near the banks and boulders protruding out of the water may have ice, the great majority of
the water may be well over forty degrees.
In tailwaters, the water temperature within the first few miles of the dam mostly depends on the
temperature of the lake water being discharged from the dam. This varies, depending on the depth
of the lake but in very cold weather, the water is usually warmer than the air.
In spring creeks, the water temperature may be as high as 55 degrees even when the air
temperature is below freezing. The water temperature will decrease the further it gets from the
underground springs but, depending on the size of the spring or springs, it may be several
degrees warmer than the air temperature for miles downstream of the spring or springs.
The result of this is that even though the air temperature may be the same, trout may feed on
hatching midges in tailwaters and spring creeks when they won't feed on the adults on the surface
of the water in freestone streams. In other words, under the same air temperature, trout may well
take your dry fly imitation of a midge in spring creeks and tailwaters when they won't in freestone
Copyright 2012 James Marsh