Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little and baetis BWOs)
2. Little Yellow Quills
3. Slate Drakes
4. Needle Stoneflies
Most available/ Other types of food:
5. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Running A Little Late This Morning
I'm running at a slow speed this morning. Angie and I always enjoy watching the CMA awards which
last a couple of hours past my normal bedtime. She always cooks a special late night full course
meal to entice me to stay up and watch the show with her and it always works.
The streams of the Smokies are all in great shape but staying on the cold side because of the
huge amount of snow in the mountains. They are absolutely beautiful. The song lyrics, On top of
old Smoky, all covered with snow, is currently a reality. The weather stations in the park are
currently showing 36 inches at both Mt. LeConte and Newfound Pass. That can't be right. The
LeConte reading is probably right but the Newfound Pass certainly isn't the same.
It will be clear today and tomorrow and in the sixties. Although most of the snow in the highest
elevations may not melt to a great extent, much of the snow in the middle elevations will. That will
hold the water temperature down lower than you would normally expect them to be.
The Low Down Black Fly - Part Two
The first time or two we collected samples of the insect larvae in the South Holston River, we
ignored collecting samples of the low down black fly. I was not aware of the insect's importance
there or for anywhere else, for that matter. After I found out about the importance of the black flies
on that tailwater, Angie and I returned to use of kick nets to take samples of the black fly larvae. A
gentleman from nearby Virginia walked up to see what we were doing. After we explained, he
looked at our screen full of various insects and quickly pointed out the black fly larvae and the
black fly pupae. I was amazed at his knowledge of the insect. When I asked if he fished imitations
of them, he quickly responded by pulling out a fly box with black fly larva, pupa and adult imitations.
I was amazed that he not only fished them, he had a complete fly box dedicated to the Black Fly
That was how, when and where I learned to fish imitations of the different stages of life of the Black
Fly.. He gave me some of his flies, all of which he had tied, and proceeded to show me the details
of how he fished the flies. Since then, I have caught many trout, including one brown over twenty
inches on an imitation of the Black Fly larva. A year or so after that, we used his fly patterns to
some extent to assist us in designing our Perfect Fly Black Fly imitations of the larva, pupa and
adult. More importantly, we used the actual samples of the insects we collected and preserved to
assist us in the fly designs.
On the South Holston, you should fish the larva imitation of the Black Fly on a 6X or 7X tippet with a
leader at least ten foot long. We do not use a strike indicator but if you are unwilling to take the
time to learn to fish without a strike indicator, we suggest you do use one.
To fish the fly, just tie the single, hook size 18 imitation of the larvae on the end of the tippet. Add a
tiny split shot about six inches above the fly depending on the current. Wade out into the stream
facing downstream. You should be able to easily see the shallow and deep water trenches running
almost parallel with the river. Cast the fly down and slightly across to where it will swing only a few
feet to eventually end up in a deeper trench, not on top of the shallower areas of bottom.
You will need to quickly mend the line a couple of times. Slowly feed out some line out, allowing the
fly to reach the bottom. Hold the rod at about a 45 degree angle keeping the fly on the bottom as
long as you can without having to add extra weight. The fly will soon come back to the surface due
to the current. Repeat this process over and over, carefully watching your leader. If it twitches,
jumps or moves sideways or does anything weird, set the hook.
The key is to get the fly near or on the bottom in the deeper water downstream a good distance
(far enough that the trout want be able to see you) and watch your leader. The exact distance you
cast, and exactly how much you swing the fly along with the other details depend on the water
depth and current. On subsequent cast, don't waste time allowing the fly to reach the same spot.
Keep moving a step or two downstream after each cast. This will place your fly in a different area of
water each cast. If a trout is there, most likely you will get a take.
By the way, this type of downstream presentation is the same type of presentation you should use
in many other fly fishing scenarios on the South Holston River.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh