02/18/13

Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
Hatching:
1.    BWOs (Little BWOs)
2.    Midges
3.    Little Winter Stoneflies
4.    Little Brown Stoneflies
5.    Quill Gordons
6.    Blue Quills
7.    Little Black Caddis

Most available - Other types of food:
8.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)





Weather and Stream Conditions - Coming Week
The stream water levels in the park are in excellent shape right now. There is some rain in the forecast and
the amount is always a big question for the park because the chances of rain varies at different elevations.
The local weather people focus on the valleys around the mountains. In terms of rainfall and snowfall
amounts, their forecast can vary greatly from the amounts the mountains may receive. With the stream
levels fairly high, and the water table also high, it doesn't take a lot of rain to push the stream levels up too
high for safe wading. If the current forecast for the coming week is fairly accurate, it doesn't appear the
rainfall or snowfall amounts will be substantial enough to cause a problem in that regard.

Right now, it is very cold in the foothills. The temperature in Gatlinburg is 25 and should go on down to
about 21 early this morning. If the high for today reaches the predicted 54 degrees, the temperature will be
rapidly changing all day. The low tonight will be a much warmer 40 degrees but guess what? That means
more rain is on the way. It probably won't start until early tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow could be good day for fly fishing the park. They are predicting wind gust up to 30 mph and the
chance of rain is 80%. I dislike those types of forecast for one reason. On the days they make those
predictions and you avoid going fishing, it usually stays calm for most of the day and it usually doesn't rain
during most of the day. In other words, it usually means you probably could have fished for most of the day.

I have to stop and tell a "wind" story. My wife Angie is much younger than I am. She's so much younger
that people are all time commenting as to how good looking my daughter is. I use to act insulted and say,
"she isn't my daughter, she is my wife" After about a year of doing that, I learned to reply, "she isn't my
daughter - she is my granddaughter". Unfortunately, sometimes I can actually get by with that. Our 14th
anniversary is this month.

I mentioned that to explain that I'm often guilty of talking to her like she is my daughter. When the wind is
blowing hard and she heads out the door to take Biddle (our child dog) for a walk, I usually say "watch out
for tree limbs - the wind is howling". Those have always been waisted words. Out the door she heads, that is,
up until recently.

The other day that exact scenario happened. A few minutes after I waisted my breath and she had returned,
she walked back out on the front porch. She quickly ran back in the door and said, "Oh my goodness, look
at the size of the tree limb that just fell in our front yard". She continued to say, "Biddie and I were standing
in the exact same spot just a few minutes ago". I acted stupid and said, "so"? She replied, we'll, dummy, if
that tree limb had come down on top of us, we wouldn't be here".

The strongest winds are predicted to blow early tomorrow morning before daylight. They could reach as high
as 40 mph. The 80 percent chance of showers should end by 10 AM. The high should reach about 50 with
wind gust up to 30 mph during the day. The low for the night should be around 24.

Wednesday, should be sunny with a high of around 46 and a low of 28. Thursday, a slight chance of rain will
return. The high should reach 52. The low Thursday night will only be around 41, but again, that means rain.
There's a 70% chance but I will bet a token that will change to a 100 percent chance.

Friday's odds will be about 50% on the precipitation, but the high will be near 57. The low that night should
be about 37. From a fishing standpoint, that's not bad.

The weekend forecast is looking good. The high Saturday should reach 54. It should be partly cloudy
with a low that night of 37. Sunday should be about the same with the high reaching 55. If this forecast holds
true, and the water levels remain at reasonably safe to wade levels (I think they will), the fly fishing
opportunities will be good this weekend. It could bring about some sparse hatches of the above insects in
the very lowest elevations of the park.

Keep in mind, the actual hatches, meaning "bugs coming out of and off the water" is only important from a
dry fly fishing standpoint. I can assure you, the pupae of the Little Black Caddis will be very active and
exposed to the trout. The wing pads of the nymphs of the Blue Quills,
baetis Blue-winged Olives, and Quill
Gordons will be about to burst and all they will be very active. They will be very exposed and available for
the trout to eat. The nymphs of the remaining Capniidae stoneflies (Winter stoneflies), and the just starting
to hatch Little Brown Stoneflies (Nemouridae and Taeniopterygidae families) will also be active and exposed
to the trout. Look for them to start crawling out of the water to hatch very late in the afternoons.

I'm not saying you should catch a flight out to the Smokies this weekend, or otherwise, you will
miss the hot action.
That's not the situation. I'm only saying things are looking good and falling into place
on a normal basis. Provided the right strategies are used, just as many, and sometimes even more trout can
be caught during pre-hatch conditions as during the actual hatch. This mostly means fishing imitations of the
nymphs and pupae. I will outline my suggested strategies for the next week tomorrow.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
New Schedule of Daily
Articles
Mondays: Weather and Stream
Conditions Forecast - Coming Week
Tuesdays: Fly Fishing Strategies -
Which Flies To Use - Coming Week
Wednesday: Fishing Tales
Thursday: Smoky Mountains Fishing
Report
Friday: Getting Started
Saturday: Fly Fishing School
Sunday: This Week's Featured Trout
Food
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