Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little BWOs)
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)
Fly Fishing Strategies- Which Flies To Use - Coming Week
As reported yesterday, you can expect changes from unseasonable warm weather today, back to more
normal cold weather for the rest of the week. Today will be very windy, so use caution if you do try to fish.
This recent warm trend and the overall warmer than normal fall and thus far, winter, has the aquatic insects
a little ahead of their normal hatching schedule. Yesterday, there were some hatches of Blue Quills and a
few Quill Gordons in the lowest elevations in the park. The Winter Stonefly hatch is winding down but some
species of the Little Browns are starting to hatch. For the most part, that will come to an end by tomorrow;
however, those insects that have near to fully developed wing pads will continue to hatch in the lower
elevation in spite of the expected cold weather. Let me explain.
Understanding Hatch Times:
When the Blue Quills and Quill Gordon mayflies get within a week or two of hatching, with near or fully
developed wing pads, it usually takes water around 50 degrees for the hatch to start. Once it reaches that
temperature and the hatch begins, the insects that have moved into the type of water they hatch in and
have near to fully developed wing pads, will continue to hatch. We have seen both Blue Quills and Quill
Gordon duns, mostly cripples, on the water and on the banks when the air temperature was near freezing
and the water was in the low forties. At slightly higher elevations, where the same insects were not near
being fully developed, and where they had not moved from their normal habitat to the type of water they
hatch in, the hatch will not begin until the water again reaches about 50 degrees for a day or two. The
following situation is rare, but if the weather remains cold and these insects don't hatch within approximately
a month of the time they normally do in any one area, you can expect them to hatch even though the water
temperature never reaches the preferred 50 degree temperature.
Here's our suggested strategy:
it's a cloudy day, you may can expect to see some Blue-winged Olives, even if the water temperature is in
the low to mid forties. You can expect to see some adult stoneflies that hatched during the previous
evenings and/or late afternoons. These could be either or both the Little Dark Winter Stoneflies, or Little
Brown Stoneflies that are just starting to hatch.
In the mornings and early afternoons, up until the time you actually see something hatching (if any occurs),
fish either a Blue-winged Olive nymph, hook size 16 or 18, or a Quill Gordon Nymph, hook size 12 or 14. I
don't suggest using the Blue Quill Nymph imitation until you see quite a few duns that have hatched. That's
simply because they are much more difficult to fish the right way. It's easy to spook trout feeding on them
because they hatch in calm to slow moving shallow water.
If you happen to see either of the above mayflies hatching (BWOs, Blue Quills, Quill Gordons), switch to
either an emerger or dun fly pattern of the respective insect. If you don't, continue with the nymphs. This
isn't to say you can't catch a trout using a dry fly in the colder water because you can. It is to say
you odds are much lower doing so than if you fish the nymphs I suggested.
There are two major exceptions to the above strategy.
If the water becomes high and stained, or when it's highly overcast or cloudy, you may want to use a
streamer. We suggest a sculpin pattern.
Late in the day, within a couple of hours or so of dark, switch to either a Winter Stonefly nymph (size
16 or 18) or a Little Brown Stonefly nymph, size 14 or 12. If you spot any stoneflies laying eggs on the water,
switch to the adult pattern of that stonefly.
Here's the next best thing to fishing:
This is part one of our new trailer for "Top 85 Tips on Fly Fishing for Trout". This program shows over 50 of
the nation's top trout streams.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
New Schedule of Daily
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
Friday: Getting Started
Saturday: Fly Fishing School
Sunday: This Week's Featured Trout
More Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us with the dates you will be
fishing the park and we will send
you a list of our fly suggestions.
Please allow up to 24 hours for a
2. Call us at 800-594-4726 and we
will help you decide which flies you
3. Call or email us with a budget for
flies and we will select them and get
them to you in time for your trip.
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