03/05/13

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)







Fly Fishing Strategies - Which Flies To Use - Coming Week
Looking at three different weather sites, including Mountain-Forecast.com, it appears we will only get just a
little over a half inch of rain with this system moving into the Smokies today. That will mostly come this
afternoon. They show a dusting of snow at Gatlinburg and about 4 inches at Clingman's Dome falling tonight
and tomorrow. I mention this to say that I don't think the streams will be high and even if they do, it shouldn't
last but a very short time. They are currently at a good level.

I mention stream levels also because high, cold water is the most difficult condition you can face fishing the
streams of the Smokies. Not only do you have to get your fly on the bottom in water out of the current, you
have to present it at a slow speed and right in front of the trout. In most cases that means you must present
the fly through an upper column of fast water that tends to drag your fly through the water far too fast even if
you get it in the right spot. Hi-sticking is the best method to control this but that only works if the water can
be waded. I don't think we will have to worry about but one of these adverse conditions from now until
Thursday. The water will be cold and by that I mean in the high thirties and low forties.

From today through at least most of Thursday, I suggest the following strategy. If the water reaches the low
to mid forties, and it's a cloudy day, it is possible you may see some Blue-winged Olives hatching. You may
find a few almost dormant adult stoneflies that have already hatched but it will probably be too cold for them
to be laying any eggs. These could be either or both the Little Dark Winter Stoneflies, or Little Brown
Stoneflies that have started to hatch. As early as Friday afternoon, it's possible you may see any of the
above listed insects hatching. Saturday afternoon, the odds of these hatching will be much better. They will
hatch in the lowest elevations Saturday afternoon and early evenings (in the case of stoneflies). Sunday
should be a good day for dry fly fishing the hatches.

In the mornings and early afternoons, up until the time you actually see something hatching (and that's
doubtful until Friday), 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. 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 because you probably can. It is to say you odds are much
lower doing so than if you fish continue fishing the nymphs I suggested.

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. If any of the mayflies and/or the Little Black Caddis hatch, and
provided you fish late in the day, you will definitely see spinner falls of the mayflies and egg laying activity of
the caddis. Depending on the sky conditions, this may not occur until near dark. The lower the light, the
earlier it will occur. In this event, switch to the respective mayfly spinner or adult caddis.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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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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