03/18/13

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 Forecast - Coming Week
(I will add it to the strategy report tomorrow)

Big Fire In Pigeon Forge
Yesterday afternoon, I kept hearing a lot more helicopter activity than I normally do. I found out why this
morning. There's a large fire in Pigeon Forge just off Wears Valley Road not far from our home. It has
damaged or destroyed 35 cabins so far. They have got it down from around 300 acres to a hundred or so,
and hopefully, under control. There are Black Hawk Helicopters bringing in water from Douglas Lake this
morning. The wind is howling good outside right now, and that's got to be a big problem for those trying to
fight the fire. They said the fire crossed several roads yesterday afternoon.

Some Notes about the fishing this past weekend:
I spent a little time in the park this weekend, doing some fishing and some just riding around. The park was
quite crowded. It's the middle of Spring Break and there are lots of visitors here. I only fished for a total of
about an hour and a half yesterday afternoon and Saturday afternoon. I was able to catch several trout but
they all came on our little BWO nymph.

I noticed two or three Blue Quills hatching on Little River Saturday, but that was about it. I fished the Middle
Prong of Little Pigeon River yesterday and didn't see anything at all other than a few brown stoneflies. They
obviously hatched during previous days. The water was still too cold for much insect activity, around 48
degrees at the warmest on MP of Little Pigeon River. Strong winds also hampered some of the guys fishing
over the weekend.

In talking and watching some guys fish, I noticed two major problems.
1. All of them were using a dry fly. None of them doing so, reported any catches. No one loves to fish a dry
fly anymore than I, but I am not going to do it when it produces less results than you could otherwise have
and that was the case both Saturday and Sunday.  One guy had a size 14 Blue Quill fly. There is no such
thing. There is no such thing as a size 16 Blue Quill fly. Someone sold him junk. They are 18 and smaller.

2. None of the guys I talked to over the phone, or in person, had a thermometer. They are not expensive
and they do tell you a lot about what you need to be doing provided you understand how the temperature
affects the insects and the trout.

One guy told me he went by the water temp data at the USGS station on Little River.
That's a huge
mistake. It can be as much as 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the water temperature where you may
need to be fishing for trout. The station is located at a very low elevation about 12 miles from
where any trout are located on the main stem of Little River in Townsend
. In fact, Quill Gordons and
Blue Quills have both already hatched at the lower elevations on Little River (Metcalf and Below) and that's
the last place you should be fishing right now. Melting snow, had some effect on the temperature.

3. This brings up another problem I think many anglers get confused about. When you hear or see what's
often referred to as small hatches, or sporadic hatches of Quill Gordons or Blue Quills,
that means the
insects are hatching, period
. They are not going to hatch again at that particular location in the current
year. If you fished where the QG and BQ's already hatched, you were backing up.

Under certain marginal conditions, these insects may hatch a little longer than usual, meaning at any one
point on a stream, the sporadic hatches may last for up to 7 days, versus 3 to 4 days duration during a
heavy hatch. It makes no difference how many hatch in any given location, once they start, they will continue
to hatch until it's all over. You won't find those same hatches for another year. You may well never see a lot
of insects at any one time.

By the way, heavy hatches doesn't necessarily mean your going to catch more trout. In fact, if they
get too heavy, it often decreases your odds of success. In the case of Quill Gordons, often the hatch occurs
in low water temperatures and the trout never take the duns from the surface very well. I wrote about that
yesterday. It is much easier for them to take the emerging nymphs on the bottom, or emerged duns in the
water column. They hatch on the bottom, not the surface.

I talked to a few guys that didn't do well at all this past weekend, and the reason they didn't, is mostly is
covered above.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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