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 I expected, there is a little snow on the ground but the streets in Pigeon Forge are all clear. The
temperature didn't get low enough for it to stick to the pavement. What's on the ground should melt later this
morning. I'm sure the situation in the park is a different story. Just a slight change to a higher elevation with
a slightly lower temperature makes all the difference. I'm sure the roads in the park are closed. In fact, I think
highway #441 was closed yesterday. Some in the lower elevation roads may open later today but the higher
elevation have quite a bit of snow. I think this is about the end of the snow storm and the real beginning of
Spring. There's still a chance of more snow today and even more chances for some snow tonight and in the
morning, but as far as I'm concerned, it's over. Now that I wrote that, watch it snow 2 feet deep.
I know what we are experiencing here is nothing to what the people north of us are faced with today. I sure
do think a lot about Spring Break on Panama City Beach, where I lived for over twenty years. I'm sure the
girls are dancing in the wet T shirt's and tiny bikini's. Making up my mind whether to go catch a hundred
Spanish mackerel, flounder migrating out of the bays into the inlet, migrating cobia, or red snapper just off
the beach, versus visiting Spinakers used to be a big decision. Oh,well. about 15 years ago Angie made that
an easy decision for me to make.
Back to the Smokies, yesterday would have been a good day to spend fly fishing in the park, provided you
were willing to hike in. The solid clouds probably got some of the two different species of blue-winged olives
in the mode to emerge. I doubt trout were going to the effort to eat much of anything off the surface but I'm
certain they feed on the bottom. Today you will face the same problem. Getting to the fishing hole.
The strategy hasn't changed for the past couple of weeks:
The recent drop in temperature will cause the upper middle and higher elevation hatches to hold off but the
lower middle and lower elevations will continue be a different situation. The Quill Gordons, Blue Quills, Brown
stoneflies and Litttle Back Caddis will continue to hatch. It all depends on the overall stage of development of
the insects. When they move out from their normal holding places to the areas in the water they hatch from
and have fully developed wing pads, they will hatch irregardless of the air or water temperature. I expect
those to continue to hatch today and tomorrow. I wouldn't expect any surface action. Sure, you can lower
your odds and fish on top if you like and you may even catch some but you will be doing just that - lowing the
odds of success. The trout will eat the nymphs on the bottom and the emergers below the surface. By about
Thursday afternoon, things will change to more normal temperatures and heavier hatches.
Until Thursday, if you don't try to force the trout into eating a dry fly, you should do just as well and catch just
about as many trout. As mentioned last week, fishing a fly that you can't see to trout you can't see,
isn't as easy as fishing a fly to trout eating on the surface.
In the mornings and early afternoons, up until the time you actually see something hatching, fish either a
Blue-winged Olive nymph, hook size 16 or 20, 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 continue fishing the nymphs I suggested.
Late in the day, within a couple of hours or so of dark, switch to 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 you see any Little Black Caddis just starting to hatch, switch to the pupa imitation of it. These will be a hook
size 18. If there are several of them on the banks and bushes that have already hatched, yet they are
continuing to come off the water, switch to the adult.
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 (Quill Gordon, Blue Quill or BWO) or the adult Little Black caddis pattern.
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.
Shipping is free in the U. S. for all
orders of any size. Orders over $50
are shipped free via Priority Mail.