Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1.    BWOs (Little BWOs)
2.    Little Brown Stoneflies
3.    Blue Quills
4.    Cinnamon Caddis (mostly Abrams)
5.    Hendricksons/Red Quills
6.    Little Short-horned Sedges
7.    American March Browns

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

Fly fishing School - A Freestone Stream
I will admit this is information that's already available on this site but it is necessary for those just getting
started fly fishing. There are three basic types of cold water trout streams - the freestone stream, spring
creeks and tailwaters. This describes a freestone stream.

A freestone stream is born at the top of mountains as drops of rainwater and melting snowflakes. As gravity
forces these droplets to seep through the crevices of rocks, soil and organic matter, they combine into small
trickles of water. These trickles eventually collide and become larger and larger. They form tiny streams that
you can step across. The tiny streams eventually join other tiny steams to form larger ones. These tiny
streams are made larger along the way by many other trickles of water and eventually become streams that
are large enough to be named and shown on maps.

Freestone streams are usually the headwaters of what will become a large freestone stream or river.
Generally, water in the headwater streams is fast moving pocket water. Most headwaters fall through steep
gradients and rapidly flow downhill. As the stream reaches the lower elevations of the foothills the gradients
become less and less and the flow of the water decreases accordingly. As more and more water collects the
streams become wider. The water in the larger streams slows as it moves through the valley.

As the stream reaches the lower elevations of the valley and the flows decrease, the temperature increases.
Eventually the water will become too warm to support trout and other warm water species of fish such as
smallmouth bass will become more prevalent. The slower moving water will not hold as much dissolved
oxygen as the faster moving headwaters. This also becomes an important factor in the stream’s ability to
support trout.

When the rain and snow falls from the sky, it is pure and free from minerals and is slightly acidic. It usually
has a pH of approximately six. This can be affected by acid rain. As the water flows downhill, the pH will
usually increase depending upon the rocks, sand, gravel, and organic material (such as leaves and
vegetation) the water passes through. The pH of the headwater streams varies from region to
region depending on the composition of the soil and rocks but all in all, in the Smokies, varies only slightly.
Rain forest type terrain, such as is found in the Appalachian Mountains including of course, the Great
Smoky Mountains National Park, provides the water a different chemical composition than the more
barren slopes of the Rocky Mountains, for example. If water passes through volcanic rock, it is going to
remain acidic much longer than water passing through a forest. The pH of the water in the forest changes
from the headwaters to the foothills.

The different pH values of the water from its origin in the mountains too the larger streams or river in the
valleys supports different groups of aquatic insects. The water temperature is generally higher in the lower
sections of the stream and this can also be a factor that affects trout in that it changes the insect population.
The speed of the water is also a big factor in determining which aquatic insects exist. Insects found in the
fast flowing pocket water of the headwaters may be quite different from those found in the slower moving
water found at the lower elevations.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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