04/22/13

Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
Hatching:
1.    BWOs (Little BWOs)
2.    Giant Black Stoneflies
3.    Light Cahills
4.    Cinnamon Caddis (mostly Abrams)
5.    Hendricksons/Red Quills
6.    Little Short-horned Sedges
7.    American March Browns
8.    Eastern Green Drakes (Abrams)
Most available - Other types of food:
9.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)






Major Changes In The Insect List:
I've just make some major changes in the most plentiful and available trout foods. The recent unusually
warm temperatures that occurred prior to last Friday night messed up the aquatic insect hatches again.  I
use the word "again" because this has happened a couple of time during the past two months. I hope the
crazy weather patterns have ended this season and that conditions will become more normal.

We developed
this hatch chart for the streams of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2005. Since
then, we have maintained data on the timing of the hatches and that has resulted in some minor changes.
The exact timing of hatches always varies depending on the average weather conditions but the order in
which the insects hatch doesn't change. Short term weather changes that last a day or two has little effect
on the overall timing of the hatches. It's the average water temperature over a period of days that makes a
difference in the timing of the hatches. The exact timing of hatches that occur in February, March and April
are always difficult to pinpoint because of the hot and cold weather frontal systems that constantly cross the
country, but during the past two years, these changes have been rather drastic.

I dropped the Little  Brown Stoneflies from the list although there's one larger size species that will continue
to hatch in small quantities.
I added the Giant Black Stoneflies. They are not very plentiful but they are
important trout food when the nymphs begin moving across the bottom of the streams to the banks to crawl
out of the water to emerge into adults.

I took the Blue Quills off the list although some may not still remain in the higher elevations.
I added a very
important mayfly in their place - Light Cahills
. A few of these emerged in the lowest elevations a few
days ago when the water was very warm but they should now begin to hatch on a regular basis.

Let me also point out that I'm only listing the most important insects that exist in Abrams Creek that are rare
in the other streams in the park. The Eastern Green Drakes is one that should be hatching there now.

I should also mention that I will be adding another very important insect about a week from now - the Little
Yellow Stoneflies. I spotted a couple this past weekend on the Little Pigeon in Pigeon Forge. One species of
the Little Yellow Stoneflies that are called Yellow Sallies should start hatching in decent quantities at
elevations where trout exist within a week or two from now.

Weather and Stream Conditions Forecast - Coming Week
For the first time in a long time, the forecast is looking good, or I should say looking more normal. The
following forecast is for Gatlinburg at elevation 1594. Today should be sunny with a high near 69 with a low
tonight of around 43.

Tuesday's high should be near 72 with a low that night of around 50.

Showers and thunderstorms are likely Wednesday. The high should be 65. The chance of precipitation is
80% right now but expect that to get changed to 100 percent. The low Wednesday night should be about 41.
Keep your fingers crossed that this will be another fast moving front that drops only a small amount of water.

Thursday should be sunny with a high near 66 and a low that night of 39.

Friday should be sunny with a high near 67 and a low Friday night of 49. As the higher temperature
indicates, another front should be moving in.  

They are currently showing a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms for Saturday. The high
should be about 68 and the low of around 51. The chances of precipitation should remain about 50 percent
for Saturday night.

They are showing a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms for Sunday with a high near 70.

We are going to have to wait until about Thursday to get a better picture of the rain situation for this
weekend. It appears another front will move through during the weekend, but right now all we can do is hope
that it turns out like the one that passed this past weekend. It rained just enough to keep everything in good
shape.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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