04/28/13

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)
9.    Little Yellow Stoneflies
Most available - Other types of food:
10.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)








A Short Note:
I have been depressed and very sad now for the past couple of days. You see, this time, Country Music
really did die
. If that needs any explanation, trust me, you don't deserve it.

Good Bye George, we love you.


This Week's Featured Trout Food - Light Cahills & Common Name Stupidity
The Light Cahill common name is one of the most confused common insect (actually a fly name) names in
the Eastern United States. Before I even begin, remember that for anyone to argue about aquatic insects
using common names is ridiculous. Common names of insects are actually completely worthless. I either
hear and read about this problem every single day of my life. The most confused group of mayflies in the
nation are those called blue-winged olives. There's a good reason for scientific names, like them or not.
Common names are completely worthless.

The
Stenacron genus, not to be confused with its sister genus, the similar sounding Stenonema genus,
includes one important species, the
interpunctatum. This mayfly is commonly called the Light Cahill. This
mayfly is very similar to some of the
Stenonema species (that were recently changed to Maccaffertium
species) which accounts for some of the confusion. For example, the old
Stenonema ithaca (now the
Maccaffertium ithaca) is often called a Light Cahill. It is also called a Gray Fox, adding even more confusion
to the Gray Fox common name. Because of the confusion, you will hear anglers mention that Light Cahills
are hatching all the way from April until the middle of September in some areas of the eastern U. S.

Some of the other mayflies the Light Cahill is confused with are the old
Stenonema (now Maccaffertium)
mediopunctatum, carolina, and modestum species. These are usually and more correctly called Cream
Cahills but as I just mentioned, that's arguable because common names are actually worthless..

The Light Cahills are also confused with the
Heptagenia group of mayflies particularly in the Great Smoky
Mountains National Park where the Little Yellow Quills that hatch later in the season are often called Light
Cahills. Anglers are usually still taking about Light Cahills late in the Summer and early fall months even
though the mayflies they are calling Light Cahills are as different as daylight and dark. There's a good
reason for all this confusion. The duns of these various species look much alike. The problem with imitating
them the same is that the behavior of the varies species of mayflies vary and sometimes, vary greatly.

Now, I'm sure all of the above scientific names are also confusing, especially to those who are just getting
started. I would make this plain and simple if it were not for those guys who would respond with a lot of
corrections in my over simplification. Some want it simple and some want it as accurate as a snipper.

Scientific names are necessary in order to designate the insect I am referring too or otherwise, I would not
use them. Common names vary from region to region, book to book and angler to angler.
In order to make
it simple, what I and most of the fly fishing community refer too as a "Light Cahill" is the
Stenacron interpunctatum. These mayflies have just started to hatch in the streams of Great Smoky
Mountians National Park.

These mayflies hatch from the last week of April until the end of June, depending mainly on location, the
weather and elevation of the stream. This hatch usually only last two to three weeks at any one location but
the overall duration from the streams at the lower elevations to the higher elevation can last up to eight
weeks. These mayflies can be found in the tiny brook trout streams as well as the larger watersheds.

As I said above, it is easy to understand some of the confusion in the common name "Light Cahill". There is
not a great deal of difference in the appearance of some of the
Maccaffertium Stenacron and Stenonema
species. They are all clinger nymphs that look fairly similar. However, there are differences in the
behavior of some of these various species that warrant attention.

The
Heptagenia group of mayflies (often confused as Light Cahills) are also clingers but behave quite
differently. When we review the "Cream Cahills" you will find that some of those species are different colors.
Some of them are almost white. Some of them have heavily mottled wings. The sizes of these mayfly
species can vary a hook size or two and of course, the hatch times vary greatly. For now, focus on the real
"Light Cahill", the
Stenacron interpunctatum.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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