Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little BWOs)
2. Light Cahills
3. Cinnamon Caddis
4. Eastern Pale Evening Duns
5. Little Short-horned Sedges
7. Green Sedges
8. Little Yellow Stoneflies
9. Golden Stoneflies
10. Slate Drakes
11. Little Green Stoneflies
Most available - Other types of food:
12. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
13. Inch Worms
Fly Fishing School - Specific Imitations Versus Generic and Attractor Flies
When there's no hatch occurring (which is about 90% of the time) many anglers tend to think
they are better off using an attractor or generic fly that imitates a variety of insects or other things
fish eat. Many think that a fly that imitates no specific insect, but rather a variety of them also
works best when there's multiple hatches to match. Both lines of thinking is just flat wrong.
One reason this misconception came about is because book after book about fly fishing for trout
lumped feeding into one of only two categories - selective feeding or opportunistic feeding. It is
true that if trout are not feeding exclusively on one insect, they could be categorized as feeding
opportunistically. So by strict definition, all trout are opportunistic feeders. That's fine as far as
categorizing them by definition is concerned, but it has little to do with what you need to know
about catching trout on the fly..
Under this scenario, if an angler is not solely focused on wanting to catch trout on a dry fly and
more interested in catching the most trout he or she can catch, then they should choose to fish a
nymph over a dry fly.
Just for example, let's suppose that there are a lot of Little Yellow Stonefly nymphs crawling to
the banks to hatch late in the afternoon. Don’t think the trout don’t know it. They view their
underwater world 24 hours a day and they are able to see exactly what's going on. In fact, they
can see the nymphs much, much better than a fly or insect on the surface of the water. Since
these nymphs crawling across the bottom to get to the banks are fully exposed, they are easy
prey for the trout. Naturally, the trout will focus on feeding on the easy prey. They will always
focus on eating the most plentiful and readily available food.
If trout are eating the little yellow stonefly nymphs migrating to the banks and a stray mayfly
nymph happens to crawl nearby, most likely, if a trout doesn't have to go out of its way to do so, it
may very well eat the mayfly nymph. That means the trout is technically feeding opportunistically,
but for all practical purposes, they are feeding selectively. That's why marine fishery biologist
classify all trout as opportunistic feeders. It makes sense from a scientific standpoint but not from
the practical standpoint of catching trout.
Under these conditions, the important question is, would you rather be fishing a good imitation of
a little yellow stonefly nymph that looks and acts much like the real ones, or a generic nymph that
imitates a little of everything, such as a Hare's Ear Nymph or a Prince Nymph?
For your information, all Perfect Flies are imitations of specific insects and other trout foods. Also,
for your information, fly shops only have a very few specific imitations of aquatic insects,
especially when it comes to nymphs or the larvae stage of life. Out of thousands of fly patterns
they may sell, you have little choice but to use a generic imitation. Ask your fly shop for a little
yellow stonefly nymph. They will probably tell you they don't have any stonefly nymphs in a yellow
color. Then you can reply, they aren't yellow, the nymphs are brown. In other words, you will be
waisting your time trying to match what the trout are feeding on and have to settle for a poor
imitation, that nearly, almost, kinda, sorta, matches them but of course, not very close. You'll
have to stand there holding you expense fly rod in your Simms $750.00 waders, after
driving hundreds of miles to fish using a fly that does a poor job of imitating what you need to be
imitating. You may pump up the ego of some fly tier who the fly was named after. Maybe Joe
Blow's Litlte Yellow Stonefly nymph that's the wrong color.
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.