You will see a few changes in the hatches taking place during the month of
August. You will also see a lot more terrestrial insects in the bushes, trees and
grass along the banks of the streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National
There will not be very many aquatic insects hatching but those that do will get
the attention of the trout. You will start seeing some Little Blue-winged Olives
any time this month. Maybe you want see them. They will be hatching and if you
don't see them that means you are not looking for them. Some may think they
are midges. In low light situations you may not see them at all. If the angle of the
sun is just right, you want be able to miss the male spinners dancing just above
your head. When the females show up, you may have move to avoid them.
These olives usually range in size from 18 down to a 24 depending on the
species. When they hatch, usually early in the mornings, and when the spinners
fall, usually early in the morning or around dark in the evenings, all depending
on the species, the trout will eat them. If you have the right imitations of them, or
anything fairly close, you will catch trout late in the day or early in the mornings
meaning just past daybreak.
The Slate Drakes, or isonychia bicolor mayflies, will continue to hatch off and on
throughout the month of August. If the water gets a little high or discolored, put
on one of the large nymphs and try it. They also work well early in the mornings
or late in the afternoons when the light levels are low. Fish them shallow near
You may still see some Cream Cahills or Maccaffertium species still hatching,
especially in the higher elevations. The duns of one species that you may
encounter will almost be white. Most of them are a light yellow.
Also continuing to hatch and representing the "yellows" everybody talks about all
summer, will be the Little Summer Stones. These are Peltoperlidae family
species of stoneflies some may call Yellow Sallys, a name that is used locally for
about twenty different types of stoneflies.
If you are in the right location, you may see a few of the longhorn caddis
hatching or Leptoceridae species. They are usually hatching in slow to moderate
water such as the ends of large pools. They are fairly uncommon but if you do
see them, you certainly should try an imitation of the adult just prior to dark.
Probably the most important species of mayfly to show up this month will be the
Mahogany Duns or Paraleptophlebia species. These mayflies are just small
versions of the Blue Quills you see in February and March. They will range from
a hook size 20 to 22 depending on the species hatching. There are three of
them but the mollis will be the most plentiful ones. Fishing this hatch isn't easy.
You will have to make good presentation in shallow water usually next to the
banks using long tippets and leaders to avoid spooking the trout. If you do it
right, you can catch plenty of trout in a short time late in the afternoons. You can
easily identify the spinners, called Jenny Spinners. Their bodies will be clear.
Around the middle of the month you will start seeing the Little Yellow Quills show
up. We have already found some on the Walker's Camp Prong of Little Pigeon
River. Most anglers think this is a Light Cahill which looks similar. The smaller
Little Yellow Quill is a clinger mayfly like the Light Cahill but they are Heptagenia
Around the middle of the month you will also start to see lots of Needle
Stoneflies or Leuctridae family species. These little stoneflies are very slim and
look exactly like a brown caddisfly when they are flying. At rest they look entirely
different, more like a small brown stick. The trout eat the nymphs like candy as
well as the spinners which for the most part, lay their eggs after sunset.
Most of you probably don't have good imitations of the aquatic species I
mentioned so far. That can change in the very near future. You will be able to
buy all you want along with better imitations of everything else trout and
many other species of fresh and saltwater fish eat.
The most important and consistent producers in the month of August will be the
terrestrials, ants, beetles, moth larvae (inch worms), and grasshoppers. Would
you like a sneak preview of a Japanese Beetle imitation that actually looks like a
Japanese Beetle. Here it is........
Click on image to get a large view
of the "Perfect Fly".
Copyright 2008 James Marsh