07/14/13

Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
Hatching:
1.     BWOs (eastern BWOs)
2.     Cream Cahills
3.     Cinnamon Caddis
4.     Little Yellow Stoneflies
5.     Golden Stoneflies
6.     Slate Drakes
7.     Little Green Stoneflies
Most available - Other types of food:
8.     Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
9.      Inch Worms
10.   Grasshoppers
11.   Ants
12.   Beetles





This Week's Featured Trout Food - Ants
Last week's featured trout food was beetles, so I thought it appropriate that "ants",
another terrestrial insect, should be the subject of this week's featured trout food.

Let me get one thing straight from the beginning. About the only time you would possibly
find more terrestrial insects in the streams of the Smokies than aquatic insects would be
after strong winds or high water levels washed them in the streams. Unlike what many
have written and contend, terrestrial insects would rarely, if ever, make up the most
plentiful or available food for the trout to eat. This isn't to say they are not effective or that
trout cannot be taken on imitations of terrestrials because they can. I'm basing this on
many hours spent with various types of drift nets being placed in the streams to catch
drifting insects. Angie and I did that in most all of the stream over a period of two years.
The results was, very, very few terrestrial insects were caught except for a couple of times
the water levels were high and water was draining from around the streams back into the
streams. On a normal day in the Smokies, you would be hard pressed to find any
terrestrial insect drifting downstream in the current. Although there's less aquatic insects
in the late Summer and early Fall than any other time of the year, there's still plenty of
them available for the trout to eat.  

Although there are a huge number of different species of beetles in the Great Smoky
Mountains National Park, there may be more ants in sheer total numbers. I say "may" be
because I really don't know. It is only a guess. I do know the park has a large number of
both along the streams and that a few of them both probably end up in the water at times
and get eaten by trout.

Most of the ants in this area are carpenter ants. There are many other different types.
Most all of them are black. I have seen only a few colonies of brown ants as compared to
the black ones.

I'm also including flying ants in this. They can be extremely plentiful at times during the late
summer and early fall, but predicting when and where they will be is impossible. You just
have to keep a few imitations in your fly box or otherwise, be greatly disappointed when
and if you do encounter them falling in the water in large numbers.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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