Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. Cream Cahills
2. Cinnamon Caddis
3. Slate Drakes
4. Little Green Stoneflies
Most available - Other types of food:
5. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
6. Inch Worms
This Week's Featured Trout Food - Cinnamon Caddis (part one)
I just happened to look up at the current list of foods the trout should be eating and
noticed Cinnamon Caddis, so that will be the featured trout food. Of all the aquatic insects,
I think caddisflies are the most confusing, or maybe a better way of putting it would be to
say that they are the least known of them all. One reason is the common names given to
them. They vary from book to book, from angler to angler, and depending on where you
may be fishing. In other words, common names are actually completely worthless
insofar as identifying caddisflies. That written, I will also point out that if I use the
scientific names for them, most of you will probably click the mouse. I'll start with Cinnamon
caddis by explaining the basic difference in caddisflies. By the way, to avoid confusion, the
caddisflies are often called Sedges. Both caddis and sedges refer to caddisflies.
There are three basic types of caddisflies - cased, free-living and net-spinning.
The cased ones are easy to distinguish in their larva stage of life. They live in cases.
Anyone that has looked at the rocks in a trout stream very much has noticed cased
caddisfly larvae. The shapes of the cases vary greatly but the larvae remain enclosed in
the case. They are able to stick their heads and legs out of the case to move around.
Larvae of the free-living species do not live in cases, or stay in shelters. They just move
about on the bottom of the stream freely and feed. Their larvae are often called "Rock
Worms" because they resemble little, fat worms.
Net-spinning larvae live in shelters (for lack of a better word) but leave the shelters to feed
in nets they build nearby to catch their food. When they feed, they hang out of their
shelters on a silk line to collect food from their nets. Cinnamon Caddis (Sedges), the
common name of the majority of the eastern species of net-spinning caddisflies, are
species of the ceratopsyche genus. By the way, most of the very similar western species
are called Spotted Caddis (Sedges) and are species of the hydropsyche genus. Little
Sister caddisflies is another common name for smaller, but very similar species of the
cheumatopsyche genus. These three common names of caddisflies include ninety-percent
of the net-spinning caddisflies and the net-spinning caddisflies make up over
seventy-percent of all caddisflies found in trout streams. In other words, if you have
imitations of these three groups - Cinnamon Caddis, Spotted Caddis, and Little Sister
Caddis, you can imitate over seventy-percent of all caddisflies. They do vary in hook sizes
from about a 14 through a 20. Notice I didn't mention any species of these three genera.
There are hundreds of them and they vary in appearance and behavior very little.
All three types of the above caddisflies - cased, free-living and net-spinning, exist in the
streams of the Smokies. Next Sunday, I will cover the Cinnamon Caddis in detail. They
exist in just about all the streams but usually only in limited or small quantities. There are
also a few Spotted Sedges as well as a few Little Sister Caddis. The largest quantities of
these three net-spinning caddisflies live in Abrams Creek. The higher pH of the water has
a lot of plankton and plankton is necessary for the net-spinning caddis to survive.
By the way, these three types of net-spinning caddisflies represent over 90 percent of the
caddisflies in most of our local tailwaters.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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Cinnamon Caddis larva