Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2. Little Yellow Quills
3. Great Autumn Brown Sedges
4. Needle Stoneflies
Most available - Other types of food:
6. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Fly Fishing the Smokies Update
I noticed they dropped the predictions for the low and high temperatures two or
three degrees since I wrote Monday's Weather and Stream Conditions article.
Sounds like nothing very important but it is. It may make the difference in water
temperatures in the low elevations ranging from the low forties to the high thirties at
the warmest time of the day. Another factor, and still a guess at this point, is the
amount of snow the high elevations will get. Melting snow affects the water
temperature even in the low elevations.
The water temps tomorrow will not get out of the thirties. Friday shows a high of 48
degrees at Gatlinburg but Thursday night's low is shown at 22. If that holds up,
Friday's water temps probably want exceed forty degrees.
Friday night low is shown at 26 and the high Saturday 48. Most of the day the water
will probably be below forty degrees but it may get in the low forties at the warmest
part of the day and again, if the melting snow in the higher elevations isn't a huge
factor. Sunday has a chance to be a little warmer and maybe have water temps in
the low forties. Don't expect much. Enjoy the challenge. Enjoy the experience.
I will provide the strategies and flies we suggest you use tomorrow. The water levels
are currently high but falling rather fast and will be fine this weekend.
By the way, many anglers don't understand how cold water temps affect the trout.
Trout don't get cold in the sense us humans do. We are warm blooded and we feel
the difference in the temperature outside and our body temp. Trout are cold blooded
and don't feel a difference in their blood and water temps directly as such. It is close
to the same temp as the water. They become sluggish and need less food. From a
fishing standpoint, the most important thing is they avoid current. Most of them will
be in holes on the bottom, pockets behind boulders if it is deep enough water, and
other places they can avoid the current. This makes it time consuming and difficult to
present a slow moving fly in close proximity to them. You are also fishing to fish you
cannot see and can only assume your fly is in slack water or better, no current at all.
In terms of whether or not there is current, it is much to do with making a good guess
because most of the time, they are under faster moving surface and upper water
column currents. That affects your presentation of the fly. In many cases, your trying
to get a very slow drift fishing through fast moving water.
If they are alive they will eat. It only takes them eating a tiny morsel of what
they take to be food to catch one. They won't move very far, if at all, to do it, but
they will eat. In other words, the big problem becomes getting the fly to them and it
drifting slow like the water they are holding in. It takes time to find them and often
you don't. If you plotted one's ability to catch trout under these conditions, you would
see a sharp curve where the water temperature drops from the low forties to the
mid- thirties. It isn't a directly proportional declination. It is a very accelerated
Another misunderstood thing about water temperature is how it affects hatching
aquatic insects. To be short and simple, it is a good guideline but not a direct factor
at all. Several species of insects anglers call Blue-winged Olives, hatch in water
temperatures in the low forties. You can catch trout on and in the surface skim
during a hatch in water that cold. Most of them are eaten in the water column during
the emergence. If these insects have fully developed wing pads and are near
hatching, they will hatch as long as the water isn't frozen. Angie and I witnessed
huge clouds of size 18 Baetis tricaudatus hatch on the Roaring Fork River in
Colorado one Spring day. The water temperature had dropped down to from the mid
40's the day before to 35 degrees, yet they were hatching by the thousands and not
only that, the trout were visibly eating at least some of them on the surface.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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: Fly Fishing Strategies and
Weather/Stream Conditions Update
Friday: Whatever Hits Me
Saturday: Getting Started
Sunday: Fly Fishing School
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2. Call us at 800-594-4726 and we
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BWOs hatching on the Roaring Fork River in 35 degree water.