03/08/09

Note: Just because an insect is listed below doesn't mean it is hatching. Trout eat the insects in
pre-hatch conditions as nymphs and larvae, not just duns or adults. These are the insects and
other food you should be concerned with at this particular time.

1. Blue-winged Olives
(Baetis) - sparse hatches
2. Blue Quills - hatching soon
3. Quill Gordons - hatching soon
4. Little Black Caddis - hatching soon
5. Winter Stoneflies - sparse hatches
6. Little Brown Stoneflies - sparse hatches (some are almost black)
7. Midges - hatching in isolated locations
8. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish

Taking a Sneaky Look at Anglers Fishing in the Park

I took a drive through the park yesterday just for the heck of it. If I had of known
about the traffic, I would not have gone. I did not fish because I had no one to run
camera and I never fish without a cameraman. I guess that sounds stupid or maybe
even like I don't fish unless I am working. I don't fish without a cameraman because I
know very well I will catch a World's record if I did.

I fished a Marlin tournament a few years ago in Destin, Florida, without a camera
man/camera woman and have regretted it ever since. I have not fished since then
without one. There was not enough room on the boat I fished on in the tournament
for another person. I was asked to fish by a guy that had purchased a new 35 foot
Bertram and neither he or any of his crew (captain or mate) had ever caught a
marlin. He believed in me enough to put $10,000.00 in the calcutta and me begging
him not too. In that two day tournament I won first place white marlin, and third place
blue marlin with a 391 pound fish. I also caught a ton of dolphin and wahoo. I did all
the fishing, the captain ran the boat, the owner yelled all the time doing nothing (but
snapping shots with a still camera) and the mate gaffed the fish. In case you don't
know, you would probably average having to fish about two-hundred day to do that
well offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. We had plenty of still shots but no video. After
that I said I would never fish again without a cameraman.

Anyway, back to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I drove around the by-pass
at Gatlinburg to the park. The traffic was bumper to bumper in Pigeon Forge and it
was unreal in the park. There was as much traffic are there usually are on a perfect
fall day with the trees in full color. There must have been at least a hundred cars
parked at the Laural Falls trailhead parking lot and up and down the road for
hundreds of yards both ways. I have no idea where all the people came from.

I turned and went as far as the bridge above Elkmont campground.  That was at
1:00 PM. There was one guy fishing the river from the turn to the bridge. I
proceeded to go down Little River all the way to Townsend. Just past the turn to
Elkmont there were three guys fishing. From there to Metcalf Bottoms there were
maybe five guys. Of course I could have missed some but I dove slow and let a
huge amount of traffic pass me several times. Below Metcalf Bottoms there were
four more guys fishing above the falls. Below the falls almost to the Y, there was
one other man fishing. I turned and went up the Middle Prong of Little River and
saw a total of four guys and one lady fishing. Two men were fishing downstream. I
stopped and watched a few minutes. If they caught a trout it would have had to be
blind. They haven't read my basic tips for sure.

I finished my observations at the end of the road at about 2:30 PM, turned around
and went into Townsend. I went back home via Wears Valley to try to avoid the
traffic but it was still fairly heavy. I still do not believe the amount of traffic there was
in the park. On the other hand, there were actually not nearly as many anglers as I
though there would be. By the way, the water in Little River look great.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh