03/11/09

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
3. Quill Gordons - hatching
4. Little Black Caddis - hatching
5. Winter Stoneflies - sparse hatches
6. Little Brown Stoneflies - hatching
7. Midges - hatching in isolated locations
8. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish

Strategy To Use "Now" Fishing the Smokies - Part 2

Continuing from yesterday, fish the Quill Gordon dun as long as you are
successful. If they are hatching and the trout are taking them on the surface you
should be able to catch some on the dun within a very short time. If not, go back to
the emerging dun or wet fly. This action should not last much longer than a couple
of hours. When it stops, you may still be seeing a lot of Blue Quills hatching. If so,
change to a Blue Quill emerger pattern. You will need to use a long leader and light
tippet of about 6 or 7 X. Fishing the calmer water around the edges of the stream
and in the shallow pockets. If you still see fish still taking the Blue Quills around
4:00 or later, you should try the Blue Quill dun. If you don't get any action on the
Blue Quill or the Quill Gordon imitations within a short time, change back to the
nymphs I mentioned yesterday - Blue Quill, Quill Gordon or Little Brown Stonefly
nymph imitations. This late in the day, I would probably go with the stonefly.

There is another fly hatching in some areas of the streams - the Little Black
Caddisfly. I won't go into the details of this hatch because I have done that before
and even fairly recently. The bottom line is it hatches about mid afternoon around
the same time the Quill Gordons and Blue Quills are hatching. If you see more of
them on the water than the mayflies, fish the Little Black Caddis imitations. If it is
around 2;00 to 4:00 PM and you don't see the fish taking the caddis on the surface,
yet you see the caddisflies hatching (on the surface), it means they are eating them
subsurface. Fish an imitation of the Little Black Caddis pupa. If you do see the trout
taking them on the surface, fish an imitation of the adult Little Black Caddisfly. My
guess is that they will be taking them on the surface. These should be either a 16
or 18 hook size - not any larger. Females are a 16 and males an 18. If the Little
Blacks are hatching around 4:00 PM, you should start seeing the eggs layers on
the water from previous hatches before the hatch has ended. You may want to start
fishing the adult pattern (dry fly) where you see this activity occurring. It may be the
exact same place they are hatching. It should continue to be productive until dark,
or up until the park rules say you can no longer fish. If the caddisfly hatch is large,
you will probably catch more trout fishing it than the mayflies. If you only see a few
here and there, you may want to stick with the Blue Quills or Quill Gordons.

The Quill Gordon hatch is the easiest hatch to fish, especially if they are taking the
duns on the surface. Just fish upstream and place your fly at the ends of the
current seams coming off the boulders and rocks in the stream. By the way, they
should be taking them on the surface today for sure. This should continue for the
next few days up until the water happens to drop well below 50 degrees, when and
if it does.  

Late in the day the Quill Gordon spinners will return high above the water to mate,
the males drop dead and then a later near dark, the females will return to deposit
their eggs. If it is a clear day, this may not occur until just before dark. If it is cloudy
or rainy (and it may be the next few evenings), they may show up much sooner. If
so, change to a spinner (spent wing) imitation of the Quill Gordon. You probably
want be able to see them in the low light. You just about have to skim the surface of
the water to find them late in the day. Don't worry, if they have hatched the day
before in that location on the stream, the spinners will be there late in the day.

The little Blue Quill spinners will show up about the same time as the Quill Gordons
but usually in much larger quantities. They may be the only spinners there
depending on the Quill Gordon previous hatches. They will deposit their eggs
mostly around the edges of the stream and shallow tail ends of the pools. You
should change to a spent wing imitation of the Blue Quill spinners late in the day.
This takes rather long cast with light tippets and is not exactly easy to do
successfully, but done right, it is very productive. You will not be able to see the
blue quill spinners on the water. You would have to skim the surface with a net to
find them. If they have hatched during previous days on that part of the stream, the
spinners will be there late in the afternoon near dark or earlier if it is overcast or
cloudy. If you have seen a good hatch earlier in the day, chances are good
spinners will be showing up from previous hatches.

If you are in a great spot on a stream, you may see Little Black caddis hatching and
laying eggs between 2:00 and 5:00 PM, Quill Gordons hatching, and Blue Quill
hatching. There could even be a hatch of BWOs. From 5:00 PM until dark, you
should find Little Black Caddis egg layers, Quill Gordon spinners, Blue Quill
Spinners, and maybe some BWO spinners. Late in the day there should have a lot
of Little Brown Stonefly nymphs in the water near the banks. If you can't catch trout
under these conditions, quit fishing for good, break all your rods and throw you fly
boxes in the water.





Copyright 2009 James Marsh