04/09/09

Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives (Baetis) - sparse hatches
2. Blue Quills - hatching
3. Quill Gordons - hatching but about to end
4. Hendricksons - hatching
5. Little Black Caddis - hatching
6. Little Brown Stoneflies - hatching
7. Midges - hatching in isolated locations
8. Little Short-horned Sedges - should hatch randomly for 2-3 months
9. American March Browns - should start within a couple of weeks
10.Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish

American March Browns - Part 2 - Nymphs

The American March Brown nymphs are large, flat-like, clinger nymphs. Imitation of
them should range from a hook size 10 to a 12. Most streams will end up having
duns that range from a 10 to a 12, starting with the large size when the hatch first
starts and ending with the smaller sizes later in the long hatch period of time. As
mentioned before, they can hatch over a period of two months in the Smokies or
from about the middle of April until around the middle of June. Imitations of the
nymphs could be productive anytime from now until the hatch ends.

You want to fish imitations of the nymph right on the bottom in current seams
bordering the fast water. The clinger nymphs live on the bottom in the fast water.
When they hatch, they move to the closest adjacent slower moving water which is
usually only a few feet or inches away. The best way to present the nymph imitation
in the fast water is to use the high-stickin method. Weight the nymph down heavy
enough to get it and keep it on the bottom of the fast water. Make a short cast
slightly up and across and holding the tip of your rod high, swing the rod along with
the nymph as it travels downstream. You want to be able to feel the take. A fairly
stiff, long fly rod will work best for this. I am not going into the details of how you
nymph fish using the high-stickin method. I have done that in previous articles.

There is no magic time to stop fishing the nymph imitation and change to an
emerger or dun imitation. The reason is these mayflies hatch throughout the day.
There may be a peak in the hatch on any given day, but most of the time you will
find them hatching from about the middle of the morning until later in the day a few
at a time. Unless you just happen to see a couple of emerging duns, I would stick
with the nymph imitation.

























This is our "Perfect Fly" American March Brown nymph. They are available in hook
sizes 10 and 12. It is tied using a goose biot for the abdomen, dubbed thorax, with
partridge tail and legs. The leg partridge is dyed. The wing pad is a strip of turkey
feather. You cannot see it very well but the nymph is flatter than it appears in this
image.

You will need to place enough weight about six or eight inches above the fly to keep
it on the bottom of the fast water. The locals call this method of nymphing
"dredging".


Copyright 2009 James Marsh