04/11/09

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 4 - Duns and Spinners

Looking back at what I previously have written about the emergers, I noticed that I
also just about covered what I needed to cover regarding the American March
Brown duns. You fish imitations of the duns the same way I suggested you fish the
trailing shuck emergers. The only thing I didn't do was show a picture of our Perfect
Fly Dun.
























Our "Perfect Fly" Dun. The abdomen is made from a goose biot. The thorax of
dubbing, legs of dry fly rooster hackle, split wings of hen neck feathers and tails
made of nylon.

The spinners of the American March Browns show up very late in the afternoons
after the sun sets. If it is a clear day and during the later part of their long hatch
period, the females may not start depositing their eggs until it is near dark. As with
most all mayfly spinners, they will usually start earlier if it is a cloudy, overcast day.
The action usually doesn't last long, often less than an hour. Of course the size of
the spinner fall is totally dependent on the size of the hatch which is often sparse. If
you have seen a lot of duns during the day, you will find a decent size spinner fall. If
you haven't, chances are you would be wasting your time fishing the spinner fall or
maybe I should say, lack of a spinner fall.

When these mayflies first start hatching, even before the Hendrickson hatch has
ended and during the time the Red Quills are falling, you may find the March Brown
spinner fall to be heavy with the March Brown spinners mixed right in with the Red
Quills. I have seen that occur several times in the Smokies. If that happens, for
about an hour, fishing will be about as good as it ever gets. The "catching" will be
easy.

My suggestion is to always have a few March Brown Spinner imitations in your fly
box. If you see a lot of duns around the stream during the day, you will see a lot of
spinners by early evening. Well, let me qualify that and say, there will be a lot of
spinners on the water. You probably won't see them unless you skim the surface of
the water.

























This is our "Perfect Fly" American March Brown Spinner. The hen neck feathers will
tend to become translucent when they are wet. The soft hackle that imitates the
spinners legs helps support the fly. You should apply floatant to the soft hackle,
biot abdomen, dubbed thorax and long nylon tails to help float the fly in the surface
skim. Present the fly at the ends of the runs and riffles where the real spinners tend
to collect. Don't overlook to eddies. Watch for a swirl and set the hook.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh