05/12/09

Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.   Blue-winged Olives - mostly Little BWO - Isolated hatches
2.   Giant Black Stoneflies - hatching
3.   Cinnamon Caddis - Mostly Abrams Creek
4    Light Cahills - hatching
5.   Midges - hatching in isolated locations
6.   Little Short-horned Sedges - should hatch randomly for 2-3 months
7.   American March Browns - hatching but randomly in isolated locations
8.   Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish
9.   Little Yellow Stoneflies - hatching
10. Eastern Green Drakes - should be hatching in Abrams Creek
11. Green Sedges - hatching
12. Little Sister Caddisflies - Mostly Abrams Creek
13. Eastern Pale Evening Duns - starting any day (called Sulfurs by some)

New "Perfect Fly" Hellgrammite Fly (Dobsonfly Larva)

We are happy to announce that we have our new "Perfect Fly" Hellgrammite.
The Hellgramite is the larva stage of life of the Dobsonfly. I am sure that if you have
ever caught any nymphs you have seen the hellgrammite. I am also sure that if you
have ever picked one up you quickly learned one difference in a mayfly or stonefly
nymph and the hellgrammite. They can and will bite and pinch.

These flies deposit their eggs on the bottom side of leaves and stems of the bushes
and trees. The eggs hatch into larvae and fall off into the water where they live until
they hatch. The larvae are predators that eat other insects. The adult Dobsonfly is
a very large fly that looks a lot like a stonefly. They are nocturnal, so it is doubtful
you will see them very often in the daylight hours. The adults only live a few days
during which time they mate and deposit their eggs in the darkness.

The larvae are readily eaten by trout as well as smallmouth bass. I mention
smallmouth because the dobsonfly tends to dwell in slightly warmer water or water
that is marginal for trout. The streams of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
have a lot of these insects. We have found huge quantities of them in water
samples taken from the spring creek portion of Abrams Creek. Most all the small
streams at the mid to lower elevations have fairly large populations of the larvae.

These are the known species of Dobsonflies and Fishflies in the Great Smoky
Mountains National Park:
Chauliodes pectinicornis   Fishfly
Corydalus cornutus  Dobsonfly; Hellgrammite; Grampus Fishflies
Nigronia fasciatus  Fishflies
Nigronia serricornis

Presentation:
The hellgrammites can be found in the riffles. The fishflies are more frequently
found in the eddies and backwater or slow water areas of the streams. Fish the
imitation exactly like you would a clinger mayfly nymph imitation. You need to keep
the fly on the bottom by weighting it down. Most of the time an up or up and across
presentation works best. Short line nymphing or "high stickin" also work with the
hellgrammite imitation.
























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Copyright James Marsh 2009