06/10/09

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

Fishing the Current Conditions - Part 3

Back on June 4th, I discussed changes that would soon take place in terms of the
weather, water temperatures and the trout's reaction to the changes. Basically, I
was referring to the weather turning hot. It didn't do that quite as soon as I expected
at the time. We had a couple of days when the temperature reached the low
nineties but then the situation reversed. A couple of slow moving fronts and lots of
rain kept the weather cool for another week.

For the next few days the weather guys are all predicting temperatures in the lower
elevations around the Smokies will reach the mid eighties each day. However, the
lows for the nights are predicted to be in the mid sixties. That is the thing that is
going to raise the water temperatures in the lower elevations to levels that affect the
fishing. Of course the higher the elevation, the lower both the daytime and nighttime
temperatures will be.

One very good thing about it is this year the water levels are in great shape. I hope
they stay that way but most likely the levels will come down and the rainfall amounts
we have been getting will decrease. Changes don't occur to larger bodies of water
as quickly as they do smaller bodies of water. Very low, shallow water undergoes
changes in temperature much faster than high, deeper water.

Already on clear days the stoneflies that have hatched (which can hang around for
a few days and even drink water) are not depositing their eggs until it is about as
dark as it is going to get. That means anglers are missing this activity. Those that
don't break the park's rules and stop fishing 30 minutes after the sun sets,
completely miss the spinner falls, caddis egg laying and the stonefly egg laying
activity. That affects what they catch in a big way. It cuts the dry fly action down
considerably. You can actually do better on the spinner falls by fishing just after
daylight.

I suggest that you eliminate fishing the lower elevations in the very near future,
unless you fish very early in the day. Start out at the mid to higher elevations. Brook
trout are already in full swing in the higher elevations. Fishing water that is ranging
from sixty to sixty-five degrees is okay but certainly not as easy to fish as water from
fifty-five to sixty degrees. Water that is over sixty-five degrees begins to reverse the
easy catch situation.

Now keep in mind that there will be a chance of a thundershower just about every
day for the next several days. If a big one happens to hit the headwaters of the
particular watershed you are fishing, things can change quickly. General
predictions don't always turn out to be very good. Sometimes they are even bad. As
I have said many times before, in my opinion one big key to fishing freestone
streams is being able to quickly adapt to the changes in the water conditions. What
works in one place at one hour of the day is subject to change in a very short time,
maybe even as quickly as a couple of hours.

Being able to change strategies and tactics and continue to catch trout consistently
is the challenge I enjoy the most. This just adds to the fun and enjoyment of fly
fishing for trout as far as I am concerned. It is also the challenge that many anglers
can't handle very well. That is why I despise the words "good fishing". If you think
"good fishing" just means "good catching" then why bother with fishing for wild
trout? Just go to the stocked streams in the area and enjoy the "good catching" just
about any and every time you go fishing.  

Copyright James Marsh 2009