06/21/09

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

The Learning Process - Part 8

About seven or eight years ago, we decided to spend the month of April in
Colorado fishing some of the state's many streams. In researching the fly fishing in
the Colorado, we found that the Mother's Day hatch on the Arkansas River always
came up as one of the top hatches in the state. It was the first highly publicized fly
fishing event in the state. We read where the Grannom Caddisflies (
Brachycentrus
species) would get so thick they would cover the windows of your vehicle driving up
the river. The hatch on the long river starts below Cannon City and moves
upstream each day all the way to Leadville high in the Rocky Mountains. The trout
are mostly brown trout but there are some rainbows. This river is not much unlike
some of the larger streams in the Smokies. For the most part, it is fast moving
pocket water that starts out as a very small stream and grows as it continues
downstream. Other than a blue-winged olive hatch, this hatch represents the only
large aquatic insect hatch during the early season on the Arkansas River.

The hatch had not started when we first arrived in Colorado. We moved on to some
other streams and first discovered the hatch occurring on the Colorado River about
our third day in the state. We fished the on the Colorado River for a couple of days
and then returned to the Arkansas River. We found the hatch occurring just above
Cannon City. For the next week we followed the hatch it as it progressed upstream.

There are several species of this caddisfly (
appalachia, americanus, nigrosoma,
fuliginosus, lateralis, numerosus, occidentalis
and others) all of which are very
similar in looks and behavior. It has different names depending on where you fish it.
The Mother's Day name came from some of the Western streams where it occurs
around Mother's Day. In the Northeast it is called the Apple Caddis hatch because
of the
appalachia species that hatches in many streams there. Other places in the
East it is just called the Little Black Caddis or Small Black Caddis. It is also called
the American Grannom, Stripped Grannom, just plain Grannom, and Dark Grannom
depending on the species and where you are fishing. The Dark Grannom
(
nigrosoma species) are the ones usually called Little Black Caddis because they
are slightly darker than the other species. The males are normally a hook size 18
and the females a hook size 16, but this varies slightly from area to area and
species to species.

The Grannoms are the closest thing a caddisfly ever gets to being a mayfly. They
hatch and behave very similarly to a typical mayfly. The pupae swim to the surface
of the water where they hatch into adults. They are well suited fast to moderate
pocket water streams. I am fairly certain most all of you have seen these caddisflies
in their larva stage of life. They form very unique cases called "Chimney" cases
because they are shaped like chimneys.
There are lots of them in the streams
of Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
Little River, along with many other
streams, has a very good population of them. Continued tomorrow........


































Copyright James Marsh 2009