06/30/09

Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.   Eastern BWO- Isolated hatches
2.   Cinnamon Caddis - Mostly Abrams Creek
3    Midges - hatching in isolated locations
4.  Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish
5.   Little Yellow Stoneflies - (Summer Stones) hatching
6.   Green Sedges - hatching
7.   Little Sister Caddisflies - Mostly Abrams Creek
8.   Golden Stonefly - hatching
9.   Little Green Stonefly - hatching
10. Slate Drakes - hatching
11. Beetles
12. Grasshoppers
13. Ants
15. Inch Worms
16. Craneflies
17. Cream Cahills - hatching in isolated locations
18. Hellgrammites

Summer is Here
I am interrupting my "Learning Process" series of articles to bring some things to
the attention of those who may not be very familiar with the changes that takes
place in the trout's feeding habitats in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

About a week ago, summer officially arrived. As usual, the weather was actually
warmer during late Spring than it is now that summer is here. I guess that is why
most people go by the changes in the season that they can actually see and feel
more than they do the calendar. You can bet on one thing. The trout do. They pay
no attention to the calendar. Although I am running a few days late writing this, I
wanted to modify the "insects and food the trout may be eating" list and "list of flies
you need to have".

There are some Eastern Blue-winged Olive mayflies hatching in isolated locations.
As you probably know, Blue-winged Olive is a catch all name for a lot of different
mayflies. Most of them are the little swimming nymphs like the
baetis species. There
are also some larger mayflies (larger meaning hook size 16-18) that are crawlers
that are called Blue-winged Olives. These species are in the
Drunella genus. It is
difficult to say exactly when they hatch because there are several species of them
and they hatch at different times starting now and actually hatching off and on
(depending on the species) until November. For those that know their insects, I am
referring to the
Drunella cornuta, cornutella, lata and other Drunella species. These
mayflies are in the same group as the large Western Green Drakes and the Small
Green Drakes called Flavs. They are smaller than the Flavs but look very much like
them. Although the trout will eat them for certain, you want find many of them. You
will tend to see them hatching where there is slow to moderately flowing water in the
streams such as the ends and edges of long pools, large pockets behind boulders
and other places where the water isn't moving fast. The largest hatch I have ever
seen was in August near Elkmont on Little River. I am sure streams like
Cataloochee, Hazel and Abrams Creeks have more but I just haven't been there at
the right time. I am mentioning this because you should be aware the hatch can
occur. It is difficult to notice them hatching because they hatch throughout the day a
few at a time but if you do, you want to fish the hatch. If you find the duns on the
bushes and trees (under the leaves) then you should fish the spinner fall just
before dark. It will be about the only mayfly you will see for the next couple of
months other than the Cream Cahills and Slate Drakes.

You will spot some Cream Cahills (some of you may call them Light Cahills but they
are actually not Light Cahills). They are just a lighter colored version that becomes
almost white in one species. Fish them just like you do the Light Cahills because
they are clinger nymphs they behave very similarly.

The Slate Drakes will be around for a very long time. You may not even see a one
of them and you may see several depending. It is impossible to pin point when and
where. I can say that fishing an imitation of the nymph is a good idea any time now.
The duns never see the water anyway, only the spinners.

You will see a mixture of caddisflies but not a heavy concentration of any of them.
There will be a few Cinnamon or Spotted Sedges, a few Little Sisters, a few Green
Sedges here and there, mostly "there". In other words, there will be insignificant
numbers of them. You may also spot some Long-horn Sedges but they too will be
few and far between.

The Little Yellow Stoneflies will still be around but the species will change and some
of them will deposit their eggs in the evenings rather than the day until mid August
when a different species starts hatching.

The Little Green Stoneflies may appear in slow to moderate flowing areas of water.
The Golden Stoneflies will just about be gone for the year.

Other than the hatches mentioned above, none of which are very significant, the
only thing the trout will have to eat from a dry fly standpoint, are the terrestrials
insects that happen to fall, get blown or washed into the streams. Ants, beetles,
grass hoppers and inch worms should produce all summer.

I am listing
Crane Flies (bottom of page) now that we have a good imitation of the
nymphs and adults. Also, be sure to check out our realistic
inch worm.

We also have two more versions of inch worms that are generic and low cost ($.79
each with no shipping cost) flies. One is the Green Weenie streamer with or without
the beadhead, and the other is the Mean Green Weenie.

Stick with the higher elevations and fish early and late.

Copyright James Marsh 2009