08/04/09

Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.   Blue-winged Olives - mostly Little BWO - Isolated hatches
2.   Mahogany Duns
3.   Midges - hatching in isolated locations
4.   Little Yellow Stoneflies - hatching (Little Summer Stones)
5.   Slate Drakes - hatching
6.   Cream Cahills - hatching in Isolated locations
7.   Beetles
8.   Grasshoppers
9.   Ants
10. Inch Worms
11. Crane Flies
12. Helligramite
13. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish

Mahogany Duns:
Species of the Paraleptophlebia genus, commonly called Mahogany Duns, are
one of the few mayflies to hatch in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
during the late summer and early fall months. We think the
debilis, mollis, guttata
and
swannanoa species all exist in the park. These mayflies are also called
Blue Quills. This is the same genus that the more familiar
adoptive species, or
early season Blue Quill, belongs to.

These mayflies don't just exist, they exist in plentiful quantities. Our guess is that
most anglers take them for little Blue-winged Olive species. They are quite different
from the numerous species anglers call Blue-winged Olives in color but are they are
the same size as some of the Blue-winged Olives. Those most plentiful are a hook
size 18 or 20. Although I haven't verified this, I think the difference in size is due to
the difference in sex. At least that is common with many other species of mayflies.

Nymphs:
The duns start to appear in August and hatch into the first of October. Like the Blue
Quills, they hatch in the slower moving shallow water along the margins of fast
water. These nymphs are crawlers that stay in the current margins on the bottom
down in the rocks, gravel and other bottom structure.  

Presentation:
The nymphs are much more effective just prior to a hatch but they will catch trout
year-round especially in the streams where there is a good population of these
mayflies. Prior to the hatch, concentrate on fishing our "Perfect Fly" Mahogany Dun
Nymph in the calmer areas of water that are near ripples and runs, such as
pockets, eddies, and calm areas near the banks. Use an upstream or an up and
across presentation, with or without a strike indicator, depending upon the water
conditions and your preference.  You will want to use added weight to get the fly
down near the bottom.

























Our
"Perfect Fly" Mahogany Dun Nymph. Note that the nymph has two EMU
feathers just behind the thorax that helps imitate the gills of the nymph.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh