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
5. Slate Drakes - hatching
6. Cream Cahills - hatching in Isolated locations
7. Little Yellow Quills
8. Needle Stoneflies
12. Inch Worms
13. Crane Flies
15. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish
I didn't know what to call this article. I'll just call it September 2009 because I think
that is what I am going to write about. This is the first time in a while I have actually
been home to write something current. We have only fished the Smokies a few
times during this last two months. When I have been home, I have been dealing with
expanding our Perfect Fly Store website and dealing with other business. The trips
we have made in the park are usually either early or late and only for an hour or
two. It only takes us about twenty minutes to be fishing in the park and no more
than thirty minutes to reach the brook trout waters on 441.
The dozen times we have fished during the last month or so was more like fishing in
April than it was July. The water levels have been great ever time and twice we had
to fish streamers because of the high water. Catching fish was almost like I was
describing in yesterday's article when I said fishing can be too easy.
As you probably know, I really don't like fishing reports if anyone uses them for
guidance on what they should do. Everything changes by the hour. Looks like
about the time I sat down to watch the news last night, the bottom fell out again. I
didn't check the radar to see if that was just over my house or if that was over the
park. Yesterday at about 5:00 PM, I went down to the strip to pick up some items at
Food City for Angie and I couldn't see any of the mountains that are normally very
vivid with the afternoon sun shinning on them. The sun was shinning from the West
alright, but the mountains had disappeared in heavy clouds. It appeared to be
raining everywhere in the mountains. Looking at the USGS data for the Little Pigeon
River and Little Rivers, it shows the gauges are both about 2 feet and have recently
dropped down from almost 3 feet. Both are climbing back up but it appears we just
got a good dose of rain to keep everything in great shape.
The Little Yellow Quills should start hatching any day now from about the Chimney
Trailhead elevation and higher. The Needle Stoneflies should begin to hatch if they
haven't already. I haven't seen any yet but I haven't been on the water much either.
The Little Mahogany Duns, hook size 18 and 20, are hatching just about
everywhere. These are called Blue Quills in many parts of the country and they are
in the same genus as the early season mayflies locals call the Blue Quills. The
spinner falls have been occurring during the early mornings. I would suspect that
will change with the cool snap we had. At some point they will revert back to early
evening falls but that is guessing at what the weather will do. Most everyone that
knows what these mayflies are would miss fishing the spinner fall when it is
occurring early in the morning. It could turn out that September is the hottest month
of the year but I hope not. Yesterday morning was like a normal October day. I sit
on the front porch for a few minutes taking it all in.
The few times we have tried to fish terrestrials didn't turn out all that good. We have
caught plenty of trout every time we have fished but not on terrestrials. We caught
a few trout a couple of weeks ago on our "Perfect Fly" Carpenter Ant and one nice
brown on our Japanese Beetle but nothing in the park on our hoppers all month.
We have been fishing everywhere else in the country but here though. I am only
taking about the few times we have made an hour or two trip in the park. Please
don't use this information to plan your trip. You can count on the hatches I
mentioned, but the results of our few outings in the park is worthless information.
I can tell you this. The conditions just couldn't be better for fishing the park at this
time of year. The streams have remained in great shape all year so far. The
"catching" could get better in October, but not much better, because Mother Nature
has been very good to the Great Smoky Mountains for the past several months.
PS: Keep in mind It could also get worse. The best time to go fishing is anytime you can go.
Copyright 2009 James Marsh