9/15/09
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
5.   Slate Drakes - hatching
6.   Cream Cahills - hatching in Isolated locations
7.   Little Yellow Quills
8.   Needle Stoneflies
9.   Beetles
10. Grasshoppers
11. Ants
12. Inch Worms
13. Crane Flies
14. Helligramite
15. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish

The Learning Process - Part 53
To summarize yesterday's article, I guess I could say that when conditions are great
for trout to feed, catching them in fast, pocket water isn't that difficult. The trout  
don't have the time to closely examine your fly. As long as you can stay hidden and
get the fly to drift drag free, the trout can be fooled with most any attractor fly.
However, when conditions are not optimum for the trout to feed in the same stream,
it becomes far more difficult to catch them.

When conditions are great for the trout to feed in streams with clear, smooth flowing
water, it still isn't easy to catch trout. Attractor flies usually won't work very well,
even when the trout are very active and feeding aggressively. Thats because the
trout can see your fly and even your leader and tippet quite well.

In most freestone streams, the faster, pocket water is usually located in the
headwater section of the stream in the mountains where the decline of the stream is
steep. When the stream get to the mid range elevations in the foothills of the
mountains, the flow usually become more moderate with long, runs and riffles and
larger pools. When the stream gets to its lower elevations, the decline becomes
even less, the stream is usually much larger and the flows are usually much slower.

In most of the freestone streams in the Rocky Mountains, Sierra and Cascades, the
water is suitable for trout throughout the streams length. Trout are usually present
everywhere in the streams except in the lower most section of the streams, at
relatively low elevations where the water has been exposed to the sun.

In Great Smoky Mountains, the water thats capable of holding trout year-round, is
mostly all fast, pocket water
in the headwaters of the streams. When the
streams get to their midrange elevations in the foothills of the mountains, they
become too warm during the hot summer months for the trout to survive. These
parts of the freestone streams are often stocked with put and take trout. In the
lower elevations, where the decline of the stream is even less, the water isn't
capable of supporting trout. At that point, most of the streams have either flowed
into a larger stream or become dammed for hydroelectric power.

For example, the headwaters of Little River, consisting mostly of pocket water, exist
from about Metcalf Bottoms upstream. The midrange elevations of the stream in the
area of the foothills, flows from Metcalf Bottoms through Townsend. The water in
this section of the river changes from marginal to water that is too warm to support
trout. Outside the park the river is stocked with put and take trout. The lower
section of the river, where the decline of the stream is even less, from about
Walland father downstream, consist of water thats not capable of supporting trout.

In other words, the only portions of the streams in the Great Smoky Mountain
capable of supporting trout year-round is the headwaters of the streams. The
middle and lower sections of the streams are not suitable for wild trout. In the
Western United States, most of the streams are capable of supporting trout from
their headwaters through at least part of their lower sections.

When these streams are dammed, the type of water that exist below the dam
depends on two things. One is the configuration and type of stream bed that existed
before the dam was built and the other is the amount of water that is released from
the dam. Some tailwaters have fast moving pocket waters during the times the
releases are favorable for that, and others have smoother flowing water. In the
Southeast, most of the tailwaters are not capable of supporting trout year-round.
They are stocked as put and take streams. The ones with bottom releases of water
from deep lakes may be suitable for sustaining trout year-round depending on a
number of other factors.

When it comes to fooling trout in these tailwater streams with a fly, it depends on
the releases and type of stream bed the water flows through. Some of them have
pocket water, some have long riffles and pools and some have relatively smooth
flowing water. Those stocked with put and take trout can be fooled with attractor
type flies in any type of water, smooth or rough and slow or fast.

Continued tomorrow.................

Copyright 2009 James Marsh