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
5. Slate Drakes
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
The Learning Process - Part 62
For purposes of learning more about the brown trout, think of them like this. Think
of the small ones that are less than 12 inches long, as those brown trout that are
still in school. Think of the larger ones as those having finished college. They have
started to work and are already raising families. Now just like with humans, you will
also have some 14 inch trout that are still in school and maybe some twelve inch
ones that have already finished. In other words, there is no fine line as to size
regarding what I am about to say. These two categories of brown trout, represent
fish that behave entirely differently. Now make sure you also keep in mind these are
brown trout living in the small streams of the Smokies, not just brown trout any and
The small ones, or the first category, still feed on insects. You may even catch one
thats 12 inches long on a small dry fly. You may also catch that rare 16 inch brown
trout that hasn't finished school yet on a dry fly. If you happen to catch a 24 inch
brown trout on a dry fly, that fish would be as rare as a 70 year old person thats
started back to school. In other words, that would be very rare and unusual.
When brown trout get around 12 to 14 inches long, they change their lifestyles.
They feed differently and feed on different things than they do when they are small.
They reside in different types water. It would be very rare for an 18 inches brown to
feed on insects in shallow riffles during the daylight hours, yet the 9 inch brown
trout commonly do that. In fact, the large brown trout tend to avoid light altogether.
They become nocturnal. Fish that are active during the day, are called diurnal.
Those that are most active near daylight and dust, are called crepuscular fish.
Older brown trout (and small ones to some extent) fit the nocturnal category more
than either of the other two categories.
In the small streams of the Smokies, large brown trout eat mostly other fish, but they
also eat crayfish. These small streams have huge populations of crayfish. They will
also eat mayfly and stonefly nymphs to some extent. They will also eat caddisfly and
midge larvae (and pupae) to some extent. The fish the brown trout eat consist of
just about any species of fish that is smaller. For a 30 inch brown trout, that could
be a fish weighting a half pound or larger. The way they go about that is to hide and
pounce on a small fish that makes the mistake of getting to close to their home. In
some ways, they become more like a big largemouth bass than a trout. They
become very much like a grouper.
Copyright 2009 James Marsh