9/28/09
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
5.   Slate Drakes
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 65

Scouting the Water:
I forgot to mention yesterday, that it is far better to scout the water when it is low
and clear. You certainly don't want to do it when the water is higher than normal.  
Scouting during normal or even better, low water, will allow you to find a lot more
possible holding areas for the large brown trout that you could find otherwise.

What I wrote about yesterday may be confusing because the brown trout are
just now starting to make a move from their normal holding areas to their upstream
spawning areas. Within the next few weeks, most of the large brown trout in the
streams of Great Smoky Mountains National Park will do just that. That doesn't have
anything to do with what I wrote about yesterday. I mention this because I was afraid
some of you may be aware of that and think that what I wrote about yesterday is
related to the spawn and it isn't. It is a procedure you would use anytime during the
year to locate potential hiding locations for large brown trout.

Now that I have cleared that up, let me describe another method of finding
pre-spawning brown trout. As I just mentioned, these large trout will move upstream
to spawn starting any day now and continue for the next few weeks. Most of the
actual spawning will take place from about the middle of October to near the end of
November and possibly even into December, depending on the weather and water
temperatures. The biggest difference in what I will now describe, and what I
described yesterday, is that you would be looking for the actual fish, not their
normal daytime homes.

Now keep in mind that most of these trout prefer to migrate upstream during the
evenings under the cover of darkness. They generally rest in the daytime. Rather
than hiding under a rock, they often just rest in deeper water or in an inconspicuous
location. Actually, it may not be that they are resting. It may be that they are just
waiting on better conditions to move through shallow water to where they are more
likely to be seen by predators. There isn't much for them to be afraid of other than
humans, but they do have a strong, natural tendency to stay hidden. The urge to
spawn just overrides a lot of their normal caution.

Occasionally you will spot one moving during the day. That certainly makes it much
easier to spot one. When they stop, they tend to become camouflaged with the
bottom. If they don't position themselves on the bottom, it is usually easier to see
them. They can sometimes be spotted by first noticing their shadow. It appears as a
dark spot below the trout and is much easier to see than the fish itself. Of course
this is only true if the sun is shinning on the water. Now that brings up another
important point. It is easier to spot the trout on a brightly lit sun shinny day but that
is when they are most likely holding up or resting, if you want to call it that. You
would be far more apt to spot one on the move if you observe the water under low
light conditions such as an overcast sky, or cloudy, rainy day. However, the trade
off is that it would be far more difficult to see the fish under low light conditions.

The best way to find these migrating brown trout is to walk along the highest point
you can find near the streams and observe the water. This can be from a trail or
just off a road along the stream. Little River has a few miles where that can be done
both from the road and trail. Many streams such as Deep Creek have areas it can
be done from the trail. One short note is that you will normally do far more walking
and looking than casting, but the rewards can be great when you are successful.

More tomorrow..........

Copyright 2009 James Marsh