11/03/09
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.   Blue-winged Olives
2.   Great Brown Autumn Sedge
3.   Slate Drakes
4.   Little Yellow Quills
5.   Needle Stoneflies
6.   Crane Flies
7.   Helligramite
8.   Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish
9.   Midges

Fly Fishing for Trout - Instructional Videos (DVD) - Part 8
Continued from yesterday

After the release of the Small Stream Series, we were ready to release the first of
our Aquatic Insect Series DVD. One reason we released "Imitating Aquatic Insects -
Stoneflies" first was the fact that it was the easiest one for us to obtain video of all
the different stoneflies..First of all, there are only nine families of stoneflies. That
makes it easy compared to mayflies or caddisflies which have many more families
than that. Of course that requires capturing more than nine different stonefly
nymphs and nine different stonefly adults because there are some stoneflies within  
the same family that behave and look completely different. All in all, however, as
compared to the other aquatic insects, stoneflies are simply in that they almost all
behave the same way. They all crawl out of the water to hatch (except for a few very
rare exceptions) and they all deposit their eggs on the surface of the water.

Another huge advantage was Great Smoky Mountains National Park itself. There's
species of all nine families in the park. In fact, I doubt there exist a stream anywhere
in the nation with more different types of stoneflies than there are in than the park.
It still took trips to the different parts of the country, and some luck on timing the
hatches to obtain the video we needed of both nymphs and adults. There aren't
any Salmonflies in the park, for example. Still, all in all, Stoneflies was far easier to
do than our mayfly program, or our caddisfly program, which still isn't finished.
Stoneflies don't have nymphs, duns and spinners, not to mention the emergers
which change clothes in the water in most cases. You imitate the stoneflies with two
flies, either a nymph or an adult egg layer.  Another simple thing that helped is that
the stoneflies are large enough to see with the naked eye. They are much easier to
spot in the water and on the banks than most other aquatic insects.

As simple as the stoneflies seem to be, we still found out they are often not
understood by many anglers. We have seen anglers fishing adult stonefly imitations
when there were no egg layers on the water. We have seen anglers here in the
Smokies fishing adult imitations of Giant Blacks in the middle of the day when there
are no adult Giant Black Stoneflies on the water laying eggs anytime during the
daylight hours. I could go on and on with obvious mistakes we have noticed anglers
making.

Another thing we noticed is just the overall lack of anglers fishing stonefly nymphs
as compared to other types of nymphs. The streams of the Smokies are full of
stonefly nymphs. Most of them only live a year but several species live for two and
three years. The species locals call Yellow Sallies are the most plentiful. The Little
Yellow Stonefly is one of the nine families. It contains numerous species many of
which are not yellow, by the way. Most of the nymphs are brown and some of the
adults are more brown than yellow. There are also many species of the little Brown
Stoneflies. By the way, there isn't any such thing as a LIttle Black Stonefly as
relates to families. The black color stoneflies are usually members of the Little
Brown Stonefly family. Don't get upset about that. At least the nine families of
stoneflies have common names. You don't have to get into much Latin to
understand them to the point you need it to identify them. In fact, identifying them
isn't all that necessary because unlike mayflies and caddisflies, they all behave the
same way.

Here is a
list of stoneflies found in the park. The most overlooked ones in the park
are the Leuctridae species, or the little Needleflies. You never hear them mentioned
and they are very plentiful. To learn about the stoneflies and how to catch trout on
imitations of them, purchase our
Stonefly Program, one of our best selling DVD.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh