01/28/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.   Blue-winged Olives
2.   Little Black Winter Stoneflies
3.   Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish
4.   Midges

Current Weather and Stream Conditions:
The weather forecast hasn't changed much at all the last day or two. The weather
guys are still sticking with their forecast of rain changing to snow starting Friday
evening with the snowfall  lasting through Saturday. They expect an inch or two in
Gatlinburg. Doesn't sound like a bad weekend for catching trout provided you are
able to get to the streams. The problem is the stream levels. Even if you can't fish,
you can rest assured it will be beautiful this weekend. Gatlinburg will probably look
like an alpine village.

Little River has fell back down to 633 cfms. That is still high with lots of water. I think
it would be too high to safely wade anywhere in the park. If the levels continue to
fall, and the rain coming Friday is light (they expect it to be light), fishing could be
fine this weekend. The Little Pigeon River was also still high yesterday afternoon.

Getting around in the park will probably be the biggest problem, especially where
you should be thinking about going - Abrams Creek. We have caught trout there on
two occasions when the ground was covered with snow. The cloudy, overcast day
we should have on Saturday could be a good day provided you can put up with the
snow. If the forecast holds up, Sunday will have a bright blue sky.

By the way, if the dam discharges permit, the South Holston River tailwater would be
an excellent choice for Saturday.

Basics of Fly Fishing - Trout Food Series - Mayflies - Part 17
Today's article is about the Blue Quill Duns. That's about the only stage of life of
the blue quill many anglers ever attempt to imitate. In most cases, when they do
they imitate it completely wrong. They fish the fast water runs and riffles.

There are two problems with that. The first and foremost problem is the trout are
not looking for Blue Quills in the fast water. As I have said the past three days, they
don't hatch there. A few get caught up in the fast water before they can escape the
surface but the great majority depart the calm, slow to moderate water. You can't
catch trout if you are fishing in areas of the stream where they are not looking for
food. If the Blue Quills are hatching, and assuming BWOs, Quill Gordons or the
Little Black Caddis aren't (this is a common situation), fishing the fast water is going
to be unproductive.

The second thing wrong with it is this. These mayflies can hatch when the water
temperature first reaches 47 degrees. We have seen that happen on many
occasions, not just in the Smokies but all the way up the eastern mountain range
into Maine. I have seen them start to come off in 45 degree water in May in New
England. By the way, in the Smokies, that is before the Quill Gordons will start
hatching. In that event, and even when the water first reaches 50 degrees, as the
locals put it - the trout aren't usually looking up. That is a stupid statement if taken
seriously, but what they mean is the trout are not feeding on the surface. They are
always, anywhere and anytime, looking up. They see all around themselves unlike
us humans.
The Blue Quill dun article

Copyright 2010 James Marsh