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
Basics of Fly Fishing - Trout Food Series - Caddisflies - Part 3
Most anglers can relate to the caddisfly's adult stage of life. That is what they think
of when the think of caddisflies. Many think of nothing more than an Elk Hair
Caddis. In all due respect for Mr. Al Troth, I think he got far more credit for a good
fly than it rightly deserves. At least he came up with a pattern. Other than some
English fly patterns, that was about it for a long time. Most anglers knew very little
about caddisflies prior to the last few years. Many still do. There are books written
about "hatches" that fail to even mention caddisflies. Some that do just call them
downwings and refer to them as black ones, brown ones and green ones. I can tell
one thing certain. Authors with that little knowledge about what trout eat are
legends in their own minds.
In many streams across the nation, trout eat more caddisflies than any other
aquatic insects. In most trout streams they eat as many as they do mayflies. It is a
rare trout stream that doesn't have a good population of caddisflies and when they
don't, it's usually because the stream is highly acidic. The reason that is important
is because most caddisflies eat algae. That is the main source of food for the
net-spinners which represent 70 percent of all caddisflies in trout streams. That is
also why there are not that many net-spinners in the streams of the Smokies. They
exist to some extent in every stream in the Smokies, but they are only plentiful in
Abrams Creek. The other 30 percent of all caddisflies are the cased caddis and
free-living caddisflies. They both are fairly plentiful in the Smokies. As you will see
later, there are several good hatches of caddisflies that take place in the Smokies
that are very important. We will be going into the species that are in order of the
times they hatch starting soon with the Little Black Caddis, or American Grannoms.
Today, lets look at the importance of the adults. First of all, trout eat far less
adult caddisflies than either their larvae or the pupae. They eat a few
species in the adult stage of life during the hatch, but many are not eaten at all
during the hatch. Some crawl out of the water to hatch. Some pupae actually run
across the surface of water and hatch on the banks. Many of them crawl up the
rocks and stems of plants to hatch. Trout eat few of them that hatch in that manner.
Most of them are eaten during the time the females are depositing their eggs. The
problem with that is that they are often on the water for only a few seconds, dipping
down and touching the water. Many of them dive and deposit their eggs on the
bottom and some crawl down rocks, boulders and plants and deposit them on the
bottom. The big problem is most of the species of caddisflies deposit their
eggs after dark or during the evenings. That is the case with the Great Autumn
Brown Sedge we see plenty of in the Fall in the Smokies, for example. Only a few
species deposit their eggs during the daylight hours and then only near dark or late
in the afternoons. I am beginning to make you think the adult caddisflies are not
important and that isn't the case at all. We will get into that, species by species.
There are not that many to learn about that exist in plentiful quantities in the
Smokies. Here are some of our flies of those that do:
These flies all have foam bodies that float well in fast water. By the way, we also sell
"Elk Hair Caddis" and for $.79 each delivered.
Copyright 2010 James Marsh
This is our "Perfect Fly" Little Plain Brown Caddis,
or Lepidostoma species imitation.
This is our "Perfect Fly" Great Autumn Brown
Sedge, Pycnopsyche species, that are plentiful in
This is our "Perfect Fly" Cinnamon Caddis, or
Ceratopsyche species plentiful in Abrams Creek.
This is our "Perfect Fly" Green Sedge, plentiful in
the Smokies, or Rhyacophila species.