03/06/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.   Blue-winged Olives
2.   Little Black Winter Stoneflies
3.   Quill Gordon Mayflies
4.   Blue Quill Mayflies
5.   Little Brown Stoneflies (some almost black)
6.   Little Black Caddis (American Grannoms)
7.   Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
8.   Midges

Early Season Strategies - Part 5
For the past few days, I have presented Scenarios, whereas you are fishing at this
time of the year in the Smokies and encounter the hatches, or lack thereof, of Blue
Quills, Quill Gordons, BWOs, Little Black Caddis and Little Brown Stoneflies. What I
haven't presented, is a combination of the above and in reality, that is what you are
most likely to encounter in the near future. At the very start of the hatches you may
find the previous situations occurring, but within a few days, they all will begin to
hatch. This will happen in spite of the weather. The biological clock of these nymphs
and larvae will insist on it regardless of the adversities. Another good problem with it
is that they all occur at about the same time of day, except for the stoneflies. They
will hatch in the evenings.

These are called "multiple hatches" because that is exactly what they are. Then the
question becomes, which of the insects are the trout feeding on the most, or which
one is more important than the other. Some anglers will tend to think that the trout
will prefer the larger of these insects, or in this case Quill Gordons. I can assure you
that even though they may choose the Quill Gordons over anything else, it will not
be because of their size. I don't want to get into the reasons I have for that at the
time, but I know for a fact, the size of the bugs has nothing to do with it.

Chances are good that they will be feeding on the most available and most plentiful
of those insects that are hatching. What this amounts to is the trout take the best
positions in the stream to acquire the most food coming downstream. In fact, this
becomes such a focus that the larger, more aggressive trout take the best spots
according to those that have studied this. When the hatches are underway, this
means they take over the prime locations in the current seams. The Quill Gordons
and the Little Black Caddis both hatch mid stream or where they get caught up in
the current seams. The Blue Quills and BWOs, do so eventually, but not usually
before the duns depart the water. Naturally, you are better off fishing the areas the
food is concentrated in than  seeking out the areas the BWOs and Blue Quills are
hatching in. They are far more difficult to fish.

Now that you are thinking, its simple, that you just fish the current seams, consider
this. On a typical early season, clear blue-bird sky day, the hatches only last for
about an hour or two hours at the most. Unless you just want to go fishing for a
couple of hours, there's a lot more to choosing a good strategy than that. I notice
that most anglers that fish the early season hatches, use this one strategy
throughout the day, hatches or no hatches. That is why most of them end up
catching only a few trout.

The idea is to be able to change methods of fishing, and the flies you are using to
imitate the insects, throughout the day to adjust. To make it
short and sweet, fish
nymphs up until around early afternoon when the weather is the warmest and then
change to fishing the hatches. When they end, change back to fishing nymphs until
near dark and then change to spinners or adult caddis depending on the egg laying
activity you observe. This will triple the catching.