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
6. Little Black Caddis (American Grannoms)
7. Hendricksons and Red Quills
8. Little Short Horned Sedges
9. American March Brown
10. Cinnamon Sedges (Caddisflies)
11. Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
Cinnamon Sedges (Caddis) - Pupa
As I have stated in the past articles on the Cinnamon Sedge, the problem is
determining when the hatch is actually occurring. Most anglers don't recognize it
until it is too late to do them any good. When they start seeing large numbers of the
caddisflies in the air, on the banks and in the bushes, they begin to consider it
important. When that situation exist, you have missed at least a large part of the
The pupae swim to the surface to hatch. They are very available for the trout to
eat at that time. In fact, it is easy picking for the trout. They just get at the ends of
the current seams and pick them off. The trout don't hold on the surface doing this.
They stay well below the surface and eat the pupae on their way up to the surface.
The pupae actually swim to the surface using their middle legs. It is a very crude
way of swimming. It is thought that the air bubbles assist them with the accent to the
surface as much as anything. Anyway, they have no way of escaping from the trout.
The trout can eat as many as they desire.
Often the caddisflies are emerging at the same time they are depositing their eggs.
If not, you will probably not notice the hatch or see the fish feeding on them.
Occasionally the trout will jump out of the water eating the pupae. This is one clue
that they are eating the pupae. The hatch usually happens in the late afternoon but
later in the year, it may not occur until dusk. It depends on the time of year that the
particular species hatch. Right now, it would be late afternoon about the time the
sun goes below the horizon. Most all of them hatch in the riffles.
You want to imitate the pupae swimming from the bottom to the surface in the riffles
and runs. The pupae emerge (reach the surface) near the tail ends of the riffles
and runs, not at the upper end. They want stay on the surface but for a few
seconds before they fly away.
You want to add a small amount of weight about six or eight inches above the fly.
Normally, a BB size split shot is all you need. Use an up and across ( or an across
current) presentation in the riffles or near the end of a run. Mend the fly to get it
down. Allow the fly to swing all the way around from the across position to the down
and across position. You may need to make two or three mends until it gets down
and across. When the fly reaches the down and across position, stop following it
with the rod tip. When you do, the fly will rise to the surface in the slow current. This
is where the trout will normally take the pupa imitation - as it is rising to the surface.
Allow it to stay on the surface for a few seconds before making the next cast.
You should make this presentation in each section of the riffles or in a run a few
times, or enough to make sure you are covering the water before moving on to the
next section. The thing that is going to throw most Smoky Mountain anglers off
doing this is the downstream approach. Although you make the first cast up and
across, on subsequent presentations, you move downstream. In other words you
are progressing in a downstream direction, not upstream.
This involves longer than normal cast in the Smokies. Since your presentation ends
up downstream, with the trout facing in your direction, you want to the fly to rise to
the surface a good distance downstream to avoid spooking the trout.