06/23/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2.    Cinnamon Sedges (Caddisflies) (Abrams Creek)
3.    Green Sedges (Caddisflies)
4.    Little Sister Caddisflies (Abrams Creek)
5.    Eastern Pale Evening Duns
6.    Sulphurs
7.    Little Yellow Stoneflies -Yellow Sallies
8.    Slate Drakes
9.    Light Cahills
10.  Little Green Stoneflies
11.  Golden Stoneflies
12.  Cream Cahills
13.  Ants
14.  Inchworms
15.  Beetles
16.  Grasshoppers
17.  Hellgrammite
18.  Cranefly
19.  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)


Cream Cahills
I have added Cream Cahills to the above list but not the "Flies you need now" list.
The reason is that within about a week, several insects will need to be taken off the
list. I cannot revise the list of flies with every change on the hatch chart or I would be
changing it several times a month. I will have a new list in about a week.

Cream Cahills are hatching and actually have been for a couple of weeks now
because the weather has been much warmer than normal and the hatches have
been running ahead of the normal times accordingly. Our average daily high
temperature in the park has been several degrees above normal for this time of
year.

The Cream Cahills were among the many mayflies that were reclassified just a few
years ago. Like the March Browns and some others, they were moved into a new
genus called the
Maccaffertium genus. The modestum and mediopunctatum
species are the most plentiful of the several species that exist in this genera. They
are clinger nymphs which are the most plentiful mayflies in Great Smoky Mountains
National Park. In case you don't understand what I mean by that, I will quickly
explain. Clinger nymphs are far more plentiful in fast moving, pocket water type
streams as opposed to swimmers and crawlers which are always more plentiful in
slow to moderate water type streams. Although all three exist, along with a very few
burrowers, the clingers are the most plentiful.

Cream Cahills are light colored mayflies very similar to the Light Cahills but different
enough in appearance that they should require different flies to imitate them.
Basically, they all have a cream, creamy white to beige body with a darker thorax.
They all have pale gray wings but the markings, if they have them, will vary. Like
most clinger species, the spinners are usually the same as the duns except the
wings become transparent and the front legs and tails become much longer. The
bodies usually become darker and change towards a brown or rusty color. Those
listed below are the known species that exist in the park. The
ithaca species can
look as much like a Light Cahill as a Cream Cahill. By the way, many Smoky
Mountain anglers misidentify the Cream Cahills and call them Light Cahills. That's
another reason you will hear the common name "Light Cahill' used over a far longer
time interval than they actually exist.

The "Discovery Life" List of aquatic insects for the park has not been revised to
reflect the new
Maccaffertium genus and still includes the species in the Stenacron
and
Stenonema genera. The only one below that is actually a "Light Cahill" is the
Stenonema vicarium.

Stenacron carolina (Banks 1914)
Stenacron interpunctatum (Say 1839)
Stenacron pallidum (Traver 1933)
Stenonema integrum (McDunnough 1924)
Stenonema ithaca (Clemens & Leonard 1925)
Stenonema mediopunctatum (McDunnough 1926)
Stenonema meririvulanum Carle & Lewis 1978
Stenonema modestum (Banks 1910)
Stenonema pudicum (Hagen 1861)
Stenonema sinclari Lewis 1979
Stenonema terminatum (Walsh 1862)
Stenonema vicarium (Walker 1853)

Now I'm sure many of you think that misidentifying the insects in the Smokies doesn't
make any difference at all; however, I will note that for some reason, you will see
and hear the Cream Cahills called Light Cahills only in the South. The local anglers
in other pats of the East and mid-west where these same mayflies exist, usually get
it right.

There will soon be yet another mayfly that becomes very plentiful in the Smokies
that will also be mis-identified as a Light Cahill. It's the Little Yellow Quill, which is a
mayfly that isn't even in the Heptagenlidae family. The Little Yellow Quill is slightly
similar because it is basically yellow, but that is about the extent of the similarity. We
will cover these mayflies before long.

Most of the ones that claim to be Smoky Mountain trout fishing experts actually know
so little about the insects in the streams they can't even manage to get the common
names right. Isn't it amazing and highly coincidental that the very ones that don't
know one insect from another are always the same guys that will tell you that
knowing the insects isn't important. They are also the same ones that blame
everything on the trout and are quick to tell you how good or how bad the fishing is.
This isn't a good image of a Light Cahill. I have many better ones but I'm short on
time to locate them. There are some major differences in the Cream Cahill hatch
and the Light Cahill hatch. There are big differences in the behavior and
appearance of the nymphs and emergers. The hatch times and spinner falls are
also very different. I'll get into it tomorrow.