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
7. Little Yellow Stoneflies -Yellow Sallies
8. Slate Drakes
9. Light Cahills
10. Little Green Stoneflies
11. Golden Stoneflies
12. Cream Cahills
19. Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
New Series on Fly Selection and Presentation - Part 2
If you missed it yesterday, please read part one of this series or this will not make a
lot of sense to you.
There are many reasons for the lack of good commercially available nymph
imitations. I'll get into those reasons shortly, but I wanted to mention to those who
may not know that the fly industry, fly shops and most anglers refer to caddisfly and
midge larvae as nymphs. That isn't correct and it shows just how much concern has
been put into it over the years. Some stores are beginning to separate and identify
nymphs from larvae properly. This can be confusing to someone new to fly fishing
The reason there are so few specific mayfly nymphs as well as caddisfly and midge
larvae and pupae imitations is the fact they are not very pretty. Some are just
downright drab and ugly. Fly tiers like to look at what they do with a gleam in their
eye and most had rather see and show a beautiful mayfly dun they tied than an ugly
Maybe it is weird, but I think mayflies are beautiful little creatures. Of course, few
actually try all that much to make their flies look like the real things. In fact, many
tiers don't have much of a clue what the real nymphs actually look like. I have over
forty hours of video just on closeups of live insects including their nymphs and
larvae stages of life. It includes most all of the species of caddisflies, mayflies,
stoneflies and other insects found in or around trout streams across the nation. You
can see some of these on our "Imitating Mayfly DVD" program.
Tiers also tend to think only in terms of dry flies. There's isn't anything wrong with
that. They are the most fun flies to fish. I doubt many would argue with that but it
also causes fly tiers to pay far less attention to nymphs than they should.
Another reason tiers pay little attention to nymphs and larvae is the fact they don't
have much to go by. Unless most anglers have one of the few good books that has
pictures of some of them, they wouldn't know what they really looked like. Although
you can pick some up from under rocks on the stream's bottom, many of them will
escape. This is especially true of the swimmers. Another problem is what they look
like lying flat on a plate in a photograph doesn't closely resemble what they look like
in the water. Nymphs are far more different from each other species wise than their
respective duns and spinners.
I haven't mentioned stonefly nymphs so far. There are some very nice imitations tied
by anglers and a few that are okay that are available on the commercial market. For
some reason, there has been far more attention paid to the Stonefly nymphs. I think
it is because some are large flies and easier to tie. However, that said, there are still
only decent imitations of a few such as the Salmonflies and Golden Stoneflies. Most
of the Yellow Sally (Little Yellow Stonefly) nymphs are very poor imitations. Most of
the nymphs are not even the same color of the real ones, which are brown, not
yellow. For some reason, there are very few, in any, of the Needleflies that are very
common in the Smokies. This is true of the plentiful Little Brown Stoneflies. There
are a few Giant Black nymphs that are fair but you sure want find any Little Winter
Stonefly nymphs, or Little Green stonefly nymphs. Now of course I am not including
our own Perfect Fly imitations. We have specific imitations of everything and they
look and act like the real insects, marine species and crustaceans.
I have had several anglers write and even make statements to me in person
indicating they thought that I was strictly a dry fly guy. For the longest I couldn't
figure out where that idea came from. I straightened them out, of course, and I
usually tell them that I fish all stages of all the insects life, not just dry flies. Finally, I
realized where it was coming from. My four hour video on the Smokies was all done
using dry flies. I did that on purpose to show the very unusual opportunities we have
in the Smokies. Where else can you catch trout every month of the year on a dry
fly? I proved the point in the video by catching some during every month of the
season on the dry fly. I did that to show the great dry fly fishing we have. Some of
the guys, probably not having viewed any of my other 17 DVD on fly fishing,
probably thought I was strictly a dry fly fisherman. Now granted, I enjoy it as much as
anyone and I usually do try to fish the dry fly if I think it will possible work, but only
up until I fail to get good results. I don't like not being able to catch trout and I use a
nymph, larvae or pupae as much as a dry fly day in and day out.
There are many, many ways to fish a nymph effectively other than using the high
stickin method, which is very effective but can also be tiring. So can the Czech
method of nymphing. I love to sight fish nymphs to individual trout. That works great
in many streams including some in the Smokies. I even fish midge larvae to large
brown trout by sight in the Spring Creeks of Pennsylvania. I rarely, if ever use an
indicator or even a double fly rig, for that matter. I want get into why just yet. I use
caddis larvae and pupae very often. I use them very often in most tailwaters and
probably more than anything else except the midge. Even with the midge, its the
larva and pupa imitations that work best most of the time.
I had planned on doing another presentation on the Smokies fishing only nymphs,
emergers, pupae and larvae imitations. I haven't done it yet because I will be doing
it in High Definition and releasing it in Blu-ray Disc format in the near future. I had to
install new video production systems and that slowed down our releases. Blu-ray got
off to a slow start, head to head with HDVD which failed, but it will soon take over.
There will not be any more CRT or non-high definitions TVs being made. I just
purchased my third upgrade on hi-def editing hard and software, graphics and
Blu-ray burners, etc. I just purchased my forth PC for video editing, even though
only one is older than three years. The latest is a bad machine - a 64 bit operating
system, quad processors and more memory than exist at Oxford. I just upgraded to
Abobe Professional CS5. I know this is Greek to most of you but when you see a
Blu-ray presentation showing the streams and beautiful trout in the Smokies as well
as other places, you will understand why.
I wondered off subject again but to continue with nymphs, within the next few days I
will show you why specific imitations are desirable for nymphs, even more so than
duns, adult caddis and mayfly spinner. I'll also get to another completely
misunderstood and little know subject and that is getting drag free drifts on nymphs.
It is just as important, probably even more important for a nymph to drift at the
speed of the current naturally than it is for a dry fly on the surface. The trout see
the nymphs much better, remember?
Even more important and totally misunderstood is selective feeding on nymphs,
larvae and pupae. It is always though of only for dry flies or imitations of insects on
the surface. If anglers really knew the truth about how many insects trout ate on the
surface as compared to below the surface, some may even quit fishing a dry fly.
There isn't really any comparison, even on streams noted for its dry fly fishing. I'm
not recommending anything. I am strictly referring to "catching", not fishing.
Oh well, I can't cover it all for today's article. Keep in touch each day and I hope I
can help many of you greatly improve your fishing success. Continued
Just a quick question or two and comments about the World around us.
How's you stock doing these days, your retirement savings, etc? How is your small
business coming along? How's the construction industry doing? I learned about that
in the 1970s by making and losing enough money to buy Miami; however, unlike
Jimmy Buffet, I didn't get to pi--- much of it away. I come back strong and was smart
enough not to allow Jimmy Carter to get me again a few years later. I just quit
wishing and started fishing - full time.
The Government didn't bail me out of the construction business either. In fact, they
wouldn't even pay me on time. They ran 90 days late every month on a few million
dollars of debt. It took a year to get a few hundred grand for a school a federal
judge stole from the county I had contracted with. It took a year and a half to get
the two-hundred grand due on a H.E.W. Daycare I built. The locals burned the
building down because my superintendent cut the water off on weekends and they
couldn't wash their cars free. It took two years to get the few hundred grand of
federal money due for Daniel Payne College Campus I built in Birmingham, Alabama.
The President of the College went to prison for stealing some of it and I waited a
long time just to get enough money to pay my attorneys. I was the proud owner of
several schools for a while, not to mention the largest nigh club in Alabama.
Bailout! What's that? All I ever wanted was paid what I was owed.
I noticed the Gulf of Oil just set several all time records for high water temperatures.
Sounds like what I wrote about a week or so ago is actually happening, although I'm
sure it was a lot to do with the heat wave as well as the oil. The oil is still spewing out
of the ground at ten million gallons a second. Well, come on now, that's close
enough for Government work, isn't it? It is just as accurate as all the other numbers
we were lied to about.
Our VP Joe is down on the Gulf now. He will get everything worked out. He will
probably tell his kids not to visit the horrible Gulf this summer before he stops and
thinks about all the cameras that will be running. He will shutdown the complete oil
industry in the US. That will solve the problem. Don't worry, we can get oil from the
middle East until someone invents an electric airplane. Joe will put a tax on oil for
cap and trade and gas will only be about $6.00 a gallon from now on.
How's our Chicago Community Organizer trained President doing these days?
How is your son doing in Afghanistan? He will get to leave next July. We will say "calf
rope" and leave. It will be election time.
Now don't get upset. The White House staff and Congress will stop this recession.
We will borrow a few more trillion from China and spend our way out of debt. I
don't have to worry about it. My three grandchildren will pay their hundred grand
share of it. Maybe our California friends can help us out with some advice on that.
I can't wait for the health care deal to get into full force. I haven't stood in line since I
was a Ft. Jackson South Carolina in Army basic training.
I was going to fish some of the trout streams in Arizona in the beautiful Rockies but I
haven't shot my 30-06 in so long I'm afraid I would miss the first drug smuggler that
tried to kill me.
I better get my mind back on nymphs.
Just in case you are wondering, Yes, I do still love my country, as much as anyone.