08/05/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives (See Below)
2.    Mahogany Duns
3.    Little Yellow Stoneflies - Summer Stones
4.    Slate Drakes
5.    Ants
6.    Inchworms
7.    Beetles
8.    Grasshoppers
9.    Hellgrammite
10.  Cranefly
11.  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
12.  Cream Cahills

Spawning Brown Trout - Part 2
Before I get started with fishing for the spawning browns, I want to mention that I
hope my article yesterday didn't cause anyone to think they shouldn't fish during
the brown trout spawning season. Catching most any species of fish during the
spawning season has always been a very controversial subject. The spawning
season provides good opportunities for anglers to catch large brown trout or any
other species for that matter. You can catch brown trout or any fish species during
the time of the year they are involved with spawning in a sporting manner. It can
also be done in a way that hurts the fish depending on how just how it's done. I
hope the coming article I will be writing helps explain this to those that are not very
familiar with spawning trout.

In the Smokies, there will only be so many brown trout that grow up to be large in
any given area. The streams are small and the food is limited. I wrote about this a
few days ago. When a large spawning trout is caught, even if it is killed (and it
certainly shouldn't be) it isn't going to have much affect, if any, on the overall brown
trout population. Another brown trout will soon take its place. You are not going to
hurt the brown trout population by fishing during the spawn but you should make
every effort not to harm or destroy a redd or the trout's efforts to spawn
successfully. They have enough problems without anglers adding to it.

The first problem the little fry face is a big domestic family problem. As crude as it
seems, as soon as the eggs hatch, the males pose the first threat because they (as
well as other species of fish) will eat the newly hatched fry. Male Grizzly and black
bears will eat their own cubs and the female has to try to protect them for a long
time when they come out of their dens. This is nature's way.
However, worse than
hurting the population of trout, is hurting the concept of fishing for sport.

Killing trout is crude and unsportsmanlike. It gives our sport a bad impression and
even a bad name with many.

Years after "catch and release" has become popular, it still seems that every time I
try to get a new person interested in fly fishing, they associate it with killing and
eating the fish. I'll mention my neurologist that I recently talked into taking up fly
fishing. He purchased a thousand bucks worth of fly fishing gear, and actually took
some rainbows home from the Smokies and cooked them. I didn't get into that part
of fishing with him. During my last appointment, he told me he only fished that one
time. His wife made him stop fishing over the ordeal.

I really don't have anything against anyone that eats fish caught in the park. I just
wish they would kept their mouths shut about it. Like many of you, I too grew up
eating fish. I also learned the difference in fishing for sport and fishing for food
many years ago
 Anyone that promotes killing wild or native trout is hurting
the sport of fishing
. I understand everything there is to know about why the rules
of Great Smoky Mountains National Park came about but that doesn't change the
fact that
the rules that allow the fish to be taken from the streams are
primitive and crude
. Over the years the park's fishing regulations went from one
extreme to another. Fishing many of the small brook trout streams was shut down
for years for purposes of studying the native brook trout. Finally, they were not only
opened up for fishing, it is now legal to kill them. The rules are embarrassing. Those
writers that write about cooking and eating fish from the Smokies are just as
embarrassing. They are just as gross and crude as the park's regulations and
legends only in their own mind.

A few years ago, when I was temporarily stopped from netting and photographing
mayflies by a ranger in the Smokies, I had a conversation with the park's public
relations manager about it. The nice lady said "you can't kill our insects, Mr. Marsh",
even though I wasn't killing them. I was video taping the dying March Brown
spinners. The employees of the park killed more insects that same day running over
stoneflies on the way to work at their new office building in the park than I would kill
in fifty years of photographing insects. She said "we don't allow any of our animals
in the park to be killed, so why do you think it is okay to kill our insects"? I replied, "I
hate to drop this on you, but you do allow animals to be killed". I said "you allow
trout, which are animals, to be killed". She went completely blank.

I have nothing against any of our government employees that run the park. They do
a very good job as far as I know and especially the lady I am referring to. I
understand their reasons for most everything. I just wished they would come up to
the standards set by other national parks like Yellowstone, for example.

Copyright 2010 James Marsh