08/20/10
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


Weekend Outlook for the Smokies:
The hot weather will continue today. They are predicting 90 degrees again for
Gatlinburg. There's only a slight chance for a thunderstorm. Even with all the heavy
rain I have encountered all week, only a small amount of it reached my yard.
Considering the amount of rain Sugarland has received the last few days, that
seems impossible since we are not very far away.

Today and Saturday looks excellent from a water level standpoint. If you can miss
the 60% chance for a thunderstorm Saturday afternoon, it should be a very good
day to fish. The high is expected to only be 84 in Gatlinburg - some welcome
change. All in all, that's about as good as you could expect conditions to be. I know
there are a lot of anglers who have purchased our flies and planned their trips to
the Smokies the second half of this month. For their sake, I hope the water levels
remain good. The last half of August is capable of providing lousy, hot, low water
conditions, so all in all, conditions are good for this time of the year.

Little Yellow Quill Emergers:
These little mayflies bring about some excellent fishing right at a time when other
hatches are rare. As I mentioned yesterday, it's difficult to pin down the starting date
of the hatch but it could be anytime from now until the middle of September. My
guess would be about the first of September. Near the same time, the Little Needle
Stoneflies will start appearing in the higher elevations, adding to the food supply for
the trout.

Our Little Yellow Quill Emerger flies actually work better than the dun imitations. As
with any emerger fly, they are slightly more difficult to fish though. These mayflies
come from the
Leucrocuta genus of the Heptageniidae family. The aphrodite, hebe,
juno
and minerva species are the most important. I have identified two of the four
listed above in the Smokies and I expect the others may also be present. It's almost
impossible to tell them apart with the naked eye. It requires a male and a
microscope. I am only basing my guess about the number of species on the long
hatch times. It seems to start and stop during a month and a half to a two month
period of time and that's just too long for two species of mayflies to hatch. I think it
must be different species. By the way, one fly easily imitates all of them. Again,
these mayflies are also close to the Cream and Light Cahills in respect that they are
all clingers. It amazes me how well they do in acidic water or water with a low pH.

These mayflies shed their shucks under the water or maybe just below the surface
skim. I'm not sure which. I do know the imitation we developed works well with the
CDC wing floating flush with the skim. They hatch in rather calm or slow moving
water at the edges of the riffles and plunges. This is normally the heads of the little
pools in the high elevations but they also hatch in the slow water adjacent to runs
and riffles in the middle elevation streams. As mention yesterday, they usually don't
hatch in the lower elevations, or at least we haven't found them there in any
concentrations.

Just cast the fly up, or slightly up and across, and let it drift watching your leader. If
it jumps or moves strangely, set the hook. You can usually see the fly (on most
short cast) but not always. Do not put any floatant on the CDC or the body of the
fly. Applying it to the body will make the fly float sideways.

Copyright 2010 James Marsh