10/04/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2.    Mahogany Duns
3.    Little Yellow Stoneflies
4.    Slate Drakes
5.    Needle Stoneflies
6.    Little Yellow Quills
7.    Ants
8.    Inchworms
9.    Beetles
10.  Grasshoppers
11.  Hellgrammite
12.  Craneflies
13.  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)

Fly Fishing The Middle Prong Of Little River (Middle Prong Trailhead
To Its End)
This includes the Middle Prong of Little River from the Middle Prong Trailhead at
the end of the road downstream to its confluence with the West Prong of Little
River. This section has a road that follows closely alongside the stream its entire
length. The road is paved up to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute turn off and
gravel until it ends at the Middle Prong Trailhead. The entire distance is about four
miles. This stream is locally referred to as Tremont. It's formed by the confluence of
Thunderhead Prong and Lynn Camp Prong which we will cover in a separate article.

This is one of the heaviest fished streams in the park at certain times of the season
but void of anglers much of the summer months. It lies at a relatively low elevation
and the water can get warm during the hot summer, especially in the lower section
of the stream.

The Middle Prong is a beautiful stretch of water that's made almost too easy to
access by the road. It consist of the typical run, riffle and pool configuration of  
freestone streams. I would call it medium in comparison to other streams in the
Smokies. It contains mostly rainbows with a few browns in its lower section. The
lower part also has a few smallmouth bass.

There's some areas of the Middle Prong  where it is difficult to cast. Where trees
line both sides of the stream, their limbs often just about cover the water; however,
you can cast just about anywhere in the stream as long as you are careful and
watch your backcast. Where the road comes up close to the stream, there's usually
plenty of casting room. All in all, the stream is a pleasure to fish. It's easy to wade in
most areas and getting around its banks isn't that difficult in most areas. It's a great
dry fly stream but it has some deep, fast water sections that are ideal for short line
nymphing and high stickin.

The gradient of this section of the Middle Prong is low to medium. There are plenty
of long riffles and shallow runs. There are plenty of boulders and rocks in the
stream ranging from very large to small sizes. The water has a lot of small pockets
that change the flow of the water just enough that getting a drag free drift keeps
you on your toes. There are a few plunge pools and a few large, deeper pools but
most of them are relatively shallow. The gradient increases considerably in the
headwaters but we will get to that in another article.

This section of the Middle Prong has only one tributary worth mentioning - Spruce
Flats Branch. It's very small and enters the creek about three and a half miles
upstream. The Spruce Flats Branch Trail starts near its confluence with the Middle
Prong and provides some access but the stream is tightly enclosed with bushes and
trees. Most anglers don't consider this little stream worth fishing.

The Middle Prong of Little River is a stream that anglers pay lots of attention to
during the late winter and early Spring months when the Quill Gordons and Blue
Quills hatch and then for some reason, they tend to ignore its hatches. This is
especially true during the late Spring and Fall. There are several very good
hatches that take place that are overlooked by anglers. The March Browns, Slate
Drakes, Mahogany Duns, Little Black Caddis, and Green Sedges are some of them
that most anglers overlook. They provide just as much action as the early season
hatches and they occur during the times the stream's water temperatures are just
fine.

Copyright 2010